Broadcaster Liz Kershaw has been one of those enduring and endearing presences over the years, presenting music shows on a host of radio stations. As such, she has built up a following of maybe not fans, but listeners who enjoy listening to her broadcasts. Some of those listeners, though, have not taken at all kindly to Ms Kershaw’s latest pronouncements - which concern migrants arriving in the UK.
As Zelo Street regulars will know, an average of fewer than four people a day have, since early November, attempted to cross the English Channel from France to Britain in small boats, usually inflatables. And while hundreds of rough sleepers die every year, millions of children are raised in conditions of poverty, food bank use rockets and crime soars, this is now being pushed by our free and fearless press as a “crisis”.
The numbers involved do not make a crisis. But the PA graphic shared by refugee expert Jeff Crisp shows that nine people landed at Sandgate on December 27. Liz Kershaw lives in Sandgate. And there she was, commenting on a Daily Mail article which was ranting about the response to this not-really-a-crisis: “I hope I don't have to encounter this when I go for a walk on the beach in New Years Day”. Er, WHAT?
That sounds rather like those British tourists on the Greek island of Kos who moaned about the rotten brown people spoiling their view across the harbour. And it wasn’t her first foray into this area. “What about concerns for the safety of volunteer crews of the @RNLI #Dover #Littlestone #Dungeness who didn't sign up for this? Or the people whose homes are on #Kent coast?” The RNLI didn’t sign up to rescue people? Who knew?
It got worse. “There's a nuclear power plant at Dungeness. Should we be allowing dinghies full of unidentified men to be crossing the Channel and heading to the beach near there?” Is she suggesting that people from the Middle East have expertise in sabotaging Dungeness B? A nuclear power station built to a one-off design with no similar station anywhere else in the UK, let alone the wider world? Come off it.
What is her problem? “I have no issue with asylum seekers. Just unidentified people from anywhere landing on the beach in front of my house”. French fishermen a problem, then? But she knows who the culprits are. “It's because Serbia has given visa free access to Iranians who can then cross EU freely as far as Calais”. Serbia, whose Bosnian Serb allies committed genocide against their Muslim neighbours? Yeah, right.
Also, Serbia isn’t part of the Schengen Zone. Hell, it isn’t even part of the EU, or even likely to be for many years yet. So Ms Kershaw is indulging in conspiracy mongering as well as NIMBYism and uncaring, irrational hostility to all those nasty brown people. While getting terribly defensive about it: “You know nothing about how much I care or for what or whom. You are making assumptions, getting on a bandwagon and virtue signalling”.
Perhaps she is thinking again about her pronouncements. After all, she’s deleted “This is nothing to do with regular politics. It's about personal experience and fears for your own safety. Maybe if you were on the South coast like I am now you'd have more idea of the reality of all this and not be on your high horse” and several other Tweets.
But Liz Kershaw’s reputation is right now in tatters. And it’s all her own fault.
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