UK

Russell Brand Says Katie Hopkins Migrants Column Is Like Hitler - But We Must Treat Her With Compassion

20/04/2015 21:14 BST | Updated 21/04/2015 16:59 BST

Russell Brand says we must "be really loving" towards Katie Hopkins, despite also claiming that her controversial column on 400 migrants who drowned in the Mediterranean is no different from the Nazis' views of Jews.

Writing in a column in The Sun, Hopkins sparked outrage after calling migrants "cockroaches" and saying Italy should use "gunships" to keep them away from its shores, after hundreds drowned trying to reach the country from Libya last week.

"Show me pictures of coffins, show me bodies floating in water, play violins and show me skinny people looking sad. I still don’t care," the former Apprentice contestant wrote.

russell brand the trews

Brand says we must treat Hopkins with love

Brand's latest 'The Trews' video, published on Monday, was called "Katie Hopkins Gets Her Dead Immigrants - Happy Now?", referring to the second boat tragedy which took place after Hopkins' column was published, in which 900 more migrants are feared dead.

Brand says that some people may think of Hopkins as "an irrelevant, vacuous, foghorn of hate, blasting vitriol and mindless nonsense - but she isn't".

He explains that Hopkins is "merely the voice of established policy," comparing her language about migrants to that of Nazi commander Heinrich Himmler, who described Jews as "bedbugs and rats" which must be "extinguished."

Brand describes Himmler as a "notable ideological psychological compatriot" of Hopkins.

"This is not hyperbole, to compare Katie Hopkins to Hitler... it's simply some facts."

Brand adds that Hopkins is "the pus emerging from the pimple of our policy".

But, he argues, because Hopkins represents a society devoid of compassion, the best way we can respond to her is by being kind and loving.

The comedian and activist begs viewers to "Find your own humanity. Look for the humanity and connection that you feel to other people, and be kind. Even with the Katie Hopkins', the only choice we have, the only option we have is to treat her compassionately.

"We can't look at her the way she looks at immigrants, as some sort of weird disgusting cockroachy thing that should be crushed, that's what I feel like, but that's not what we should do. What we should do is be really loving to her because anyone who talks like that, is in pain.

"If compassion is not a component then there's no humanity left to save. If we kill the compassion in ourselves then we are all then cockroaches, waiting for the apocalypse, and it can't come quickly enough."

katie hopkins

200,000 have signed a petition calling for Hopkins to be dropped as a columnist

The sea tragedies come amid a wave of migrants trying to leave Libya for Italian shores. They seek to take advantage of calmer seas and warm weather to make the dangerous crossing on smugglers' boats.

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A petition calling for The Sun editor David Dinsmore to sack Hopkins as a columnist reached 200,000 signatures on Monday afternoon, and press watchdog Ipso informed HuffPost UK it has received more than 100 complaints about Hopkins’ column, describing this number as “unusual”.

It refers to Hopkins’ column on Friday entitled ‘Rescue boats? I’d use gunships to stop migrants’.

Migrant Tragedy

Here's a reminder of what Hopkins had to say in the piece:

NO, I don’t care. Show me pictures of coffins, show me bodies floating in water, play violins and show me skinny people looking sad.

I still don’t care.

Also:

Make no mistake, these migrants are like cockroaches. They might look a bit “Bob Geldof’s Ethiopia circa 1984”, but they are built to survive a nuclear bomb. They are survivors.

And finally:

It’s time to get Australian. Bring on the gunships, force migrants back to their shores and burn the boats.