Monday, 31 August 2009

Take aspirin! Don't take aspirin!

On previous occasions, the Mail has revealed how a daily aspirin could lower the risk of breast cancer, keep away heart attacks for the middle aged, slash the risk of heart attacks if taken at night, keep breast cancer at bay, cut the risk of pre-eclampsia, lower the threat of bowel cancer, stave off cancer and help victims survive, save thousands of loves, be a breakthrough on lung cancer, and suggested it may be a 'miracle cure'.

Less than two weeks after the breast cancer story from October 2008, it started to back track and said aspirin may do more harm than good.

Then in April 2009 it decided aspirin may cause brain bleeding. Two weeks after that story, it was back to cutting the risk of cancer in over 40s.

In May it repeated it may do more harm than good. And in August, it has now put it on the front page and repeated again that it could (but only could) be bad for you.

In sum - don't rely on the Mail for guidance on medical (or any other) issues.

And that goes the Express as well, who have done the aspirin flip-flop before. And who are reprinting 'miracle cure' press releases on their front page. Again.

Bank holiday racism from the Mail

The heart always sinks when you read a Daily Mail headline such as One out of every five killers is an immigrant, partly because you know it isn't true and partly because you know Mail readers won't realise it isn't true.

However, it's good that Five Chinese Crackers is on the case to reveal how thoroughly dishonest the Mail is being in the way it presents the (partial) stats.

As 5CC hints, this will no doubt turn up on the BNP site very soon.

While printing such disgraceful scaremongering bullshit, it ignores the story that made the Guardian's front page about the treatment of children in immigration detention (which even made the Express).

So a true story about children with post-traumatic stress being locked up unnecessarily or a deliberately misleading and false bit of anti-immigrant hatred.

The Mail has made its choice.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Mail tries to link Cherie Blair to Virginia Tech massacre

The Daily Mail is attacking two of its favourite hate figures - Cherie Blair and video games - in an entirely pathetic story with what appears to have no news value whatsoever.

Cherie Blair and her son join firm linked to violent computer game explains that she and son Nicky have become directors of a company called Magnitude Gaming.

The actual link between the firm and the 'violent computer game' Counter Strike seems very tenuous at best. The Mail explains that the company:

manage[s] semi-professional teams in the growing ‘e-sport’ world...The company has run a team playing the Counter-Strike combat game.

So it's not as if they designed or published the game, but simply run a team playing it (along with many other games, no doubt). Or did. The statement from company secretary Gabriel Moraes says:

‘Magnitude has never been involved with games containing any kind of street violence. We had one game involving soldiers in military combat but it had a rating of 18-plus and was a team game. We stopped involvement with that game some months ago.’

As the Blairs only became directors in February, it's likely there was only a few months overlap.

And then the two journalists who wrote the story, Brendan Carlin and Simon McGee, get to their main point:

There have been claims that perpetrators of massacres in the US and Germany have been fans of the game.

Ah. 'Claims'. How very definitive.

The 'claims' appear to have been made by serial trouble-maker Jack Thompson, who has made a living out of blaming video games for real-life violence. He linked the Virginia Tech shootings by Cho Seung-Hui to the game but failed to understand that:

Thompson has also linked the game to another shooting at Northern Illinois University, where the perpetrator had played the game, but was also a former psychiatric patient who had stopped taking anti-depressant medication.

But back to Cherie and they try to make her sound like a hypocrite because she:

chaired a major inquiry into the growth of knife and gun crime on Britain’s streets which acknowledged the ‘dire consequences on some young people’ of the video games and films they watched.

But that is a very selective bit of cut-and-pasting. Here's the section in full in which that 'dire consequences' quote actually appears:

Finally, the broader cultural context in which young people live – the music they listen to, the films they watch, the video games and sports they play – are important in articulating values, defining what is ‘cool’ and fashionable and legitimising social norms.

Nevertheless, the impact that these cultural factors have on encouraging violence, desensitizing empathy and legitimising anti-social behaviour is contested.

Among the questions communities feel the need to address is why these factors impact with such dire consequences on some young people while others from the same background and subject to these same cultural influences have different aspirations and choose a lifestyle that does not reinforce their social exclusion.

That is the only section of the whole 121-page report which mentions video games - and appears on page 76. And it says any link is 'contested'. It is not a damning conclusion as the Mail tries to suggest.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Amanda Platell 'forgets' she's an immigrant

It has always been a bit of a source of wonder how Amanda Platell can be considered an expert on anything given her claim to fame is her incredibly unsuccessful work as press secretary for William Hague.

Her latest outburst is related to this week's population figures. As if trying to be an offensive and inaccurate in as little time as possible, her third sentence reads:

Sadly, though, it is not the indigenous middle-class, hard-working, tax-paying population that's exploding.

She might as well have said 'we're being over-run by chavs and foreigners on benefits' and be done with it.

She blames the benefit system, suggesting:

it's not so much a baby boom we're experiencing as a benefits boom. Middle Britain, stand ready to empty your wallets.

She asks:

how many immigrant mums have contributed anything to this country before landing us with another child to educate in our already struggling schools?

Obviously she doesn't provide an answer, because she doesn't know, but asking the question makes it sound like this must be a problem. She goes on, in typical BNP-style rhetoric to ask:

At a time when the very core of Britishness is threatened, shouldn't we be concerned about this?

What exactly is the 'very core of Britishness'? What is it being threatened by? Does anyone know what she is on about?

She also claims:

We are now the second most densely populated country in the world

despite the fact 'we' are 52nd. So that is just a blatant lie.

She goes on to display a lack of self-awareness that takes the breath away:

We're told mass immigration is crucial to keep Britain booming, that we need foreign workers.

In fact, as other figures showed this week, more than five million Brits have never worked under Labour, which suggests that far from importing workers, we need to get our own population into jobs.

At which point you just want to scream. Because, for those who don't know, Amanda Platell was born in Australia.

That would make her an immigrant. An immigrant with a job on a British newspaper. She's complaining about herself.

Listen to the Mail's new favourite politician

Today's Mail contains a lengthy interview-cum-worship-at-the-feet-of-article about the new English Democrat Party Mayor of Doncaster, Peter Davies. Being described as 'un-PC' pushes all the right buttons for the Mail - and he is father to idiot Tory MP and PC-gone-mad obsessive Philip Davies.

