20 November 2011

Desmond and his tottering soap-box hit the air-waves..

Tonight, Radio 5 Live, as part of its regular phone-in programme, went down the immigration path - again. (Recording of the programme - 'Race or Class?')

This time, however, free rein was given to some extremely overtly racist callers. As I sat with my lower jaw sinking ever closer to the floor, the 'P' word was spoken and phrases reminiscent of the 50s and 60s were used. I realised I was listening to an audio version of Richard Desmond's Express, Dacre's Mail and Murdoch's Sun! Same words, same phrases.

If ever proof of this were needed, today's Sunday's Express blares its consistent message from every newsstand.

The article itself, under the byline of James Murray, is a fine example of its kind. If you must, you can read the article here.

The piece has quotations from several unnamed 'whistleblowers' and 'insiders'.

Protecting sources is understandable, but this whole piece, dubbed by Mr Murray 'a Sunday Express investigation', suffers from a complete lack of firm evidence or credibility and is as much an investigation as my foot!

I mean, for goodness' sake - there's no sign of the obligatory quotation from the experts from Migration Watch!


"One of the more astonishing claims came from a man who said it was his human right to have his penis enlarged to boost his sexual confidence."
Does this not smack of Theresa May's story which caused her such problems at the recent Conservative Party Conference, when she assured us she was 'not making it up' that a man was allowed to stay in Britain because he had a cat?

Theresa May
The article continues:
"Foreign women with dubious stories about why they should remain in Britain also regularly sought IVF treatment on the National Health Service."
Well, which is it? Were their stories 'dubious' or did they come specifically for IVF treatment? 
" One whistleblower said: “The bosses would not investigate because it would have cost too much.

“One of the women in the office dealing with all these IVF cases for foreign women was having IVF treatment herself but she was having to pay for it privately because she couldn’t get it on the NHS."

" “Some days she was in tears because the applicants didn’t seem to have any trouble getting it on the NHS, though we had serious doubts about their stories. It was migration for medical reasons.” Our explosive revelations come as Home Secretary Theresa May battles to survive the border controls crisis and further highlights the chaos that is allowing so many bogus asylum seekers to stay in Britain."
The second to last sentence then has the only vaguely attributable quotation in the whole sorry piece:
"A Home Office spokesman said it was “not true” that people sought IVF and penis enlargements on the NHS."
 Mr. Dacre appears to have ordered his minion, Murray, to bash May and the Tories for their policy of cuts to the Border Agency in a sort of two-for-one deal with a dig at disingenuous foreigners. The only thing missing, and it would have been difficult feat to accomplish even for the devious Express, is a link to health fears, Princess Diana, house prices and pensions!

The Express is renowned for its very predictable rolling style of daily front page headlines. Never knowingly deviating from a clutch of overworked gripes to push at their readers.

Headlines to incite hatred, make integration, tolerance almost impossible?

Lapped up by readers who only have this one-sided, often erroneous information as a diet?

Lurid fear-inducing headlines, usually with very little trustworthy scientific evidence in the accompanying articles, miracle cures which turn out to be plain good common sense or sometimes give false hope?

Lapped up by readers seeking reassurance?

Many of us are watching the proceedings at the Leveson Inquiry with a great deal of interest and are hoping that the practice of delivering persistent misinformation and misinformation to readers is aired and discussed leading to rapid eradication of these deliberate ploys to boost readership.

The man who spoke so confidently and intolerantly on the BBC Radio 5 Live programme last night should perhaps have been asked which newspaper he reads! Penny to a pound it was one of the triumvirate of tabloids most guilty of pandering to the fears and prejudices of their readers......