Would a Daily Mail Reader Do This? – 15 August 2013
The 15th of August, the main summer holiday in Italy, called ferragosto, a boat beached in shallow water close to the shore near Syracuse in Sicily. The boat was carrying 160 illegal immigrants, among whom women ‘in stato interessante’', literally ‘in an interesting state’, i.e. in plain English, up the duff, (Italian euphemisms are so quaint!) and about fifty children, most under three-years-old. Someone on the beach called the coastguard and others swam out to help, the people from the beach formed a human chain to get the migrants safely to shore, assisting the coastguard boat that arrived quite promptly.
Giorgio Neapolitano, the president of Italy, has said that this episode gives credit to whole of Italy. While the undersecretary of the xenophobic Lega Nord, Matteo Silvini, has said of Neapolitano’s expressed solidarity with the migrants, ‘What bollocks! Now they are being honoured by Mr Neapolitano?’:
But I wonder. I wonder what Mr Silvini would have done, had he been on the beach at the time. Would he have let the children drown?
He might have run away, but I don’t think he would stand and watch people die – for migrants have died, even that close to shore, this happened only last week:
Words are easy, when you are at the other end of the country.
And yes, I think a Daily Mail reader would do this, if it came to it. Throwing all prejudice aside. But what’s the betting the esteemed bringer of all significant world news don’t report it? The Mail reports tragedies and dramas from around the world, but selectively; people showing human empathy towards immigrants, especially illegal immigrants, and especially especially black illegal immigrants, would be a step too far for that newspaper, would negate so much of what it professes to stand for, so it is understandable, looked at from their point of view, that this event stays unreported. Yes I can quite understand that.