However, it is worth reading this hilarious transcipt from an interview he did on BBC Radio Sheffield the day after his election, or listening here (although it cuts off before the end).

And this is the man the Mail and its readers (every one of the 174 comments is currently rated positive, which suggests they all back him) wish to idolise.

At the end, after Davies has huffed off, interviewer Toby Foster says that will be one of the easiest interviews he will get.


Friday, 28 August 2009

About those population numbers

A few short observations on the coverage of the population statistics, looked at in greater length over at 5CC.

1. It was entirely predictable that the one element of the stats that was in the favour of the anti-immigration lobby - the births to migrant mothers - would be the focus of the tabloid coverage. That the Express and Mail chose to use much the same headline on their front pages shows how little they otherwise had to cheer about.

There is the old problem of who these papers consider 'migrants', as many may well have become British citizens. As the Mail admits deep in its story:

Some of these [babies], however, will be of British descent.

But is Migrant Baby Boom even accurate? Well not entirely. Yes a quarter of all births were to migrant mothers. But the percentage increase was only 0.9% from 2007 (23.2%) to 2008 (24.1%). Does an increase of less than one percent make it a 'boom'?

And is Migrant Baby Boom even news? After all, both the Express and the Mail were telling us in May how 1 in 4 births were to migrant mothers.

Oh, and then there was the Mail article in July 2007 revealing...wait for it...'One in four babies born to migrant mothers'.

And this is what the Star refers to as a 'huge immigrant baby boom'.

2. There is the same old problem with the coverage and the 'experts' used. No TaxPayer's Alliance, surprisingly, but Damien Green, Migrationwatch and Balanced Migration, who all have the same agenda.

But what about the Refugee Council? What about the IPPR? Dramatic fall in migration figures exposes the scaremongering of anti-immigration groups is not what the tabloids want to report, so the Express was the only one to quote the IPPR at all - in one sentence at the very end of their coverage.

3. The Express phone poll of the day is: Has Labour's migration policy wrecked Britain?


4. The Express editorial claims immigration 'weakens' and 'threatens' British society, and raises the spectre of 'militant Islamism', just so the readers know immigration is bad, damaging and dangerous.

Despite a fall in immigration, and the lowest net immigration for five years, they claim the government is 'deluded' for claiming immigration is under control.

The editorial ends with the highly inflammatory line:

Unless sanity prevails Britain will become grossly overpopulated and tragically unrecognisable.

It sounds like something the BNP would say, who warn of the:

extinguishing of Britain and British identity under a tsunami of immigration.

5. The Express is being more than a little dishonest in its story Exodus of Britons growing. The first line claims 400,000 left Britain - the website version even illustrated by a wholesome white family with three children. Allied with the headline the message of 'white flight' is clear. But it is also wrong.

For one thing of the 395,000 who left the UK in 2008, 237,000 were foreigners returning home, and 158,000 were British citizens. Therefore Britons are in a minority of those leaving.

Also, the population figures from two years ago showed 196,000 British citizens leaving, so the 'exodus' is less, not 'growing'. If it is an 'exodus' at all.

Believe it or not - Desmond papers are about to get worse

MediaGuardian is reporting the National Union Journalists' claim that Richard Desmond is to cut over 70 journalists from its four 'newspaper' titles, following the news that 80 more were to be made redundant last September.

Regular readers will know that Desmond is a liar and a bully and a totally inappropriate person to be running newspapers. And his rarely rise above nasty, racist, anti-immigrant, anti-Islam, Britain-isn't-Britain-any-more bullshit.

How are fewer journalists going to help get the exclusives, which the Express never get? When was the last time an Express story led the news agenda - and that doesn't include the ones where they are paying damages for weeks of inaccuracies.

As noted before, the Express is made up of a lot advertising. And lately even its editorial has been advertising. How can fewer journalists change that? Just looking at today's edition and on a rough count, 34 and a half pages (out of 88) are advertising.

That's 39%. Add to that all the pictures and already it is staggeringly lacking in journalist-written content.

And that will only get worse. Because Desmond has no concern for journalism. All he has a concern for is making money and treating minorities like crap.

Latest Express apology

The Richard Desmond rag is getting it wrong, again. But once again it seems to prove how much quicker the newspapers jump when a famous person is the one doing the complaining:

In our article “Tennis legend Martina and the Russian beauty” on 25 August, we reported that that Martina Navratilova and Julia Lemigova were believed to be engaged after being photographed on holiday in St Tropez, each wearing rings on their left hands.

There is no truth in this.

The pair are not engaged and have not exchanged rings.

We apologise to Ms Navratilova and Ms Lemigova for our error and embarrassment we may have caused.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Mail tries to whip up outrage with misleading headline

It's that same old question again - is the standard of journalism at the Mail just incredibly sloppy, or are they wilfully and maliciously giving a false impression?

Here's the headline:

And the first paragraph:

A lesbian former soldier awarded nearly £190,000 after being sexually harassed by a male sergeant said she was 'disgusted' at the compensation given to injured servicemen.

The phrasing of both has been very carefully chosen to imply the woman in question thinks she deserves her compensation and injured soldiers do not. And she's a lesbian, so the messageboard torch-and-pitchfork crew will be out in force.

But what she actually said was:

'I'm embarrassed the MoD have only given them such a low sum. To be honest, I'm disgusted in the MoD more than anything.'

So it's a 'disgust' that those injured soldiers have not got more money. Which begs the question - why is that a story at all? Unless you want to report it in a way that hints at something else...

Facebook wrecks your mental health, makes you poor

The Sun - Tabloid Lies recently revealed the latest Facebook scare stories, which showed the networking site can make you a victim of bullying, and can give you a nervous breakdown.

Now the Mail is claiming using Facebook will make you have higher insurance premiums.

One robbery, three days of front page news

The news that a jewellery store was robbed by a person wearing a burkha has got the Daily Mail, and its messageboard folk, in a terrible tizzy.

The crime in question was in fact carried about by three perpetrators (plus a getaway driver) - one wearing a burkha and two who weren't, but had their face covered in other ways. And yet the burkha is the sole focus of the story. Why would that be...?

