Depressingly predictable

What a thoroughly predictable and depressing front page from the Daily Mail this morning. Some people I know don’t seem to understand my hatred of this newspaper, but that is because they base their worldview on what they read in tabloid newspapers and therefore can’t see anything wrong with attacking the ‘immigrant invasion’. The response to such a headline is anger at how we’re about to be swamped, again, when we’re already full up with immigrants as it is. Of course, this isn’t the case and a few thousand fellow human beings living a pitiful life in Calais would hardly destroy the UK even if they were welcomed with open arms. If I could send a message to those immigrants it would be an apology for the total lack of humanity that infects the influential media in the UK, and the animal rage spewed forth by a substantial amount of people who are ignorant and think that the only option they have left is to vote UKIP or BNP because the people organising those parties are just as warped and stupid as they are.

The Daily Mail is a sickening shit rag that just wants to make your life miserable. Daily Mail readers are outraged by so many things that they have no direct experience of, yet they’re somehow convinced that because they have read about such things in the Daily Mail that they must be real. As 5cc pointed out recently, there is a very real consequence to the output of tabloid journalism: the rise of the far right. On the day that the Daily Mail leads with an utterly false story – that all of the immigrants in France being kicked out of the ‘jungle’ would shortly be arriving in the UK – their highest paid columnist is writing yet another column of completely made-up outrage. Littlejohn, a man about as qualified as a sperm is to hand out lectures on life experience – attacks a highly-qualified economist in Vince Cable and admits that even though: ‘We weren’t party to the conversation, so we can’t be sure what was said.’ he’s certain that hoteliers Ben and Sharon Vogelenzang, from Liverpool, are not guilty of hate crime.

Quality journalism, all in a day’s work for the Daily Mail.

More Daily Mail Bollocks on Immigration

Caught in the act (again): tabloids recycle false statistics to make immigration sound more dramatic.

There are people out there who still refuse to accept the poisonous role played by Britain’s tabloids when it comes to race and immigration.

Many blogs have repeatedly pointed at the most blatant examples of inflammatory red top churnalism. When a concoction of outright falsehoods and half-baked myths is regurgitated and interiorised by millions of readers everyday, it’s not surprising that social cohesion is going out of the window and right-wing extremism is on the rise.

Today comes another spectacular example. The Daily Mail features a long piece by Harriet Sargeant titled ‘Feral youths: How a generation of violent, illiterate young men are living outside the boundaries of civilised society‘.

Now, this is a peculiar one because, although the whole piece is peppered with pathetic photos of models posing as ‘hoodies’, Sargeant’s article starts with laudable intent, seeking to explain a massively serious issue – notably the world of youth crime, teenage gangs, school drop-outs and so forth.

And yet, two paragraphs in, Harriet Sargeant gets mired in the usual, tiresome, scattergun Daily Mail-speak, a ‘Best Of’ of “welfare dependency”, “benefits”, “single mothers” and “Labour’s schools”.

You’d have thought, however, that at least on the subject of “teenage crime”, the Daily Mail would give immigration a rest. Not quite. Even that is the foreigners’ fault.

According to Sargeant, “the arrival of large numbers of skilled immigrants” is what “sidelined disadvantaged working class boys”. Quoting a 22-year-old man called Dave, she even writes that “[T]he local job agencies warned him he had no chance because he was English”.

Then the ‘churno’ cuts to the quick: “According to the [now defunct] Statistics Commission, of the 1.7 million new jobs created since 1997, a whopping 81 per cent have gone to foreign workers“.

Now, no doubt most readers would find such figures shocking. Many would start paying heed to rumours that “Britain is being swamped” or that “we need our country back”. How many, however, are going to check whether Sargeant’s “whopping 81 per cent” is real?

If they did, they’d discover that the claim is false and would probably conclude that this type of journalism is a disgrace. Because Sargeant may be free to believe whatever she wants. What is vile, however, is how she feeds wrong statistics to the public in order to back up her views. But either Sargeant can’t read and interpret figures, or she deliberately misrepresented them.

At the end of 2007 the Statistics Commission did indeed publish a paper called “Foreign workers in the UK- briefing notes“.

It showed that 2.1m jobs were created between 1997 and 2007. Of those, “about 1.0 million has been accounted for by UK nationals and about 1.1 million has been accounted for by foreign nationals”. And while my maths skills may have gone to crap, that is nowhere near the 81 per cent Sargeant was writing about. The percentage of jobs that went to foreign nationals is between 52 and 53 per cent.

