This Is England (A ?f***-you UKIP cooking series)

Posted on Apr 5, 2015

Shit son, food just got political again. I?ve been in a sort of personal hell lately, hence the sudden blog-silence and absence of any recipes lately, and I hope my wonderful readers will forgive me that. I don?t want to talk about it. I just vanished for a bit, and now I?m back.

Anyway, this morning I turned on the TV to see Sky News zooming in on a jar of Polish pickles with the voiceover declaring that THIS was what people were worried about in the General Election. The camera flashed over to some not-white people behind the counter of a corner shop, before some members of the public espoused their views on the rise of the Polski sklep and how immigration was ruining our great country.

This was not satire. This was a serious news broadcast on a mainstream channel at 11 o clock on a Saturday morning. And I got angry.

A few months ago I started a new project that may or may not end up as a book, exploring our culinary history in the UK and how what we eat today has been shaped by migration. In my head it was the ?fuck you UKIP cookbook?, but on paper it was a serious project. This afternoon I dug it out again with rage anew, with the census results I had spent days analysing, the piles of research, the history, the photographs snapped on my research trips around the country, because there is no time quite like right now, 34 days before the General Election when a mainstream news channel sees fit to scaremonger with hyperbolic Polish pickles, to remind people of the joys of culinary diversity and where some of our favourite foods actually come from. I don?t imagine for one moment that UKIP voters and anti-immigration hyperbolics have never eaten a pizza or a curry or a doner kebab, or don?t enjoy a glass of wine, or a fag, or a nice Polish beer. So for the next 34 days, I?ll be blogging my favourite recipes and anecdotes and discoveries from our great country in a culinary celebration of migration and all the richness and diversity it brings. And I?ll raise a glass to that. Of Russian vodka. Or Polish beer. Or Italian wine.

This, is England.

Jack Monroe. Twitter & Instagram @MsJackMonroe

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