The Mail first reported this story on Tuesday. On Wednesday it discovered that two travel agents had been robbed by someone in a burkha and so wrote about it all again. With no new details emerging, why is this story still on the Mail website homepage on Thursday - and not only that, but is still one of their larger two column trails:

Why would this article be on the front page for three days running? Because the Mail is trying its very best to make it seem that people in burkhas can not be trusted.

One of the comments reads:

You know when these burqas will get banned in this country? When hundreds of people have died from a bomb attack (i.e. when it's TOO LATE). Only then will the goverment act. Stolen jewels are not nearly enough to trigger a reaction from them. Bravo indeed, Great Britain.
- P, London UK, 26/8/2009 11:53

So there you have it - burkhas = terrorists.

The idea that robbers cover their faces while committing a crime seems to be big news to the Mail. Are they going to write inflammatory articles about balaclavas and stockings, and how they have no place in Britain? Should we also ban clown's outfits so nobody copies Bill Murray's heist in Quick Change?

Some of the comments have suggested banning the burkha, like the French President wants to do - in which case, robbers will dress in drag, and then there will have to be calls to ban other types of women's clothing too.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

No zombies 'so far' says Mail science editor

Hat-tip to Guy who emailed about a Mail story examining the ways the world would cope with a zombie invasion.

It is based on some actual scientific research and written up by Science Editor Michael Hanlon, who recently wrote Why ARE so many planes falling out of the sky? and failed to provide much evidence that 'so many' are.

In Forget swine flu - could we cope with a plague of the Undead? Scientists ponder the threat of a zombie attack may be useful Hanlon says:

The results are not pretty - indeed, the report shows that only rapid use of overwhelming military force would save humanity from extinction - but the authors point out that, even though zombies may be imaginary, the findings may be pertinent to the spread of some devastating diseases that are all too real.

But surely researching actual 'devastating diseases' and the way they have actually spread would be more useful than researching a made up disease. Why not look at the real spread of swine or avian flu rather than basing claims on complete hypotheticals which will never, ever happen? Or will it? Hanlon says:

one soon forgets that zombies, so far, exist only in the imagination.

'So far'? How much scientific knowledge do you need to be the Mail's science editor?

He goes on to suggest that a growing population would be ripe for an attack by a deadly disease, thus fitting in a bit of anti-immigration rhetoric because this is the Mail (Hanlon had written about the 'threat' of rising population only a month ago). And it clearly worked, because one of the many dismal comments reads:

they are already here and claim benefits
- mike, durham, 26/8/2009 9:16

Mike's comment reveals a mindset where immigrants are soulless, violent creatures intent on feeding off, and destroying, the British people. Among Mail readers, Mike isn't alone. Six of the 14 comments left so far think it would be equally hilarious to call the Labour (sorry, 'Liebour') government 'zombies':

The Liebour party conference is starting soon, that will prove Zombies do exist. Liebour voters are Zombies as well.
- Martin, Ashford, 25/8/2009 23:31 1:53

We already have a plague of the undead, they're called the Labour Government!!!!
- Arthur Gruntfuttock, Moscow, 26/8/2009

Yeah..we know..they are called Liebour!
- Beverley, Chichester, 26/8/2009 7:03

I thought they were already running the Government.
- Richard, York, 26/8/2009 8:19

Gordon Brown's government?
- Alan Lothian, Newbury, Berkshire, 26/8/2009 8:51

We already have them here in the UK........650 currently reside in the Houses of Parliament. Their leader is to be found relentlessly feasting on the nations wealth in No10 Downing street.
- Ordinary Bloke., Margate, Kent., 26/8/2009

Was it really necessary for the same not-funny-the-first-time joke so be let through so many times by the mods? Well it's not as if they haven't done it before.

As Guy said in his email:

the hilarity, the sheer naked insight of Daily Mail comment making types is enough to fill you with wonder and mirth. Their masterful command of the English language combines with their rapier sharp wit to produce an effect truly dazzling.

Couldn't agree more.

Mail readers who want to be outwardly racist

Apparently, the Mail messageboard people, that breed who think France is in the UK, can't see anything wrong with the word 'Paki':

Paki is no worse than Brit.
- Joe O'Neill, Pretoria,South Africa, 26/8/2009 12:52

Where I live I am called a "Brit", short for British. Am I screaming "Racism?" No I am not. Stop making trouble where there is none.
- james, dubai, uae, 26/8/2009 12:51

Pakis, Brits, Scots, what's the difference?
- Chris, Yorkshire, 26/8/2009 12:56

All positively rated of course.

Really, really, disturbing.

They'll be wanting to call black people 'golliwogs' next. Oh, wait...

Tuesday, 25 August 2009


Another plug for Jamie Sport who has two very funny posts over at the Daily Quail - one about shagging fruit and one about comments on a Littlejohn column.

'I didn't quite understand the sheep story but I'm sure it was very clever' is a brilliant line.

Star makes up story just so it can put Jordan on the front page. Again.

Loathe as I am to fan the flames of the tedious Katie Price and Peter Andre saga, today's Daily Star front page is another of their classic bits of fiction.

Today they claimed Jordan was pregnant. She says she isn't. The story has already been removed from their website - that's how crap it was - but they had a 'friend' of Jordan saying she had taken three tests and was definitely pregnant.

Eventhough the Star has deleted it, you can read the details - for now - at the Telegraph. The Telegraph. What the hell are they doing reporting sleb tat like this?

It was fairly easy to see that the story was not true from one of the Star's bits of evidence. They used this pic and said that Jordan's new lover was stroking her tummy:

Now the people who produce the Star may not be the most intelligent people around, but if they think that shows someone stroking a tummy, they are dumber than we suspected.

Monday, 24 August 2009

France now in UK, say Mail messageboard geniuses

It has often been said that the people who leave comments on the Daily Mail website don't read past the headline and first few lines before giving us all the benefit of their ignorant views. Usually the truth is buried towards the end of the article, when they have given up reading and started bashing out their bilious responses.

Vietnamese illegal immigrants hidden among speciality food on truck bound for UK is an accurate headline and the first sentence explains the rest:

A lorry carrying supplies to a Vietnamese restaurant in Birmingham had 13 illegal migrants on board when it was stopped in France.

