Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Don't Trust Tabloid Translations...

...Or For Them To Tell You The Whole Truth.

This is getting so boring that we are finding it both hard to keep up and hard to be bothered by the rampant xenophobia displayed daily in the Express. Yes, we know it has always been a vile racist rag but since the turn of the year and the beginning of the phoney election race, they have excelled even their own previously gutter-level lows. The also have even exceeded the Mail's attempts to become an election stalking horse for the BNP, whilst of course, in a show of hypocrisy and cant, declaring how vile the BNP really are. Honest.

The latest piece of racist stupidity also pushes the anti-women, anti-abortion, anti-EU and health tourism buttons, whilst sticking the boot into all things Polish. The article is headed by the usual tabloid style fabrication that passes for a headline - 'Now Poles Get Free Abortions On NHS', as though this were some new policy requirement. Of course, Poles or anyone else not legally resident in the EU cannot get free treatment except in special, often emergency, situations, something that has been the case for decades under various international agreements since the UK joined the EU.

Yet that doesn't stop that Andrew Green idiot from MigrationBotch chipping in his two-peneth about the NHS being "in danger of becoming an “international health service” and called for NHS clinics to make sure that those who turn up for free treatment are entitled to it." What planet does he live on? Surely someone who constantly touts himself as an 'expert' on immigration (sic) issues knows full well the rules and regulations that operate within the NHS to restrict treatment to those officially deemed legally entitled to it? But of course that doesn't suit his own particular brand of intolerance.

And what is this all about? It turns out that the paper's ire was stimulated by the appearance in Poland of a rather clever spoof of a Mastercard ad campaign by Polish feminist group SROM. Their poster campaign highlights the lack of abortion rights in Poland and the dangers of underground abortions. The paper helpfully translates the bits of the poster that suit their biased interpretation (and hence their story): "Air ticket to England in the promotion: 300 zł, accommodation: 240 zł, abortion clinics in public: 0 zł, relief after surgery in good condition - is priceless."

What they fail to translate is the text at the bottom of the poster: "For everything else you will pay less than (for) an underground abortion in Poland."*

Needless to say the Mail also has a version of this non-story and they add their own little extra bit of hypocrisy by talking about "a poster campaign which features a semi-naked woman", a paper that loves to fill its on-line content with as much titillating naked flesh as possible without actually showing any 'naughty bits'. They also wheel out Ann Widdecombe and her well-known opinions on abortion (as opposed to a straight forward anti-abortion group like LIFE in the Express) and a new right-wing fruit-loop group Patients Concern ("our core principle is complete consumer independence")**

* They also fail to mention that srom is Polish for vulva (surely not in a family paper!).
** Obviously the Taxpayers' Alliance rent-a-quote must have had their mobile switched of when the Express and the Mail rang as we were happily deprived of suffering any more of their reactionary drivel.

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