Pulling the tarpaulin over our eyes

Image result for tarpaulin refugees

Another day and another sneak attack on our consciences trying to make us think of the terrible plight of refugees, to open our hearts and open the borders.

The Tarpaulin…A biography

Historian Dina Gusejnova tells the story of tarpaulin from 17th century mariners to today’s refugee camps and those living on the periphery of society. In the process, Dina shines a light on statelessness, protest, heroism and transgression.

The tarpaulin is a fabric of conflict. Reinvented over its five hundred years of history, the material now has an important role in providing shelter to the millions of people who fall between the cracks of international geopolitics following periods of violence or natural disaster.

Good old Dina was a bit concerned, naturally, about Britain’s ‘closed door policy’ for refugees but she thought that there is only one image that has now come to dominate our understanding of the word tarpaulin…the tented cities that shelter refugees.  Yes, I have always been conflicted, morally and intellectually challenged everytime I picked up a tarpaulin…just what is this thing?  What is its meaning?  Why do I feel so guilty as I so carelessly and casually use it without a deeper understanding of its significant place in modern day life?  Now I know.  That association with refugees.  I’ll never look at a tarpaulin in the same thoughtless way again.

Incredible how hard the BBC works to find any excuse to keep refugees in the headlines…yesterday we heard that 5Live had miraculously, after a long search, found two malnourished children in an Iraqi refugee camp….well go figure…the real story is that they had to look so hard to find these children….kind of suggests the system is pretty much working despite the massive pressures.  And now the tarpaulin.  Clever idea but all too obvious and groan-worthy when you get hit by the conclusion which comes at you with all the subversive subtlety of a steam train at full speed.

Why did the BBC pick Dina Gusejnova to present this programme on tarpaulins?  Because she’s not really interested in tarpaulin merely in using it to explore the idea of statelessness, nationality and the idea that we must think ‘beyond the nation’….experience often shows the State turns against its citizens she tells us…so we learn that international communities and organisations are the utopian answer to protect us…..what saves us is transnational connections, social networks through which the refugees can tell their stories and persuade people to open their borders to the stateless refugee.

The tragedy is apparently that democratic states suspect some refugees of not being all they seem and think they are a possible danger to the State…and we all know that is nonsense.

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16 Responses to Pulling the tarpaulin over our eyes

  1. quisquose says:

    One thing I do appreciate about BBC Radio is the variety of interesting programmes about quirky subjects. So it was with some curiosity me and my wife clicked on this programme about the history of tarpaulin as we settled down in bed last night.

    Aaaggghhh … we couldn’t even escape the bias here. It was switched off after 5 mins.

    I’m pleased to see that we weren’t the only ones annoyed by this programme.


    • StewGreen says:

      @quisquose same thought, instead Trojan-Reporting is what we got.
      “another one of those quirky subjects that turns into a gem of a documentary”
      is what I was thinking it was going to be

      Anyone know an existing word to describe this TRICK ?
      I suggest Trojan-Reporting
      add that to your vocabulary with Virtue Signalling, stealth editing, BBC-Free Kick etc.


      • StewGreen says:

        The irony is that when I was surrounded by LeftMob the other day, they shouted
        “how dare you talk positively about Trump …he a , and a , and a multiple sex abuser..”
        I reply “I think you guys are actually pushing political dogma and are not true passionate warriors against sexual abuse.
        … Like can you tell me about how many Asian abuse gang victims there are in the UK ?
        …Can you tell me about the victims of Bill Clinton’s sexual abuse ?”

        – Their reply “Oh look you are engaging in What-aboutery
        ..I know that they mean is “No” is reply to my questions.


    • chrisH says:

      Ta quisquose.
      I won`t need to listen-but have already done my own in my head…which will HAVE to be better!
      I see it dragged across the channel on top of a lorry in the lower deck.
      Loads of Syrian dancers all dreaming of Shaftesbury Avenue and that all-important Matinee Revue underneath.
      This tarpaulin shelters dreams and doubles as a night time back drop as tiny holes in it allow for the rise in world temperatures to come.
      Once it has taken a bow from showbiz-may well serve as a burka for a Prius on a cold day, or fly gaily across the Cumbrian Fells as a flat sheepdog…who knows? I only dare to dream and create those moments….

      Tell you what he WON`T be though!
      A failed crappy lefty affected and pretentious bitter poet who gets on the telly to trash Israel and praise the IRA…for that is his embarrassingly useless Ulster Bum of a brother.
      Called Tom!…Boom BooM!!!


  2. Aerfen says:

    Its a patronising technique often used by vicars, especially when talking to a bunch of kids start with something immediate and familiar and use it to lead the audience to accept some barely related notion from the Bible.


  3. Nibor says:

    I just don’t know where to begin about that thesis .

    I’ll just go for the ship bit .

    A country is in a desperate war fighting for its life . It has some people who come from the enemy nation landing on its shores . The incomers claim they are fleeing the enemy , and the country at least half accepts their story , but can it be 100% sure that 100% of them are true . Should it act on the safe side ?
    So what does this country do ? Send them back ? Build an Aushcwitz for them ? No it sends them to CANADA !
    A place most dispossed and not a few others would love to go and live in . What’s not to like about the place ?

