The Evil Heart of Brexit Britain Under Boris Johnson’s Bigoted Government and the UK’s Rabid Right-Wing Media

27.11.21

A dinghy carries migrants to the UK from France across the Channel (Photo: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images).

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For the last five and a half years, since bigotry, racism and xenophobia became official UK government policy following the disastrous EU referendum in June 2016, I have frequently been ashamed to be British; I might almost say, in fact, that I have carried with me a perpetual shame at the way in which the Brexiteers’ narrow victory in the referendum brought racism and intolerance out of the shadows, where decent people had been striving for decades to keep it at bay.

On occasion, events have conspired to make that shame flare up into full-blown anger and despair, and the deaths of 27 refugees in the Channel three days ago is one of those occasions. That these 27 people — men, women and children — were so desperate to get to the UK, in the hope of a better life, that they had become involved with people-traffickers, and ended up in a dinghy that couldn’t cope with the perils of the Channel crossing, ought to elicit, first of all, compassion for the plight in which they found themselves, and for their tragic deaths. However, the rhetoric regarding refugees has become so vile and so toxic in Brexit Britain that the knee-jerk reaction of far too many people has been to dismiss them as “illegal migrants” or “economic migrants”, and to revel in their deaths.

In this, the mainstream media and the government bear huge responsibility for having cynically encouraged racism, xenophobia and cold-heartedness as part of their various agendas for damagingly isolating Britain from the rest of the world in order to stay in power or to secure a pliable populace that will soak up their venom in an unquestioning manner.

The rhetoric surrounding refugees has become so toxic that the reality — of people desperate to flee war zones, economically devastated countries and other rights-abusing regimes — has become lost in a sewer of dangerous isolationist intolerance.

Refugees’ rights

It wasn’t always so. The UK was one of the drivers of the efforts, after the horrors of the Second World War, to create more caring societies, through the establishment of the United Nations, and the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and of other mechanisms designed to create a world in which human rights were recognised, and compassion was given political weight.

One of these developments was the Refugee Convention of 1951, which recognised refugees as people who are “unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.” The Convention also recognised that “the seeking of asylum can require refugees to breach immigration rules”, and stipulated that states must not punish them, for example by “being charged with immigration or criminal offences relating to the seeking of asylum, or being arbitrarily detained purely on the basis of seeking asylum”, and also, crucially, introduced the principle of non-refoulement, preventing the return of refugees to countries where they fear “threats to life or freedom.”

While racism and xenophobia have never gone away, it is noticeable that the tabloid media bears particular responsibility for perpetually stoking the flames of intolerance over many decades, as well as politicians, who have enthusiastically embraced hostility towards foreigners, especially since the EU referendum, which they have interpreted as a mandate for isolationism, and for striving to prevent any foreign nationals from coming to the UK unless it’s for a short holiday (or they’re rich).

Tory hysteria over refugees

Even before the deaths three days ago, the vile hysteria of this position was both morally repugnant and economically counter-productive. The rot is entrenched at the very top of government, of course. Boris Johnson was elected in December 2019 by 29 percent of the registered electorate to “get Brexit done”; in other words, to seal our isolation from the rest of the world, and to fulfil the “hostile environment” for foreigners that his predecessor, Theresa May, had worked towards both as home secretary and as Prime Minister.

Johnson is a reflexively upper-class white supremacist, but also an opportunist on a shameful scale, and to “get Brexit done” he has surrounded himself with ministers who are also obsessed with fulfilling the alleged mandate of the 2016 referendum by making the UK as unattractive a destination as possible for foreigners. His appointment of Priti Patel as home secretary couldn’t have sent a clearer message that the UK wants to wither alone.

Patel’s bigotry is even more extreme than that of Theresa May, and yet, despite her impeccable racist and xenophobic credentials, on the day before the deaths in the Channel, the Guardian reported that she was facing criticism from both Johnson and a number of Conservative MPs for not being tough enough on immigration — and on Channel crossings in small boats in particular — despite the fact that, in September, Patel was seeking to “send back small boats carrying migrants in the Channel”, as the Guardian explained, even though that would, illegally, involve “maritime refoulements.”

At the time, as the Guardian explained, some Conservative MPs “called for the home secretary to break international law and send all migrants arriving illegally by boat straight back to France”, and, just before Wednesday’s deaths, the rabidly callous tendencies of some Tory MPs were on display again. As the Guardian described it, “In the Commons, several Tory MPs pushed for progress on Australian-style offshore processing centres, to which migrants would be flown within seven days of arriving in the UK. Richard Holden, MP for North West Durham, said: ‘We must now adopt an Australian approach to stopping these small boats in the channel. Offshore processing, towing them back, whatever it takes to secure our borders.’”

Another notorious bigot, Sir Edward Leigh, told Patel, as the Guardian described it, “that the government has ‘lost control’ of the number of people crossing the Channel and described the situation as a ‘national emergency.’”

“We told the people at the referendum, us Brexiteers, that we would take back control, it’s clear that in this we have lost control,” Leigh said, adding, shamefully, “If you tell the most desperate economic migrants in the world that we will provide a free border service, taxi service across the Channel, we will never deport you, will put you up in a hotel as long as you like, is it any wonder that more and more come? This is now a national emergency. Will the home secretary bring in [an] emergency powers act to override the Human Rights Act if necessary?”

In pandering to the racists and xenophobes in the country, the media and its own Party, the government now finds itself in the position of trying to start a war with France to deflect from the intractability of the situation, rather than working out how to be part of a collective effort, across Europe, to deal with the numbers of refugees — and, yes, “economic migrants” — who will continue to try to make their way to whatever “promised land’ they imagine to exist in a continent in which compassion seems to be in ever shorter supply.

Although the impression given by the racists in the UK is that this is a uniquely British problem, the reality is that far more people seek asylum in Germany and France than they do in the UK, as Enver Solomon, the chief executive of the Refugee Council, explained in a Guardian article two days ago.

As Solomon stated:

The government says those arriving in small boats are nearly all economic migrants — a claim repeated on Tuesday in the Commons by the home secretary. The reality is different. An analysis by the Refugee Council published last week shows that almost all arrivals in the 18 months to June this year were from 10 countries, including Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Eritrea and Afghanistan, where persecution is not uncommon. More than six out of 10 people from these countries seeking asylum in the UK are granted refugee status or protection. For the top five countries it is higher, at seven out of 10.

Anybody who comes here overland has been immediately labelled an “illegal immigrant.” The new nationality and borders bill is designed to create an even more hostile environment, including provisions to offshore people while their asylum claims are processed, and a new status of temporary refugee protection. The plan is also to return people to another country if there is evidence they have passed through a so-called “safe country.”

The rationale is that the more hostile and the tougher the policy, the less likely men, women and children are to risk their lives at the hands of people traffickers. It’s a far too simplistic assumption that relies primarily on deterrence, control and enforcement. It will fail because the problem is complex and nuanced. A more sophisticated, intelligent and humane response is required.

The government needs to accept that if there were more safe and regular routes in place for people — such as a wide-ranging resettlement programme, humanitarian visas and reformed family reunion rules — fewer people would feel the need to make such dangerous journeys in the first place. Both Labour and Conservative governments have curtailed safe routes in recent decades through more draconian asylum and immigration laws, forcing people to take dangerous journeys instead. An ambitious expansion of safe routes is urgently needed.

Human decency ought to dictate that European countries in general work together to deal humanely with the ongoing refugee crisis, to accept our collective responsibility for involvement in the wars that have, in so many cases, displaced them, and to recognise that the climate crisis (also largely of our own making) will mean ever greater numbers of refugees in the years to come.

The urgent need for immigrant workers

However, in the case of the UK, there is also another practical, economic reason for welcoming refugees and migrants; namely, the chronic shortage of necessary workers to keep the economy going, now that so many EU nationals have left the country, having correctly concluded that, sadly, they are no longer welcome here.

Even the right-wing media has been unable to gloss over some of the lamentable impacts of Brexit — on supply chains, for example, because of a shortage of EU drivers — although in general they refuse to spell out, on a daily basis, what an unmitigated disaster Brexit is for the UK, with absolutely no redeeming features whatsoever. There has been better coverage in the media that regards itself as centrist, or liberal, and last week the Guardian ran an entire series of articles under the heading ‘Life without EU workers’, spelling out the many facets of the Brexit disaster in detail.

The series featured interviews with a care services manager who has seen her Polish staff drop in numbers from 460 to 36, the manager of a chain of coffee shops in Birmingham, a builder who has plenty of work offers, but no workers, an au pair agent who now has no employees whatsoever, down from 500 a year before Brexit, a spice importer struggling to find warehouse workers and drivers, a hotelier who stated, “People expect cheap food, drink and accommodation — that horse has bolted”, and a fruit picker whose fellow workers have all moved to Germany or Spain, where she is likely to follow, working for a strawberry farm in Norfolk whose owner, Simon Turner, fears he will have to close down. Last year, he said, “he recruited 88 British staff under the government-backed Pick for Britain campaign”, but “[m]ost of them didn’t last three hours.”

A huge number of businesses are likely to collapse entirely unless the government accepts that Brexit has been a self-destructive failure, but as EU workers have disappeared, the government’s continuing hostility towards immigrants from elsewhere in the world simply makes no sense. As Simon Jenkins described it in an article in the Guardian on Tuesday, “Nothing makes sense. Along the east coast of England, British employers scan the horizon. They are desperate for any migrant workers whom Boris Johnson will bless with visas to pick fruit, kill turkeys, staff hotels or care for elderly people. At the same time along the south coast British politicians howl with horror at boatloads of just such people as they come ashore, desperate to offer their services. Brexit is a shamble of hypocrisies.”

Since Wednesday, of course, it has become apparent that the situation is far worse than Jenkins described, and that some Tory MPs and British citizens would prefer those trying to get here to die rather than to set foot on British soil and to be able to fill some of those vacancies.

“Of all the fantasies of Brexit”, Jenkins proceeded to explain, “the stupidest was that it would enable Britain to withstand the tides of global migration. Nor should a robust economy need to do so. Growth needs immigrants. The idea that Britain might actually prosper by denying itself access to the EU’s labour pool was illiterate” — and to that illiteracy can now be added the sheer heartlessness of wishing death on those who dare to flee war zones or ruined economies in the hope of finding the opportunity “to pick fruit, kill turkeys, staff hotels or care for elderly people”, as Jenkins described it.

This callousness — both vile on a human level, and economically counter-productive — is not the only evil emanating from this government, of course, beyond the devastating levels of cronyism and corruption seen since the Covid pandemic started. Priti Patel is also intent on empowering herself to strip people of their citizenship without any kind of review process whatsoever, and also remains intent on criminalising the entire way of life of Gypsies and travellers, as well as imprisoning anyone she regards as protesting in any kind of way that actually causes any kind of disruption.

Right now, however, it is the refugee crisis that most urgently needs tackling — and that asks us to decide whether we are guided by compassion, or whether we have taken casual callousness to a truly disturbing new level.

* * * * *

Andy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer (of an ongoing photo-journalism project, ‘The State of London’), film-maker and singer-songwriter (the lead singer and main songwriter for the London-based band The Four Fathers, whose music is available via Bandcamp). He is the co-founder of the Close Guantánamo campaign (and see the latest photo campaign here) and the successful We Stand With Shaker campaign of 2014-15, and the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. He is also the co-director (with Polly Nash) of the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (available on DVD here, or here for the US, or you can watch it online here, via the production company Spectacle, for £2.55).

In 2017, Andy became very involved in housing issues. He is the narrator of the documentary film, ‘Concrete Soldiers UK’, about the destruction of council estates, and the inspiring resistance of residents, he wrote a song ‘Grenfell’, in the aftermath of the entirely preventable fire in June 2017 that killed over 70 people, and he also set up ‘No Social Cleansing in Lewisham’ as a focal point for resistance to estate destruction and the loss of community space in his home borough in south east London. For two months, from August to October 2018, he was part of the occupation of the Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden in Deptford, to prevent its destruction — and that of 16 structurally sound council flats next door — by Lewisham Council and Peabody. Although the garden was violently evicted by bailiffs on October 29, 2018, and the trees were cut down on February 27, 2019, the struggle for housing justice — and against environmental destruction — continues.

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24 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    When I posted this on Facebook, I wrote:

    Here’s my latest article, my response to the shameful deaths of 27 refugees crossing the Channel to the UK, noting how, on a human level, it reflects appallingly on the Brexit-soaked racism and xenophobia of the Tory government, the right-wing media and far too many of the British people, but also how counter-productive it is, economically, to be turning away immigrants when, post-Brexit, all manner of British businesses are critically short of workers.

    Not for the first time since the EU referendum five and a half years ago, we are in a very dark place indeed, when those with empathy and compassion are pushed aside by the “populist” clamour for a Britain sealed off from the rest of the world, even if that means death for those seeking a new life here, who, for the most part, would be delighted to do the jobs that British people themselves are unwilling or unable to do.

    Brexit, it seems, is not only a moral vacuum, but also one that is economically illiterate.

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    Deborah Emin wrote:

    Thank you for saying what is so true that it is almost unbearable. This strategy is no different from what is happening in Palestine (and too many other places to record here.) Without writers like you, I’d lose total faith. Peace, my friend.

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks for those wonderfully supportive words, Deborah. I reflect often on how I was brought up to believe in the importance of looking after those less fortunate than ourselves, based, in particular, in my mother and grandmother’s understanding of Christianity. I lost my faith in my early teenage years, but I never lost those values, and it still seems to me that they are crucial in preventing humanity from sinking into either an atomised and empty selfishness, or, even worse, a bitterness – itself brought on by that emptiness – that sees people become heartless at best, and homicidal at worst.

    And while we’re discussing not losing faith in humanity, I’d also like to thank you for your many posts in which you discuss the dangers when human beings lose touch with their ability to empathise and to feel compassion. As we progress inevitably into darker times, with the unfolding environmental catastrophe of our own making, it is going to be more crucial than ever that people don’t lose sight of what binds us together rather than what sets us apart.

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    The first identification has been made of one of the 27 people who died. Maryam Nuri Mohamed Amin, 24, a Kurdish woman from northern Iraq, “was messaging her fiancé, who lives in the UK, when the group’s dinghy started deflating on Wednesday”, as the Guardian explains. Thanks to modern technology, “She had been exchanging messages with her fiancé on Snapchat just before the dinghy started to lose air and passengers began to try to get water out of it”, and her fiancé said that “he had been following her position using GPS tracking.” I need hardly add that the miracles of modern technology stand in stark contrast to the inhumanity of everyone involved in letting Maryam drown, when safe means should have been in place to allow her to join her fiancé.
    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/nov/26/kurdish-woman-is-first-victim-of-channel-tragedy-to-be-named

  5. Andy Worthington says...

    And here’s a timely article examining the horrors of Australia’s offshore detention centres for migrants, which many Tories are desperate to introduce for the UK.
    https://www.theguardian.com/global/2021/nov/27/australia-knows-the-horror-of-deaths-at-sea-and-what-happens-when-the-response-goes-wrong

  6. Andy Worthington says...

    Mohammed Zakaria wrote:

    Andy, thanks for writing this article! Watching GBNEWS and listening to callers on Jeremy Vine or LBC is so depressing!!
    It feels as if humanity is dead! Those anti refugee/migrants are upset they died in the English Channel and not the Mediterranean or somewhere far away! 😢

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    We are living in very dark times, Mohammed, and are in desperate need of prominent public figures to counteract the homicidal violence of so many people’s thoughts, and yet they are, it seems, sadly lacking. It’s not an exaggeration to say that, without robust challenges, this kind of “populism” ends up drifting ever further to the far-right, and history has many reminders for us of what that involves. As a popular US saying has it, “when fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag.”

  8. Andy Worthington says...

    Damien Morrison wrote:

    What an era we’re in.

  9. Andy Worthington says...

    Very sad times, Damien. Anti-immigrant sentiment seems to be taking root everywhere in the wealthy West, which doesn’t augur well for the future, as there are clearly going to be more and more refugees in the coming years, as the effects of catastrophic climate change take effect. But the specific British aspect of it all, unerringly focused on Brexit, does suggest to me that the decent majority of people in the UK need to make more noise about our humanitarian obligations – and about the need to rejoin the EU. Sadly, however, the Labour Party, under Keir Starmer, seems to be a silent as ever.

