Somebody shoot me now!!!

It doesn’t take much to get the average Mail Online reader frothing at the mouth and hammering the red and green arrows. Normally a good story to elicit this kind of response combines PC-gone-mad and Muslims, today the Mail have come up with a real winner: ‘Very PC police force issues its WPCs with Muslim headscarves complete with badge for mosque visits‘. The article basically says that:

Women police officers are being issued with headscarves to wear when they visit a mosque.

They are expected to put the scarfs on shortly before they enter the mosque, in keeping with Islamic custom.

I’m no fan of organised religion, but if people are stupid enough to have cultural / religious values that they want respected and I have to enter their property then I guess I have no choice but to respect their regulations. Most Daily Mail commentators fail to grasp that there is a big difference between the social expectations of behaviour that come from living in the UK and expectations that can be made on private property. If I was to enter a Daily Mail reader’s house I would have to abide by their rules, as it is, after all, their property that I am entering. Their house rules could be entirely different to general British custom, so according to Mail logic their customs are evil and PC-gone-mad and the implication is that they should become one of us, or leave the country.

The wearing of a small, cheap item of clothing in a very specific place as a small, painless mark of respect seems perfectly reasonable, and hardly a sign that British culture is about to be destroyed, but you wouldn’t think that way if you read the Daily Mail:

This is an absolute disgrace!!!

– Tony, uk, 27/7/2009 18:55

Welcome to the loony country of BRITAIN

– nostradamus, SWINDON ENGLAND, 27/7/2009 18:54

…. while we’re at it maybe the Lord Chief Justice should replace his wig with a Henry Lloyd baseball cap ……. worn back to front of course ….

– cubone, UK, 27/7/2009 18:42

We are in Britain. Do things the British way.

– Jeff, Norfolk, 27/7/2009 18:42

Spot the pretty blatant racial overtones from ‘cubone’ (voted nearly 200 in the green), aren’t you a real credit to the Daily Mail readership. Some of the comments that have been voted up speak volumes for the intellectual capacity of the average Daily Mail reader:

government is creating too many rules and has become messy.

– Kin, Barnet, 27/7/2009 18:37

Kin, Barnet, manages to get that wonderfully thought-provoking and important comment voted over 1000 in the green. No surprises what comments are attracting huge red votes:

Why not? If muslims get really startled seeing woman without a headscarf entering the mosque, let’s not start making problems and wear one. The same thing, for example, is Milan Duomo or Vatican Basilica where you are not allowed to enter in shorts… Don’t know, why, though, but basically, it’s the same tradition, just for muslims, it’s head, for catholics – legs…

– Maris Crane, Guildford villages, 27/7/2009 18:44 607

Surprised they weren’t doing this anyway. Personally I think this is right, since it is for entering a place of worship.

– Susan, Edinburgh, UK, 27/7/2009 18:33 1547

Seems quite sensible.

– Don, London, 27/7/2009 18:27 1542

To be fair, this isn’t a bad idea it shows respect for the muslim religion whilst showing a symbol of authority for the local police. A correct show of “diversity” in my opinion.

– Nick, Worcester, 27/7/2009 18:23 1494

And finally, another comment that is currently 624 in the green:

Somebody shoot me now!!!

– Bill, Walsall, UK, 27/7/2009 18:21

This must mean that over 600 Daily Mail readers would rather be shot than live in a Britain where the occasional police officer will enter a Mosque wearing a scarf. I just hope those readers have the courage of their convictions and will shortly be willingly executed.

Back to the Tabloid world of fear

Well I’m back after a few drunken days away in a tent. At no point during these few days was I made angry by the rubbish published by the Tabloid newspapers and somehow, life seemed all the better for this. The sun shone, people smiled, I wasn’t raped, mugged, stabbed, shot or abused for being a ‘poor indigenous white’. I didn’t catch swine flu and far as I can tell my trip didn’t cause or cure cancer either. Life really is a wonderful thing, if only we all take a step back and enjoy it once in a while the world might be a better place. Nonetheless, I cannot escape from the clutches of the tabloid papers for too long and regrettably tabloid lies and hypocrisy are getting harder and harder to ignore. For example, Twitter provided me with a link to this gem on the Mail website today: ‘Scared to death? The REAL worry is today’s culture of fear‘. Essentially the author of the piece opens with: ‘Do you ever feel as if The Authorities are doing their damnedest to scare us all to death?’. This is said without any irony; no acknowledgement that Tabloid newspapers exist to whip up baseless fear. As commentators point out:

