There's the ludicrous cat story, a Melanie Phillips article about the BNP and another story about numbers of immigrants. And then there's this rather oddly worded headline:
'The schools told'. What?
This story, like the cat one, has been stolen from yesterday's Sunday Telegraph. The impression given by the Mail's headline is that this is widespread. This is a usual tactic - such as when seven policewomen in Bristol were given headscarves for when they enter mosques and the media made it sound as if everyone was getting one. Or when the Express said all Muslims believe one thing last week.
In fact, it is only two councils (Waltham Forest & Newham) in east London who say schools should close for Diwali, Eid-Ul-Fitr and Guru Nanak, but are now launching a review of the policy after complaints from some headteachers and others.
So it is a story which fits in with the 'minorities dictating our lives' agenda of the Mail and other tabloids.
But on the Mail website homepage, the headline is this:
Which makes it clear it's them Muslims causing the trouble again. The councils instruct schools to shut for three significant holy days: one Muslim, one Sikh and one Hindu.
So why 'Schools ordered to close for Muslims holy days'? It's only one Muslim holy day (not days), as it is equally one Sikh holy day and one Hindu holy day.
The Express have done the same thing with their headline: Ramadan? No school today. A headline which isn't even accurate as Eid-Ul-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan. Nonetheless, the story begins:
Parents and headteachers are furious after schools were given permission to shut for Ramadan and other non-Christian holidays in the name of multiculturalism.
Again, the focus is on the Muslims. Despite the fact 'shut for Ramadan' doesn't really come into it.
But there is an interesting point raised in an Evening Standard article by Felix Allen, which states:
All state schools under Waltham Forest's control have been closed for Eid-Ul-Fitr, Diwali and Guru Nanak's birthday - as well as Christmas and Easter - since the Eighties.
One of these councils has been doing it for twenty years? Certainly this article from 1995 makes clear it was happening in Waltham at least fourteen years ago.
Why do the articles therefore imply it is something new? And why do they focus on Islam more than the other religions?