Good. So the border police have stopped some illegal immigrants getting to the UK. Surely cause for the messageboard people to cheer? Well, no, because some of them haven't even read that first line properly:

Send them back this is happening every day and this government cannot handle it.
- D.Platten, Hull, 24/8/2009 14:55

I presume then that, within 2 or 3 weeks, the government will be giving them all council houses, 4-500 pounds per week, a free car and of course permanent residence.
- Mark Rees, San Francisco (Ex Pat), 24/8/2009 14:08

Check up in 6 months to see how many of them area still here.
- tony, sheffield, 24/8/2009 13:59

Why are they still in this country? They should have been shipped straight back too the safe country they had left, probably France
- s'me again Shane, Beverley East Yorkshire, 24/8/2009 13:45

Let me know if these people are deported in the next ten years.
- Dab, Cambs England, 24/8/2009 13:16

No doubt they will be allowed to stay , given a house and every benefit going.
- Jax, England., 24/8/2009 12:42

So, your starter for ten: which bit of 'stopped in France' do these idiots not understand?

Notice in particular the second comment by Mark Rees, who comes out with Carole Malone's 'free car' bullshit (an urban myth is born...), and claims they receive '4-500 pounds per week', rather than £35.

Needless to say these comments are all voted positive, but surely it brings into question once again how the Mail moderators are letting through such stupid comments. They have also published a few pointing out their error, but their policy on what they allow (comments that tow the line, even when they're completely factually wrong) and what they don't (comments pointing out errors and lies) seems the wrong way round entirely.

Sorry we called you a hanger-on

From yesterday's People, an apology to David Gest:

On July 5, 2009 we reported that David Gest had been banned from attending Michael Jackson's memorial service by Michael's mother as a "hanger-on" who had not spoken to her son for 10 years. Our article was incorrect.

In fact Mr Gest had been friends with Michael Jackson for over 40 years, the two had remained close and he had been personally invited to the memorial service by Mrs Jackson.

We apologise to Mr Gest for our error and any distress or embarrassment it may have caused.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Shameless Mail stirs up anti-Muslim hatred

An utterly disgraceful piece of anti-Muslim propaganda appears in today's Daily Mail.

An overdraft? That'll be £200 at Lloyds TSB (but only £15 if you're a Muslim) is designed solely to 'prove' that them Muslims are being treated better than you. In your country. By a company you partly own.

The messageboard idiots have reacted in an entirely predictable way, many threatening, Private Eye-style, to close their accounts because of this.

There is one problem with all their complaints, which the Mail admits half way through the story:

The Islamic account is available to all customers at Lloyds TSB.

Oh. As usual the spokesman from Lloyds TSB is relegated to near the end of the article. They say:

'All of our Islamic accounts comply with Islamic law and are available to anyone regardless of background or faith.

'These accounts are structured differently to our traditional accounts and are designed to help prevent a customer slipping into the red. A comparison with the overdraft charging structure on other accounts is meaningless.'

Available to anyone, you say? That's weird, because the way the Mail presented the story it was as if them Muslims were getting a special deal that wasn't available to anyone else.

And the spokesman is also correct about charge comparisons being meaningless. The Islamic accounts do not receive interest payments (in accordance with Shariah law) so surely it is only fair that the money saved from that is passed on in other ways? They also do not have an overdraft facility.

But there is another problem with the Mail story, probably the crucial one. The Islamic account can not have a planned overdraft facility, because it is not in line with Shariah Law. If they go overdrawn, it is called an unplanned overdraft, and the bank says:

we will not usually agree to provide an Unplanned Overdraft either.

But if they do, there is no difference: the unplanned overdraft fee for all Lloyds TSB accounts is £15 per month.

In any case, the Mail has deliberately whacked up the overdraft figures to £200 which only applies if someone goes over £100 overdrawn, at which point they will be charged £20 per day for maximum of ten days. But there is a sliding scale of fees, depending on how overdrawn the account is and for how long. They have just picked the biggest number to make it sound a lot worse than it actually is.

So the Islamic accounts don't pay interest and don't often provide an overdraft (the business account appears to specifically rule out any overdraft facility), two things which most other account holders would expect, if not demand. And yet somehow, them Muslims are being portrayed as getting something 'special'.

Which also happens to be available to everyone.

Who would have thought the Mail would take two things which can't really be compared and compre them , in order to make it look like Britain isn't Britain any more?

Mail and Express stories turn up as BNP press releases

It is a point that has been made on this blog many times before, but the BNP has done its usual cut-and-paste job on stories that have caught their racist eye in the last few days.

The first was the Express/Star story on the Islamic website forum discussing the war in Afghanistan which became the BNP's 'Islamist Muslims in Britain Celebrate British Deaths on Internet'.

And then yesterday's pisspoor Mail investigation into foreign workers was twisted again by the party and turned into 'More Immigrant Jobseekers than Indigenous Brits, New Figures Reveal', which isn't what the already dodgy figures revealed at all.

The Mail and Express - providing fodder for the BNP.

Friday, 21 August 2009

How Littlejohn works

Richard Littlejohn's latest column includes a 'you couldn't make it up' about a paedophile on Viagra; a story about 'stupid' policemen - in which brings up transsexuals, again; a pop at global warming and carbon credits; an attack on Mark Oaten, so he can talk about homosexual acts; a use of 'Call Me Dave' (laugh? I nearly did) and finally he insults a government minister over the Dannatt affair. Brilliant.

But why does he get paid so much for writing stuff which Mail readers have already read?

The paedophile on Viagra, carbon credits, stupid policemen and Call Me Dave stories appeared in the Mail the day before Littlejohn's column. The Mark Oaten story the day before that. The Dannatt story has been running for the past few days, most recently updated today.

So he doesn't do anything for his columns except read - and then re-heat - Mail stories from a day or two before. And, of course, he adds in a few of his special 'facts', 'hilarious' catchphrases and casual racism.

And that is, apparently, worth over £800,000 a year.

You really couldn't make...oh, you know the rest.

New York, Madrid, London, the burkini

Following the news that a French swimming pool had banned a woman wearing a 'burkini', Telegraph blogger James Delingpole wrote a column on his website, on his Telegraph page, and in the Express in opposition to the item of swimwear.

