In case you missed it (which hopefully any discerning reader of The Canary has) the Daily Mail editorial today was devoted to the outrage surrounding the Lord Dubs amendment to the Immigration Bill.
As we reported on Tuesday, MP’s ruled out taking 3,000 refugee children from Europe and relocating them in the UK. The public furore over this decision was tangible, and faced widespread condemnation. This notable outpouring of anger is now apparently felt by the editors at the Daily Mail.
How gracious of them. Their editorial today ran like a “Save the Children” press release that got out on the wrong side of the bed. “The Mail’s always been robust on migration. But we MUST give these lost children sanctuary” weeped the headline – but the content was not quite so generous.
While being littered with adjectives like “frightened” “harrowing” and “slaughtered” the main thrust was that we should only accept a set number, and only as a one-off. “Nobody appreciates better than the Mail why so many decent people in this country believe we simply cannot take more immigrants, no matter how young or vulnerable.” I’m sure its non-domiciled owner Lord Rothermere is greatly concerned about “overcrowding” in the UK.
However, it concluded that “For the moment, frightened children are suffering in the squalid camps of France. And they need what help we can give.” How touching.
Except it’s not when you juxtapose it with countless other headlines they’ve run this year.
Take this one from January.
Here, the Daily Mail manages to take one incident of a refugee allegedly posing as a child and utilise it to smear all of them. Referencing Sweden: “In the 12 months to the end of last year, the total of so-called minors had reached 33,250”. Implying that any one of these children could actually be a marauding migrant murderer the article concludes that there is no way of proving if these refugees are children. Surely the onus should be on others proving that they are not?
Also from January:
Using its failsafe “teen” description (generally reserved for commenting on the breasts of 16-year old girls) and then “group of men”, the actual article doesn’t say how old the protagonists were aside from citing that a 16-year old had been accused of starting it. It also makes no attempt to point the reader towards why the “riot” had begun apart from alluding to an argument over sweets. Perhaps the Daily Mail should consider the overcrowding at these centres. Or possibly children suffering from PTSD after fleeing a war zone.
Next is an article from just last week which manages to bash refugees, people on benefits and the disabled all in one go:
Or this from a fortnight ago warning us that refugees are stealing native children’s school places:
But perhaps the most hypocritical example of the Daily Mail‘s flip-flopping on the subject of refugees can be found in January:
In this column on the subject of the Lord Dub’s amendment to the immigration bill the Prime Minister’s stance on not taking 3,000 children is broadly supported. It refers to Justine Greening getting “it so wrong” when she indicated the UK was considering the proposals. It cited that by accepting children “instead of helping to solve the humanitarian crisis, it has led to even more people trying to flood into Europe.” It also talks of a “backlash” in other countries “after letting in large numbers of migrants.”
Overall it indicates agreement with David Cameron that the UK should only relocate unaccompanied children direct from conflict zones. So why today’s change of heart?
The Daily Mail does not care for 3,000 abandoned refugee children. To say its response to the public outrage over Lord Dub’s failed amendment is a wholly cynical example of manipulating its readers would be an understatement. Reading closely between the lines of its editorial would appear to indicate its overall opinion has not faltered. But the sympathy-drenched headline leads the reader to believe otherwise.
For an overtly right-wing newspaper to suddenly move away from all the fear-mongering articles awash with xenophobic propaganda it usually spews out is not a coincidence.
The Daily Mail is a supporter of Brexit. This apparent change of heart has probably got more to do with point-scoring against an embattled Prime Minister attempting to keep the UK in Europe than it has the plight of these children. If the paper’s track record is anything to go by it will be back to implying they’re vermin by next week.
The Canary has written about the Mail’s putrid stance on refugees before. It’s highly debatable whether anything has changed.
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Image via Beshr Abdulhadi/Flickr