Not only that. The same document (page 17) states that (in 2007), the employment rate of UK nationals was “higher than it was in 1997, an increase from 73.2% to 74.8%”, which means that more UK nationals were able to find jobs in the period mentioned by Sargeant.

So where does her “81 per cent come from”? Why did she pick that particular number?

Scouring through the same document, it turns out that the only “81 per cent” that can be spotted is the “net increase” of “foreign workers in employment”. From 7.5% in 1997, up to 12.0% in 2007, it amounts to an increase of “81 per cent” (see page 6 and page 9).

A few questions are in order:
1) is Sargeant thick?
2) did she pick the biggest number that was placed next to the word “foreign nationals” to add extra drama and effect?
3) do you call that type of conduct ignorant, dishonest or both?


This post originally appeared on the brilliant Hagley Road to Ladywood.

Blame is easier than reflection

My last post was an exploration of just why the media feels the need to persecute the disenfranchised. My argument was essentially that if the media – acting on behalf of those who control the world’s wealth – created constantly threatening groups that couldn’t fight back it would keep readers busy attacking victims rather than actually attacking the perpetrators – those with power and wealth. The more I interact with people on a daily basis the more I see the instinct people have to find someone else to blame, even though that person cannot possibly be at fault.

For example I was talking to someone about a fight they had recently witnessed, I made the throwaway comment that one of the fighters clearly needed to attend anger management, to which the person replied: ‘that worked for me’. Fine, but he then felt the need to add the caveat: ‘I had to pay £120 though to go private because I didn’t want to wait the 18 month to get them on the NHS. Of course, if I was foreign it would be another story.’ Naturally, I didn’t want to point out that he was perpetuating a rather silly myth because he attends anger management classes for a reason. However, the comment pissed me off because it just sums up a kind of blame culture that completely misses the point. If – and we know it is not true because the NHS has no policy of shoving foreigners to the top of the queue – the NHS did take on such a policy surely it would be the NHS that was at fault, not the person chosen for special treatment?

People just want someone to lash out at because if they actually tried to sit down and work out who they were angry with they’d probably have to really consider just why it is that things are the way they are. Is the wait because the NHS are underfunded, overused and ultimately a victim of the culture that sees a tax raise as a completely unacceptable evil? Would the person have been happy to pay more taxes if it meant the NHS were quicker at seeing him? I very much doubt it. Just read any message board or any news program were Joe Public is threatened with raised taxes to find out how ‘disgusting’ they find the idea.

Because most people don’t want to admit that certain organisations are a reflection of the priorities of the society that they are part of they just want to blame someone without thinking.

In steps a ‘foreigner’ an ‘immigrant’ an ‘asylum seeker’ or ‘gypsy’. It is all too easy to lay the blame at the feet of a minority group, who, if they actually stopped to think about things for a second, couldn’t possibly have caused the terrible things that they are whinging about. It’s just such an intellectual cop-out. Schools are crowded because education isn’t as important to the government as foreign wars, weapons programmes or bailing out banks. Schools have always been crowded, that they are today is no reflection on immigration or an immigrant ‘baby boom’ – no matter what shitrags like the Daily Mail say.

I really wonder what people would do if every single foreign person just got up and left the UK, who would they blame for the price of food, crime, hospital waiting times, their rubbish jobs, their redundencies, their housing situation, their lack of benefits, paying taxes, pensions not enough, changing culture, modernity? If foreign people didn’t exist in the UK would any of these issues fundementally change? I don’t think anything would change and i’m sure the press would invent some new scoundrel to unite the masses in outrage. We’d probably all be DNA tested and those that arrived slightly later in the UK become the next scapegoat for people to blame their own failings or the failings of their society on.

The truth is I instantly lose all respect for people who roll out these arguments because it shows that they believe without questioning what they read in the papers and they suspend their thoughts to do so. If the NHS really had a policy of treating foreigners first, do you really think the media wouldn’t have let us know – properly, rather than just lame implications that ‘white people are second-class citizens’.

It is not the minorities who are at fault, it is the mindless dickheads who blame them for everything.

Facebook, Jones, Littlejohn

Facebook saves the day!