The level of rhetoric is quite extraordinary. He considers it as part of an:

aggressive prodding from an alien culture which seeks to destroy ours. Make no mistake, though, that’s exactly what the burkini represents.

And he goes on to compare the burkini to:

9/11, of home-grown suicide bombers on London buses, of the flower of British youth being blown up in Basra and Helmand.

He says Islamists are fighting a war on two fronts - one by 'poison or the sword' and the other by 'stealth' or 'honey' depending on which article you read.

So now you know - a head-to-toe swimming costume is as dangerous and important as 9/11 in the 'battle against the west'.

Rather than just being a swimming costume.

He refers to it as

spreading like a rash across Muslim communities

as if it is like a disease.

Left out of the Express version is this statement:

Why should we care if women want to dress up in burkinis? Well we shouldn’t. It’s a free country.

So eventhough it's part of a Islamist war against the West, we shouldn't care if people want to wear it? Hmmm.

He also says it represents an:

insidious community relations

although from a man who lists 'war' among 'his likes' that may sound a little strange.

It's hard to believe that burkinis are so widely used that they should be taken as seriously as Delingpole seems to do. But any anti-Islam rhetoric is lapped up by the Express and so we all get the 'benefit' of his views.

And as he claims on his Twitter page, he's

lovely and right about everything

And modest too.

Another positive story about migrants ignored

'Children of International Migrants in Europe' is a new study by researchers at Lancaster University. The results?

Watching soaps, reading tabloids and turned off by politics – the children of International Migrants in Britain show a high degree of cultural assimilation compared to their European Neighbours


Powerful evidence of cultural assimilation. Young Pakistanis and Indians in Britain preferred TV shows like EastEnders and Coronation Street. Most read the Sun and the Mirror.

There was no evidence of political radicalism. Rather, there was a general indifference to politics amongst all groups.

You may have missed hearing about this study because, it appears, the Mail is only the newspaper that bothered to mention it. And eventhough it did bother, it didn't assign a proper journalist to cover the story (Daily Mail Reporter takes the byline). And then the article is peppered with the word 'claim' so it appears that the Mail doesn't quite trust the results.

The last time the Mail reported on a Migrationwatch poll, there was no such doubt raised - it was just all accepted as true.

It wasn't covered highly on the Mail website and despite being up for over a day, there are no comments on the story.

Mailwatch exposes not-at-all-special Mail investigation

Over at Mailwatch, Jamie Sport has done another excellent article ripping apart a dreadful 'special investigation' by Sue Reid - their go-to reporter for in-depth (ahem) immigration articles.

The latest is firmly in the 'jobs scare' category, trying to pretend that there is a big problem with migrants taking jobs from British workers. Except the two sets of numbers she is using can't possibly compared in a sensible way, as Jamie proves.

And even in the way she has presented the figures, they show the situation isn't half as bad as the Mail wants it to be. They have put the figures in a little table, showing each area of the country - but of the 33 towns they give figures for, only 8 of them show more migrant workers than British ones.

Three of those eight are in London, but in the text Reid admits the figures for London as a whole are in the Brits' favour.

But that is all only relevant if you accept the pointless statistical analysis that the article indulges in.

But it shouldn't be accepted. Because it is, clearly, bollocks.

It's worth adding that on two occasions Reid does admit something that the Mail quite possibly has never admitted before:

While a NINO can be used to access social benefits, most newcomers from abroad are not eligible for these payouts and use the number only to seek work.


A claimant is a person on job-seekers' allowance who is actively trying to find employment. Newly arrived foreigners cannot get this payout.

Hmm. I wonder how often they will repeat these statements? Hopefully more often than they have so far.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Express turns comments from forum into 'story'

On 19 August, the Express and Star both carried a story about some comments posted on the forum of the Islamic Awakening website about the war in Afghanistan.

The Express' Sick fanatics cheer body bags begins:

British Muslim fanatics sparked fresh fury last night by praising Taliban “heroes” for sending our troops back from Afghanistan in body bags.

Of course, any time the word 'fury' turns up in a story, it immediately means they've phoned up some of their favourite quote whores and got some suitable 'outraged' quotes (see TaxPayers Alliance, Campaign for Political Correctness, Philip Davies MP).

There are many problems with this story, and the way it has been presented.

Let's be blunt - running stories based on a few comments from a forum is pathetic. If you look hard enough you could find someone saying anything you want on a forum somewhere. It really doesn't mean anything.

The Express then says:

Last night there were calls by senior politicians for the Home Office to crack down on the hate-filled rants that will distress even further the relatives of troops who gave their lives fighting the Taliban.

This is a ridiculous statement. If these 'hate-filled rants' are so distressing, why are the Express and Star going to the trouble of reprinting them? It's more than likely that the families of soldiers aren't reading the Islamic Awakening website (or have even heard of it).

But the Star and the Express sell 1.6m copies a day. So who is really causing the distress?

The Star goes on to blame favoured hate-figure Abu Hamza in their headline Hooky rants over 'body bags' toll. But the story offers only this:

Meanwhile sick rants have been posted on websites linked to hook-handed hate preacher Abu Hamza.

Which is not really the same thing. Indeed, the picture caption on the story admits:

Abu Hamza is said to have launched a sick rant

'Said to have'? Hardly conclusive then is it? So why bring him into the story at all?

And then there are those comments that the Express seems so bothered about. Are they really 'hate-filled rants'? Take the third and fourth ones they mention:

“Waziri” said: “By command of Allah, the invading forces will be forced to withdraw humiliated and defeated by a group of men who between them do not possess even one transport helicopter.”

“Noorah”, said: “They are really getting whooped. Don’t know how they think they can win.”

Are those really 'hate-filled rants'?

And then there is the first one they list which reads:

“Isma’eel”, said: “Man, they really are dropping like flies over there lol [laugh out loud].”

Except, that isn't all that Isma'eel said. They conveniently ignored the rest of his post:

The ppl of the UK need to wake up and start demanding for their sons and daughters to return home instead of fighting in a useless war. They've been lied to for so many years.

A sentiment that many people would agree with, and which is nothing like a 'hate-filled rant'.

Indeed, Express columnist Leo McKinstry said in his 20 August article:

Ministers in charge of the campaign have been both incompetent and deceitful. Not only have they systematically failed to provide sufficient resources for the fight but they have also lied to the public on an epic scale...