  10. Andy Worthington says...

    Damien Morrison wrote:

    What a hateful country this has become. I watched a news report, most of the locals were saddened and sympathetic … Except one old c..t and he was a c..t … we’ve got enough people here on benefits.
    And that is the mentality. Not a shred of humanity.

  11. Andy Worthington says...

    And yet this is the kind of vile misery that Brexit represents, Damien. It has no upsides, just the endorsement of depressed isolationists who will never be happy because the economy will only get worse without immigrants, and, in any case, they have psychological problems that prevent them from fundamentally understanding love or compassion.

  12. Andy Worthington says...

    Jan Strain wrote:

    Fear begets hate in furtherance of authoritarianism, UK seems to be taking a page from the US.
    ‘Border Patrol tallies record 557 migrant deaths on US-Mexico border in 2021 fiscal year’: https://edition.cnn.com/2021/10/29/politics/border-patrol-record-border-deaths-fiscal-year-2021/index.html

  13. Andy Worthington says...

    Very sad statistics, Jan. Sadly, from now on, more and more people are going to be trying to get into the wealthier countries of the West, and how we respond is going to be crucial. If all we do is get more and more flint-hearted, that poison is going to corrode the health of our own societies, but I fear that’s where we’re headed.

  14. Andy Worthington says...

    Susan Claire wrote:

    Andy, where has our compassion gone, truly my heart is breaking with what has become of the UK. Like you I was brought up with daily reminders to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and now if I say that I’m shouted down by people for my naivety. And I know it’s not only the UK, I am seeing it everywhere, this ability to ignore the pain and suffering of other human beings because somehow ‘it must be their fault.’ And as for our leaders….

  15. Andy Worthington says...

    It’s very sad to hear that “do unto others” has become seen as a sign of naivety, Susan. I fear for our future if all people can envisage is a fortress mentality – and also, as you say, disparaging those less fortunate as though it is somehow their fault. In the Victorian era, in which our ancestors all suffered, I’m sure, the prevailing opinion of those in charge was that there were the “deserving” and the “undeserving” poor. Cameron’s Tories brought that notion back with a vengeance after they took power in 2010, encouraging ordinary people to look down on “shirkers” and to encourage their punishment, but for anyone paying attention it’s always been a miserable cynical smokescreen to try and disguise how it is capitalism that creates poverty, not people’s alleged failings.

    I’m not sure how we can get out of this – if at all – but I’m pretty sure that the effort is going to involve socialism and collectivism …

  16. Andy Worthington says...

    Kevin Hester wrote:

    A huge percentage of these refugees are from Middle Eastern nations destroyed, raped and pillaged by imperialist conquest, they are the sour fruits of colonialism and imperialism.
    Andy makes the point brilliantly that the inherent racism in the British ruling class blinds them to the economy’s need for immigrant workers.
    The immigrant crisis, the climate crisis, the biodiversity crisis are all linked to the rape and pillage of the living planet.

  17. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks for the supportive words, Kevin, and for pointing out how interconnected the immigrant crisis, the climate crisis and the biodiversity crisis all are.

  18. Andy Worthington says...

    Jason Símon de Souza wrote:

    Andy do you remember the BBC film “The March” starring Juliet Stevenson that aired during Summer 1990 on BBC 1 and whose storyline centred around a not-too-distant future in which an African leader organised a mass exodus to Europe and dared the West to either help or watch them die? https://www.vgrass.de/?p=2789

    I haven’t seen it since the original broadcast but reading your article triggered a flashback to the film because it would appear that over 30 years on, the issues that were raised are more relevant than ever but they’ve gone ignored and we’re literally watching people die.

  19. Andy Worthington says...

    No, I never saw that, Jason, but thanks for the link. We don’t seem to learn at all, do we? Just as with climate change, decades go by, and nothing really changes at all …

  20. Anna says...

    Oh Andy, you’ve opened a can of worms eating away at me and making me increasingly furious.
    It’s been brewing since decades, particularly since 2015 and is now brimming.

    I had a tiny hope that De Klerk’s death would remind ‘our’ governments of his understanding that the Apartheid of a minority of whites furiously clinging to their privileges at the expense of the oppressed majority, sooner or later won’t be able to resist the push of those frustrated masses. That if they won’t open safety valves and share even a little of power & wealth, they’ll end up losing all of it.

