I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic
Facebook is bad for my blood pressure. Usually because of its commercialised intrusive horribleness (although AdBlock still goes a long way…), but also because of information like this, from yesterday:
Via Jack MacInnes: So now British Airways have refused to allow my brother-in-law Tammam Azzam onto a plane at Istanbul bound for Milan. There was a one-hour stopover in Heathrow and the UKBA is not allowing Syrians into transit in London without a special visa. Tammam lives in Dubai and has a six year old daughter in school there, he was bound for an arts festival in Milan to which he’d been invited and then to another in Paris, and yet our government is worried he will seek asylum and start a terrorist cell in the UK. So full marks to Turkey, Italy and France. Nul points to Great Britain. And yet we are the most vocal ‘friend of Syria’.
So, despite repeated governmental avowals of concern for the ‘people of Syria’, the UK Border Agency is going to extraordinary lengths to ensure that Syrians – even ones well-established elsewhere and with no interest in staying in the UK – get nowhere near Britain in case they ask for asylum here. I’m finding it hard to get beyond frothing with incoherent rage at this.
Here, btw, are some example of Tammam Azzam’s work. Some of it is beautiful and deeply moving and I’d love to see it on show in this country. I can’t imagine he’s feeling too warm and fuzzy towards Britain at the moment though:
Why anyone might actually want to stay in Britain at the moment, anyway, is a bit of a moot point. I spent quite a bit of yesterday trying to avoid any news sources, since they were all going to be gleefully telling me how many local council seats Nigel Farage and his band of morally defunct racists in UKIP had won. I had considerable trouble getting beyond snarling ‘fucking fuckers’ a lot – with no final decision as to whether I was referring to UKIP themselves or the bands of idiots who voted for them.
I know that I’m supposed to be politically correct about this and sympathise with the poor, marginalised white folks who are being screwed by the Tories (who they elected) and bamboozled by electoral messages and not represented by the main parties etc. Well, you know what? Fuck ’em. Fuck the Daily Mail/Times/Express/Telegraph/Sun readers who choose to consume this crap. Fuck the ‘I’m not racist, but…’ and ‘I’m holding down a job so those dole scroungers can…’ hypocrites. I’m sick of excuses for bigots and fools.
Yes, plenty of this ignorance comes from poor education and a concerted policy of divide and rule against the working classes, but in the end it’s also patronising to pretend that people don’t have a choice and that they haven’t exercised it – to vote for a bunch of homophobic, racist scum. And, in the past, to vote for Thatcher who then wrecked their public services and their unions, and Major who carried on her project in his deceptively grey and surprisingly effective way. So, as I said, fuck ’em. They chose to go out and vote for scum. What does that say about them? Right now, I can only despair.
To close that little rant, here’s a reminder of who we’re actually talking about when we say ‘UKIP supporters’: