Daily Mail still not exactly racially sensitive

In the week that Paul Dacre tried to claim credit for bringing two racist murderers to justice the Daily Mail website is quickly returning to form with some standard comment moderation in which racially abusive comments are happily let through, even though the comments section clearly states that all comments are being moderated. The story is the police investigation into alledged racism that supposedly took place during the Liverpool – Oldham game last night and which resulted in a young black player breaking down in tears.

Considering what has happened in the last week, and considering the way in which Paul Dacre lorded his newspaper’s moral superiority over us all you would think that the comments would be closely moderated – even more so given the reputation MailOnline has for not letting through many a sensible, non-abusive comment if it doesn’t agree with the editorial line. But, sadly this is not the case:

Way to take the high ground, Daily Mail. Still, what most of these comments are saying – ‘grow up you baby, people have heard worse’ – only echoes what Steve Doughty wrote a couple of months back:

So, Mr Evra and Mr Ferdinand, I know you feel insulted. But perhaps in this case you could just put up with it and get on with the game.

The Daily Mail: institutionally racist even after the Stephen Lawrence case.

The Daily Mail’s initial coverage of the Stephen Lawrence murder

A lot of rumours and half-truths have been buzzing around Twitter and comment threads about how the Daily Mail initially reported the Stephen Lawrence case, and why Paul Dacre allegedly changed from being hostile towards it to one of its biggest champions.

In 1997 The Observer and Guardian newspapers covered the Daily Mail’s famous ‘Murderers’ headline in some detail and commented on the fact that the headline marked a significant departure from the Mail’s coverage of the murder up until that point. A Guardian editorial published on the 15 Feb 1997 comments:

Cynics can also point to a very belated conversion by the Mail. Until yesterday, the Mail’s coverage of the shameful killing had been somewhat peripheral. The murder was only mentioned in three stories in the last year before the inquest, only six the previous year, and just 20 since the murder was committed. Moreover, compare yesterday’s leader with the paper’s editorial shortly after the murder which, while hoping the guilty would be caught, was quick to sneer at the supporters campaigning for the Lawrence family: “What is not helpful is the gusto with which the more militant of the anti-racist organisations have hijacked this human tragedy. The black African leader Nelson Mandela was enlisted, while on a visit here, to give publicity to the case. Racism is abominable . . . but is there not also something contemptible about professional protesters who capitalise on grief to fuel confrontation?”

The Daily Mail editorial quoted by the Guardian above seems very ironic given the role of the Daily Mail in becoming the ‘professional protester’, giving publicity to the case through the ‘Murderers’ headline and in particular Paul Dacre’s grandstanding video ‘interview’ on the Mail website which was also published in full in the Mail’s print edition. An edition which was a virtual commemorative Stephen Lawrence edition – followed up with exclusive interviews with both parents of Stephen Lawrence.

Things could have perhaps turned out very differently according to an Observer article printed on the 16 Feb 1997 titled: ‘Hostile Mail changed tack on Lawrence justice campaign’. The article gives the full details of the incident that has been doing the rounds in various forms on Twitter / comment threads:

THE Daily Mail, the newspaper which last week named as ‘murderers’ the five white youths linked to the killing of black teenager Stephen Lawrence, was originally hostile to the campaign to bring his killers to justice…

the reporter dispatched to cover the story last night told the Observer that the Mail changed its editorial line to support the close family of Stephen Lawrence when it emerged that Stephen’s father had once worked as a plasterer and decorator for Paul Dacre, the paper’s editor.

When the newspaper first covered the story in 1993, Hal Austin said he was ‘detailed’ to write a ‘knocking’ story about the Lawrence campaign, which it believed was orchestrated by a ‘rent-a-mob’, did not have the family’s approval and which it condemned in a fierce leader…

In May 1993, shortly after Stephen’s murder at a bus stop in Eltham, south-east London, the paper sent Mr Austin, a black reporter, to interview his parents, Neville and Doreen.

Stephen’s murder had ignited passions in the area. On the previous Saturday, 19 people, including five policemen, had been injured in street protests. Several rival political and anti-racist groups had contacted the Lawrences to offer their support.

The initial Mail approach was to treat the ‘campaign’ with hostility. Mr Austin, who no longer works for the Mail, said yesterday: ‘I was detailed to write a story knocking the campaign.’

