'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
Sign up for our weekly email by clicking here.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.