Britain Backs the RNLI – a Community crowdfunding project in Bristol by James J Dart
The RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) save lives at sea.
In fact, this courageous group of volunteers have saved over 142,700 lives since 1824. Sons and daughters, mums and dads, grandparents, partners, friends (even pets) who would have been lost at sea were given a second chance at life thanks to these amazing people.
Did you know the RNLI even participated in the rescue of British and French troops from the beaches of Dunkirk in May 1940 and despite having to contend with extremely dangerous conditions, their lifeboat crews managed to save 6,376 lives between 1939 and 1945?
They are a credit to our nation. Both then, and now.
Enter Nigel Farage.
On July 28th, Nigel Farage tweeted to his 1.6M base:
“I have no desire to pick a fight with the RNLI, all I was doing is pointing out the truth. But if you, the bosses in Poole, want to pick a fight with me, that’s fine by me, I’ve fought people bigger and uglier than you”.
Since then, the RNLI has experienced a flurry of abuse as influential right-wing commentators condemn the charity for doing what they were literally founded to do: saving lives at sea.
Another right-wing commentator, Darren Grimes – ever the demagogic opportunist – soon piled on tweeting to his 161k base: “I find lifeboat charity RNLI’s rescue missions in the Channel to be deeply irresponsible… the kind and humane thing to do at the English Channel would be to turn back the boats.”
How has it come to this?
When did saving human life become such a controversial issue? How low must we go before we say enough’s enough?
Sadly, this is not the first time the RNLI has had to weather a storm of Nigel Farage’s making. Last year, Farage’s incessant use of the ‘invasion’ narrative to remain relevant in a post-Brexit Britain saw him take aim at the RNLI again. This led to time and money being wasted navigating the broadsides of charlatans, instead of saving lives at sea.
Enough’s enough. It’s time we fought back. Not just against the dehumanisation and callous disregard for human life, but the daily barrage of disinformation and scaremongering too.
Care4Calais are a volunteer-run refugee charity working with refugees in the UK, France and Belgium. They work with hundreds of refugees stranded in Calais, Dunkirk and elsewhere in France, supplying the very basics- shoes, a winter coat, wholesome food- to those struggling to survive.
They also fight disinformation by publishing the truth about refugees. Without safe, legal routes for refugees to reach the UK (which Priti Patel is attempting to make even harder) these charities are all that stand between hope and hopelessness, dignity and indignity, darkness and civilisation.
That is why this Crowdfunder will be split 50-50 between the RNLI and Care4Calais.
Where will the money go?
Both charities do amazing work keeping people alive, healthy and hopeful. These are the people who represent the best of Britain.
I will post evidence of the donations in the Crowdfunder and on social media when the Crowdfunder is concluded.
This content was originally published here.