    Then a further tragic irony happens in a war and its our fault .


  4. Helena Hand-Basket says:

    Coming next week: History of the hot water bottle. A mundane and utilitarian object? No! Our experts explain how it provides comfort in a planet where climate change is causing extreme stress and third-world poverty…and…hey, are you lot still awake? I’m talking!


    • quisquose says:

      Tweet of the day. Listen to the lovely sound of the migratory birds, wouldn’t it be lovely if we could hear more migratory voices?


    • Up2snuff says:

      LOL X 5!
      Am awake now.


  5. Broadcasting-on-Behalf-of-the-Caliphate says:

    There should be an English Protection League to protect the English.

    I mean the concept of Englishness has been hollowed out. St George’s Flag is assumed to be a sign of racism. English people born in England are taught they are British. Go to Wales you will find proud welsh people, go to Scotland you find proud Scottish people. Go to Ireland you find proud Irish people. Go to Northern Ireland and it gets a little more complicated. But go to England and you find proud British people – but few willing to call themself English over British when asked what nationality they are. Why is that? That must be something to do with our education system and our media.

    I go down certain streets in London or the Midlands and I find a lot of “foreign flags” in peoples windows but rarely a St George Flag. Although they emerge when the England football team or England Rugby team play important matches.


    • Wild Bill says:

      It wouldn’t be allowed,remember the English Defence League?


    • solar1 says:

      A while back for reasons I cant quite remember now my parents handed my passport renewal application in at the Post Office. They chose to pay the fee where the Post Office will check for you it has been filled out correctly (God knows why).

      Anyway lo and behold apparently I had filled it out incorrectly, and I remember one of my “errors” was that under Country of Birth or Nationality (I can’t remember which) I had written England or English. The Post Office woman had “kindly” written United Kingdom or British next to my answer.

      So I filled out a new form, exactly the same as before, and just sent it off and got my new passport. These PC, bureaucratic, arseholes are everywhere.


  6. Martin Pinder says:

    Tarpaulins? All I’ve seen of these tented migrant camps are rather expensive looking branded tents made of canvas, or whatever they make tents out of nowadays, that you can buy from any outdoor shop.


  7. Mick says:

    Slightly random this… but has anyone seen the bbcs extensive coverage of poor Maria Ladenburgers death? Must be too busy following up their investigations into the sociological history of tarpaulin….


  8. tarien says:

    Social sciences have told us (in this case even in complete harmony with healthy common sense), that in order for the smooth and productive functioning and stability of any society, the interior coherence of said society is absolutely vital. Economic science applies the concepts of “human and social capital”, without which a healthy, cohesive and functioning body politic is impossible.
    Today’s debate about immigration completely ignores these elementary facts. But the ideologues, their minds fogged up by the ideology of multiculturalism do, not see any problem with this. They believe that it is possible to “fill up” societies in individual European states with migrants without a hitch.Migrants have zero connection to existing European states, and therefore they will adapt and identify much more easily to a new multicultural Europe. The migrants essentially function as the glue of a new European nation.The migrants follow the call of reckless European politicians in complete ignorance of the risk and the danger that lie in wait for them and their families — to which the hundreds of drowned people in the Mediterranean can attest.
    They all followed the promise that it would be entirely possible to live in EuropeA report from 2013 predicted that sub-Saharan Africa would record the largest population growth at least until the year 2050. The world’s poorest region, will more than double in population, from 1.1 billion to 2.4 billion. The current population of the entire European Union is just over 500 million people. It is estimated that Africa’s population will grow by more than twice that much, in less than two generations. Where are these people supposed to live? Will they have water, food and work at home? Undoubtedly NOT. If Africa were to send 100 million people to Europe in just the next five years, Africa’s population would still grow significantly. In addition to this, Muslim countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh also have a substantial population growth. If the Islamic world and Africa were to dump one quarter of a billion people in Europe over the next ten years, which could happen, these regions would still increase in population.What to me and I’m sure most UK/Europeans is quite terrifying is that in coming generations the Islamic world and Africa could in principle send a constant stream of migrants ten times as large as what we are seeing now. Even if they did so, it would not solve basic social problems in the Islamic world or Africa. It would, however, probably lead to a social collapse in many European countries. Europe must soon decide whether it wants to live or commit suicide.


  9. Up2snuff says:

    Alan: ” Now I know. That association with refugees. I’ll never look at a tarpaulin in the same thoughtless way again.”

    In that case, we had better add lilos, rubber dinghys, ribs, life-jackets, containers, container ships, iPads, iPhones and flipflops to the list headed by tarpaulin.

    Eventually, the virtue-signalling will become obvious to absolutely everyone and will be reduced to a joke. The tragedy will come when there is an unavoidable tragedy somewhere and the rest of the world will just turn their backs because they are all tapped out by the remorselessness of this leftyneftinifftiness of over-semanticised academic fussbudgets.