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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Open letter to Rupert Murdoch: Why haven't you sacked Katie Hopkins yet?

Dear Mr Murdoch,

I was wondering whether you would explain to me why you haven’t yet sacked Katie Hopkins? I realise you’re a busy man so I guess you must have forgotten, or just have not got around to it.

I also understand you’ve just taken on a new employee in a key role. (I read somewhere that she’s called Rebekah Brooks and that she used to have something to do with mobile phones?) Maybe helping her to learn the ropes is taking up some of your time too.

But seriously Mr Murdoch, why haven’t you dismissed Katie Hopkins yet? You do remember what she said about refugees back in April don’t you?

She wrote: “Show me pictures of coffins, show me bodies floating in water, play violins and show me skinny people looking sad. I still don’t care.”

She went on to say that gunships should be used to stop people crossing the Mediterranean. She compared migrants to cockroaches, Mr Murdoch. Cockroaches.

The fact this horrible, racist rant was published in one of your newspapers might suggest you too feel the same way. Do you? If you do, you should have the courage to say so.

But if you don’t, you must be appalled by what she wrote. Free speech is one thing but this was hate speech.

I notice The Sun has softened its line towards refugees after the public outcry that followed publication of pictures of a young Syrian boy whose lifeless body was washed up on a Turkish beach.

You surely know that thousands of migrants have died this year trying to reach Europe by sea? You must know that many children were among them.

You must know that when Katie Hopkins was writing her poisonous, callous, hateful ‘gunships’ column, similar tragedies to the one so graphically illustrated in those photographs were commonplace.

Those images stirred compassion and empathy in the hearts of those who saw them. They made people see refugees for what they are: human beings with fragile lives just like us. They made people think, ‘There but for the grace of God...’ Katie Hopkins’ column was designed to make people think, ‘Good God, they’re a disgrace!’. Its aim was to dehumanise refugees and make people in Britain feel resentment, anger and revulsion towards them.

You must know this is a bad thing to do. The Sun routinely passes judgement on people who have done bad things in the eyes of the paper. Isn’t racism a bad thing in your eyes Mr Murdoch?

More than 300,000 people have signed a petition asking for you to remove Katie Hopkins as a columnist but still she remains in post.

So I ask again: why haven’t you shown her the door?

If the answer is that you don’t think she has done anything wrong, tell me: what exactly would she have to do?

If you think sacking her is a step too far, let me suggest an alternative penance.

Why don't you send Katie Hopkins to Syria for a few weeks, or perhaps make her join a group of Eritreans fleeing conscription, or maybe just give her a fortnight in the failed state that is Libya.

Better still, put her on a dinghy with a group of desperate refugees attempting the perilous crossing of the Mediterranean.

If she comes back (and that's a big 'if') she could write about it for The Sun. The story of her journey would make a fascinating article. 

And maybe, just maybe, she might have discovered her humanity along the way.


Bertie Bile. 

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