Don’t Feed On the Pips
Life is made up of stories and only through stories can we make sense of the world which is probably why young children are so engaged by them. History is a story and most of what we understand of our society and how we are governed relies more on the story narrated to us through government agencies and the media than the actual reality.
The story as narrative
Political activists and politicians alike understand that policy is driven by a narrative. Its an established fact that immigration to the UK has always been a net positive but you won’t convince anyone who’s not disposed to believe it, by quoting facts at them. You’ve probably seen an interview of someone on the street where they talk of immigrants both taking our jobs and sponging off benefits —maybe in the same sentence. More serious are stories of immigrant men grooming young white women.
The Rochdale child sex abuse ring scandal is a favourite of the far right because it works so well as a story where the Pakistani men were most definitely bad guys and white girls were the victims. At the same time the authorities backed off from the case because of the racial dynamic suggesting that not only were Pakistani men dangerous but that they were also immune to prosecution.
Tommy Robinson (real name Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon) was eventually prosecuted for perverting the course of justice when he sought to expose the perpetrators on the premise that the authorities and the media were colluding in a cover up. The truth was that a media blackout was essential to ensure a fair trial. Otherwise the gang could legitimately appeal the prosecution. The hysteria that Tommy and his supporters wished to stir up was purely racist with no regard whatsoever for the victims who wanted nothing to do with it.
A recent exposé of Jimmy Saville, a now deceased celebrity and prolific paedophile and necrophile, prompted the then Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, to pin the blame for the lack of prosecution of Saville, on Keir Starmer. Starmer is currently the leader of the Labour party but was Director of Public Prosecutions when Saville’s crimes were being investigated. Johnson’s remarks were roundly and correctly called out as a smear but even though…