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Good For Gary Lineker, Taking On The Daily Mail

The Daily Mail seems to be doing it's usual bit towards xenophobia and racial hatred in the UK.

As has been reported - the printed Daily Mail yesterday (2nd November) had a front page headed by nine pictures of foreign lorry drivers entering the UK - pictures of them using their phones whilst driving. This after a Polish truck driver was jailed for killing a family in Berkshire whilst using a mobile phone.

Using mobile phones whilst driving is wrong and dangerous but the way the story is presented suggests that it is mainly a problem with foreign drivers - in reality, the vast majority of offenders in the UK will not be foreigners.

The pretext for the story is the Mail calling for tougher laws - before admitting that tougher laws are in fact on the way - so there was no real purpose behind the story besides highlight foreign people doing something wrong; something the paper likes to do.

Anyway - as the report on the Polish driver demonstrates there are already strong laws to deal with people who cause serious accidents like this - he has been jailed for ten years for causing death by dangerous driving.

Gary Lineker is leading the criticism of the Mail's reporting on this - and good for him!

On page 4 of the same edition theres a story about Baroness Scotland involved in a bid to spend lots of money on her grace and favour home. Seems a story with some public interest attached but then the Mail thoughtfully provides a photo that happens to demonstrate that Baroness Scotland is a black women (in case the shocked readers didn't realise).

Page 5 has a story about a migrant trying to paddle to the UK - no photo - perhaps they were confident readers would assume his 'non-whiteness'.

On page 9 there is a negative story about actress Maghan Markle who may be having a relationship with Prince Harry. The paper points out in the small print that Ms Markle's mother is African American - and to make sure the good readers take that on board the Mail provides a photograph of mum on their website version of the story - nothing speaks louder than a picture when it comes to establishing someone's 'non-whiteness'.

On page 18 there is a story about Somali's jailed for serious sexual offences against young girls women - a serious matter of course but it certainly adds to the number of negative stories about foreigners and non-white people in that one addition.

Page 23 has a story about a women who leaves her husband for another man - a sad story about a couple breaking up - that you might think occurs too often to make the newspapers - until we read that she has gone off with an Afghan man - photo provided of both parties.

Today's Daily Mail (3rd November) is not much better - they cover the story of the England football team been banned by FIFA from wearing poppies during a game on Armistice Day - a silly ruling by FIFA. But the Daily Mail takes care to provide a picture of the FIFA boss behind the decision - to make sure readers know she is a black women - Fatma Samba from Senegal. Would a white official have rated a photo in this way?

Pages 10 and 11 of today's Mail has a double page spread about districts in the UK separated into 'ghettos' - along with a picture of course - this time of someone, apparently Muslim, wearing a full face covering selling ice creams.

Page 17 of today's Mail has a story about health tourism with a picture of a black mother and her baby quins - just in case the readers thought the story might also be about white people.

They also re-visit both the Baroness Scotland story and the one where the wife apparently started a relationship with an Afghan man - the latter told as if that it is a given that this is somehow wrong in itself.

They round off with pictures on page 23 of immigrants fighting and rioting in Paris.

Many of these stories has some merit, some public interest, but if the Daily Mail is the only source of information about the outside world for anybody they are likely to be left with the impression that foreigners and 'non-white' people are very bad and very busy doing bad things. They would have to be busy folks to do this much bad - since foreigners and ethnic minorities are just that - the minority of people in the UK.

It occurs to me that the subject of a negative story in the Mail is most likely to justify a photograph if they are foreign and; or non-white and a women. If they can achieve all three in a negative story - they must consider it a victory.

The Mail and papers like it wouldn't use these stories if they did not help sell newspapers - there is an appetite for stories that stoke antagonism towards foreign people and ethnic minorities but encouraging racism and prejudice to make a living is nothing to be proud of.

On the other hand I hope Gary Lineker is proud about what he is doing and saying - he has a right to be!

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