Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Countryfile Technology

What with flashing phones with new software at age 62 (well, I will be tomorrow), I surely can't be typical of my age group? I should be asking my  kids how to operate the TV remote and all kinds of things like that, but invariably I find myself giving them technical advice.

I was trawling through various Fabceook posts early yesterday morning and alighted on one of those ideologue Brexit posts - the kind where dissent or reality aren't allowed, where Brexit is almost a religion to be enforced and any factual disclosure is met with tirades of abuse. Ultra-Brexiteers, as I call them, were complaining about BBC Countryfile's alleged pro-Remain stance on Sunday evening, where Tom Heap reported on the plight of market gardeners and the lack of migrant workers to harvest this year's produce. 

Mantras abounded, such as; "There are many Brits who would do the job," when, plainly, there aren't (as evidenced by not a single Brit any longer applying for these jobs), and; "They should go to the EU if they like it so much," "Totally unacceptable," and; "Totally biased reporting," all of which demonstrate a complete refusal to engage with reality. 

Ultras were threatening to switch off in their droves. Hello! - the programme is about farming and farmers who, in the main, are anti-Brexit. Market gardeners, almost to a man, are anti-Brexit. The item was factual, unbiased in terms of reporting and highlighted the problems Brexit will bring to our market gardeners. Market gardeners were interviewed, for heaven's sake, so it wasn't as if words were being put into  their mouths.

The post-war, idyllic, Darling Buds of May days, when East End London families went out to Kent in the summer to pick hops and fruit are long over. University students on summer vacation either want to go home, work in a pub or get an internship to aid employment prospects. Unemployed people don't want to work in seasonal jobs involving living in a Spartan barracks redolent of Stalag Luft IV for weeks on end - they look for permanent jobs and the ability to be home every night.

The Ultra's position is to put his or her fingers in his or her ears and shout; "La, la, la, la," while trotting out the magical incantations we're familiar with, in the firm belief they protect them from nasty facts that don't adhere to their dogma. It's like reading the ramblings of flat Earthers or  Young Earth Creationists. Many even seem to express a gleeful joy that market gardeners are facing ruin and it being their own fault for using migrants.

What a country this has become when dogmatic ideology triumphs over intellect, rationality and reasoning. Of course some sections of the economy are going to be hurt badly - that's why the referendum was such a close run thing. Is it to be forbidden to report facts that don't agree with ideology? Is TV to become one, long, tedium of sanitised, pro-Brexit, groupthink in the hands of these Ultras?


  1. I am absolutely appalled by the Ultra Brexit Rabble
    and their total lack of comprehension and knowledge of the benefits of being in the EU.
    Plus they, the UBR seem not to know that the peoples from former empire countries and protectorates do (or did have) a right to live in Britain.

    1. And many of those Commonwealth people are the very ones they want to stop coming in - and yet India is demanding free movement as part of any FTA.

      Incomprehensible, as you say.