Nine thoughts on Daniel Hannan’s tweet about “the Windrush affair”


Daniel Hannan

Oh terrific, Hannan Fodder’s back.

Must I? But really, though, must I? This stuff is bad for me. I’ve been trying to give it up.

But, no, according to the people who pay my salary – my “enablers”, one might term them – apparently I must. Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.

So, here, again, are nine thoughts about one of Daniel Hannan’s Tweets. We join the great man as he prepares to intone about the fact his government has been accidentally deporting the Windrush generation and their children. This is fine.

Here’s an unpopular opinion on the #Windrush affair. You could say, the system worked. A newspaper unearthed a scandal (well done @ameliagentleman). Pundits & politicians unanimously decried the injustice. Ministers listened and changed policy. That’s what’s meant to happen, no?

— Daniel Hannan (@DanielJHannan) April 16, 2018

1) The phrase “unpopular opinion” does not mean what Daniel Hannan seems to think it does. As generally used on the internets, it tends to imply something uncomfortable, unfashionable – but still ultimately defensible, perhaps even superior.

“The fact the government has promised to stop criminalising pensioners through its own wretched incompetence shows that the system works,” is not an unpopular opinion. It is a fucking stupid opinion.

2) While we’re on the subject of internet language, are you aware of the concept of “the ratio”? Short version: if a statement made on Twitter receives a significantly higher number of replies than it does likes or retweets, then it’s a fairly good bet it was a stupid tweet, and the original poster is now, like the railways following a Corbyn landslide, getting publically owned.

No idea what made me think of that.

3) I’m also not sure about the phrase “Windrush affair”. That’s quite a neutral term, isn’t it? “Windrush Scandal” or “Windrush mess” would also be appropriate terms – but using those would risk publicly acknowledging that a Conservative government has fucked this right up. So we get “Windrush affair” instead.

4) “You could say, the system worked”. Well, yes, you could say that. You could say, “The British Empire invented democracy” or “The tides are caused by the sun” or “I’m going to travel back in time and disguise myself as my own aunt Beryl”. Those are things you could, literally, say. That doesn’t mean that they are not both wrong and stupid.

5) Also, if “This was a disaster: once people complained we stopped it being a disaster” is the “system working”, then you can use that to excuse almost literally anything.

The scrapping of the poll tax following riots which ended the Thatcher premiership showed that the system was working. The improvements in nautical safety that followed the sinking of the Titanic showed the system was working. The implosion of serfdom and improvement in wages that came about after the Black Death left Europe littered with corpses showed that the system was working.

If you don’t give a shit about the people who get hurt on …read more

Source:: New Statesman


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