During the interview with the family, Mr Lawrence asked what would appear and made inquiries about the Mail editor. He asked if he was a tall, balding man with a house in Islington. It emerged he had worked for Mr Dacre some 10 years previously. Mr Austin advised the dead boy’s father to contact Mr Dacre directly. It is understood that there was a phone call to Mr Dacre at about this time.

‘The following day my instructions were suddenly changed,’ Mr Austin said. ‘I was told by the news desk to forget the previous instructions and that they now wanted a positive story.’ Mr Austin felt the original approach undermined the family’s case because it implied that their grievances were not to be taken seriously.

Furthermore, the Observer article also comments on the Mail not normally being sympathetic to the black victims of crime, quoting the example of:

One black journalist who wrote for the paper about a sexual assault on a Tube train [who had] recently found her photograph replaced in the paper by one posed by a white, blonde model.

The Observer article also quoted another Mail ex-staffer’s cynicism of the Mail’s sudden change of heart:

‘It’s not an ethical position, it’s just expediency. I’m disappointed how many astute people are falling for it,’… ‘The Mail has a cast-iron agenda and it’s not suddenly going to get a social conscience. It’s a one-off, a personal thing. The Mail wouldn’t really care if all British blacks were pushed off the cliffs of Dover.’

It has been widely reported in the past few days that the Mail was initially hostile to the campaign that was building up around the Stephen Lawrence murder, and that Dacre supposedly changed his heart thanks to his fleeting personal connection with Stephen Lawrence’s father. However, I just wanted to clarify just what was reported at the time to correct a few versions of events that I have seen being spread, and to highlight in more detail the version of events as given by Hal Austin – a name which I hadn’t heard connected to the story before.

I also wanted to give the details from the 1997 Guardian editorial which points out not just the initial hostility of the Daily Mail towards the Lawrence story, but also how little coverage the newspaper gave the story until that headline in 1997.

Given the evidence above a cynic might suggest that Paul Dacre was more upset by the mocking, uncouth and sweary attitude of the 5 alleged murderers towards the British justice system than the initial murder of a black teenager.

Dear Paul Dacre

I watched your video on the Daily Mail website in which you celebrated the conviction of David Norris and Gary Dobson and in which you expected the Daily Mail to be praised for securing the conviction thanks to your vainglorious headline back in 1997 that accused 5 men of murder. I listened at your anger that 5 men (boys at the time) could murder a black boy solely because of the colour of his skin, and that when the 5 men left court they swore, and this uncouth behaviour made you even more angry and determined to pursue them.

I listened as you stated that this was a glorious day for British newspapers and the power of journalism; it seemed as though, as ever, you seriously think that the British press and the Daily Mail in general is a force for social good.

But I can’t help but be disgusted by your video and the blatant, bare-faced and shameless hypocrisy of you lecturing people on racism and racial justice when the newspaper you have edited since 1992 is  institutionally racist.

Your Stephen Lawrence headline, your Stephen Lawrence campaign for justice changes nothing.

The Daily Mail is part of a British press that is at worst responsible for creating the racial hatred and fear that exists in so many poorly-educated people in Britain over the last 30 years; or at best can only claim that it hasn’t created any racists, it is just responding to what racist consumers want by printing hateful, dishonest smears against other races. Either way is inexcusable.

Your newspaper is racist and it will still be racist tomorrow and the next day and the day after that. If you had any shame you would remove that video and instead spend your time addressing your role as editor in creating the racial outlook of your newspaper and your newsroom before seeing fit to lecture anyone else on racial hatred.

There are no words powerful enough to describe just what a despicable hypocrite you are.

Steve Doughty: Dear black footballers…

Toughen up you big girls! Why are you whingeing about a bit of (alleged) racial abuse on the pitch? You do realise black players 20 years ago had it much worse 20 don’t you? As for this whole ‘kick racism out of football’ malarky it’s getting dead boring.

I paraphrase, but here are a few choice quotes from Steve Doughty today:

When we read about British footballers levelling complaints of racism against each other, it’s worth making the comparison with what passes as everyday behaviour in a nearby country we are often invited to admire.

Translated: let’s not take racism in British football seriously, because other countries are much worse.

the horrid and open abuse of the past is gone. When crowds pick on black players these days it is the exception, and the fact is quickly reported and condemned… Every club seems to be promoting a kick racism out of football campaign, beyond the point of boredom.

