I am not sure that I like this weeks article from Frankie Boyle: it’s a wee bit too heavy on the sarcasm alongside gratuitous offence to those who live and drive in Kent. Having said that, I infinitely prefer his satirical style to the vast majority of comments below it, for which there is only one word…yuck.

Desperate people (not a ‘swarm’ David Cameron, that’s bees or possibly ants, shame on you) are leaving parts of the world where violence, terror and poverty are the norm and trying to find a peaceful home. If they are English speakers (and due to our regrettable Empire building past, they often are) they want to live and work in an English speaking country. Sometimes they are trying to join family that already live here – both seem reasonable propositions to me. For a useful corrective to the Daily Vile et al view see this article.

It was once the case that misogyny, homophobia, racism and bigotry were frowned upon, but our country now marches to the beat of a Tory drum, so I don’t suppose it’s a massive surprise that bigotry and racism have become acceptable again, indeed in UKIP, we have a whole party dedicated to people who probably start sentences with “I’m not a racist but… “, invariably indicating that the following statement is about to be racist. Gordon Brown was attacked in 2010 for being anti-bigot and I get the distinct impression that things have got worse since then. Anti-semitism is on the rise too which is shameful when we are still within living memory of the Holocaust.

Sometimes it can seem that your hometown is changing in ways that you can’t get to grips with: the young speak differently, are louder and prouder than you were, some people from other cultures and countries seem to have got a comfortable foothold in a land that you were taught to think of as ‘yours’. Here’s the thing though – it was never ‘yours’, it is just where you ended up.

Maybe you got here from Ireland a century ago, maybe from some troubled part of Europe centuries before that, maybe it was just from Poland a couple of decades ago. But we don’t own the land we live in, we’re all just settlers and in the same rickety boat together. Your discomfort at living in a changing country doesn’t make it right to voice or hold bigoted views, it doesn’t make it acceptable that your humanity has deserted you. Those struggling mothers and desperate young men you decry on the news could have been you, if you had been born in a different age or continent. It was just the luck of the draw.


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