Thursday, 24 September 2009

MailWatch #4 Part 2

Part 2 of the latest instalment of our occasional service debunking migration stories in the Daily Mail, self-styled 'Last Bulwark Against The Tide Of Filth That Is Threatening To Engulf Civilisation'™

Yesterday saw the first new MailWatch post in nearly a month and the simple reason for its absence till now has been that the Mail has been laying off the immigration and 'race' stories lately. They seem to have been loathe to feature Calais migrants stories as well, which may or may not be linked to a current Press Complaints Commission investigation into their Calais coverage - they even failed to do their worst when provided with the 'Jungle' eviction story. (see Part 1)


In fact, the only stories in the past month directly related to Calais have been 'Border Agency sniffer dog uncovers three Vietnamese immigrants in a lorry heading for Britain' [23/08/09]*, rehashed by the Mail's ubiquitous Paris correspondent Peter Allen as 'Vietnamese illegal immigrants hidden among speciality food on truck bound for UK' the following day.

And that was it more or less until Besson announced what the Mail has been campaigning for for years - ' 'The Jungle' may be closed by French Immigration Minister within a month' [04/09/09] - and again the paper wasn't trumpeting the possibility! Then, as D-Day approached (again, strange that the paper wasn't gloating with D-Day-style headlines), we had 'When 'The Jungle' is razed, how many migrants will Britain take from Calais this time?' [19/09/2009] regarding the suggestion, made by UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres, that Britain take some of the displaced Calais migrants which, according to the Mail, "raised the prospect of a repeat of the British humiliation when France closed the Red Cross refugee camp at Sangatte seven years ago."

After 'D-Day', we did however see some gloating (tempered with a hefty dollop of cynicism, as it dawned on even this reactionary blow-hard tabloid that the destruction of the 'Jungle' was not going to change much), 'Razed to the ground: Jungle migrant camp emptied after raid by Calais police (but will it stop asylum-seekers flooding into Britain?)' [22/09/2009]. This article was itself a rewritten version of 'Next stop UK: As riot police storm The Jungle migrant camp at Calais, a defiant message from the asylum seekers' that was discussed at length yesterday and also found favour with a number of fascist websites (Google it ans see!). This was followed up yesterday and today by 'We'll STILL reach the UK, insist migrants evicted from Jungle' and 'Pictured: New squalid migrant camp pops up in Calais hours after the Jungle is razed' respectively.

Yesterday's piece contained some priceless lines. For example, "Many of the immigrants, encouraged by a group of anarchists chanting, 'We will fight, we will fight', refused to go. Some had to be dragged out kicking and screaming", clearly a dig at No Borders activists there. This was followed by a bit of Muslim extremism, "The worst trouble took place around the makeshift mosque, which the mainly Afghan Muslim residents of the camp had promised to defend 'at all costs'. 'It is the centre of our camp, and leaving it pains us massively,' said Omar, a 26-year-old originally from Kabul, shortly before he was arrested." All topped off with this dire warning to its readers: "'The police can try to stop us as much as they like, but nothing will stop us getting to England.'"

Stout stuff, then throw in a few photographs of violent arrests - sorry, that should be protesters resisting arrest: "One of the migrants is hauled away by French riot police" "Screaming defiance". Then there's the photo of 3 activists holding a banner with the words 'Human Rights Have No Borders' and the caption "Some of the would-be immigrants protest as the clear-out operation begins"! The usual high standard of journalism there then.

Some of that tosh was contributed by our friend peter Allen again and he struck again today with, 'Pictured: New squalid migrant camp pops up in Calais hours after the Jungle is razed'. In this not only does he get to use one of his favourite migrant-related word 'squalid' again and again, but he also drops this bombshell: "Just 24 hours after a mile-square stretch of wasteland was cleared of hundreds of mainly Afghan young men, the town’s mayor said she had ‘spotted between fifteen and twenty squats’ nearby". Except she had said this 6 days ago "Combien de squats avez-vous comptabilisé sur Calais ? « J'en ai repéré entre 15 et 20... » " in a Nord Littoral interview. So either there are in fact no new squats or this is old news.

