A non-partisan journal of the left.

Polish Community Hits Back At Daily Mail

Fri 21st Mar 2008

An official complaint has been lodged with the Press Complaints Commission accusing the Daily Mail of defamation towards Polish immigrants.

Revealed earlier in the week by the national press, the objection from the Federation of Poles in Great Britain (FPGB) is directed at the paper’s publishing of articles that have allegedly promoted intolerance towards Polish immigrants.

The FPGB also claim that the newspaper has followed an agenda of discrimination against the migrants through the use of around 50 provocative headlines.

These include:

‘Polish Immigrants Take £1b Out Of The UK Economy’

‘Polish Borat Claims Groping Women Is Normal In Eastern Europe’

‘Britain Is Country Of Choice For Many ‘Feckless’ Poles’

In response to the allegations The Daily Mail has claimed that they "have often and continuously drawn attention to the benefits Britain has and does derive from the skills that immigrants bring us."

However, an analysis undertaken by a rival newspaper has revealed that out of 80 Polish immigrant-orientated stories, less than 5 were of the positive nature.

The Daily Mail went on to state:

"We do reserve the right to criticise bogus asylum claims, benefit cheats, tax dodgers and militant fanatics, no matter where they were born. The Mail is entitled to run stories about immigration, the more so as the last 10 years have witnessed immigration on a scale at a vastly increased rate than at any time in this country's history since and including the Norman invasion of the 11th century."

To synchronise the immigration of Polish workers with the violent and bloody invasion of the UK by the Normans seems a little exaggerated. The Norman invasion was about war. And unless your name is connected to this week’s lamentable 5 year anniversary, it is not something that is taken lightly. The Daily Mail also claims that they have a right to criticise ‘tax-dodgers’. So that ought to include, presumably, the elusive evaders of the UK tax system who belong to the mega-rich social class, the high-flyers who bypass tax laws by preferring to use off-shore bank accounts. These tax-dodgers do not, however, feature prominently on the pages of the mail.

The not-so-subtle hyperbole and double standards is an illustration of the newspaper's infamous and somewhat loathsome history of journalism. Since the paper's inception in 1896 it has courted controversy. From the publishing of the notorious Zinoviev letter that falsely claimed British Communists were planning to violently overthrow the government, to the abhorrent support of Adolf Hitler and fascism, it is clear that The Daily Mail and contentious debate could hardly be regarded as being mutually exclusive.
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