    Europe since many years finds itself at a similar point in history, but stubbornly fools itself that this status quo will last forever, by means of walls, razor-wire concertinas and heavily armed riot police/army. Because it continues seeing itself as a righteous majority – therefore entitled to supreme power – rather than the relatively shrinking minority it really is in the world as a whole. But the globalised world which it has been ‘educating & civilising’ for decades in order to get it hooked on our way of life and the gadgets (sold by us) that go with it, will increasingly be demanding its fair & rightful share of the global pie.

    What is happening on the Poland-Belarus border is a disgrace of the Polish government – which I cannot accept anymore as ‘mine’ – with full support from the EU … So where to look for any moral condemnation ? Lukashenko might be cynically pushing desperate refugees towards our border, but that should NEVER justify our pushing them back to that supposedly ‘barbarian’ country, refuse access to basic medical services and press, and even spray those exhausted people with a water cannon by freezing temperatures ! This is beyond callous negligence, it is outright murder – not to call it extermination.

    And now the ‘democratic & civilised’ British-French cynicism, also blaming it all on the smugglers, as if they were the ones who created the conditions which forced these people to flee. Zero responsibility from these two governments for the colonialism, neo-colonialism and recent and actual wars which have plundered and ruined the countries of origin of those people and turned them into refugees. Only crocodile tears about ‘those poor victims of criminal smugglers’. Most of the smugglers indeed are criminal, but without those conditions created by us coupled with virtually no legal ways of entering our countries, there would be no refugees to exploit !

    Israeli Apartheid oppressing Palestinians obviously so much harder to combat, as they are the majority and have a Big Brother who allows them every single crime, while the rest of the ‘civilised’ world looks the other way. My favourite Canadian Andrew Mitrovica’s latest :
    https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2021/11/23/when-israel-invades-your-home

    As for the 1951 convention, I pulled out my old UNHCR travel documents, or officially ‘Titres de Voyage’, as diplomacy still existed in those days and French was its language. Their cover mentioned : (Convention du 28 juillet 1951). They are a reminder of better times in many ways : some basic respect for refugees and their right to travel, but also the basic trust of governments in their citizens : the documents’ simple cardboard covers were so flimsy, that during frequent travel they would fall apart at the staples and I would mend them with sticky tape… :-). Unimaginable nowadays, when law-abiding citizens are treated like presumed criminals.

  21. Adrian Walker says...

    A sobering read but a necessary one. Thankyou for writing what we will never read in the mainstream press. Have ‘followed’ you on Facebook.

  22. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Adrian. I’m glad you appreciate it – and I fully take on board what you say about the mainstream press. Too many cowards, courtiers, or those who still cling to the notion of media ‘objectivity’ as essential, when the right-wingers aren’t interested in objectivity at all.

  23. Andy Worthington says...

    Good to hear from you, Anna. We must hope, it seems to me, that decent people will find a way to resist the ever-increasing hostility towards refugees that is being shown by our governments, and by a worryingly large number of our fellow citizens, or I fear for what our countries will become – rather as torture and vengeance infected the US after 9/11.

    To have our governments letting people die, or actively contributing to their deaths, and to have people either indifferent, or, even worse, cheering about it can only be the sign of a fatal moral decline. Civil society is fragile; it depends on the majority of us believing in some notion of the common good. If we lose it, we degenerate into barbarism.

  24. John Pearcey says...

    It’s sad to see how many people conflate racism and immigration. Two completely separate subjects. I left England 10yrs ago because it is vastly over-crowded. I moved to Ireland where there is about 1/6th the population density. I’m not racist by any stretch of the imagination but I cannot abide to be overcrowded. I was forced to leave England because of the relentless influx of people since the 1970s. The volume of road traffic is simply staggering. And never mind sitting on a jammed motorway for several hours, what about the polution. Overcrowded shops with shop assistants rushing everyone through the tills, no time to talk. Queue’s for everything. Parking meters everywhere and now congestion charges. The politicians let everyone come in for one reason only – increased GDP. And people like you think that there’s plenty of room for more. Good luck to you. I don’t need to suffer it any more. Knock yourselves out.

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
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