Peering through the curtains this morning at a monochrome world; grey sky, grey everything. On the bright side, at least one doesn’t have to strain one's eyes looking at garish blues and greens. Perhaps a taster of the colourless post apocalyptic world that we might be facing very soon. So before it’s too late, I thought I’d articulate my ambivalent attitude towards the current ‘refusals of entry’ debacle and reiterate the usual accusations against the BBC while I'm at it.
No doubt you’ll have heard about the Home Office’s startling decision to refuse entry to the youthful threesome, Lauren Southern, Brittany Pettibone and her Austrian beau Martin Sellner.
There’s the matter of the actual letter, which was apparently written by someone unfamiliar with the English language, and which, to add insult to injury, has sailed through the Home Office’s quality control, if such a thing exists.
So, is the letter real or fake? Who can tell? One hopes it’s fake, for all our sakes. Otherwise, the Home Office is in serious need of Dame Louise Casey.
This banning appears to be extreme overkill on the part of the Home Office. On one level, it hands unnecessary ammunition to those who believe the establishment and the powers that be are colluding to suppress freedom of speech. It’s the familiar “you’re not helping” mantra that emanates from an ominous drive, notably by the BBC, to artificially engineer social cohesion by brushing disagreeable stuff under the rug and hoping for the best.
On another level, the banning itself, which I think I heard being vaguely justified by a claim that it’s to preempt potential terrorism, gives disproportionate weight to the credibility of the threesome’s ability to threaten the fabric of society. Our home-grown antifa louts are aggressive, shouty and troublesome, and they’re triggered by anything they see as remotely right wing. In comparison, the antics of Lauren Southern and co are distinctly benign. They film themselves in self-inflicted confrontations with the enemy. How frightened need we be of that? Their modus operandi is to poke and provoke, and then upload the response, if it’s entertaining enough, on YouTube.
For one thing, Martin Sellner the Austrian, identifies as an Identitarian. That organisation, which is described as far (or alt) right, has a sinister whiff of the white supremacist about it. This is where where patriotism becomes nationalism and embraces antisemitism and fascism, when alt-right goes right round the back and comes out the other side as alt-left where it hosts much of the present day's virulent antisemitism. In fact “right” is now such a pejorative term that one hesitates to even say it, but in truth the left is effectively the new right.
Tommy Robinson needn’t diminish himself by orchestrating self-inflicted punch-ups with louts in kaffiyehs and balaclavas because he’s already got the ear of the cognoscenti. And now he’s - dare I say ‘unwittingly’ - volunteered to read out the speech at Speaker’s Corner on behalf of the Identitarian. Let’s hope this particular Identitarian is not so much a follower of traditional Identitarianism as a revisionist one and is solely against open borders and creeping Islamisation. I mean let's hope he doesn't turn out to be full-on white supremacist and antisemitic. Of course, if the authorities are keeping their customary watchful eye on ‘enemy of the state’ Tommy Robinson, his rendezvous with Speaker’s Corner might not happen.
So that’s one thing. Ambivalence part one. Here’s a tangentially related case of ambivalence, where I almost hesitate to say something I might regret. But what the hell. I reserve my right to change my mind.
I read Daniel Sugarman in the Jewish Chronicle decrying the very presence of Katie Hopkins at a Zionist Federation event. What was worse, said Sugarman, is that she was photographed with Mark Regev.
“The question everyone should be asking is: how on earth could someone with Ms Hopkin’s repugnant views have been able to get within 10 feet of him?
Sugarman feels that the Federation is being tainted by association with a woman who referred to African Migrants as “Cockroaches”. Oh dear, will Katie Hopkins ever live that down? Will anyone ever live anything down? Like Boris’s infamous ”piccaninnies with watermelon smiles” and other context-light witticisms that people ill-advisedly blurt out. No-wonder some of us are terrified of saying anything in case it’s taken down and used as evidence against us later in the court of public opinion.
As for her repugnant views, well, Katie is after all a professional controversialist, and one might indeed think, with friends like this who needs enemies. But I’d rather have them as friends than enemies, wouldn’t you? Not only Katie Hopkins by the way. Tommy Robinson gets a mention too.
“……..Or the diplomatic faux-pas just a few months ago when Elad Nehorai, the embassy's Director of Public Diplomacy, approvingly retweeted another far-right activist who likes Israel - Tommy Robinson.”
This antipathy towards Katie Hopkins and Tommy Robinson indicates a profound misreading of present day British society. It comes across as mere snobbery. These individuals may be rude, they may be rough, but they recognise the antisemitism within Muslim society, and in so doing show a realistic understanding of what Israel is up against, unlike the Islam-appeasing media, the British government and much of the general public, thanks to the BBC. Don’t knock it, Jewish Chronicle.
Your attitude may be well meaning in the same way as Lord Dubs who took the view that we have a moral obligation to accept thousands of Muslim child refugees because, Kindertransport. I would cautiously suggest that current circumstances invalidate any equivalence.
Fear of being tainted by association, taking pains to distance oneself from certain personae non gratae, being terrified of aligning oneself with activists against creeping Islamisation, being perceived as less than liberal and less than tolerant is almost understandable, but it panders to the antisemitic saying that “Jews of all people" should have learnt the lesson of the past - and therefore should be sympathetic to and tolerant of all, no matter what. That's logic of a most inverted kind.
Not so long ago many Zionists were falling over themselves to dissociate themselves with the EDL, as the whole argument was taking place on the left’s terms, and they’re still doing it, though now the toxicity lies with the ‘right” and the argument is still taking place entirely on the left’s terms.
While we’re talking about African migrants, see this page on the BBC website. The whole page is devoted to demonising Israel.
And here’s a BBC Trending film clip, dedicated to demonising Israel for its treatment of African Migrants. It's presented by an anti-Israel activist from Electronic Intifada called David Sheen.
To add to my earlier post about the film “Working with the enemy” in the BBC World’d series “Our World” which was an unadulterated piece of anti-Israel agit prop, I offer you BBC Watch’s two-part deconstruction of the film’s content here and here. Do read it.
If there's one thing I'm not ambivalent about it's simply this. There is no justification for the BBC’s relentless and open vilification of Israel.