A masterclass in credulity, daily he follows the migrants as they attempt to breach European borders, he follows them poodle-like, faithfully, unquestioningly as they force their way through this border or that.
He’s become their friend, someone whom they know is firmly on side, and someone they can count on to expound tales of ‘desperate’ mothers with equally ‘desperate’ children.
He listens to them, each and every one. Often he will not only finish, but start their sentences for them: “Are you desperate and if so just how desperate are you – very, very desperate?” Do you have children and just how desperate are they, very, very, desperate? “You want to get to Germany but the police won’t let you through?” The migrants nod. No need to speak up, not when this man does it so well on their behalf, so eloquently, so touchingly.
The largely young, male migrants laugh, but are they laughing with him or at him? Fergal Keane likes to think they laugh with him.
The BBC reporter has spent a lot of time with the migrants. But that only partially explains his fondness for them. The story has already been written: ‘Desperate’ people on a ‘desperate’ journey, lest we forget.
And Keane is positively lapping it up, a purveyor of propaganda par excellence. The Irish accent is soft and gentle, overflowing with compassion and humanity. The eyes are even kinder, often watery. Meanwhile as Keane bleeds for Europe, the migrants play football, smoke and send e-mails on their I-phones.
Last week the ‘reporter’ thought all his Christmases had come at last. He had managed to find not only a migrant child, but a disabled migrant child to boot! Keane was all of a quiver. After days, weeks of searching high and low Keane had found his El Dorado – a wheelchair-bound young migrant.
He knelt respectfully by the side of the young girl’s wheelchair. She smiled. She must have been twelve, maybe thirteen years of age. Sensing blood, Keane went in for the kill. The voice strained with pain and compassion. This was going to make great telly! Keane was about to cement his place with his BBC paymasters in spectacular fashion…
Or so he thought.
“So tell me,” he said in hushed, almost reverend tones, “What has the journey been like?” It was pure theatre. Keane knelt there, swelling up with the sheer sense of his own humanity. The answer he got back was as shocking as it was unexpected, a brief moment of honesty in a tissue of lies and deceit:
“I have enjoyed my journey,” replied the girl, evenly and calmly. It has to be said though she did look a little uncomfortable what with Keane fawning away at her feet.
The ‘reporter’ was stunned into silence. For a moment this most bleeding heart of pro-immigration apologists was lost for words. And he wasn’t very happy. In fact he sounded a little desperate himself.
“I must say (harsher tones) you’re the first person who has told me THAT,” he said disbelievingly and not a little irritated. The girl, who had been happily smiling away, looked a little worried. Had she said the wrong thing? Had she made the Irish reporter mad? You bet she had.
Now it was Keane’s turn to look desperate. Was this girl deluded? How could she have enjoyed such a ‘desperate’ journey? He checked his script. Was this girl an imposter? A right wing imposter? Had nasty Nigel Farage planted this girl? Yes, that must be it. Probably a UKIP inspired plot.
Keane soon went on his way searching for ‘desperate’ cripples – cripples who could tell him precisely what he wanted to hear. Better luck next time Fergal.
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