Yes, it’s great fun watching Priti Patel losing whatever’s left of her sanity shouting at Ben & Jerry’s.
The ice cream manufacturer took a side in the debate over asylum-seekers taking to boats in attempts to get into the UK:
Hey @PritiPatel we think the real crisis is our lack of humanity for people fleeing war, climate change and torture. We pulled together a thread for you..
— Ben & Jerry's UK (@benandjerrysUK) August 11, 2020
And Patel ill-advisedly responded:
OOOF! Home Office source: “Priti is working day&night to bring an end to these small boat crossings, which are facilitated by international criminal gangs&are of serious concern. If that means upsetting the social media team for a brand of overpriced junk food then so be it.” https://t.co/QIrfXOjZ5w
— Chris Mason (@ChrisMasonBBC) August 11, 2020
It seems the company has a history of political activism, and recently made quite a hit by supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.
But a lot of political commentators should have done a bit of research before voicing wholehearted praise for the purveyors of ‘cookie dough’ ice cream (my personal favourite, although I have to try to source it from other makers now).
Steve Topple, of The Canary is the only journo (I’ve seen) who actually understood what’s going on:
I see everyone praising Ben & Jerry's or criticising them.
It's the same conundrum as the vegans who buy Alpro, the anti-capitalists who by Koko or the eco warriors who by Ecover. And it sums up the almighty mess we're in: when corporatists co-opt left wing politics for profit.
— Steve Topple (@MrTopple) August 11, 2020
That’s exactly what this is.
It is impossible for me to support Ben & Jerry’s making a stand in support of refugees because Ben & Jerry’s has a factory on a former Palestinian village of Qastina, that was destroyed by Israeli troops in 1948. When that land was stolen, it undoubtedly turned a lot of people into refugees. Yes, it was a long time ago but I hope nobody is stupid enough to try to make a point out of that.
Ben & Jerry’s also sells into illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem – land that has been occupied by the use of armed force, its rightful owners displaced.
It is unacceptable for a firm that is complicit in the creation of so many Palestinian refugees to claim the moral high ground over the issue of refugees coming to the UK – much though This Writer would wish the opposite to be the case when the other disputant is Ms Patel.
Still, we can always enjoy the fact that she’s #ShoutingAtIceCream – just for the absurdity of it:
— CrémantCommunarde#ActivistLawyer ⚖️ 😷 ✋ (@0Calamity) August 11, 2020
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