Yesterday wasn't a great day. I happened to visit a social media page which is linked up to First Base and I think it is fair to say my visit left a lot to be desired. Let's say the content wasn't the content I expected to find. I won't go into exactly what I expected to find for that would give too many clues about the page. Instead of reading the expected content I found myself trawling through a charming selection racist bile. Putting together these little images of hate for Facebook pages has become something of a cottage industry in these heady days. People all over the country are burning the midnight oil and honing their cutting, copying and pasting skills to show off just how clever their innate nastiness can be. Once upon a time this kind of open racism would have been considered to be rather socially unnacceptable. A few short months ago, only the worst kind of knuckle dragger would have been sufficiently comfortable in their tattooed skin to publicly associate themselves with this kind of imagery and language of the 1930's. Here's a nice little number I spotted this morning.
Well that was then. Only a few short months ago. Before a crow bar was taken to Pandora's Box. The growing swagger of 'Vote Leave' may not be enough to see us out of the EU in a couple of week's time but it has certainly given hundreds of thousands of closet racists the confidence to come out and strut their poisonous stuff.
One of the most popular themes of these laptop hate mongers is to take a sad image of our military past and scream in rage at how the brave boys who laid down their lives for a brave, free and white Britain are being betrayed. We see lines and lines of white stones in the cemeteries of France. Poppies and medals and Winston Churchill. And now the sacrifice of all these millions of heroes is being trampled under foot as a veritable tidal wave of Koran waiving brown people are being ushered through the gates.
It is hard to work out what gets me most pissed off about all this garbage. I guess the sheer bitter nastiness of it all has to come first. There are few uglier sights than nasty little people blaming every problem in their nasty little lives on the crimes of Johnny Foreigner. Then there is the blatant opportunism of the likes of Michael Gove and Boris Johnson who have all of a sudden chosen to pick up the UKIP playbook and run with it with the enthusiasm of men who have been born again.
Then there is the complete and utter stupidity of it all. I have yet to see a single one of these hate posts where the wicked swarm of immigrants have white faces. Oh no. Every face is a brown face. As in Middle East brown. As in a Moslem brown. As in a terrorist brown. Nobody seems to have the slightest interest in looking at the blatently obvious. We have 28 countries in the EU. Not one of them is home to an indiginous population of brown faced Moslems. Instead each and every one of the 28 is home to a majority of white Christians. I guess about 95% of EU immigrants who make their way here to work are also white Christian. But making up a natty little hate page filled with white Christian faces doesn't really cut it.
And let's face it, the logic of the situation is annoyingly inconvenient. It goes something like this. A brown faced muslim family in Alleppo finally decide they can't take the barrel bombs any more. So they cash in everything they can cash in and somehow make it to the Libyan coast where they buy themselves places on a boat headed for Italy. And they make it. They decide they want to choose Britain as their ultimate place of safety and duly manage to get themselves all the way to Calais to take up residence in a makeshift tent in 'The Jungle'. And every day they try to plot a way to get through the razor wire and the machine guns. That is how it is now. In the EU. But if we leave it is all supposed to be different.
Oh yeah, how?
If we are no longer in the EU, will Bashar Assad stop barrel bombing Alleppo?
If we are no longer in the EU will the family decide to stay and wait to be blown to bits rather that getting out of Dodge?
If we are no longer in the EU will they stay on the beach in Libya rather than getting a seat on a boat?
If we are no longer in the EU will they decide not to make their way to Calais?
In fact there is only one change. If we are no longer in the EU, will the French Government continue to put up with our razor wire and our immigration guys on THEIR soil? Will they buggery. Instead, the fences will be taken down and the immigration guys will be sent packing back to Dover. Because, believe it or not, the people of Calais ain't all that happy to have 'The Jungle' on the outskirts of their town. They would rather 'The Jungle' was somewhere else. Like Dover. So if we leave the EU there will be lots of Gallic shrugging and ironic smiles. You want to go to Britain? Be my guest. Have a nice trip.... look ... there's a wagon ... let me give you a leg up ...
I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that all these freshly out of the closet racists are also pretty stupid. Or maybe they just can't bear to face up to painful truth that being in the EU is the only reason France co-operates in keeping so many of the brown faced Muslims they hate so much on their side of the Channel. Can you get angry with people for being stupid? Not really I suppose.
I start getting angry when I see the endless peddling of the military stuff. You know. Our boys died to protect our freedom and now we are letting in all these brown people! 1940 was indeed our very finest hour. Why? Because we discovered the collective guts to face down the worst racist monster planet earth has ever seen. Our soldiers laid down their lives to destroy racism, not to create a green and pleasant land where Hitler's poison could thrive and prosper. We fell out big time with our American allies in the run up to D Day because we dug our heels in and refused to adopt their segregation rules and thereby ban their black soldiers from having a pint in our pubs. And when we saw off Hitler and the Kaiser, our soldiers stood shoulder with literally millions of soldiers from every corner of our Empire. Muslim and Hindu and Sikh. Indians West Indians and Africans. I would love to see one of todays's out of the closet racists spouting off in a pub in 1943 about the Sikhs who were fighting the Imperial Japanese Army in Burma or the Poles who were flying the Spitfires. Their teeth wouldn't have remained in their mouths for more than a few seconds.
It wasn't like we behaved like choir boys when we had our Empire. But when it came down to a straight choice between us and Hitler, those with black or brown skin opted for us. They didn't much like the way Adolf called them sub human. So we all fought shoulder to shoulder. And we won.
And now a bunch of pathetic racist idiots claim the right to re-write history and pretend that only men with white faces defeated Hitler. It is the worst of rubbish of course but nobody seems to care much. Racists never care about facts. Instead they devour any bogus propaganda they can lay their hands on.
As the poison spreads a little further every day as we count down to June 23, it seems like a good idea to quote these words from a young British soldier who lost his leg to a roadside bomb in Iraq. If anyone is in the mood to feel proud of one of our brave young soldiers then I suggest you need look no further than this lad.
"British soldier Chris Herbert from Portsmouth was just 19 years old when the vehicle he was travelling in through Basra in Iraq was hit by a roadside bomb. His friend was killed, another was injured and he lost his right leg. Because of this, some of his friends assumed he’d become angry and bitter over anybody who espoused interest in Islamic culture, that he’d hate Muslims, and who knows, think the BNP or Trump were wise guys. They were wrong.
Have you ever read the kind of British values we fought Hitler for so magnificently described? I don't think I have. I must admit that yesterday was the first day that the rising racist tide really started to get to me a bit. For someone who is a father to two mixed race sons, it is almost impossible to stop the brain starting to go into 'what if?' mode. What if we vote to leave? What if the economy falls off a cliff like it did in 1929? What if Boris Johnson turns out to be our very own version of Von Papen? What if all of the racists who are emerging from their closets are suddenly wearing brown shirts in a few years time and stomping around the streets singing a 21st century version of the Horst Wessell song? What chance then for a mixed race family? And what of these blogs of mine? Ooops. They make a hell of a back list. They are the kind of thing guaranteed to earn me a free train ticket to a modern day version of Dachau.....
The alternative three R's. Racism, rats and roaches. No matter how many times you think you've got rid of them, they just keep on coming back........