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Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Guardian looks for immigrants on the M4

There was much excitement in my household this morning when, on opening the Guardian newspaper, we found that one of their journalists and a photographer had abandoined their plush London office to  come to South Wales.

The plan is to retrace Nigel Farage's infamous but abortive journey to Margam, which was allegedly disrupted to the point of being irretrievable by hordes of immigrants doing everything they could to stop him reaching God's own country.

For once the Guardian journalist has no excuse, she cannot avoid reaching the promised land. All she has to do is to stick to the M4 and she will be here.

Will her piece carry the usual Guardian misconceptions about South Wales? Will she join many of her colleagues who have repeated clichés about so-called industrial wastelands from ivory metropolitian towers, without once visiting some of the most beautiful and spectaclar scenery in the UK? Will she actually get out of her car and experience the tremendous hospitality and friendliness of South Walians?

Well, it is difficult to say, because out of two dozen paragraphs, only one relates to her experience this side of the Severn Bridge, whilst the photographer didn't even get that far, presumably giving up because he had forgotten his passport or something:

I leave the photographer at Swindon station and continue west, wheeling over the Second Severn Crossing and into Wales. The motorway is black, near-deserted and whipped with heavy rain, and I finally reach Port Talbot seven-and-a-half hours after I set off. At least insurgent populist demagogues don’t have to conduct interviews. Admittedly, it does take me five hours to get back to London, but mostly the lanes are quite clear, the delays due to the nighttime roadworks underway and the 40mph speed restrictions as workers set out traffic cones. I peer at them as I pass: burly men in neon tabards, the air lit up by their breath. They’re holding up the traffic, it’s true, and they may very well be immigrants. On the other hand, Nigel, who else is going to mend the potholes?

Still, I cannot disagree with her coinclusion. Immigrants are vital to the continued functioning of our economy. If Farage has his way, the whole British way of life will collapse into chaos. But then, maybe that is the idea.

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