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Monday, 10 April 2017

Saffiyah Khan versus Ian Crossland

There are huge dangers in these images which Say It All and which desperate newspapers like The Guardian cling on to. As often as not, they involve cute children or pretty young women hijacked to the media's purposes and then to everyone else's interpretation. Here's mine, for what it's worth.

There are many reasons why the image of Saffiyah Khan face-to-face with Ian Crossland went viral. They include the fact that she is drop dead gorgeous and as well as hate mail, she will undoubtedly receive a very big pile of romantic approaches from people of both sexes and a variety of genders, most of them no doubt claiming always to have been fans of The Specials. She has a very good sense of style, quite a lot of attitude – how many of us would keep a hand in our pocket confronted by Mr Crossland? – and, of course, a terrific smile. She’s also on the right side but that’s not the reason why her image went viral.

Mr Crossland and his team would be hard put to front someone as  appealing as Ms Khan. I looked at the long video of the confrontation and what you see when you see the EDL is people who are, in general, unattractive in the way that the English underclass is generally unattractive – bad clothes, bad hair, overweight, bad complexions. These are people who are too busy being angry to take care of themselves or who are angry because they were never taken care of and it shows now in the way they present themselves.

Of course, the English underclass is much bigger than the tiny EDL and those who attend EDL demonstrations are probably beyond reason. But those (including, as the video seems to show but I can't be sure, Saffiyah Khan) who shout “Off our streets, Nazi Scum!” at them aren’t doing much to help matters. It might be better just to quarantine the EDL, silently, or even (though it's risky) try that bemused smile. But, really, that’s very risky if it leads to you getting your face everywhere. 

What Ian Crossland has posted on line about the encounter with Ms Khan is absolutely appalling - venomous and threatening in the way you would only expect from a very nasty drunk late at night but posted online as if it was the most normal thing in the world. 

The worst thing is indeed that the photographic viral image makes Saffiyah Khan less safe to go about her daily life. I trust there is already some kind of police protection in place. Somewhere, someone full of a life-time’s resentment will be imagining how to take revenge for that smile. 


But, since I always look on the serious side of things, I should record that trawling again, I do actually find -  on a website where the rights and wrongs are being argued by people who aren't trying to be politically correct  -       "She likes The Specials, that's good enough for me". Such is the superior kind of identity politics. 

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