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Nigel Farage deserves to be heard when he reveals migrant ‘handovers’ between France & UK, even if you can't stand his views

Chris Sweeney
Chris Sweeney

Chris Sweeney is an author and columnist who has written for newspapers such as The Times, Daily Express, The Sun and Daily Record, along with several international-selling magazines. Follow him on Twitter @Writes_Sweeney

Chris Sweeney is an author and columnist who has written for newspapers such as The Times, Daily Express, The Sun and Daily Record, along with several international-selling magazines. Follow him on Twitter @Writes_Sweeney

Nigel Farage deserves to be heard when he reveals migrant ‘handovers’ between France & UK, even if you can't stand his views
Scandalous Brexiteer Nigel Farage has reported on what appears to be a French-British operation to escort illegal migrants west across the Channel. That’s something we all deserve to know about – even those of us who hate Farage.

Just because you don't like the messenger, it doesn't mean you should dismiss what they're saying.

Nigel Farage has blown the lid off what appears to be a scandalous operation happening out on the high seas.

His videos and reporting have uncovered French state ships shepherding migrants packed onto a dingy from their coastline, all the way out until they reached British waters in the Channel.

The French then performed a U-turn and British official vessels took over, taking the people into the port of Dover in the south east of England. 

The routes of the boats are verifiable using the MarineTraffic website.

RT

The issue at hand is not one of the rights and wrongs of what justifies migration, be it war, political freedom, racial discrimination or sexual violence – these are all serious matters and cannot be trivialised.

It's that large swathes of society are pre-disposed to let a default setting kick in, instead of objectively looking at what is being said.

After posting his information on Twitter, Farage was met with jibes like “Pound shop Enoch Powell” and “Sounds to me like another pathetic attempt by Nigel to whip up yet more racial hatred.”  

There's no doubt Farage's right-wing views are polarising. There’s also no doubt this report serves his agenda perfectly.

He was one of the architects of the entire Brexit movement, and at one stage he built his former political party UKIP into a sizeable organisation which managed to earn 3.8 million votes to get one MP in the 2015 General Election. That was more than both the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party's votes combined, though theirs earned them 64 MPs.

So even though he receives support from widely disliked figures such as commentator Katie Hopkins, this doesn’t negate the massive number of people who take him seriously.

And for the rest of us, automatically castigating what he has to say is ignorant and dangerous.

Two global powers gerrymandering where migrants go and where they don't, away from the prying eyes of the public, is unacceptable.

Shadowing dangerously loaded vessels full of people, some of whom are even infants, shipped under the control of criminal enterprises, is a sordid affair. These small rafts are bouncing about in major shipping lanes, in extreme danger – and that's without taking any possible stormy weather into consideration.

It has to be dealt with in a legal and visible manner.

So Farage must be commended for letting us discover what is occurring miles away from our shores. It clearly is in the public's interest – his video racked up two million views inside 24 hours.

The response also started #FrenchNavy trending on Twitter, as tens of thousands piled in to comment.

Farage first flagged up what was happening back on May 4 using social media. But his video really lit the blue touch paper.

However, the following day, despite it being so widely viewed, only the Times actually ran anything substantial about it in print, with the Daily Telegraph giving it a derisory two lines. All of the major broadcasters – BBC, ITV, and Channel 4 – swerved it too.

In a move that was an even bigger slap in the dish for Farage, Sky News took out their own boat and copied his video from the morning before.

That saw the issue given far more respect and credence. Once that was out, a lot of other media outlets began to jump on the issue and take it seriously.

It's a sorry state of affairs that if other versions of Farage's scoop hadn't materialised then all this would have remained underground.

Farage's film showed how the French patrol boat Fourmentin tried to block his cameraman from catching the goings-on. Then the boat he was on was sent messages by both the French Navy and the UK coastguard, informing them to stop filming or they would be commandeered.

Would these threats have been issued to the BBC or the Guardian? Absolutely not.

Have these shenanigans been agreed by Home Secretary Priti Patel and/or Prime Minister Boris Johnson? That's unclear, but at least the questions can now be posed.

Farage's information has highlighted an arrogance in sections of the public, the mainstream media and the authorities.

We all have a right to know what our governments are doing and how they are treating people.

For that, we should all say thank you to Mr Farage – no matter our politics.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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