Nigel Farage sinks to a humiliating low in his latest attack on refugees

Nigel Farage
Tracy Keeling

Nigel Farage launched an attack on refugees (again) on 6 August. Or rather, he screeched at his Twitter followers that refugees had mounted an attack on Britain. A “shocking invasion” had happened, apparently. He even invoked the language of World War II, describing the refugees as making a “beach landing”.

Farage also included what he said was “exclusive footage” of the alleged offensive. And what did it show? Around a dozen or so people, including women and children, pulling themselves from a dinghy onto an empty shore. Once on dry land, the adults tended to the children before taking them by the hands, or lifting them onto their shoulders, and walking up the beach.

In short, it seemed to show families, determined and desperate to get their children to a safe place. Farage’s melodramatic, callous, and hate-filled interpretation of it, meanwhile, spoke volumes about him.

An invasion?

Given how off the charts over the top Farage’s tweet was in relation to the reality of the situation, many people opted for ridicule in response:

Others attempted to ‘fix’ Farage’s portrayal of the situation:

Some also tried to introduce empathy into the Twitter discussion, which was nowhere to be seen in Farage’s reaction:

Although, admittedly, the music duo Sleaford Mods appeared to have little empathy either, for Farage’s hate-filled reaction that is:

Nowhere to go

Farage’s dishonest and racist record in relation to refugees shows that anything he says on the issue should be taken with a pinch of salt. So who actually knows where or when this video is from? But the impossible situation many refugees are currently in is indisputable.

Authorities in France have evicted huge numbers of refugees from camps in Calais over the last month. Aid workers say the police tactics for forcefully evicting refugees include the use of tear gas. Founder of the humanitarian charity Care4Calais, Clare Moseley, recently commented:

This policy is cruel and it is counterproductive. It succeeds only in increasing the numbers of people desperate enough to make a dangerous attempt to cross the Channel.

The UK government’s response to the increased number of people trying to cross the channel, meanwhile, has been to attack the “activist lawyers” who help refugees with their asylum claims and condemn the asylum system as “inflexible and rigid”. Detention Action’s Bella Sankey said:

Is this supposed to be the new compassionate face of the Home Office…

Desperate times see the department falling back on bully boy tactics – when you hear ‘activist lawyers’ think of hard-working professionals committed to upholding the right to life and the rule of law.

Heightened risk

The refugees are also, of course, having to face the cold shoulders of authorities on both sides of the channel during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. As the World Economic Forum has pointed out, refugees are at a “heightened risk of contracting – and dying from – the virus” because they can’t take the necessary precautions – like social distancing and regular hand washing – in cramped camps.

In short, refugees are in an utterly dire situation. Yet Farage’s reaction to seeing a dozen or so of them make it ashore safely – including a number of children – was to characterise them as dangerous invaders. What a humiliating low that is.

Featured image via Flickr – Gage Skidmore

We need your help ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us