Stop feeding the monster, and it will fade away

Stop feeding the monster, and it will fade away
Comment: Katie Hopkins, the Sun columnist, this week compared migrants to cockroaches. It's time to press the ignore button on a deeply unpleasant woman, says Nawaf al-Tamimi.
3 min read
23 Apr, 2015
Hopkins has built herself a controversial persona - now it's gone too far [AFP]

A cent comparison of desperate human beings with "cockroaches" did not come from a member of a hateful European neo-Nazi movement, nor did it emanate from some loony fringe of an anti-immigration party.

No, it was written by Katie Hopkins, for the pages of the UK's biggest selling newspaper, the Sun, and approved by its editor David Dinsmore.

In her article, Hopkins said she did not care about the thousands of people who have died trying to reach Europe via the Mediterranean, nor the plight of those who survive.

"No, I don't care. Show me pictures of coffins, show me bodies floating in water, play violins and show me skinny people looking sad. I still don't care."

"Make no mistake, these migrants are like cockroaches," she went on. "They might look a bit 'Bob Geldof's Ethiopia circa 1984', but they are built to survive a nuclear bomb."

Her answer to those fleeing the unholy trinity of civil war, poverty and disease? "You want to make a better life for yourself? Then you had better get creative in northern Africa." And those who try to leave for Europe? "Gunships," she says, will stop "this ridiculous situation".

     These migrants are like cockroaches... built to survive a nuclear bomb.
Katie Hopkins

The comments have provoked a backlash against Hopkins, with more than 200,000 people signing an online petition for her sacking. The chairman of the Society of Black Lawyers, Peter Herbert, has reported Hopkins and her editor to the police for incitement to racial hatred.

Herbert has also petitioned the International Criminal Court to "investigate these comments under the provisions of incitement to commit crimes against humanity".

No group is safe from Hopkins, who has spat bile at the obese and people with special needs, and who last year, after the Gaza war, wrote: "Palestinians busy knifing Israelis. Two state solution my arse. Filthy rodents burrowing beneath Israel. Time to restart the bombing campaign."

Beyond trolling

The Independent's Simon Usborne thinks Hopkins has "cleverly built a popular, personal brand on provocative views that tend to demonise people she doesn't like" and "the best way to respond is not to respond at all".

But Usborne added: "When a national newspaper, which gives this brand an audience of two million people, happily prints language that might give Hitler pause, is that still okay? Or is it worth responding this time, even if she'll love every minute?"

Hopkins has done everything to prove her success after dropping out of the reality television show The Apprentice. She has been everywhere. Her Twitter feed is littered with arguments, insults and statements that have taken on a life of their own beyond social media.

The Sun saw something and took advantage of her controversial and provocative personality - and now it has reached a point where she is using language to describe humans as detested insects.

The Telegraph's Bryony Gordon said she had managed to largely ignore the cult of Hopkins up until her last rant.

Gordon in part blamed the British people the media for creating the "monster" of Hopkins. "If we want to be rid of her, then we also have to take responsibility for our own behaviour," she said.

Her answer then, is to no longer feed that monster - love or loathe Hopkins, the public must stop clicking on the links, stop watching her on TV, stop responding, for her to disappear.

This is an edited translation of the original Arabic.