This is old news, but there was something I wanted to pick out here.
Farage said: “Spot checks and being demanded to show your papers by officialdom are not the British way of doing things. Yes, of course we want to deal with illegal immigration, but what’s the point of rounding people up at railway stations if at the same time they’re still flooding in through Dover and the other nearly hundred ports in this country.
“I’m astonished that the Home Office has become so politicised that they’re actually advertising ‘another 10 arrested’. Before long they’ll be live video-streaming these arrests. I don’t like it. It really is not the way we’ve ever behaved or operated as a country. We don’t have ID cards; we should not be stopped by officialdom and have to prove who we are.”
He said the solution lay in proper checks at the borders.
Well, there’s Farage confronted by the oh so thin libertarian/manchester liberal layer on top of the seething mass of authoritarian wankers that is UKIP, for a start.
But there is something interesting here. I’ve seen plenty of people angry about the “racistvan” because they think it’s…racist. I’ve seen quite a few who are strongly committed to full open borders and who object to immigration controls in general. And I’ve seen some who (like Farage) are opposed to it because it’s illiberal and intrusive.
Very few people seem to be outraged about the politicisation, though. You need to get it from Nigel Farage of all people. And I think it’s possibly the most disturbing aspect of the whole thing. The institutions, resources, and coercive powers of the state are being deployed with the specific purpose of generating product that the Home Office SPADs can trumpet on Twitter and brief out to the yellow press.
Andy Burnham seems to get it:
“All the current generation of politicians, myself included, typically came up through the back offices. We’re the professional politician generation, aren’t we? I was schooled in this, kind of, ‘How do we make a press release today that embarrasses the opposition?’ That’s the kind of politics that everyone was doing, and the kind of culture developed where you’re scrabbling over a bit of the centre ground with micro-policies that are designed to just create a couple of days’ headlines and create a feeling, but not change much else. And I think a little bit of that culture is degrading our politics at the moment. I look at Cameron in the commons, doing PMQs, and he doesn’t answer a bloody question.” Burnham regards the prime minister as the ultimate embodiment of that culture, but admits, “I think we’re all guilty of it to a degree, it’s not unique to the Tories. What I am saying is we’ve lost the art of thinking bigger.”
Indeed. This is basically the world of Crosbyism, politics as a succession of irritable bowel gestures.