We should bring home all our services personnel immediately.

Which sounds very similar to the 'vile' message of the 'fanatic' Isma'eel.


Although McKinstry often does write hate-filled rants against Muslims and immigrants, the Express thinks those are acceptable. So why is the Express and McKinstry allowed their free speech so say what they want, but other people - namely Muslims - are not?

Recommended read

The Daily Quail has done a good job of research, highlighting the different reactions from Mail readers to people involved in litigation - when the person suing is white, they support them, when they ain't, they don't.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Two readers write...

Nick emails to point out this comment on the latest Littlejohn column, which has led to the following comment being left on the messageboard:
I am 79 years old John and I look forward to reading your articles. As for Mandelson, well done John you've said it all.

This Government is so out of touch with the real world, yes John they live in their own world.

Keep up the good work John.

Plenty are with you, you and the Daily Mail keep us all sane.

- Gregory Battell, New Eltham London, 18/8/2009 18:24

He looks forward to reading the articles so much, he doesn't know the author's name? That says plenty about the intelligence of the people who love Littlejohn.

But also - how is it comments like this get through and comments asking where Littlejohn gets his 'robberies done by Eastern Europeans' 'fact' from, don't.

More than that, how does this get a positive rating of 32?

Regular reader Kit also wrote to highlight this Mac cartoon from the 19 August Mail:
"A gipsy encampment in your village? Appalling! Would anyone like some lucky heather, clothes pegs or their fortune told?"

Because councils behave as if they are run by Gypsies, see? Except they don't because if they did, councils would provide the legal sites they are meant to. And it indulges in the same Gypsy stereotypes that Littlejohn did a few columns ago. Except they forgot the tarmacing.

PC gone mad story debunked

Jamie Sport has written an excellent column over at Mailwatch debunking the latest 'political correctness gone mad' story.

The Mail, Star and Telegraph reported that Citizen's Advice had banned the word 'blacklisting' and replaced it with 'blocklisting', to avoid giving offensive to black people.

Turns out, blacklisting hasn't been banned, blocklisting is an IT term mean something different and the whole story is an invention.

What a surprise.

But the question is - if Jamie could get the truth from Citizen's Advice, why were these papers unable, or (more likely) unwilling?

As Jamie says, it's not political correctness gone mad, it's journalism gone rubbish.

Desmond censured again

MediaGuardian reports that Richard Desmond's Express has been censured by the Advertising Standards Authority for the fourth time in a week over the advertising-as-editorial con.

It's another case where an advert for another weird 'miracle' health product happens to be alongside an 'article' about the same product.

All four 'articles' have all been churned out by the same journalist - Alison Coleman. Although it would be easy to be cynical about her role in this, it's more likely that she has to write what she is told, or she won't have a job.

Not that Desmond would ever tell his journalists what the write. Oh no.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Littlejohn ignores critical reader emails

If it's Tuesday it must be Littlejohn.

After last Friday's column, where he claimed to only report facts, a reader emailed Littlejohn asking where he got his 'fact' about most robberies being done by Eastern Europeans from. He didn't get a reply.

How strange then, that today's column is full of emails from readers who have all supported the points Littlejohn made last week, including on airport security, and on (yet again) the National Trans Police Association.

The latter are mesages from serving or retired policemen who also say how ridiculous these groups are. I wonder if Littlejohn, who made a documentary about anti-Semitism, would think the Jewish Police Association is a problem?

The sub-head on that bit of the article is 'Real cops neutered by trangender lobby', which is another unpleasant bit of prejudice. For one, why are trans cops not 'real' cops? It also completely fails to make clear why the existence of this group stops cops doing their jobs. And the use of the word 'neuter' is just juvenile.

His elf 'n'safety story of the day is about a Richmond housing association banning 'hanging baskets and window boxes'. One of the comments left was by Elizabeth in Richmond:

As a local resident, I could not remember seeing the hanging baskets story so I looked it up on the website of our local paper, from which I noted that it was published 18 months ago. If that's the most up to date health and safety story around, it looks like we haven't got much to worry about.

Really? Yes, the story is indeed from February 2008. It shows one tenant was using a communal area to put plants and other personal items and was told to remove them. Big deal. Elizabeth looks to have it spot on (and is rated negative for her efforts). It's not the first time his 'elf'n'safety' story is rather old either.

As for the rest, there are, of course, several references to homosexuality - a Littlejohn column wouldn't be complete without one. Several are in his main essay on Peter Mandelson, an essay about how the media are obsessed with covering everything said and done by, ummm, Peter Mandelson. Didn't he do the same with Michael Jackson? Not that you'd get the Mail putting non-news stories about Mandelson on its front page.


Anyway, Mandelson is repeatedly called 'Screaming Lord Mandy'. Would a straight man ever be referred to as 'Screaming'? He adds in such tell tale words as 'flaunts' and refers to a 'fairy story'.

And then we have his 'fact' of the day, from the Mandelson article. Here's the quote:

He cosies up to Colonel Gaddafi's son in Corfu and the next thing you know the Lockerbie bomber is about to walk free.

Which may be true, but are the two events related? In case news hasn't reached Florida yet, the decision about the Lockerbie bombers release is made soley by the Justice Secretary of the Socttish Parliament, Kenny MacAskill. Moreover, the Scottish government is currently run the the Scottish National Party, not Labour. Does Littlejohn really think Mandelson is influencing them?

Recommended reads

Five Chinese Crackers has a post about how a misleading headline can do all the work for a paper's agenda.

The Daily Quail reports on the Mail, which can't make up its mind about the NHS following Daniel Hannan's attack. (The same is true of Hannan, who was regarded as a hero when he attacked Gordon Brown).

Monday, 17 August 2009

Mail starts the week with groundless immigration scare story

A typical scare story about the UK being flooded with illegal immigrants in the Mail today, with the reliability of the story being given away in the headline:

Stowaway express: Border agency coach waved through every day could have brought hundreds of illegals into UK

The telling words: 'could have'.

Because that means: there's no evidence to support that claim, but it's a claim we want to scare our readers with anyway.

So following the news that one man had apparently hidden under a Border Agency coach from Calais and then run off when it arrived in the UK, that means hundreds 'could have' come through the same way.