The Daily Mail has been telling us for months how just how dangerous facebook is; they say that it can nearly destroy marriages, make users ‘indifferent to human suffering‘ , can lead to your murder and of course: it can cause cancer. So, you can imagine my surprise when I log onto the Daily Mail website and see a positive story about Facebook, or at least a story that isn’t overtly telling you that Facebook will do evil things to you and your family: Gun-toting gang members jailed after being ‘named and shamed’ on Facebook.

Perhaps we are really getting back into the realms of prioritising enemies, here clearly a gang of feral youths brandishing weapons are higher on the scale of evil than Facebook. Therefore Facebook can be brought into the article as a positive thing because the use of it in identifying the youths has lead to their convictions – some of them for murder.

Sadly, though, I don’t think the Daily Mail or its readers are going to learn the real lesson that is screaming out from this story: the Internet, like anything else can be used in different ways. It is therefore not inherently evil or good, it is merely a tool to be shaped by the person using it. A gang of youths decided to use the Internet to post pictures of themselves posing with weapons: bad. A woman who would is protecting her identity through fear of reprisals finds these public documents and creates a Facebook page to name and shame them which leads directly to the swift and successful police action.

Two very different uses of the same medium that should make it perfectly clear to them that the Internet is only as evil as the person using it and doesn’t actually want to force your teenage daughter into shooting porn flicks as soon as she turns 18. On this note it should also be considered just how the Daily Mail uses the Internet: it fills its homepage with semi-nude pictures of female celebrities on right side, whilst it incites racial hatred on the left side. Again, proving the point that the Internet can be put to very evil purposes in the hands of an inherently evil user.

Liz Jones asks a question I’m just dying to answer


Of course, Liz, the answer is it doesn’t help Exmoor at all because they shot your mailbox, not you. Not that I wish to condone any form of violence but I think when you start calling the locals ‘toothless’, uncultured idiots with learning difficulties you can start to change your attitude towards violence. Read Liz Jones defending her actions over at The Daily Quail: LIZ JONES: These ugly one eyed yokels aren’t doing themselves any favours.

Richard Littlejohn explains how he embraced extremism

Richard Littlejohn’s clever tribute to Keith Waterhouse is purposely written to make Waterhouse’s prose seem even better than Mail readers remember by being so utterly drab, cliched and sleep-inducing. After nailing a ‘person has died’ cliche on the first line he quickly moves onto a mixed metaphor: ‘When Keith Waterhouse hung up his typewriter in May, his friends feared it would kill him.’ They were right to be concerned, typewriters are heavy and not designed to be hung anywhere; Keith was frail and who knows how high the hook was.

Richard Littlejohn also talks of his personal struggle as he ‘stumbled uncertainly in his slipstream… in awe of his genius.’ Littlejohn also cites him as an ‘inspiration’, insulting Keith Waterhouses’ memory with the implication that he has somehow inspired Richard Littlejohn to churn out the same repetitive drivel twice a week for what already feels like longer than Waterhouses’ lengthy career as a columnist.

However, perhaps the biggest chunk of sweetcorn contained within the piece is Littlejohn’s candid recognition of how he became radicalised into a shitty columnist for a racist scream-sheet: ‘Before I wrote for the Daily Mail, I was a Daily Mail reader.’ That explains everything. Needless to say Richard is still an avid reader of the Daily Mail, but he know refers to this as ‘research’.

For more on Richard Littlejohn’s tribute to Keith Waterhouse see Sarah Ditum over at Paperhouse.

Amanda Platell: Racist and Clueless

OK, let’s invoke Godwin’s Law straight away here and just state that Amanda Platell is sounding particularly like a Nazi today: ‘Why this baby boom will make us all go bust‘. It’s the sort of article that makes you immediately think of Nazi rhetoric about the master race and the fear of the undeserving breeding and populating an area – diluting or destroying the true, white race. This may sound a little bit exaggerated, but when Amanda Platell makes statements like this:

Sadly, though, it is not the indigenous middle-class, hard-working, tax-paying population that’s exploding.

According to statistics, our latest baby boom is partly down to high birth rates among immigrants, and partly due to rising numbers of younger mothers.

All the classic Daily Mail myths condensed into two short sentences: somehow white people are ‘indigenous’ to the UK, even though we have genetics from most of Europe as a result of constant ebb and flow of populations – our existence here is arbitrary; all of the middle-classes are employed, hard-working and pay taxes; on the other hand young mothers and immigrants never pay taxes and are a drain on the benefit system. The whole premise of the article is based on another Daily Mail fallacy: that there has been some kind of immigrant birth rate ‘boom’, when – as Tabloid Watch and 5CC point out – the actual boom is a rise from 23.2% to 24.1%. That is less than 1%.

