I went to my share of Sunday school as a child. That it was conducted in another language probably doesn’t change the parables that were employed to teach us lessons about ourselves. And in today’s world, there is that one Christian parable that sticks out to me in particular, when I read the following in my news digest:
“UKIP are doubling down on the idea that even though Masood was British-born, this was all about immigration. Nigel Farage went on Fox News to say it showed by Trump’s travel ban was right. Paul Nuttall said the ‘cancer’ had to be cut out. Polish PM Beata Szydlo said it justified her refusal to take Syrian refugees.” (Matt Chorley, The Times Red Box)
Butchering it horribly, it was something about picking a splinter out of your neighbour’s eye, when you’ve got a mother-loading branch in your own.
It’s much easier focussing on all that is wrong everywhere else than critically examining your own short-comings. UKIP’s policy offerings have been so diminished by their achieving the departure from the European Union, that at the Spring party conference Paul Nuttall was left to announce that they would attempt to remove the VAT on fish and chips, that most holy British institution.
The man who did what he did in London was British born, with a Christian name even, and he was a criminal susceptible to an ideology that valued his lack of morality more than anything else in his life could provide value. He was not a foreigner, he was not a subversive pretend-refugee. Nobody likes to admit that they failed a countryman and that they couldn’t prevent radicalisation from gaining a foothold in born Englishmen, but it would be worse to be blind to the facts.
Thankfully enough I don’t think the governing powers have any issue with that. But without scrutiny being applied, it gives foreign governments (or local idiots) strawmen to erect that excuse their lack of activity on other fronts. The tide of populism rose on the back of saying that foreigners take jobs, block access to healthcare and social care, are parasites of government assistance, and are magnets of criminal activity. How long can you perpetuate the story until you need to kick into gear with policy activity to cover your ass about problems that can’t be blamed on foreigners?
(Photo credit goes to Mikhail Evstafiev)