Not Calais

One of the Mail's favourite tricks is placing photos of Calais migrants in stories that ostensibly have nothing to actually do with Calais or the Calais migrants. So, recently we have the same stock photo by Mail staff photographer Jamie Wiseman of Calais migrants sitting on a fence at what looks like the quai Paul Devot eating a Salam-provided meal. The first occurrence is in 'Britain must take more war refugees as Brussels wants us to open the doors to thousands' [03/09/2009], where it bears the caption "Asylum seekers in Calais queue for food handouts distributed by local charity workers", except they are not in any queue and they already have their food!

The next caption is even more ludicrous. The story was, 'France dumps controversial plan to DNA test all new arrivals into the country' [13/09/09], referring to the news that Besson had announced the scrapping of a bizarre plan to test migrants' DNA to determine their country of origin "because it was 'damaging' his country's image".** This article featured the same picture, this time with the caption "Asylum seekers gather at a refugee centre in France." You can draw your own conclusions on that one. Interestingly the Mail offered Besson a bit of encouragement the next day with, 'France's hardline immigration minister Eric Besson calls for 'debased' burkha to be banned'. This is a theme the Mail has featured before, and may well be due to jealousy of the ability of the secular French state to consider banning Islamic dress, but they still manage to defend good-old Anglo-Saxon Christian values with stories like 'Christian hotel owners face ruin after 'defending their faith' in row with a Muslim guest' [21/09/2009].

Still on the 'wrong side' of the English Channel (and proud of it), other stories that caught our eye over the month were 'Paris police evict hundreds of Britain-bound migrants from gardens dubbed 'Little Kabul'' [20/08/09] by the Mail's Paris correspondent, one Peter Allen; along with the non-French 'Muslim lovers to be caned for trying to have sex in a car' [22/09/2009] and 'Iran bans curves: Police order shop owners to cover mannequins up' [23/09/2009] - I don't know, those crazy sex obsessed Muslims!

Nearer Home

Clearly the story that takes the prize seems to combine all that is Mail journalism
at its very worst, 'Revealed: The areas of Britain where there are more migrants chasing jobs than locals' [21/09/09]. In this we get a 'those bloody foreigners over here stealing our jobs' story together with the most stupid use of statistics that you are ever likely to come across, all neatly tied up with a ribbon in the guise of yet another bloody MigrationSquint-and-you-might-just-see-a-reasoned-argument quote in something that claims that "The true extent of the huge influx of foreign workers into Britain is revealed in an investigation by the Daily Mail." This tawdry piece of an insult to 'investigative' journalism has more holes in it than the proverbial string vest and, if you are interested in finding out why, we highly recommend the aptly titled 'Mail Compares Apples With Oranges Comes Up With Bananas'***

Of course there has been the Attorney General Patricia Scotland and her Tongan ex-cleaner story, goldmine stuff for the Mail. She's black, a woman in high office, a Labour appointment and there's an 'illegal' immigrants involved (except she is in fact a legal immigrant who has overstayed her visa, not quiet the same thing), what more could you want? 15 articles and comment pieces since the story broke last week!

We could go further with 'Feral youths: How a generation of violent, illiterate young men are living outside the boundaries of civilised society' [19/09/09] - "Round here, Poles do all of the work" - or 'Visa sham as just 29 out of 66,000 applicants from Pakistan interviewed despite supposed 'crackdown'' [10/09/09], or maybe 'Romanian fraudsters use trafficked babies and children for multi-million pound UK benefit scam' [23/08/2009] and that good old stand-by 'Local hero turns villain after she rents out her field to gipsies' [24/08/2009]. Then again there are the 'Overseas student surge hits 110,000: And all but a tenth decide they'll stay in Britain' [25/09/09], 'The migrant baby boom: Foreign mothers help push Britain's population past 61m' [28/08/2009] and the ''Immigrant baby boom' to cost taxpayers £1bn in new primary school places' [07/09/09] stories. But we wont, too much of this sort of thing tends to leave a rather nasty taste in the mouth.

* NB: on-line version has since been edited.
** Britain has recently announced that it is continuing to go ahead with this form of modern-day Eugenic analysis.
*** No, it's not what you're thinking. We hadn't come across this website until researching a piece on the Mail last month. A case of great minds think alike and fools never differ?

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