But they haven't.

The story goes on to say:

Since last month's incident, three more illegals have been caught trying to hide on the coach in France.

And when it was later parked in a 'secure' spot within Channel Tunnel land to deter stowaways, two more illegals were arrested breaking into the area to reach it.

So that's five others who have all been caught, and one who has got through and was seen. And in the world of the Mail - and their conveniently anonymous source who isn't even from the Border Agency but described as 'close to' it - that means hundreds 'could have'.

But they haven't.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Express front page inspired by Littlejohn

The Express has plumbed many depths since Richard Desmond has been in charge, but today's front page must rank among its lowest points. Because, believe it or not, it has been inspired by yesterday's Richard Littlejohn column.


Sex swap police scandal is a story about the National Trans Police Association and it begins:

Police chiefs were last night accused of a scandalous misuse of taxpayers’ money after helping to set up a special support group for sex-change staff.

Except, the story doesn't produce any evidence that the NTPA has received a penny of 'taxpayers' money'. Indeed, the second paragraph proves as much:

The National Trans Police Association is in line to pocket thousands of pounds of public money after winning the backing of senior officers.

'In line to'? So it hasn't yet, and may not? Deep in the story, it reveals:

The Home Office said: “We have not provided any funding for the National Trans Police Association.”

And although there is no direct quote, the Express states:

NTPA’s communications co-ordinator Martha Hand ...said the organisation would be applying for public funds to promote its work.

Given that the group has 50 members, it's unlikely to be coining it in, even if any funding application is successful.

But a story about the possible use of public funds...your starter for ten is: who do you think is called on for an 'outrage' quote?

TaxPayers Alliance, you say?

'This is totally absurd and a scandalous waste of money'.

You could almost think the TPA think it's inappropriate? Who else? Yes, it's Tory MP Philip Davies:

'I don’t care if a police officer is gay, straight, trans-gender or whatever, I just want them to catch criminals'.

But Davies doesn't explain how this support organisation - along with the many, many others that are within the police - stops them 'catching criminals'.

Then up pops the Campaign Against Political Correctness, a group with a horribly amateurish website, to add:

'We don’t need organisations like this. It’s just madness'.

It's an interesting use of the word 'we'. Obviously the 50 members of the National Trans Police Association feel they do need it. Compare that with the, umm, 11 people who follow the Campaign Against Political Correctness on Twitter. So who is this 'we' they claim to speak for?

They say on their website that among the problems with political correctness is that tries to:

bully people into conforming with a certain point of view...It undermines personal responsibility and freedom.

But isn't the CAPC bullying people to conform to its point of view, and undermining personal freedom, by saying this group should not exist?

The Express reiterates the idea that the establishment of this group somehow stops them:

concentrating on fighting crime.

But as Jonathan pointed out yesterday, why is there no such article or outrage about the Christian Police Association? Or the Jewish Police Association?

And can anyone explain how the existence of any of these associations stops officers fighting crime?

The Express has now added some poisonous anti-trans sentiment to that spread by Littlejohn yesterday by putting on its front page a total non-story designed to do nothing but stir up animosity towards this minority group.

Sun makes sure you know George Michael is gay

This is today's Sun front page.

See what they did there? Because the person involved is gay, they have to add in a 'joke' about anal sex.

And that isn't the only one. The trucker is 'quoted' as saying:

'He must have been doing 100mph. When he got out he couldn't walk straight.'

Brilliant. And then, because he was 'arrested on suspicion of drink driving':

the gay singer [was] described as "away with the fairies"

Fairies - ya know, cos he's gay. Hilarious.

And of what relevance is the fact he is 'gay'? If it was a heterosexual in a car crash, would they say 'the straight singer'? No, of course not. And they don't say it once - two sentences before that one they refer to

Gay George

Blimey. There's not a lot to this story. He was arrested but released without charge, so the 'drink-driving' claim probably isn't true. And no one was injured. So why is this front page news?

Star obvious lie proved false

Having written about 'reality tv lies' in the previous post, it jogged the memory about a story from April that appeared on the front of the Star. The headline claimed Jade back in BB, which was odd, given that she was dead. But it was her mate Jaiden Michael who was 'nailed on' to be one of the housemates:

He is already being tipped by producers as hot favourite to win the reality show.

I said at the time this wouldn't happen.

It didn't.

Turning defeat into victory

The Star has been telling its readers about the latest ABC circulation figures, which showed a (depressing) 20% increase year-on-year for the dismal rag. A daily dose of lies about Jordan, reality tv and BNP-style flagwaving, it's cheap and nasty. But it crows:

We’ve kicked our rivals into touch by becoming Britain’s most successful newspaper – OFFICIAL...

we’ve left our so-called rivals languishing in the lower leagues.

The dismal Mirror is facing relegation after losing a staggering 103,000 readers a day!

That’s a mammoth 7% drop in total circulation. And the setting Sun saw 12,000 ditch their side every single day in July. No other daily or weekend newspaper in Britain can compete with our meteoric rise...

Not only are we giving you everything bigger, better and brighter than our rubbish rivals – we’re doing it at a far better price.

Well yes, it's half the price of the other red tops (a price cut reflected in the increase in sales), although at 20p it is still 20p overpriced.

But it's hard to work out how this news makes the Star 'Britain's most successful newspaper', as it remains only the fourth biggest selling daily, far, far behind the Sun (3.1m), Mail (2.17m), Mirror (1.34m) with its 887,000 sales.

That is leaving its rivals 'languishing'?

But the Star's owner claims victory even when he's lost, so maybe it's not that surprising.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Who ya gonna call? TaxPayers Alliance

Writing in the Guardian in 2008, Patrick Barkham said of the TaxPayer's Alliance:

So far, journalists have yet to tire of the TPA's "this is a slap in the face for taxpayers" refrain.

And, nearly 18 months later, it's truer than ever. The TaxPayer's Alliance like to mention all their media coverage on their website. Which is helpful for doing a quick survey to see just how totally lazy and reliant on them certain sections of the media have become.

