The first of an occasional service debunking migration stories in the Daily Mail, self-styled 'Last Bulwark Against The Tide Of Filth That Is Threatening To Engulf Civilisation'™ i.e. those filthy foreigners wanting to steal our jobs, our women and our homes.
Yesterday the Snail published a scoop, 'Calais migrants mutilate fingertips to hide true identity' trumpeting "Migrants massed in Calais in hopes of getting into Britain are mutilating their fingerprints so that their true identities cannot be established, it emerged today." Wrong, this "sinister development" is a widely documented practice that has been going on since Eurodac, the centralised EU computer fingerprint data system, was introduced in 2003. That the Mail has only just found out about it merely reflects the level of 'research' that goes into the smears, sorry 'stories', it publishes about the Calais migrant situation in particular and migrants in general. [See previous post ]
Peter Allen, the paper's Paris correspondent and 'author' of this piece, well known for researching his stories from the comfort of his office desk, claims that "the most common method was to place all ten fingers* on an oven hob and turn up the heat." Of course the migrants all live in nice little pied-a-terres where they have kitchen stoves on top of hot and cold running water and all the other creature comforts that scrounging asylum seekers are meant to have.
He then goes on to conflate Eurodac with Europol and claim that the hiding of fingerprints circumvents a system that "turn(s) back [known criminals] at borders, preventing them living in countries like Britain on benefits while they claim asylum, or else disappearing into the black economy", especially as "Police in Calais believe that some of the 2000 odd UK bound migrants sleeping rough in the town are repeat asylum seekers with criminal records."
Outstanding, except the logic falls down on a number of points. One, if you have been refused asylum in the UK once, then you are not going to apply for it a second time and therefore cannot be a "repeat asylum seeker". Two, asylum seekers cannot claim 'benefits' in the sense that he and other anti-immigration obsessives believe. The National Asylum Seeker Support Service (NASS) is the only form of 'benefits' open the asylum seekers and it provides low quality housing, mostly in dispersed shared accommodation, and £42.16 per week in cash (or a weekly voucher worth £35 for 'failed' asylum seekers). Hardly the lap of luxury. And NASS assistance is usually only available for asylum claims submitted at a port of entry not 'in country' i.e. will not be available to people smuggling themselves into the UK.
In another story entitled 'Calais migrants ambush Britons at knife-point in terrifying highway robberies', the paper that once said "Hurrah for the Blackshirts" claims that "Migrant gangs in Calais are targeting British holidaymakers in terrifying 'highway robberies'. Would-be illegal immigrants are forming human roadblocks to force motorists passing through the French port town to stop. Travellers are then robbed at knife-point by the migrants, who are desperate for funds to help them sneak into the UK."
Yes, the paper that brought us the Zinoviev letter appears to have landed yet another scoop, this time one that seems to have evaded everyone else including both main papers in the area Nord Littoral and La Voix Du Nord, neither of which would shrink from printing such a story if it were true. They even managed to get some juicy quotes quotes from the local police but then all of the Mail's quotes are not always kosher.
During the run up to the Calais No Border camp Peter Allen managed to interview (again probably by remote viewing as he wasn't actually seen in the area for the entire duration of the Camp) a French anarchist called Thierry who "has already pitched a tent next to the CRS’s temporary quarters next door to Calais port." Strangely, Thierry's location mysteriously disappeared from the story on the Mail's website as quickly as it went up and we were forced to question his existence as no one in their right mind would camp anywhere near the CRS HQ, especially a lone anarchist in the run up to a Camp where 3,000 up-for-it riot police officers were to be deployed.
A third article under the banner 'A million failed asylum seekers will get free NHS care in human rights U-turn' claimed that "NHS treatment will be available for tens of thousands of failed asylum seekers to ensure their human rights are honoured, it was announced yesterday."
So how do we got from 'tens of thousands' to the figure of 'millions'? Ah yes, it's all down to MigrationWatch (why don't they just say Phillip Green? He is MigrationWatch after all**) who believes "it could open the floodgates to 'up to a million' illegal immigrants." And this story displayed yet another standard Mail trope, the use of a stock photograph of migrants in Calais, now standard practice for almost all articles on migration with the Mail (sort of makes their agenda transparent really).
The piece then continued, "There are understood to be around 450,000 failed asylum seekers who have not left the country, although only 10 or 20,000 are directly affected by the new rules." So where does the millions come from? It's far from obvious. What does Andrew Green have to say? "Sir (sic) Andrew Green, chairman of MigrationWatch, said the rules gave the green light for up to one million illegal immigrants to get free NHS care. This is possible because GPs can put patients on their books without checking if they are entitled to free care."
Er, yes. But again, where does the million figure come from? If there are 450,000 failed asylum seekers in the UK, of which "only 10 or 20,000 are directly affected by the new rules", and last year there were 25,000 asylum applications (30,000 in 2008 and 28,000 in 2007), all people who previously have had the right to free health care (until the time ones asylum application is denied), where are the extra 550,000 coming from?
The problem with this fiction is not only do the figures not add up but when registering with a doctor, the receptionist (this is the person who actually registers the patient not the doctor Mr Green) will require you to fill out a GMS1 form, as well as checking to see if you have a NHS Card or number and address of your previous GP. The form asks for date of entry to UK (if non-UK citizen) and would require you to show your passport as a further check of EU citizenship. If not, then one would have to show one's Application Registration Card (ARC), which everyone making an asylum application in the UK receives and which contains a photograph of the holder and fingerprint on an embedded chip. Therefore anyone who has not made an asylum application and does not fall into these categories would be unable to register anyway, irrespective of the new changes.
Green goes on to say, 'This is yet another capitulation to the immigration lobby. No wonder they are queueing up in Calais.' And this from a man who claims he has no political axe to grind. The Mail however clearly does have an axe to grind except it's not obvious whether it is against the migrants or all foreigners. These articles on Calais constantly praise the stance of the Calais Mayor Natacha Bouchart***, their new Iron Lady, but the French themselves are also a frequent target of the Mail's ire, ''Go back to your disease-ridden country!' What the French said to British schoolchildren with swine flu' and 'Thousands of French chipmunks carrying potentially fatal diseases ready to invade Britain'**** being just 2 of the stories in recent days.
* All foreigners are mutants with an extra finger on each hand!
** Has anyone else ever seen or heard of anyone else from MigrationWatch? They have a list of members of their Advisory Council on their website but as far as one can see no one else is mentioned except this ex-professional diplomat, who since retiring has "devoted his time to voluntary work" including this "independent organisation" with "no political axes to grind." After all, he only presents the facts...in a comprehensible form."
*** No doubt we'll be seeing a photograph of her in the paper as soon as they find one of her in a swimsuit.
**** "French experts warn that the animals, which can also carry rabies, could soon reach Calais and sneak aboard vehicles and vessels heading to Britain. Many carry ticks infected with the Borrelia bacterium that causes Lyme disease, a nerve illness that can disable and even kills victims if not treated early enough." No they are not talking about Afghans.