Thursday, July 30, 2015

Know Your Enemy

"It’s extremely disappointing to hear the prime minister using such irresponsible, dehumanising language to describe the desperate men, women and children fleeing for their lives across the Mediterranean Sea. This sort of rhetoric is extremely inflammatory and comes at a time when the government should be focused on working with its European counterparts to respond calmly and compassionately to this dreadful humanitarian crisis."

Lisa Doyle, head of advocacy at the Refugee Council, on David Cameron's description of Calais migrants as "a swarm of people". Even Andy Burnham was stirred into a strong response, branding the use of the term "disgraceful" and adding that it "confirms there’s no dog-whistle these Bullingdon Boys won’t blow".

Of course, the attitude that underlies this sort of comment should hardly come as much of a surprise, given the way Cameron and his Tory chums have shown they're prepared to treat those who are already citizens of this country.

While politicians are apparently content to depict migrants collectively as a threatening, animalistic rabble, some people - Buzzfeed's Siraj Datoo, for instance - have actually taken the trouble to treat them as individuals and tell their stories.

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