Author: Ben Cobley

Is Surging Hate Crime in the UK Overcooked?

On August 27, 2016, a Polish man named Arkadiusz Jozwik was brutally murdered in the English town of Harlow in one of the most notorious of many racist hate crimes occurring around Britain’s referendum on leaving the European Union. On BBC News, experienced reporter Daniel Sandford said police thought the attack may have been racially motivated: “The fear is that this was a frenzied racist attack triggered by the Brexit referendum.” In flagging up his report for BBC’s Newsnight programme, John Sweeney, an experienced and respected investigative journalist, described the incident as “post-Brexit rage meets anti-social Britain.” Jakob Krupa, UK correspondent for the Polish Press Agency, followed up for the Guardian in an article entitled: “The killing of a Polish man exposes the reality of post-referendum racism.” The New York Times joined other publications in reporting that Jozwik was attacked by a gang because he had been speaking Polish in public. Liberal-left commentators and their readers worked themselves up into a frenzy of anger and blame, with LBC Radio’s James O’Brien saying that Brexit campaigners …