The Guardian's Noxious News

Another month, in a long hot summer, and once again I am sacrificing my eyesight and my tooth enamel in selfless service to readers of this webzine.

I am picking my way gingerly through the website of the Guardian, like one of those unlucky children who are constrained to scavenge rubbish dumps in search of recyclable items.

It is a strange landscape -- piled high with defunct ideas, slag-heaps of sanctimony and mounds of misinformation, lit by a ghastly light filtered through clouds of steam. All newspapers have landfill sites where they dump embarrassing articles, but few can match the Guardian’s noble record in emitting so much CO2 so consistently over such a long period. And when it comes to the hyper-sensitive subject of race, the fantastical fumaroles gape even wider than usual – until there is a veritable exaestuation of moral earnestness and fatuous ignorance.

The Guardian of 2 August contains two typical trifles of trash.

The first is by Nabila Ramdani, whose name suggests she may have a vested interest. She is mightily exercised by French racism. In March, she denounced Jean-Marie Le Pen’s approach, which she found “as outdated as it is offensive.” Now, it is N. Sarkozy in her crosshairs (this sounds extremely painful), because of his “truly deafening” silence about a video showing the French CRS breaking up a demonstration by African women in a ghastly dump called La Courneuve. With magnificent disregard for the literary conventions governing the use of cliché, Nabila hyperventilates while the massacre unfolds:

“At least one pregnant woman faints, while a little boy is in hysterics…The armed, shaven-headed police…a soundtrack of shrieks, tears and chants of ‘Leave us alone!’… expel Roma travellers in an manner already being likened to ethnic cleansing…the heartbreaking cries of persecuted young mothers and their babies… vulnerable immigrants.”

Those poor saintly people – and poor Nabila too! She really ought to take a nice long holiday from her writing in order to recover.

Tim Finch of the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), a Labour-supporting think-tank, is a brighter bulb, 40 watts to Nabila’s 20 – if one can talk about supporting Labour and brightness in the same sentence.

“Immigration” Tim intones “must be a bigger part of the reform agenda,” and he diplocatically compliments the coalition. But then Timmy teeters. He writes, in all seriousness, that Gordon Brown made, and this government is making, “strenuous efforts” to reduce immigration. He says evidence “suggests” that the migrant population is growing. As everyone else in the world knows that the UK population is projected to reach 70 million by 2020, and this growth is chiefly due to immigration, this may be taking journalistic objectivity too far.

He and his IPPR chums have “argued the positive benefits of migration for many years”. But now, Tim feels “It’s time to call a truce.” This modern Marcus Aurelius also denounces irresponsible migrant activists, and has even noticed that the coalition’s cap on non-EU migration and ending child detention are wholly cynical vote-grabbers. Sadly, his solitary practical suggestion does not even have novelty to recommend it:

“…a more generous approach to granting asylum claims at the initial stage.”

The online comments that followed his effusions were generally brisker.

One gentleman, yclept RenegadeOfFunk, suggested tersely “Open borders” – but conanthebarbarian, although equally terse, recommended a different approach – “Closed borders.”

CharleySays obtained high “Recommend” levels even on the Guardian site by pointing out that an asylum-seeker who killed himself

“…didn’t have to jump.”

A much more Guardianish gnat-whine came from RedRush:

“I wonder who the real drains on the welfare state are. Could it be people like Ashcroft, Murdoch and the like?”

(Answer – no, it couldn’t.)

Meanwhile, Profanisaurus was living up to his name –

“To see immigration as a problem merely divides the working class. It also deflects attention away from the real reasons – which are many – why the working class get fuckked over by the smarmy bullingdon born-to-rule scum at every turn.”

(No, it doesn’t.)

Poor patrickfullfact waxed wroth about “misleading facts and figures” used to attack immigration, only to mislead himself by providing the wrong URL for an article he felt we ought to peruse. But luckily little damage was done, because no-one had “Recommended” his original post.

The heartfelt view of kucingmerah was

“No Borders – No Nations! We Are All Human. Smash Fortress Europe! Make Capitalism History – No One Is Illegal.”

The exclamation mark on kucingmerah’s PC keyboard must be quite worn away. Yet far higher approval ratings were registered by the arch blauesherz:

“I suspect you only want a ‘truce’ of sorts because you know the writing is on the wall.”

One of the final comments came from Midfield mania:

“Why would anyone listen to you bunch of buffoons...I am utterly fed up with idiotic think-tankers who are encouraged to think ‘big’ – ie, with their head stuffed completely up their arse.”

Poor Tim! His truce would seem to be some way off.