Ahem, it`s not “the Authorities”, it`s the MEDIA….- Sherry, Kent, 27/7/2009 9:08 Click to rate Rating 60 Agreed with Sherry in Kent – the media makes more of these ”panics” than anyone I know – I haven’t met anyone who’s panicking about swine flu, for example, but the media manage to make it sound like we’re all in a terrified frenzy and losing sleep over it. There is no culture of fear outside the media, which keeps trying to whip it up. – Ruth, Glasgow, Scotland, 27/7/2009 12:09 Click to rate Rating 24

The reason why The Daily Mail can spread fear and panic one minute, then accuse ‘The Authorities’ of doing the same the next is that they have no accountability and therefore no need to even pretend to be consistant. It isn’t just a matter of hypocrisy though, the Daily Mail has no accountability when it comes to facts either, as the Enemies of reason points out

:

The Mail gets it wrong again, and again, and again, and again. They’re not the only newspaper to do so, but they do pop up in the PCC adjudications time and time again. Sometimes it’s not too serious, merely entirely misrepresenting a scientific study for example; sometimes it’s really serious and unpleasant, for example making peaceful Muslims out to be rowdy protesters, or smearing the good name of someone who has recently been through a terrible tragedy. The PCC says this is all perfectly fine so long as they make tiny amends afterwards, and then everything’s tickety-boo, isn’t it? And there you have it. This is the redress available to those who can’t hire the top legal lawyers. A tiny correction shoved away in the middle of nowhere, and no apology at all.

Tabloid newspapers are consistently lying, hypocritical and utterly inconsistent yet somehow people still exchange their ‘hard-earned’ money for this. People look to newspapers to confirm their worst fears, and the newspapers are only happy to oblige. If, for example, you have a fear of foreigners and you stupidly believe in spite of facts that immigrants get free houses, free cars and a massive wad of cash as soon as they set foot on British soil, you can find a journalist that will agree with you completely. I can understand why an individual might believe that immigrants receive such things, they might not be that bright, they might not be terrible literate and therefore they do not have the ability to assimilate information or differentiate fact from fiction. Such a person might turn to a newspaper, where a journalist is paid to present them with a piece of opinion that should be factual – after all they are paid and have time to assimilate information and establish what the facts are. But they don’t. The poor misinformed person struggling to find out the truth might unfortunately pick up a newspaper like The News of the World (once edited by shit-stain Andy Coulson) and read a column by an utter piece of shit like Carole Malone. Thankfully Tabloid Watch has taken this apart – so I don’t have to try to engage my brain with such an ignorant tabloid turd:

In today’s News of the World, she has written a column so bereft of intellect or evidence or sound argument, it’s hard to imagine anyone getting paid for such crap. And not just crap – full of wild exaggerations and lies – but noxious and inflammatory crap.

Go read the rest here. A while ago I argued that Andy Coulson didn’t deserve a place in politics because he had edited a tabloid newspaper. My reasoning was that how can anyone be responsible for fuck-n-tell stories, lies, racism and the general cultural abyss that is a tabloid newspaper and then be responsible for running the PR campaign of a political party? How the hell is he supposed to help redress the apathy of voters, given his own shameful treatment of the general public when he edited a tabloid paper. I argued that anyone who had edited (or is editing) a tabloid newspaper should be ostracised from society, for they are the lowest form of human being. I’d now like to extend this to the majority of the shit-for-brains tabloid columnists who profiteer from increasing ignorance and hatred when they have the perfect platform to dispel it.

To paraphrase Bill Hicks, I bet they sleep like fucking babies to.

Conspiracy of the day

A Daily Mail reader on Littlejohn’s latest defecation (‘No wonder Cherie’s got Swine Flu. The Blairs have had their snouts in the trough for years‘):

madness

If this was a man-made drug to reduce the world population, it isn’t doing a very good job. In the UK it has killed less than 40 people. Hardly going to free up social housing or unclog the motorways is it?

If you have an affair you deserve to be killed

Daily Mail readers are not exactly known for their compassion, so I can’t say I was entirely surprised to see this article jumped on by Mail commentators: ‘Saudi princess given asylum in UK over fears she faces execution for having illegitimate child with British lover‘. Now having an affair is probably a bad thing, but I cannot say it deserves punishment by execution, Mail readers on the other hand do:

She shouldnt have had an extra marital affair then should she…- Soul, Uk, 20/7/2009 11:45
Click to rate Rating 138

Oh so the poor creature didn’t know the Quran? Didn’t know the punishment for cheating? So easy to commit a crime, so hard to face up to it…shame on her.

– Vis, Milan, Italy, 20/7/2009 11:38
Click to rate Rating 512

I’m sorry but she knew what she was doing send her elsewhere.

– Violet, Paris, France, 20/7/2009 11:33
Click to rate Rating 201

Her affair, her decision, her problem.

Send her packing.

