This week I saw reports from an MP who wants child migrants to have their teeth examined by doctors when they come into this country to ‘prove’ that they are children.
I saw comments by hundreds of people who are convinced that the people coming over from Calais, people who already have relatives here, and who will have been vetted by the Home Office, are not small enough, cute enough, or suffering enough for their taste. This, of course, automatically means that they are raping scum who want our jobs and our women and who are here just for a jolly.
Yesterday I saw a man on Twitter trying to get Gary Lineker sacked from his job advertising Walkers crisps because he dared to express some sympathy for the refugees in Calais.
This morning The Sun newspaper are calling for his sacking from The BBC for the same reasons.
This is after they’d finished giving Lily Allen a good kicking last week for much the same thing.
This is in the same week that an MP has started a petition to suggest that anyone who disagrees with Brexit be branded a traitor to their country.
Last week I watched a woman’s life unravel when Ched Evans’ guilty verdict in a rape case was overturned on retrial, largely because the court allowed two ex boyfriends of hers to testify their past sexual experiences with her. Because if you’ve had sex with a man in the past in a way they didn’t like, it clears any man in the future of raping you, even if they admit in a court of law that they didn’t get your consent.
I then watched women who tweeted their dismay about these results threatened with rape and murder by people who think that this man is a hero.
Today I saw that the Labour candidate who won the Batley and Spen by election after the murder of Jo Cox has been booed and jeered for even mentioning Jo Cox as she made her acceptance speech.
When did this become a country where if you show compassion for someone’s suffering you’re branded a traitor who deserves to lose your job and die? When did this become a country that revels in cruelty? When did it become a place where if you simply disagree with someone, your job and sometimes your life is threatened? When did it become a country where the facts don’t matter as long as you get to hoist your flaming pitch fork and kick someone else when they’re down?
The word shame does not cover what I feel. It’s not even like this is all the bad news. There’s so much of it I can only cherry pick what I can just about bear to think about.
So, what am I going to do?
Well, firstly I’m going to keep talking about it, because this stuff isn’t going away and burying your head in the sand and looking at pictures of kittens in brandy glasses does nobody any favours. I don’t care if it upsets you. I don’t care if it makes you uncomfortable. It should make you uncomfortable. If you don’t like it, you know where the door is.
Then I’m going to go out and be nice to people, because it’s time we stopped letting the nasty people have all the fun.
Then I’m going to buy a lot of fucking crisps.