Translated: OK, so a couple of players claim to be have been racially abused, so what? Not like they get it all the time is it? Worse, even though racism isn’t that bad anymore the bloody clubs keep banging on about stopping racism all the bloody time. (Or, he might mean that football without racism is boring.)

I took my elderly mother to watch a game at Highbury for the last time before they knocked it down… In the second half Arsenal sent on an African forward called Kanu. Kanu could either be brilliant or spend all afternoon falling over the ball. On this occasion he kept falling over the ball. A youngish bloke sitting in front of us lost his temper after one particularly ludicrous pratfall and yelled, at the top of his voice, something about ‘you black b*****d’.

There was a terrible silence.

The bloke leaped up and wheeled round 180 degrees in the same movement, shoved his face straight in front of my mother’s, and said in firm and formal tones: ‘I’m terribly sorry about the racist comment.’

You could not imagine such a thing happening at a football match 30 years ago.

Hurrah, you see? Racists apologise politely to old ladies straight afterwords! Aren’t the blacks living in a dream world! This is wonderful progress:

Football reflects us all as it always did, and these days it’s both racist and not racist at the same time. Things may not be perfect but, at the end of the day, Gary, there are worse things to complain about.

Football, you see, reflects us all according to Steve Doughty which makes us all racist and not racist at the same time – by which he means we all complain about ‘black bastards’ but we do apologise straight afterwords if an old lady happens to be present.

I’m pretty sure Steve Doughty isn’t speaking for me here.

Anyway, he does make his message to black footballers clear right at the end – just in case they didn’t pick up on the vibes throughout the article:

So, Mr Evra and Mr Ferdinand, I know you feel insulted. But perhaps in this case you could just put up with it and get on with the game.

Another wonderful contribution to ‘Rightminds’ – Simon Heffer must be so proud.

Worst. Argument. Ever.

It must be wonderful being James Delingpole. Here is someone who constantly wheels out the most shallow, ludicrous and repetitive arguments in response to any given topic whilst he genuinely believes he is the most intelligent person on the planet and rather than being wheeled into a home for the terminally bewildered he is instead given a rather large platform because – sadly – such mind-numbing stupidity is shared by a decent-sized minority of people who possess plenty of ideological conviction at the expense of brain cells.

Being James Delingpole relies on absolute faith in the following:

  1. James Delingpole is more intelligent and perceptive than anyone else. Ergo, if someone disagrees with him, it is because they are too stupid to realise that he is always right.
  2. Everything – and I mean everything – negative that ever happens can be blamed directly on the left or ‘libtards’ or the BBC or Labour and this is so obviously self-evident that he never needs to make a case for why this is so.
  3. There exists a ‘liberal elite’ who control everything and have done for the last 30 years (yes, Thatcher, in Delingpole’s mind, must either have been a liberal or was powerless to stand-up to the liberal elite…) and this elite try to stamp out any freedom of speech.

By now I imagine you’ve all seen David Starkey’s Newsnight appearance in which he said a load of stuff that was clearly racist. Toby Young stepped in to defend Starkey by claiming that he wasn’t really racist – which you can see rebutted in depth by 5CC – and now Delingpole has stepped in to not just applaud Toby Young but to go much further in portraying Starkey as a victim of the liberal elite and the BBC. You see, although Starkey is an experienced TV personality and supposed intellectual historian, he was actually the naive victim of a carefully laid trap:

Driving back from my holiday in Wales, yesterday, I realised what a lucky escape I’d had. As I exited the hills and finally got my mobile phone reception back, there was an old message from Friday inviting me to appear on that evening’s Newsnight to talk about the riots. So it could have been me that fell into the BBC’s “raaaacist” trap instead of poor old David Starkey.

And make no mistake it was a trap. Starkey’s debating opponent was Owen Jones, the BBC’s new pet angry young socialist whose default position is perpetual umbrage and righteous rage on behalf of the poor, working class, oppressed and – since Friday, apparently – black people. It’s a cheap trick but one that goes down very well at the BBC, which is why they have Jones back so often. What it achieves, while cleverly avoiding the need for debate on facts (never the liberal-Left’s strong point), is to imply that anyone on the right is evil, selfish, bullying, wrong or – that ne plus ultra of Lefty insults – raaaacist.