– ScotchEggsRule, London, 20/7/2009 11:32
Click to rate Rating 119

At least the comments are in the red – that is some consolation. However, why did so many people feel the need to basically state ‘send her back, she’s not our problem’ – I only picked a couple of examples. Why do Mail readers treat people who live outside of the UK so badly. Here is a women who had an affair, something that happens all over the world and isn’t necessarily a sign that a particular person is evil, but a sign that they are human. Yet Daily Mail readers have dehumanised asylum seekers to the extent that people threatened with execution just for having an illegitimate child are told to bugger off back to where they came from them and take what is coming to them.

All human beings are 99% genetically identical – as much as this fact may horrify Daily Mail readers – so surely we should show a little compassion for those not blessed to live in a liberal society?

Richard Littlejohn and Friday Moderators

Every Friday the Daily Mail moderators relax and let through criticism of Richard Littlejohn. It is a wonderful sight to behold.

His latest drivel: ‘Where’s PC Pagan? He’s at the Summer Solstice, Sarge…‘. Some comments that have been allowed to sit underneath it:

It’s easy to take cheap shots at pagans. “He’s the one with the horns on his helmet, seconded to the raping and pillaging squad”, for instance. It would be just as easy to take cheap shots at christians. “He’s the one in the floor-length cowled robe, seconded by the Inqusition’s torturers”. (But you won’t, of course. it isn’t safe). Or perhaps one could take a few cheap shots at journalists while we’re at it. “He’s the one in the saloon bar, desperately squeezing a hackneyed tirade of half-truths and opinionated rubbish out of his booze-sodden brain”. Or maybe even take a few cheap shots at people like me: “He’s the one who can’t resist the temptation to hit the keyboard when he sights an easy target”.

Come on, Richard, this piece is unworthy of you. You can do better.

– John Davies, Newport, Gwent, Wales., 17/7/2009 9:48

“I know it’s easy to mock, but someone’s got to do it”
You’re right Richard, you could never be accused of avoiding the easy option.
– Adam Dickson

The comments system is now broken, as seems to be increasingly common with the Daily Mail webshite.

Shit yourself, Daily Mail reader, Shit yourself

Mass hysteria, odds given as facts, headlines that don’t match the content. At the Daily Mail they do anything to sell more copies.

Swine flu: one in eight forced to take time off sick as pandemic spreads squeals the Hypochondria Tribune a.k.a. Daily Mail today.

As Armageddon creeps in, the paper informs you, “the vast number of people off work could leave many businesses struggling to run as normal and cripple public services and transport over the summer”.

But hold on a minute. If this pandemic is so bad, why is the same paper plastered with “boob-job bikini”, “Michael Jackson’s leg” and “Pamela Anderson’s Playboy catalogue”? And also, I don’t know anyone affected by swine flu. You probably don’t either and nor does your neighbour. So where does this “one in eight” thing come from?

That’s where the puzzled reader decides to delve into the article in order to learn more. Yet the picture that emerges depicts a totally different story and, above all, different verbal constructions.

Because if the headline makes it sound like it’s already happening, the piece by Daniel Martin states that “Almost one in eight workers will have to take time off sick with swine flu in the next few weeks”, and that “chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson is expected to announce that 30 per cent of the population is likely to be infected during this first wave of the pandemic”. Will. Expected. Likely.

This morning the BBC reports that the number of people contacting their GP over swine flu-related fears “has jumped almost 50% in the last week” – basically, mass hysteria in its pure form.

As the Daily Mail enjoys a circulation of roughly 2.4 million and a readership of up to 6 million, could it just be that their recent headline “A SORE THROAT- 48 HOURS LATER CHLOE WAS DEAD” may have something to do with the ensuing panic?


Article kindly cross-posted by Claude from Hagley Road to Ladywood. You can read the original article here.

Deport me, I’m not even integrating

Richard Littlejohn often declares that he isn’t against immigration, but against immigrants who ‘refuse to learn English or integrate into our society‘. Now the word ‘integration’ has always bothered me when it is used in terms of integrating into a society, how is a person supposed to do this? Are they supposed to integrate with lower-class society, underclass, middle, middle-upper or high-class society? Are they not considered integrated if they don’t attend local groups – such as line dancing on a Wednesday evening?

Integration is such a woolly, indefinable idea that of course it is an easy stick to beat immigrants with, and it is easy for racists like Richard Littlejohn to proclaim that they don’t really mind foreigners, as long as they behave utterly British as soon as they cross the border. Given that Richard Littlejohn lives in a gated mansion in Florida I wonder whether he is properly integrated into American society. I was born and raised in England and have now lived in Wales for the last 6 years, am I properly integrated in this society?