However, as 5CC points out, the only reason a boom is being made of such an insignificant figure is that latest immigration figures just do not support the Daily Mail myth that the country is being swamped by dirty foreigners. However, Amanda Platell is not put off repeating it today: ‘Soaring immigration – and a migrant baby boom – has sent Britain’s population rocketing over the 61 million mark.’ This is the trouble when you read the majority of Mail columnists, how can they ever hope to be even vaguely right about anything when their source material is the Daily Mail?

Amanda Platell – like Littlejohn and others – takes a badly skewed world view then warp it that much further using their ‘creative’ licence as columnists, so a ‘boom’ of less than 1% becomes an ‘explosion’. You end up with a vacuous airhead like Amanda Platell spouting absolute shite and sounding very much like a Nazi at the same time.

But this isn’t the only problem with Daily Mail writers, the main problem is that they never, ever show us the sources for their information. I mean, sure, most of the time you can see which article from the Daily Mail they are ripping off and you might have a chance at engaging with the source figures, but today Amanda Platell puts out some interesting figure without giving us any indication where they come from:

The cost of unemployment in the UK is now £346 billion – with £100 billion of that paid in housing benefits alone.

But what do you mean Amanda? Do you mean that each year we spend £346 billion on benefits? It certainly sounds that way, doesn’t it. Then you track down the source and find out that Amanda has removed a bit of important context to make the figure sound scarier:

More than £340bn has been paid in state benefits to the jobless since Labour came to power in 1997, the Tories will disclose today.

Oh, I see, so it is not a yearly figure at all, but a figure since 1997. This means that on average we have spent £28.3 billion on benefits each year in total, with around £8.3 billion of that on housing benefits – you know, that little thing of giving someone a roof over their head. Sadly, Amanda still has sunk lower into her accusations against immigrants:

My other worry is this: how many immigrant mums have contributed anything to this country before landing us with another child to educate in our already struggling schools?

Once more, the myth that all immigrants arrive to be showered in cash is wheeled out once more by Amanda. You know what, Amanda, if you are worried about this, why don’t you do a little bit of research and put your mind at rest that immigrants are NOT entitled to any benefits in the UK unless they have worked for a certain period etc. As for immigrants from outside the EU, they have to jump through so many hoops it is hardly worth moving to the UK to work unless you have a determined employer handling the paperwork and footing some of the bills.

The trouble with you, Amanda, is that you are absolutely clueless about any issues outside of your tiny, empty head. You really should just stick to insulting other women, even though that is a pretty pointless exercise, at least you don’t sound like a worried Nazi.


UPDATE

As Tabloid Watch, many people on Twitter and indeed people in the comments under her Daily Mail article have pointed out, Britain is 52nd the world population density figures, not second as Amanda claims. A quick Google search would have told her this, but clearly she is too lazy and too busy inciting racial hatred towards immigrants. This may well come as a surprise because Amanda Platell is an immigrant, born in Perth Australia. Which does raise the question, if she is writing lie-riddled drivel like this then what exactly is she contributing to the UK?

UPDATE 2

This is now covered by 5CC as well. Carmen Gets Around also has a post on immigration that is worth reading as well.

Daily Mail Continues To Incite Racial Hatred Toward Gypsy & Travelling Families

Daily Mail

The Daily Mail continues to incite racial hatred toward Gypsy and Travelling families…..
It is hard to believe that in a modern Britain Paul Dacre and the rabid pack of racist hate hungry rabble that he employs, can conduct unabated a campaign that is designed to incite racial hatred against UK’s oldest ethnic minority..The Romany Gypsies..and other groups of Travelling peoples.

It will take a little time, but please read through the links on this posting, you will note as you read that Surrey Police did make it clear that the article about the Helicopter was untrue, a similar one appeared in the Sun, they did print a retraction, not so the Daily Mail. Printing lies and deliberately misleading their readership is all in a days work for Dacre and his cronies.

These Articles have been reported to the Police as “hate crimes” and have been logged, I will let you all know if we get a positive out come. A complaint has also been lodged with The Press Complaints Commission

After discussing this matter with the Police on more than one occasion, the opinion is that the more unscrupulous Editors who allow this sort of article to go to press do so in the knowledge that provided it is worded in such a way that it is not aimed at any one individual then they will be exempt from any redress from the Press Complaints Commission.

