The corporate press is back to the ‘migrant invasion’ propaganda again

A Daily Mail front page about migrants
Steve Topple

The corporate press’s response to refugees crossing the English channel shows that little has changed in five years. That is right-wing politicians and tabloids continue to roll out the ‘migrant invasion’ narrative for their own purposes; ignoring the fact that many of these people are refugees and asylum seekers – and the part the UK has played in putting them in that position in the first place.

Let’s deal with the facts

BBC News reported that on Thursday 6 August, a record number of people came across the channel from France, with almost 4,000 making the journey so far this year. Thursday’s total was 235. But as the BBC said:

In 2019, some 677,000 people moved to the UK as long-term immigrants, for reasons such as work or study.

There were also 49,000 asylum applications.

As such, the 4,000 unauthorised Channel arrivals are equal to less than 1% of all immigrants last year.

And as it also noted, the number of UK asylum seekers is much lower than in European countries:

The number of asylum seekers arriving and applying to stay in other European nations is far, far higher than in the UK. Last year, some 165,600 sought asylum in Germany, 129,000 in France and 118,000 in Spain.

Don’t look here!

But if you were to believe the right-wing corporate press and alleged ‘politicians’ like Nigel Farage, you’d think there was an “invasion” happening (the Brexit Party leader’s words). A former Guardian journalist summed up the situation best. As he tweeted:

Yes, the right-wing front pages for the past few days have been dominated by the refugee situation. Of course, most of the commentary failed to acknowledge the obvious: that many people seeking refuge in the UK were coming from countries in chaos; chaos that our country has had a hand in.

The reality

As BBC News asked and then answered:

Where do the Channel migrants come from ?

In short, the poorest and most chaotic parts of the world. Recent arrivals have included entire families from Yemen, Eritrea, Chad, Egypt, Sudan and Iraq.

The UK has been involved in:

  • Politically and physically, the Saudi Arabia-led war in Yemen.
  • Eritrea, whose dictator Isaias Afwerki the UK historically welcomed over here quite happily; something we seem to have a habit of doing.
  • Chad, whose chaos is being compounded by the Western-compounded maelstrom in Libya.
  • Egypt and its military dictator general Abdel Fattah el-Sisi – again, historically supported by the UK.
  • The former British-controlled Sudan.

Meanwhile, little needs to be said about Iraq. Moreover, the BBC fails to even mention Syria – where Russian, US, and UK-aggravated chaos has forced over six million people to flee the country. The UK quite happily ruins other countries. But then it doesn’t want to deal with the consequences.

Here we go again

But writer Musa Okwonga also showed the other problem with the current media frenzy over the ‘illegal’ ‘migrants’. Because it’s nothing new:

Yet in a bizarre twist of irony, the Express screamed on 8 August that:

Brexit will NOT ‘make any difference’ in stopping migrants crossing English Channel

The tabloid rag, in amplifying Tory minister Nick Gibb, seemed to have forgotten its own front pages from 2016. Either that, or it was lying in the run-up to the EU referendum. Because wasn’t the UK’s ‘migrant’ ‘problem’ the EU’s fault?

Daily Express Front Pages

So much for ‘taking back control of our borders’ – hey, Farage?

Propaganda overdrive

The current right-wing propaganda about refugees and migrants follows the same, well-worn pattern as it always has. In times of national crisis, or where certain politicians have agendas of their own, the corporate media dutifully play the ‘migrant’ card to keep much of the public’s anger aimed elsewhere. It’s no different now to how it was in the run-up to the EU referendum. And the right-wing tabloids sadly seem to still be getting away with it.

Featured image via Twitter – screengrab

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  • Show Comments
    1. Whot sane person would stay in a country where they bombed out by others with weapons supplied by us bombed by us and government unstabalise these countries ouch get the peasants fight amongst themselves how quaint but it isn’t for those who try to come to our shores

    2. As someone once said “if you want to stop terrorists, if you want to stop illegal immigrants, the best thing to do is, to stop bombing the shit out of them”

      We need to find a new shorter name for main stream media and tabloid press, I would suggest scum !

      Want to be a front line investigative Journalist ? Allow me to give you all the training you need.

      on your key board and with the latest Tory press release or briefing paper on your screen, open another word doc then go back to the briefing and press control+c, now go to the new doc and press control+p and there you go you are now earning thousands and are a fully qualified top of the range MSM (scum) journalist.

      You’re welcome

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