Author Archives: Michael Bukola

Knowsley, immigration, Prevent and the return of the Far Right

Over the weekend, further anti-migrant protests continued in Rotherham and elsewhere following protests in Knowsley last week held outside a Hotel housing asylum seekers.  Roughly 300 people from the local area were involved initially, before around 150 far-right protesters joined later. Some threw fireworks and a group attacked a police van with hammers before setting it alight. One police officer and two members of the public suffered light injuries. Fifteen people were arrested on suspicion of violent disorder, mostly from the local area.

Far-right agitators had played a significant part in the protest from the start. A video purporting to show an encounter between a 15-year-old girl and a 25-year-old man asking for her phone number was shared heavily, initially in fascist circles, with the unfounded claim that the man was an asylum seeker. It quickly gained a wider audience.

Three days before, the far-right group Patriotic Alternative had turned up outside the Hotel with a banner reading, “Europe belongs to the European.” Members distributed several hundred leaflets with the slogan, “5-star hotels for migrants whilst Brits freeze.”

Two days prior to Knowsley, in the House of Commons, Home Secretary Suella Braverman welcomed the Shawcross review of Prevent, including its judgement that the programme had laid too much emphasis on the danger presented by extreme right ideology. “While obscuring the Islamist threat,” the home secretary told MPs, “Prevent has defined the extreme right-wing too broadly, encompassing the respectable right and centre-right.”

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 11 Comments

Thank Goodness! The Real McCoy back – and I’m not talking about the Crisps!

I have never agreed with the debate around TV censorship, these past few weeks with the broadcasters initially pulling and then u-turning on a string of British comedy programs previously deemed offensive.

Many of you would have noticed the return of the 1990s TV Series “The Real McCoy” which was mysteriously “lost” and then subsequently “found” now being shown on BBC iPlayer. The show is a satirical take on Black British culture and the lived experiences of the children of the Windrush generation.

The BBC joined other media outlets in removing content found to be racially insensitive in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests, with ‘Little Britain’ removed from iPlayer due to its portrayal of minority characters.

A 1975 episode of Fawlty Towers was also temporarily removed by BBC subsidiary UKTV for racist language, and The League of Gentlemen was taken down by Netflix over concerns about a character in blackface make-up.
As someone who grew up in 1970s Britain, watching programmes like “The Black and White Minstrel Show”, “Till Death Us Do Part” with the infamous “Alf Garnett” character; and others like ‘Love Thy Neighbour’, ‘Mind Your Language’, and “Rising Damp”, I struggle to see what this memory-holing problematic culture demonstrates other than our inability to deal with own uncomfortable past.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 12 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • Andy Chandler
    @Adam Ah, that's my bad on that. I misread it. Apologise about that. Part blame dyslexic tendencies (always came out as that despite three attempts to get it p...
  • David Symonds
    I find the adversarial politics in Britain to be highly depressing and corrosive. They are enforced and reinforced by the rotted First Past the Post voting syst...
  • Martin Gray
    @Alex Macfie..Whatever the reason, this individual felt the need to assassinate a democratically elected head of government. As Mary has pointed out - those t...
  • Adam
    @ Andy Not "invented" but "inverted"! https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/inverted_snobbery...
  • tom arms
    @ Ian Sanderson: Normally I would agree with your assessment, but in the case of Robert Fico, in the first elections after 1991 he was elected to parliament as ...