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I quite like the pop singer Lily Allen. Not her music, you understand, just her. She is roughly the same age as me and I have always found her pleasantly, if also unconventionally, attractive.
Now, with such irrelevant information out of the way, I must say I was stunned, though not surprised, by the news that Allen had been reduced to apologising for her country during a visit to the notorious Calais ‘Jungle’ migrant camp last week.
In case you’ve yet to hear of this incident, Allen, faced with a war-weary Afghan teenager, declared that she was ashamed of Britain for not letting in the teeming hordes currently massed (illegally) on France’s Northern coast, making these remarks through a veil of tears and tear-dampened blonde hair. Later, in conversation with the British press, Allen remarked (presumably seriously) that she would even be prepared to have a refugee stay with her at her personal residence in England.
The UK backlash against Allen’s remarks has been predictably harsh. In the right-leaning papers, critics have lined up to pour cold water on Allen’s dippy sentiments, as well as to explain that the singer knows little to nothing about the realities of the Calais crisis and its multiple backgrounds.
“(Allen) was merely repeating the canards of her arty liberal chums” Zoe Strimpel wrote in the Telegraph “who – despite never venturing outside their own intellectual and social cosmos – are sure that everyone who doesn’t see the world as they do, and especially anyone who voted for Brexit, is a bigoted fool. To reduce the web of direness behind the ongoing migration surge to a simple matter of Western culpability is plainly idiotic. It shows painfully limited understanding of the catalogue of political and human horrors that predated, and indeed motivated, Western intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq…And to weepily lay the situation in Calais purely at Britain’s door was a severe misfiring of sentimentality. Crying in the face of human suffering is one thing. But crying on national TV while telling the audience that their country – merely by trying to control its borders – is cruelly causing the misery of innocents is quite another.”
Personally, I was less struck by Ms Allen’s weak grasp of the political-economic background of the migrant crisis than with her shocking naivety in relation to the religion of Islam and the nature of those currently attempting to force their way into the British Isles. For a young, beautiful Englishwoman such as Allen to offer to take in young (almost always male) Muslim refugees displays a terrifying disregard for her own safety. Can you imagine (do you even need to imagine) what would happen if Allen allowed a 16-20 year old Afghan male to move into her personal residence? True, we cannot say for sure, but I don’t believe it is bigoted of me to speculate that sexual advances would almost be made by the new arrival – and that, should they be rebuffed, sexual violence might well follow.
What will it take for our best and brightest to understand that they are being conned by the lowest elements in the human species? What will it take for Western women to understand that the weeping masses huddled in tents along the French coast are not like the Jews who fled Nazi Germany; that they are rather wolves imitating sheep; devils imitating angels? What will it take?
Several commenters under the articles reporting Allen’s comments in Calais have delighted in speculating the fate that would await her should she follow through on her deranged offer of sanctuary. I don’t believe we should be so cold-hearted. Allen is a good person. She has simply fallen victim to a dangerous lie peddled by a negligent, dishonest media. The blame, should Allen’s words inspire some young girl to expose herself to danger, lies ultimately with them.