Sure, I have bought a house, I have a job and a fiancee, but have I exchanged more than 50 words with any neighbours in the year I have lived in my house – no, have I learnt the local language – no, do I attend line-dancing classes or other local activities – no. So am I integrated? I commute back and forth to work and only spend time with my fiancee and close friends during the week, I keep myself to myself pretty much as I only have limited leisure time. I imagine I am not alone in living this kind of lifestyle and I wonder if I happened to be an immigrant in the UK whether this behaviour would be seen as a failure to integrate, and whether I’d be despised for this failure.

I recently stumbled across a new blog – Left Outside – and noticed that they had a post on the UK Citizenship Test, so in order to test whether I deserved to live in the UK I took the test. Here is my result:

You have failed the practice citizenship test.
Questions answered correctly: 13 out of 24 (54%)

In order to pass the test you must score 75%. I would like anyone with a spare five minutes (it is a multiple choice test and should not take any longer) to take the test and see whether they are judged to be worthy of residence in the UK – I think you’ll find the questions scarily obscure. Quite what being able to answer such questions achieves I am not sure, as I’m pretty sure most people born UK citizens would struggle to get the required 75%.

If you do complete the test, post your results below, I am genuinely interested if I’m alone in failing this test. No cheating, don’t Google the answers!

Click here to take the test.

Ladies and Gentleman: I give you the Daily Mail

As you are no doubt already aware I harbour strong feelings of disgust that the Daily Mail is read by around 2 million people. I find it hard to comprehend how that many people want to be fed a diet of hate, lies and just plain piss-poor information. Some would argue that there are worse tabloids out there – The Sun, The Daily Express etc – but today the Daily Mail has sunk beneath them all with its disgraceful reporting of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report on social housing.

I first saw this report on BBC Breakfast and heard more about it on Radio 5 Live on my way to work. The overwhelming emphasis of the report is that the impression that a lot of people have that somehow immigrants jump to the top of the social housing queue because of special treatment is entirely false. It is a myth. I immediately thought, how are the Daily Mail going to spin this one?

On the BBC website they go with the headline:

BBC headline

The opening paragraph and general coverage of the story:

There is no evidence that new arrivals in the UK are able to jump council housing queues, an Equality and Human Rights Commission report says.Once they settle and are entitled to help, it adds, the same proportion live in social housing as UK-born residents…

“It is largely a problem of perception,” he [Housing minister John Healey] told Today.

“The report shows there is a belief, a wrong belief, that there is a bias in the system.”

Reuters go with: ‘No evidence migrants jumping housing queue‘. Opening with:

Migrants to Britain are not receiving preferential treatment over the allocation of social housing as many people believe, a report released on Tuesday said. Last month, Prime Minister Gordon Brown promised to overhaul the system to “give more priority to local people,” addressing public fears that migrants were getting unfair treatment. But the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said research showed such concern was misplaced.

Build.co.uk go with: Migrants ‘Not Getting Housing Priority‘. Opening with:

The vast majority of people who live in social housing in Britain were born in the UK according to a research study published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission today.

ITN: Immigrant housing priority ‘a myth’; Guardian: Claims that immigrants prioritised for social housing ‘a myth’; The Independent: Study ‘ends myth’ of housing for immigrants; The Daily Telegraph: Immigrants do not get housing priority, study shows. Even the Daily Express headline is refreshingly accurate (even if they still shout it):  IMMIGRANTS ‘DON’T TOP HOUSING LIST’.

So, how does the Daily Mail tackle this story? Well, this is their headline:

Daily Mail is scum

Yes, that is right, they use the report to beat immigrants and still insist that they are taking too large a share of social housing. They open with:

Nearly 400,000 homes have gone to tenants who were born abroad, the Government’s equality watchdog has said.One in ten state-subsidised homes is occupied by an immigrant family, according to the first estimate of the impact of immigration on social housing.

More than half of the immigrants who live in council or housing association houses and flats are in London, the report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission found.

It added that four out of ten people born abroad who live in the capital are living in subsidised housing – a figure that suggests a million people in immigrant families have found homes in social housing in London.

And also feel the need to quote Civitas (think BNP in smarter suits):

But Robert Whelan, housing expert at the Civitas think tank, said: ‘In some areas most units of social housing are going to immigrants, which provides fertile soil for the BNP.’This report does not reflect the concerns of working class people and it is extremely unhelpful at a time when the BNP is hoovering up votes.

‘It does not recognise the claims of longstanding local residents whose families have contributed to communities for generations.’

I do not think any analysis is neccesary here, with this unbelievably skewed article The Daily Mail make it clear that they want to protect the myths that feed their own racist agenda. What do you expect from a newspaper that recently said: ‘The “British homes for British workers” plan, if it succeeds, will force councils to end the unfairness which sees immigrants with large families vault to the top of the council house list’. This has now been proven to be a myth, but you will not read that on the Daily Mail website, you’ll just read more lies piled up on the rest.