So, Starkey – who was given a chance to talk about the riots on TV and was not hassled, harangued or bullied into saying anything – was somehow the victim of a ‘trap’ simply because Owen Jones appeared on the same programme? Laughable stuff when you can clearly see that Starkey is given immense freedom to say exactly what he wants – complete with dramatic pauses – and no-one interrupts him or does anything that might have confused him enough to say something he didn’t mean or to miss-phrase his own thoughts. Delingpole completely ignores what Starkey actually said and instead points out that Owen Jones was on the show as if this somehow wins the argument – although it’s not even clear what argument Delingpole is even trying to make here.

It gets worse for Delingpole when you realise that Starkey is not claiming anything of the sort but is still standing by his comments, according to the Mail on Sunday:

Dr Starkey last night denied he had said anything racist and said he stood by his comments, reiterating that in times of economic and political crisis, ‘plain speaking’ was needed.

He told The Mail on Sunday: ‘I said until I was blue in the face on the programme that I was not talking about skin colour but gang culture. A large group of whites have started to behave like blacks. I think that is the most unracial remark anyone can make.’

I might not agree with Starkey – more on that in a minute – but at least he is accepting responsibility for what he alone said rather than following the example of Young and Delingpole to try to argue that he either didn’t really say anything racist if you spend some time fudging a bizzare interpretation of what was said (Young) or that he was a victim of a BBC / liberal trap and that therefore his words are somehow not his own (Delingpole).

Just a quick point about what Starkey actually said. It seems to me that if you hear David Lammy, the MP for Tottenham, on the radio, and you automatically assume he is white then you seem to associate being middle-class with a particular skin colour. In the same way, if you claim that young white people engaging in a street culture are becoming ‘black’, then you are associating being urban lower-class and violent with a particular skin colour. So the young whites are presumably betraying their white skin by engaging in urban, street culture, in the same way that the black man is betraying his skin colour by daring to be middle-class.

This all sounds like racism to me. The idea that to engage in rioting is to somehow become ‘black’ is offensive because it suggests that white people cannot culturally engage in such behaviour. Subsequently the idea that in order to be a respectable black person they must become ‘white’ is offensive because it suggests that black culture has no class system – i.e. black people who do well in society do so only because they have abandoned their black culture and replace it with copying the white man. Even discussing Starkey’s comments makes me feel as if I have just stepped back into colonial times.

It’s not racist to discuss culture. But you can easily say racist things on national TV when you really don’t have a clue what you are talking about – and it is important that people like Delingpole realise that discussing said racism is not an attack on freedom of speech, but an example of it.

1 in 25 adults buy the Daily Mail

And every single one of them should be ashamed of themselves:

Daily Mail Scum

This is a headline that is printed every other month by the Mail along with the Express, as if each time it is somehow shocking and new that children with different skin colours attend British schools. That national newspapers can regularly print stories that are essentially just pure racist outrage against primary school children is a disgrace.

If the out-and-out racism doesn’t offend you, then you might be interested in some examples of how these stories are rarely backed-up by the statistics they claim to be drawing on:

The Mail’s article kind of ends with something that is an ambivalently extreme example:

An extreme example

On the one hand the short article underneath demonstrates that the school is doing brilliantly and it’s actually on the surface a tale of racial harmony being achieved by young people who aren’t as bitter, blinkered and scared as your average Daily Mail reader. However, clearly this is an extreme example that hasn’t been chosen for this purpose, but rather as a great photo for readers to start frothing at the mouth to as they play their favourite ‘spot the white kid’ game. The headline figure says ‘1 in 5’ are ethnic minorities, the picture shows (as far as my eyesight can tell) that white kids are about 2 in 27 – and who knows, even the white ones could be ethnic minorities (This kind of highlights the stupidity of xenophobia and racism really. What is an ethnic minority? Is it a white Australian child in a class? Or is it the child born in Britain but who does not have pasty white skin?).

Who cares? They’re children, in school – innocent of every crime apart from looking slightly different to one another.

Then you scroll down to a seperate article tagged on to the main article:

Oh, I get it now.

I see, more ethnics means less places for white kids and white parents are left scrapping for their chosen schools. It all makes perfect sense now.

Then you scroll to the comments, and – knowing perfectly well what you will find – you click on ‘Best rated’:

Bloody Daily Mail readers

I just have to keep reminding myself that Daily Mail readers are just an unpleasant minority – and people who think Peter Hitchens is right about anything even more so.

