James O’Brien has embarked on a passionate tirade about the media and British society's fears over immigration, arguing that important stories are frequently pushed out in favour of those designed to scaremonger and alarm.
The Newsnight host made the comments while presenting his LBC phone-in show on Friday. He was discussing a new study by the Money Advice Service which estimated 16 million working people in the UK have savings of less than £100.
O’Brien lamented the findings and questioned why this was not on the front page of every national newspaper today.
“I don’t want to live in a country like this,” the visibly-frustrated presenter said. “Where not only are 16 million people with less than £100 in the bank. And still, what’s on the front of the Daily Mail? Some bishop banging on about bloody migrants. Every flipping day,” he vented before tossing the newspaper aside.
“How do you live with less than £100? How do you get through the day? What’s your life like compared to the people telling you to blame all your problems on immigration?"
He then acted out an imaginary conversation between a father and son where the son asks where all the money has gone. “Sorry son, blamed it all on Romanians and some Muslims […] I was shouting at Muslims, son. I was getting cross about mosques,” he said.
O’Brien has taken on xenophobic and Islamophobic attitudes several times before on his show. Last month, he discussed the burkini ban questioning what would happen if nuns were forced to remove their habit in the same way several Muslim women had been made to remove their burkinis by police on French beaches.
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