Here we go again! The Daily Mail can manage to twist anything to fit its own distorted view of the world, and that is especially true when it comes to anything to do with migration and immigration (basically anything to do with Johnny foreigner). So, when the French media is awash with criticism of the French government's participation in the latest Anglo-French deportation flight to Afghanistan, what does the Mail do? It creates a non-story from quoting Damien Green, the Tories' shadow immigration spokesman, and that other Green, the one-man think tank and rent-a-quote, MigrationBotch's very own Andrew G.
''Pitiful': French authorities under fire for deporting just three illegal Afghan migrants despite pledge to help clear Calais' the article splutters. Under fire from whom. Definitely from a whole raft of humanitarian organisations, at least 2 deputes from his own party and numerous opposition and EU politicians [see: 1, 2, 3, 4], but you wouldn't know that from the Mail's story. Not from anyone on this side of la Manche, that is until the Mail rings up two of their pet 'commentators', people who they know will churn out the right mix of wilful ignorance and spleen; flagging up 'how spineless the French are' (you just can't trust those cheese-eating surrender monkeys, can you Andrew?) and "how effective these flights are" (Damien G)
Our old friend Peter Allen and James Slack (by name , slack by nature) then throw in a few lines about how the good old Brits removed more 'failed asylum seekers' than the French did and a few complaints about diplomatic wrangling. Oh! and the pièce de résistance, a dig about only one of the French deportees having originated from the destruction of the 'Jungle', and there you have it, a non-story story.
We are being slightly unfair to the Mail, as they do mention this: "Despite the tiny numbers involved, French charities have reacted with anger to the flight, with some 10,000 signing an online petition against it." Except they can't even get this right. The petition was launched on 15 October, following the previous flight, not this one. And if it had been launched following Tuesday night's flight, gathering 10,000 signatures in the few hours between the flight and the publication of the article would in fact have been an incredible response.
* Except he appeared to questioning the numbers of migrants being removed on the flights, not, as the Mail appears to suggest in the previous sentence, questioning the monetary costs.