'A swarm of locusts' - here's what the words the press are using about Calais actually mean
After our 5-step guide on how to demonise migrants based on techniques in the UK press, MediaWatch presents: A xenophobe’s lexicon.
Here’s what the words the press are using about the ‘migrant crisis’ in Calais, France, actually mean. (Definitions from the Oxford Dictionary website.)
Horde – 1. chiefly derogatory A large group of people:
‘a horde of beery rugby fans’
1.1 An army or tribe of nomadic warriors:
Used by: today’s Sun
Swarm – 1. A large or dense group of flying insects:
‘a swarm of locusts’
1.1 A large number of honeybees that leave a hive en masse with a newly fertilized queen in order to establish a new colony.
Invasion – 1.1 An instance of invading a country or region with an armed force.
1.2 An incursion by a large number of people or things into a place or sphere of activity.
1.3 An unwelcome intrusion into another’s domain.
Used by: yesterday’s Daily Express front page
War zone – A region in which a war is being fought
Used by: today’s Daily Express front page
Jungle – 1. An area of land overgrown with dense forest and tangled vegetation, typically in the tropics
1.1 A wild tangled mass of vegetation or other things
1.2 A situation or place of bewildering complexity or brutal competitiveness
Used by: everyone as the de facto name for the ‘migrant camp’ in Calais
Siege – 1. A military operation in which enemy forces surround a town or building, cutting off essential supplies, with the aim of compelling those inside to surrender
Used by: today’s Telegraph, about the Channel Tunnel being ‘under siege’
Expect to be invaded by the Tartar locust hordes from the French jungle war zone any minute now. (Cue: Ride of the Valkyries.)
Adam Barnett is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow MediaWatch on Twitter
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