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Our Crack Snapper

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Immigration, dole scroungers, and Europe are the issues of the scoundrel, scaremonger and racist. Hauled out regularly on Newsnight or in the pages of papers as diverse as The Times and The Sun these issues are the red herrings that keep the mainstream press in rude health. If they didn’t exist our media would have to invent them. Loved by lazy editors or producers they are the bedrock that keeps this country permanently on the edge of bone-headedness. Where would the EDL, pub philosophers and white taxi drivers (some white taxi drivers – ed.) be without this unholy trinity of divisive issues to pummel the unwary? How better to deflect questions about our democratic institutions and whether real change is possible? Better that people debate and argue about these issues than question the nature of capitalism, particularly as it is the main reason for the lack of jobs and why great swathes of the country are mired in poverty and deprivation. Capitalism only succeeds by working for the few, hence the lack of debate by those in power. It works hand in hand with universities like Oxford and Cambridge, with the people who control the press, banks and industry, and tolerates no meaningful dialogue with the majority who find the widening gap between rich and poor sickening. Why would those in power let dissenters move the debate too far from their comfort zone with questions about what capitalism means, why it works and how it fails?  Sure, some dissent is allowed because the powerful can then prove that everyone has a voice and that democracy and ‘freedom’ is thriving. Any further than that though and the dissenters become the ‘enemy within’ and are not to be trusted or tolerated. It’s the cynicism behind the issues of immigration, dole scroungers and Europe that is most disturbing. Wafted as a panacea by those in power, you would, as a citizen, think that if these ills could be cured everything would be alright. Surely without European intervention, dole scroungers, and immigrants it would mean jobs for all those that wanted them? That’s the covert message, and one which, as suggested, keeps the mainstream media in combustible material likely to get a television audience and viewers hot and bothered. They’re the set of lies peddled by UKIP and the Tories every chance they’re given to provide a sound-bite. More worryingly they’re often used as a fallback position if left/liberal politicians feel they have to ‘connect with the people’. Rather than being deconstructed and condemned to the dustbin of history they’re left to go unchallenged, handily appearing whenever anyone wants some kind of easy answer to a set of political problems that need the kind of thinkers and communicators our democracy no longer seems to produce. For clueless politicians of left, right and centre struggling with a recession that their public schools and universities never prepared them for, immigration, dole scroungers, and Europe are heaven sent.