Friday, 30 September 2011

Kelis - The anatomy of a non-story

A 'primped up little Diva' US entertainer called Kelis Rogers, of whom most readers will never have heard, jumped the queue at a Spanish non-EU immigration desk and was allegedly abused by a man in the queue who spoke English. Something of a non-story, you would have thought. The little minx got her come-uppance. 

Yet within hours the bumbling Mayor of London had written to the UK Border Agency under the misapprehension that the incident happened at Gatwick. Or Heathrow. The egregious Barbara Ellen in the Observer, under the strap 'Kelis reveals the face of casual British racism - the singer's experience of abuse should shame us all', demonstrates how journalists should never let the facts get in the way of a good story; the English-speaking man in the non-EU queue was certainly not British, but what the heck. He spoke English. And he was a man. Good enough. 

As for the conceit of our little Miss (and at 32 to be frank we're into Hogget territory here, if not quite Mutton) in imagining she's entitled to jump a queue, not a word. Airports have a finely tuned sense of etiquette; you're either a VIP, or you're not. They decided Kelis Rogers was not. Live with it. And until immigration control comes up with a lane for 'Non-EU Victims of Western Colonial Oppression Who Think They're Important' there's just one queue for all us white and black folk together. 


Anonymous said...

It would seem that most decent British people have noticed right away that BE has got it wrong; hasn't bothered to check her facts and has spun off into a white self-loathing diatribe. the comments section for the column is now closed. Even though you cannot reprint a newspaper, you can amend the online version and you can issue a correction in the dead-tree version the following day. Don't hold your breath for either.

Coney Island

Anonymous said...

"the Queue at a non-EU immigration desk"

Wouldn't that little nugget of information have led everyone to have guessed the person in the queue might not be British as we are still in the EU.

All the journalists sucked in are a little 'special needs' for not noticing that one.

Blue Eyes said...

Not all British people know we are in the EU. I distinctly remember overhearing generic northerners talking about whether we should join Europe not that long ago.

But at least British people generally know whether they are in Spain or the UK or the US for that matter.

Dear Kelis, it's easy to know when you are at a Spanish airport or a British one: in the UK the airports are run down and miserable, in Spain they are lovely and were paid for with UK money.