Crisis, What Crisis?
If the season of goodwill seems to have come to an abrupt end (unless you’re an ambitious ferry start-up business with friends in the right places), it has. Look no further than the British State’s hysterical reaction to a handful of desperate people making landing on the south coast of England.
For those who regularly object to the BBC being referred to as the ‘state broadcaster’ they have behaved appallingly on this issue – aping the government line in language and tone and following the predictable foaming at the mouth of the rabid tabloids.
The Home Secretary Sajid Javid cut short his South African safari holiday to declare that Britain is now facing a full-on “crisis”.
As Afua Hirsch has written: “There were plenty of scenarios that warranted that kind of conscientiousness. More people than ever relied on food banks to get through Christmas this year, around half of them children. More than 130,000 children faced Christmas in a state of homelessness, in temporary accommodation or B&Bs completely unfit for families. Almost every day, a woman is killed or takes her own life because of domestic violence, a form of abuse that often spikes at this time of year.
None of these are serious enough to be considered a crisis, however. That privilege is reserved for the five small boats in which 40 desperate peopleattempted to cross the Channel on Christmas Day, no doubt hoping to make the case that they deserved to seek refuge in the UK. That’s no small detail – there is a legal right, established in international law, to claim asylum in a country after you arrive there, which these people were within their rights to follow. But Javid wasn’t going to let that get in the way of his ghoulish seasonal performance, having already determined their status for himself as “illegal” migrants.”
There’s two significant things happening here. First the re-categorisation of people legitimately seeking asylum, a right established in international law. The second is the re-framing of this in Trumpian terms by the state broadcaster in step with its government.
If you wanted a reminder of the putrid state of pre-Brexit Britain early on in the New Year, this was it.
We all laugh at the uncultured racism of Trump’s America with its Mexican Wall Frenzy, and his terror at the ‘Migrant Caravan’, but this is no better. As the reaction escalates the navy have now been called in.
The Home Secretary has written to Gavin Williamson, the Defence Secretary, requesting a military patrol vessel, dozens of sailors and aerial surveillance to help save lives and stop the crossings. Mr Javid is understood to have made a “broad” request for support after Mr Williamson said on Sunday that the Navy, Air Force and Army “stand ready to assist”.
Presumably Mr Williamson can only oblige until such time as he has mustered his troops and aircraft to expand their “reach” and become a “global player” again with all our new far-east military bases?
As Paul Mason has noted: “thanks to a combination of conservative cant, inter-service buffoonery and woeful illiteracy among MPs, we have the fantasy of “global reach”. All this with a navy comprised of just 19 big ships; an army which cannot fill its 8,200 manpower gap without employing migrants; barracks unfit to live in and a £15bn gap between procurement plans and the actual budget.”
Not only is the British military not fit for the fantasy world of regurgitated British Imperialism, its failing in the basics like recruitment.
The National Audit Office has just reported that the outsourcing company Capita was awarded the £495 million contract for Army recruitment in 2012, but the Army has not recruited the number of soldiers it requires in any year since the contract began. Among the significant problems listed in the NAO report is an online recruitment system that was planned for launch in July 2013 but launched over four years late in November 2017 at a cost of £113 million – triple the original budget.
It’s not really surprising when you see the advertising campaign they employed, is it?
Just be glad they didn’t succeed in employing all those hopeless millennial snowflakes after all, they’d be useless at shooting those bloody migrant children wouldn’t they?
The crisis the Home Secretary has declared is the wrong one. The British military are the cause not the solution – both to the refugee cries of displaced people fleeing war – and the alienation of young people from our disastrous society.
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