If Rupert were a migrant…

Two newspapers, continents apart, yet with a surprisingly familiar theme. Xenophobia, intolerance, fear-mongering, and the righteous indignation of the well-off for the disadvantaged and vulnerable. Nowhere to be seen are compassion, common sense or understanding.

migrants set to flood in abott puts pressure on asylum seekers

What do these newspapers have in common?


Does Rupert really care about a few poor immigrants? Of course not. Does Rupert want to give the governments he supports a weapon of fear, a bogeyman to shake in front of the electorate? Of course he does, and this one is ready-made. Foreigners, who look different, sound different, and who will take our jobs, live off social welfare – probably at the same time, and who knows what else. Lock up your daughters! Lock up the dog!

Have refugees arriving by boat ever been a significant problem for Australia?


Were they turned into a major election issue, and the people themselves vilified, demonised and treated with a brutality that would cause war crimes trials in time of war?


So it should come as no surprise that the same weapon and the same shameless fear-mongering should appear in Rupert’s papers in the UK.

Now if only Rupert himself were a migrant, then… Hang on, Rupert IS a migrant. He left his native Australia, migrated to the U.S.A. and is now a U.S. citizen. It’s a shame he doesn’t show a bit more fellow feeling for his fellow migrants. Perhaps they’re not all billionaires like him,  thinking nothing of whipping up intolerance and xenophobia to support his greed, and meddling in the politics of other countries.


2 thoughts on “If Rupert were a migrant…

  1. Rupert is a pragmatic opportunist. If he genuinely believed he could sell compassion cheaply (on the production side) and achieve his massive profits, I think he would. I suspect he cannot easily be convinced this is profitable. But proof-by-existence says selling phobia and fear works, and has continued to work, and he, like many rich people, prefers to stick to what works.

    • Oh, absolutely. If it ain’t broke, pass laws to raise barriers to entry.
      I think the subtext is that he’s amoral, and that accords perfectly with the evidence. I recently saw a (misattributed) Mencken quotation, and several are in fact apposite here. The original of the bowdlerised one I saw is:

      Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance. No one in this world, so far as I know—and I have researched the records for years, and employed agents to help me—has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.

      However he had several others that bear repeating, if only for the rueful smiles.

      Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

      When a candidate for public office faces the voters he does not face men of sense; he faces a mob of men whose chief distinguishing mark is the fact that they are quite incapable of weighing ideas, or even of comprehending any save the most elemental — men whose whole thinking is done in terms of emotion, and whose dominant emotion is dread of what they cannot understand.

      And clearly anticipating Dubya by at least 50 years:

      We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

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