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Nigel Whitfield
208 followers -
Freelance IT writer in London
Freelance IT writer in London

208 followers
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Nigel's posts

It is shocking to see how quickly a government - and parts of a nation - can be swept up into a situation where it becomes reasonable for one of the great office holders of state to suggest that maybe companies should publish how many foreigners they employ.

While a number may seem innocuous, it's perhaps the start. After numbers come headlines, tabloids declaring outrage at the proportion of foreigners in a "once great British firm."

And then comes the leaked list from an HR department, naming foreigners. Followed by the doxxing by a concerned "patriot" and then another disturbed, deranged person decides to take things into their own hands.

This might seem far-fetched, but so did the idea of an MP being shot in the street, six months ago. So did the idea of a Prime Minister graciously conceding foreign doctors can stay here for a few more years.

And this isn't necessarily the end. Those of us in other minorities would do well to be vigilant; the nastiness that's directed at foreigners now can easily be directed at LGBT people, or the disabled, or those with HIV.

Once a country starts down the line of "You must say how many foreigners you employ" it's probably just a couple of tabloid scares away from "You must report the number of HIV+ people you employ," and other nightmares.

So, I must admit to a sigh of despair at the #TrainGate thing, at a point that had a sound basis once more being picked apart. I'm not necessarily a hard line supported of any faction in the Labour Party at the moment. I certainly think that, if it was the case that - as the Corbyn team says today - they got a seat after other people were moved to first class, they should have included that in the original film. Not least, because they must surely know by now what people are like when reporting on Jeremy Corbyn.

And, especially, when you make a video, in favour of nationalisation from a train owned by a man with a high media profile, who'd lose out if your policy succeeded. It's not surprise - though also not very honourable, using CCTV in the way they did - that Branson has chosen to hit back against a politician who'd cost him money.

But reallly, all this fuss? That's one of the things that's most astonishing.

A couple of years ago, Theresa May stood up at her Party Conference and told a flat out lie. She claimed that someone couldn't be deported because "and I'm not making this up" (she was) they had a pet cat.

She told a lie, to further her agenda of targeting immigrants, and trying to rid us of the Human Rights Act. She remained in her post, and now she's the Prime Minister. A woman who makes up lies about immigrants to further her own political ends.

Meanwhile, though the execution of Corbyn's stunt may not have been perfect, people are reacting as if he's the first ever politician to do something like this, and it's a shock that he's been found out, and a smear on his integrity.

However, many trains in this country really are overcrowded, and people do have to sit on the floor, or stand in corridors, as well as paying large fees.

Somehow, sadly, it now seems as if it's more acceptable to make up lies about immigrants than it is to exaggerate the overcrowding on a particular train.

Welcome to Britain.

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Inexplicably, disco never really worked out as a medium for conflict resolution.

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Today's whimsical curiosity is a site that has a map showing the location of many of London's old cinemas from the era of silent film.

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Last week, I shared an image which was claimed to come from Turkey during the coup; it actually was from Egypt, some time before.

Tonight there are people circulating various images online, claiming to be from Munich; a shot of people injured at the foot of an escalator is from an attack in South Africa, while one of several people on a floor is from a drill that took place in Manchester earlier this year. An alleged shooter, Sam Hyde, is the same person (and photos) circulated with the same claims after various US shootings.

And, apparently, there's even now a strange phenomenon where people tweet about fake friends or family members that they say have been caught up in incidents.

A lot of people obviously love attention, and see no shame in telling lies about awful situations to get it.

If you're following events like this, my advice (especially after being caught out myself last week), is to keep an eye on clearly official sources, and known news agencies like AP and Reuters.

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Glad I never bought a smart TV with Skype

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My first piece for Ars Technica UK
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