In point of fact the damage done by aiming the hostility toward the community as a whole is by far more damaging, as it criminalizes us as a people; it creates a picture of an asocial race.

In the 1940’s Adolph Hitler labeled the Gypsy people as asocial and used it as an excuse for ethnic cleansing. Today Newspaper Editors are using the same excuse to persecute our people. It’s far more subtle; they don’t round us up and kill us in our tens of thousands. They print these damaging articles that marginalize our people even more. They vilify us and create fear and hate against us. As a result our children get persecuted and bullied in school, families cannot get planning permission because people believe the stories and don’t want Gypsy people for neighbours. In order to live in peace and have their children educated and access medical services people deny their culture. This amounts to ethnic cleansing by media.

The article below by the Daily Mail’s Richard Littlejohn is grossly insulting and inflammatory leading the reader to believe that all Gypsy and Travelling people are thieves and benefit fraudsters.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1205683/RICHARD-LITTLEJOHN-Are-sitting-comfortably-Lets-tarmacking-Teabag-Tess-Toby.html

This next one gives the impression that our community is not worthy of Lottery funding and that Gypsy people are not hardworking people who play by the rules and pay their taxes

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1205693/5m-Lottery-cash-help-gipsies-beat-planning-rules.html

————————————————————————————-

There is no evidence that the family named in this article are in fact a Gypsy family

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1206652/The-1m-neighbours-hell-Meet-gipsy-family-terrorising-peaceful-street.html

Below is an email I sent to Paul Dacre you will see it was forwarded to him as I had emailed the reported Rachel Porter but she did not reply, Paul Dacre did not reply either.
FW: RE Article in Daily Mail?
From:
Shay Clipson shay.clipson@live.co.uk
Sent:
17 August 2009 16:54:24
To: editor@dailymail.co.uk

Dear Mr Dacre I am concerned at the mount of articles that appear in your publication that are derogatory toward the Gypsy and Traveller community I sent the attached email to your Rachel Porter this morning As yet I have not received a reply regards Shay Clipson

From: shay.clipson@live.co.uk

To: rachel.porter@dailymail.co.uk

RE Article in Daily Mail Date: Mon, 17 Aug 2009 11:12:43 +0100

I read with interest your article in Saturdays Daily Mail. Can you tell me what evidence you have that the Connors are in fact an Irish Travelling family ? The Law Society have no record of Jeremy Kaye being a Solicitor Best Regards

Celebrate a decade of Messenger with free winks, emoticons, display pics, and more. Get Them Now

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I have also included the wholly untrue article as printed in the Daily Mail on 14th may 2009.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1181534/Gypsies-smash-5million-police-helicopter-axes-revenge-spy-flights.html

Response from Surrey Police
RE: ?
From:
Press Office PressOffice@surrey.pnn.police.uk

Sent:
17 August 2009 13:56:02
To:
‘Shay Clipson’ shay.clipson@live.co.uk

Dear Shay,

Surrey Police did not state that the offence had been committed by any particular group, in fact we stated the offenders were unknown. Here is a copy of our media response:

“Damage was caused to the Surrey Police helicopter during an incident at its base at Fairoaks Airport, Chobham just before 10pm on Thursday 30 April. Five windows were smashed by unknown offenders and the value of the damage is being determined. The incident is part of an ongoing investigation and security measures are being reviewed as part of this. Surrey Police is working with the maintenance contractor to ensure the aircraft is back on line as soon as possible. We continue to have access to air support through agreements with surrounding Forces.”

Following the article in The Sun on 14 May, we have been in contact with the ‘Friends, Families and Travellers’ action group and the accuracy of the article was challenged. This led to a correction being published in The Sun:

“CHOPPER ATTACK: Surrey Police have not blamed gipsies for an attack on their force helicopter, no staff in their operations room were threatened by gipsies and no gipsy site was being targeted for a raid, as we reported on May 14 We apologise for the mistakes and are happy to set the record straight.”

So far no-one has been arrested in connection with the incident and, even if they had, their ethnicity is not a detail we would comment on.

Regards,

Nick

_______________________________Nick ClokeSenior Media Relations OfficerSurrey Police Headquarters_______________________________


This post originally appeared on Pesha’s blog, a blog looking at the attitude of the media towards Roma Gypsies. It is well worth a look.