What the ‘go home’ campaign tells us about the British media

by Sarita Malik

This Remixing Europe report is part of Remapping Europe, a programme by the Doc Next Network that investigates the tools and concepts of remixing media as a method of re-viewing, re-investigating and re-considering prevailing imageries of migrants in European societies.

In pages 52-56, Sarita Malik discusses what the ‘Go Home’ campaign tells us about the British media. She argues that ‘the brazen “go home” message signals a return to former crude models of enunciation, reminiscent of 1970s overt British racism (led by extreme Right groups such as the National Front).’ According to Sarita, the ‘Go Home’ campaign actively played on people’s fears, created divisions and sought to destroy connections between communities by emphasising the negative vectors of difference. Furthermore, her article argues that ‘such public racisms have primarily been targeted at visibly different ethnic groups and especially non-white minorities such as blacks and Asians; regardless of their legal status or, indeed, whether they are UK citizens or not.’

Sarita concludes by suggesting that ‘what is at stake is the effect on societal attitudes towards race and on the public vernacular of British racism itself. The use of populist and inflammatory language seductively touches on, releases and intensifies social fears and uncertainties related to “race”, cultural incompatibility and “otherness”; anxieties that remain highly charged.’

Read and download the report here.