The Daily Mail: racist and utterly dishonest

On Saturday I wrote a post about how the Daily Mail like to accompany articles on immigration with faceless pictures of Muslim women, even when the article made it clear that most of the immigrants were white Europeans from Eastern Europe. The photo was accompanied by the following caption:

Tough stance: Earlier this week, ministers promised to tighten every aspect of immigration into Britain from outside the EU as net migration figures continue to soar

Which clearly suggests that the women pictured were living and therefore photographed in Britain. Yet look here, just 3 days later the same photo is being used by the Daily Mail to accompany this story: ‘France’s Senate backs National Assembly and bans women from wearing the burka in public‘:

Only this time the caption has changed to:

Forbidden: Two Muslim women in burkas in Douai, northern France. The country’s upper house has ratified the ban on women from wearing full veils in public with effect from next spring

So, these women clearly were never in Britain, they were pictured in Douai, northern France, yet the Daily Mail happily used the photo to imply that the Muslim women pictured were evidence of the  ‘soaring’ levels of Muslim immigrants into Britain  (looking back at the original photo it is clear that is attributed to the EPA [European PressPhoto Association] so it makes sense that the photo was never taken in Britain).

What is clear is that once again the Daily Mail coverage of immigration was fundamentally racist and dishonest – not just for blaming Muslims for the immigration levels of predominantly white, Eastern Europeans – but also for deceiving their readers with photos taken in a completely different country as ‘evidence’.

Daily Mail: Firmly aligned with the far-right

I first heard the news that seven HMRC employees had been sacked for racial discrimination via the BBC yesterday and I was curious to see how the Daily Mail covered the story. Not surprisingly they cover it in a way designed to invoke outrage against the ethnic minorities who were the victims of racism, rather than the seven employees sacked for being racist (a further two employees resigned immediately when the racism was discovered).

Basically the 7 employees were sacked for:

deliberately under-paying benefits to ethnic minorities… They are believed to have tampered with computer records to ensure ethnic minorities living across the UK did not receive the benefits they were entitled to.

The BBC give no further details about the victims other than that they lived in the UK and had now been fully reimbursed. I cannot find any details on the HMRC news site either, but the Daily Mail have added a detail that does not seem to exist elsewhere: ‘Racist taxmen who deliberately under-paid child benefits to non-nationals are sacked‘. Somehow, the Daily Mail have concluded that the ‘ethnic minorities’ living in the UK were actually ‘non-nationals’, which of course implies to the average Mail reader that they shouldn’t really be getting any benefits anyway. This allows the comments section to largely ignore the racism and focus on why we should not be paying benefits to ‘non-nationals’:

The Daily Mail is racistThe Daily Mail is racistThe Daily Mail is racistThe Daily Mail is racistThe Daily Mail is racist

I could carry on posting comments along the same lines, but you all get the point. Amazingly one comment above claims it is merely ‘PC gone mad!’ whilst the majority of them repeat the ‘non-national’ claim that has been made by the Daily Mail without a scrap of evidence; purely to invoke this response from readers. One reader really swallows the phrase whole and argues that ‘Non-nationals i.e. non UK citizens. Nothing to do with racism then’ which is an amazingly stupid argument, given that if we treat someone differently solely because they are from another country it is of course racism – it does not get more blatant.

I could not even find this story on the Mail website, I had instead to search for ‘HMRC’, then click ‘Most recent results’ just to find it, so firstly, the Mail tried to bury it. Then secondly, and utterly shamefully, they invent the ‘non-national’ angle to create outrage that these seven people have been sacked and outrage that we are paying child benefits to ‘non-nationals’ in the first place.

Never have the Daily Mail aligned themselves more clearly with the far-right, given that the BNP consider any ethnic minority to not be British, irrespective of how many generations they had lived in Britain for. Here the Daily Mail is concluding that ethnic minority is interchangeable with ‘non-national’ even though we have British nationals from every conceivable ethnic background happily living as British citizens all over the country.

The Daily Mail is racist. This needs to be repeated and never shouted down by idiots like Richard Littlejohn and Paul Dacre who still contest that the accusation of racism often aimed at the Daily Mail is merely a smear attack used by the ‘liberal elite’ to silence genuine concerns over issues.

No. you are called racist because the evidence clearly demonstrates that you are.