The grim reality for those who make it ...
After Brexit, and the descent of the Tory Party into a paranoid and conspiracist nationalist death cult, we would have control over our borders. Priti Patel, inexplicably elevated way beyond her abilities to the rank of Home Secretary, clearly believed her own propaganda and so was ill-prepared for the increase in migrant crossings of the English Channel. She made defiant noises, but she did nothing. Because there was little she could do.
Instead, she issued threats: the dinghies carrying all those migrants would be “turned back” in mid-Channel, whatever maritime law said. The dastardly French would have to do better; she managed to miss our no longer being an EU member state. Whatever went wrong would be the fault of people traffickers, as it was their fault when we were not blaming the French. The Tory press duly took their lead from Ms Patel.
... versus idealised history (Kindertransport memorial at Liverpool Street)
And then, yesterday, it happened again. This time, though, it wasn’t in the Mediterranean. It was in the Channel. And it was more than one little Kurdish boy. It was at least 27 individuals who had set off from a beach not far from the Channel port of Calais; their boat sank and they drowned. Two have been rescued and are being treated for hypothermia; in November, sea temperatures are low and getting lower. Five are still missing.
So what would our free and fearless press make of this news? What excuses would they make for their heroine Ms Patel? What excuses would they make for themselves? Would they be able to summon the ability to show a little self-awareness, a little reining back of the foreigner bashing paranoia? Could there be a little less hate and a little more love?
Someone else is to blame
There would certainly be no dialling down on the hatred, and love for anyone not speaking English was out of the question. And the excuses are as lame and as predictable as ever: free sheet Metro was first out of the blocks with “Death In The Channel … WHY DIDN’T FRANCE STOP THEM”? The same photo is used by the Mail.
“At 7.15am yesterday French Police sit and watch as people traffickers launch migrants on perilous trip to Britain. Hours later, 31 others drown in horrific Channel disaster. Now despairing PM tells Macron … YOU’RE LETTING GANGS GET AWAY”. Poor PM! Put on by the French!! Boo Macron!!! Our politicians and media class are full of crap, as ever.
Someone else is to blame, but with more words
Let’s take this nice and slowly, for the sakes of those poor put-upon politicians and their grovelling courtesans in the press. One, just because a French Police vehicle can be seen in the shot of a different boat is not relevant to last night’s tragedy. Two, it’s got sweet Fanny Adams to do with Emanuel Macron: it was the UK that stopped up other migrant routes while failing to establish safe routes for those seeking asylum in this country.
And three, the Tories and their press pals need to own this: the tragedy is on them. All the hostility, all the bile, all the hatred, and yes, all the lies and demonisation have to end. They may not end today, but one day they must. Or this country really has lost all its humanity.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by becoming a Patron on Patreon at