What a messed-up country we live in – where everyone can agree it is not all right to discriminate against gay people, but it’s fine to call a mother-of-two a “stupid tart” for showing compassion to a foreign refugee.
Lily Allen was ashamed of the way refugees were treated when she visited the Calais Jungle (shortly before it was cleared). Now This Writer is ashamed of the way she has been treated by a fellow Briton.
The singer visited the Jungle camp a couple of weeks ago, where she met a teenager who had been sent away from his native Afghanistan, apparently to find relatives in the UK and to escape the Taliban.
Britain became involved in the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in November 2001 – but campaign’s success is disputed, with the Taliban still a major threat to the country’s government.
Ms Allen was widely reported as telling the young man: “At three points in your life [the UK] has put you in danger. We bombed your country, put you in the hands of the Taliban, and now put you in danger of risking your life to get into our country.”
Then, bursting into tears, she added: “I apologise on behalf of my country, for what we’ve put you through.”
Apparently this has incensed a certain kind of person – the kind who also likes to hurl demeaning slang at a mother, in front of her children.
Meanwhile, just four days prior to this incident, the UK’s legal establishment made a great display of censure against the Christian bakers who refused to make a cake with a message on it in support of gay marriage.
It’s double-standards, folks. The UK is two-faced, showing its acceptable liberal face to the public while only revealing its ugly side in private – or, in this case, in a black cab.
This Writer has never been too bothered about Ms Allen’s career in music, but I certainly approve of her at the moment – because she burst into tears and apologised to a refugee who was stuck in a horrible place, partly due to British aggression.
I felt the same way about Gary Lineker’s show of compassion, that attracted the hostility of The Sun.
Both Mr Lineker and Ms Allen were reacting to the plight of people who, through no fault of their own, had been subjected to extremely harsh conditions – the like of which are probably inconceivable to the taxi driver who spouted the abuse.
They are to be praised, not pilloried.
As for the taxi driver, and all those who share his views: I don’t know what they think they’re doing but they are wrong. They aren’t standing up for their country; they aren’t telling it like it is. They don’t epitomise the values that made this nation great.
They are a national embarrassment.
Singer Lily Allen said she has had a “glimpse of what it feels like to be discriminated against” after being shunned by a taxi driver.
The 31-year-old tweeted she was turned away from a black cab and told to “find an immigrant” to give her a ride.
The alleged altercation comes after she apologised “on behalf of my country” over squalid conditions at the Jungle camp in Calais.
The Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association said it condemned abusive behaviour.
The singer wrote on Twitter: “Just tried to get in a black cab with my kids. The driver looked at me and said ‘find an immigrant to drive you you stupid tart’.”
She went on to add: “Having lived a life of privilege, that interaction has given me a tiny glimpse of what it feels like to be discriminated against.”
Her claims have been questioned by some. One Twitter user said it “definitely didn’t happen”, while another asked her to reveal the taxi’s registration plate.
She wrote they were “victim shaming” her and replied: “I had both my hands full with children, couldn’t get to my phone fast enough.”
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