In Katie Hopkins’s column for The Sun on 17 April she likened refugees and migrants to “cockroaches”, a description which was equated to Nazi propaganda.
Screen capture from The Sun's Twitter promoting a Katie Hopkins article
As she presumably hoped, this comparison made a lot of people very angry.
Over 400 complaints were made to the press regulator Ipso, while the UN high commissioner for human rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, said:
The Nazi media described people their masters wanted to eliminate as rats and cockroaches.
This type of language is clearly inflammatory and unacceptable, especially in a national newspaper. The Sun’s editors took an editorial decision to publish this article, and – if it is found in breach of the law – should be held responsible along with the author.
Now that the refugee crisis has been brought to the forefront of the British media’s consciousness, a petition has been set up to ‘swap Katie Hopkins for 50,000 refugees’.
The petition was set up by journalist Ben Fletcher, who told i100.co.uk:
The petition was not set up to make light of the situation as some have suggested, humour is a great way to get a serious message across and can reach people who may otherwise not think about or respond to an issue; that is seen every year with events like Comic Relief and Children in Need.
If it gets even one more person talking about it and saying that we need to do more to help refugees or one more person donating to one of the causes then the petition will be a success.
There are a lot of people who also feel that Katie Hopkins really has gone too far and crossed the like between free speech and what is just morally wrong to even think, let alone say aloud.
The petition is giving people another chance to show that, while also saying we need to do more.
Fletcher says the response to the petition has been generally positive, from places as far afield as Australia, South Africa and America.
If they want to show their appreciation for the humour behind it then donating to one of the causes would be the best way to do it.
While it should not have taken such a photo to get people to stand up and say we need to do more, it is good that people are doing so.
Here's a handful of responses to the petition:
The number of people who have signed this petition is now higher than the total number of refugees the UK has taken in from Syria.
It has to be done.
I was a Syrian refugee once. Now I am a British working citizen, paying my taxes for those who are probably aren't immigrants and aren't working.