Reporters from various news platforms sailed into the sea to interview some desperate foreigners trying to make it to British shores in a rubber dinghy. It was a quite astonishing method of inhumane journalism. Still, many British citizens didn't see it like that.
A YouGov poll indicated that 49% of people had little or no sympathy for the refugees that were desperately struggling to enter United Kingdom. That accounts for roughly half of the British population. Astounding, but not really surprising. Populism is still alive and kicking.
The Brexit victory really illustrated the anger and frustrations of many working-class Brits. They felt that they had been left behind by their government and wanted to give them the middle finger; a disruption that made an elite establishment remain even more elite.
Since then, the UK has been presented with a populist leader in Boris Johnson, essentially the British Donald Trump, and populism has become the norm in these two continents.
Remember, many of those who were in favour of Brexit and in favour of Trump were those who had suffered adversity. They swallowed the myths that had been fed to them by higher powers; slander towards oppressed immigrants and minorities have allowed the elite to remain in their comfortable bubbles without much challenge.
Those without the benefit of higher education or cultural experience would have been reliant on the words of newspapers and opinions of their local social circles. The likes of Rupert Murdoch and Nigel Farage have created a narrative of ethical disdain towards certain groups.
Opinions don't change overnight. A majority of the population voted for Brexit, many of them on the anticipation that immigration would be curtailed. An even bigger majority jumped on Johnson's Brexit bandwagon in last December's General Election. This population is full of confused people waving their fists at clouds.
People who couldn't definitively say why Brexit needed to happen are now blaming asylum seekers for the problems that they see around them. There are groups of people cramped together on a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean. How exactly are they trying to exploit Britain? In what way are these actions causing problems to the lives of everyday Brits?
Britain have tried to pass the baton to the French, as noted by AA. In 2019, France had 128,940 people seeking protection from abroad, according to statistics from AIDA. The UK and France should work together to tackle this issue and it is arrogant of Britain to try and deflect responsibility. It's ignorant to suggest the French should simply take complete control of all asylum seekers over the border and it's even more ignorant to turn a blind eye to people on death's door.
And yet Farage would have people think that the majority of these victims are somehow a threat to our country.
In April, Farage voiced his concerns about illegal immigrants on his YouTube channel.
In an exchange with a Hastings local, Freddie, the two gleefully stirred the pot and speculated what could be happening at the local border crossing.
"They got on their hands and knees and kissed the stones," declared Freddie, who simply looks quite excited to be on camera. He was referring to migrants who made it to the beaches.
"I bet they did," Farage replies, as though these people have got away with something that they shouldn't have.
He isn't completely wrong. Illegal migrants, the clue's in the name; they're breaking the law. But, for goodness sake, it's out of sheer desperation.
Farage speculates that they might have "jobs to go to". Once again, the leader of the Brexit Party isn't lying but he chooses to bend the truth with the way that he expresses those thoughts. It makes these migrants seem privileged. Law abiding citizens who can walk into employment while many British people struggle to find a job. How dare they! What people choose to ignore is the standard of this job. It isn't going to be a supermarket role or a position in a standard factory; it's going to be much worse than that.
These people going into jobs could be paid poorly and made to work long hours in undesirable environments. Those workers have no voice because they have absolutely zero rights in the UK. They would be absolutely terrified at the prospect of being unravelled. So where is the outrage at those who are breaking the law by employing illegal migrants and treating them like slaves?
The language is also key here. A man who steals from a shop is not labelled as an illegal person; he is a burglar. Somebody trying to seek refuge without in the UK without the the correct paperwork is, by definition, an asylum seeker or a refugee. In other instances, the crime is the leading tag, not the person. It gives people an excuse to target these people because they themselves are quantified as not being legal; it gives the impression that they are getting what they deserve if adversity hits hard. Invalidating workers while those who abuse them for labour go unnoticed.
If first-hand exploiters like seedy employers were challenged, the second-hand exploiters could not shift the attention away from other scandals.
The Government would rather push the narrative away from their shoddily handled response to the pandemic and onto something that can appeal to their voters: a tough stance on foreigners. They aren't overtly attacking them like others but those in power don't do enough to counter the attacks that come their way. This is deliberate, of course, as the disenfranchised and the minorities offer a perfect scapegoat for when things don't go to plan. They will never outwardly slam a group; that would be sloppy. But they won't challenge those right-wing ethical discussions; that's partly why they are in power.
Similarly, Farage has been a big beneficiary of right-wing ethics; he was paid a small fortune by businessman Arron Banks for peddling his xenophobic diatribe over the years. The former UKIP leader earned £450,000 from the business tycoon after the Brexit victory, as reported by The Guardian.
He doesn't like to be questioned about that; that's quite paradoxical to have a man who earns a great deal of money whilst pretending to be a champion for the rights of the working-class. Those crossing the channel are just one big distraction for these types of people.
They would rather turn the focus away from the rising job losses and the economic decline that is set to hit working-classes the hardest. They would rather talk about something other than their botched resolution to the grades of GCSE and A-Level students. Talk about anything apart from those big elephants at the back of the room!
The unfortunate truth
Blame the vulnerable. Blame those who cannot speak up and the masses will lap it up because they are firmly lodged in that cauldron of hate. We are a long way from any form of progressive politics but we shouldn't be surprised. Leopards don't change their spots.
Education reform is essential but that's highly unlikely to happen as it would lessen the influence of our media and our politicians. Why let people think for themselves when they can be subliminally told how to think? Why ruin the status quo?
Sing the British National Anthem loudly enough and you can drown out the cries of help from the oppressed. Sing it loudly enough and you can forget the shaky foundations that are currently holding Britain afloat. The hope of the world's charlatans is for those below them to believe in something hollow.
There is nothing wrong with patriotism until it gets in the way of reasonable logic and morality. At that point, you're in trouble.