Going through their 'media coverage' section for the two week period from Wednesday 22 July - Wednesday 5 August, I did a quick tally of how often the TPA had been quoted in the main daily papers. The results:

Mail - 28 times
Express - 28
Telegraph - 20
Sun - 12
Star - 11
Mirror - 9
Times - 4
Independent - 3
Guardian - 1

So that's eight stories in the nationals every day (and that doesn't include the many, many local papers that quote them).

And the Mail and Express are using the TPA, on average, for two stories every day.

But it's even worse than that sometimes. For example, on 22 July, the Express had six stories quoting the TPA. The Mail used them six times in a day on 3 August, five times on 22 July. The Telegraph has also used it five times in one day (4 August).

It's a damning indictment of the abilities of journalists on these papers. As Barkham implies, it's not as if the TPA spokespeople come up with some sparkling piece of insight every time they are quoted.

So Fred Goodwin goes to Clarence House and the TPA says:

'A lot of right-minded people would see this as completely inappropriate'.

The same day, the same paper (Mail), a story about swine flu, brought forth this gem:

'Most ordinary taxpayers who are concerned for their health in the midst of the swine flu epidemic will see this behaviour as greedy and inappropriate.

Then there was this story, which meant the TPA just had to say:

'This is a totally inappropriate use of taxpayers' money'.

And this one about the old Commons Speaker:

'Now the Speaker is being investigated over his household expenses it would be completely inappropriate from him to remain in charge of the parliamentary expenses system'.

And this quote about the new Commons Speaker:

'It is entirely inappropriate for John Bercow to expect taxpayers to pick up this bill'.

And this about the BBC:

'It is completely inappropriate for BBC senior executives to use expenses to pay for tax advice'.

And yet somehow, the TPA are on speed-dial for the Mail, Express and Telegraph. It's solely because their journalists are after an easy quote, with the least effort possible, and they know the media whores at the TPA will offer them the 'isn't this awful' knee-jerk response they want.

Which for the purpose of informed and balanced journalism, isn't really...umm...appropriate.

(Check out the Other TaxPayers Alliance who campaign for fairer taxes, try to hold the TPA to account over its secretive accounts, and also expose some of the problems with TPA research. They point out that despite the name, the TPA only represent 0.04% of UK taxpayers. And it has a TPA quote generator.)

Littlejohn discusses immigration, Muslims, gays and Gypsies for a change

Jonathan at No Sleep Til Brooklands has done a great job at picking apart Littlejohn's latest useless, dispiriting column.

Today, he's written about the National Trans Police Association (which includes his obligatory reference to homosexuality) and complained about how divisive they, and their Black, Pagan and Gay Police Association colleagues are, without, Jonathan points out, mentioning the Christian Police Association. Funny that.

He's also written about Travellers (twice in four days!) and claims he doesn't 'do' 'gippophobia', a term which surely is as - ahem - 'gippophobic' as the term 'pikey' he used on Tuesday.

He goes on to have a go at Muslims, immigration control and foreign criminials.

Stop me if you've heard it before.

But he includes three particularly startling statements:

1. 'I merely report the facts'.

Hmmm. The 'facts' as they have been reported in the Mail and fit your agenda, you mean? Remember this 'fact' from Tuesday:

£4.7million of Lottery money has been spent helping travellers to subvert the planning laws.

Wasn't a 'fact' then, isn't a fact now.

Or how about the 'fact' he said Judge Trigger was telling the 'truth'. Not to mention all those 'facts' about Gypsies and the NHS. And others, if I could be bothered to find them.

2. 'I only ever criticise people for what they DO, not what they are'.

No comment really, except he seems to think that what people are is a general indicator of what they do (Muslims = terrorists, gays = perverts and brainwashers of children, asylum seekers = scroungers).

3. 'Most of the robberies in this country have been carried out by Eastern European gangs'.

What, ever? Is this one of those 'facts' he only ever reports. We all know how unreliable these 'foreigners are responsible for this amount of crime' claims are. So where does this little gem come from?

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Mail continues lottery/Gypsy stories, but snubs Migrationwatch (shock!)

Following on from the previous two, the Mail has decided it needed to have a third article about Big Lottery Fund money going to Gypsy projects.

The headline is interesting: We must reclaim National Lottery funds for the good causes WE say are worthy.

So there you have it. 'WE' clearly does not include Gypsies - or indeed, immigrants, it becomes clear later. This rant is written by Harry Phibbs and begins:

Gypsies have been handed millions from the Big Lottery Fund to help them subvert planning laws - money that is supposed to be for ‘good causes.’

It's tiresome to point out for a third time why this isn't the case, but it seems the Mail wants to keep repeating something until people believe it is true. He goes through some of the same Littlejohn cliches about Gypsies being 'filthy' and 'criminals'.

He goes through the usual suspects of what he deems unworthy causes, attack an award of £33,000 for the Gender Trust for, he says:

for transsexuals and people who are ‘uneasy about their sexuality’

Why is this a problem? Apart from the fact Phibbs and the Mail don't like anyone who isn't heterosexual? Just read the Gender Trust's 'Who we are':

The Trust is a listening ear, a caring support and an information centre for anyone with any question or problem concerning their gender identity, or whose loved one is struggling with gender identity issues. The Trust is also recognised as an authoritative centre for professional people who encounter gender identity related issues in the course of their work. In particular this group includes employers, human resource officers, health workers and information services.

How is that not a 'good cause'? He then turns his focus on immigration, attacking the

£340,000 to the National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns - a group not concerned with assisting the welfare of asylum seekers but campaigning for the overthrow of Britain's asylum laws.

In fact, this is simply not true. As the name of the organisation suggests, they are concerned with the welfare of asylum seekers. From their website:

The Coalition lobbies to amend law and practice which leads to unjust or inhumane deportations, and assists in mounting campaigns against such legislation.

That is 'overthrowing asylum laws'?

And then Phibbs fibs again:

So we have had a Lottery Grant of £700,000 to the Student Action for Refugees which campaigned to hound out Professor David Coleman from Oxford University because of his links with the Migration Watch think tank.

Now while it is obvious that the Mail would take umbrage at anyone who might not like Migrationwatch, this statement is misleading. The grant was clearly not for STAR to campaign against David Coleman but was for other activities - as the Mail pointed out in 2007:

The funding is specifically to "raise awareness of refugee and asylum issues, campaign on behalf of refugees and offer practical support to refugees" and to support "local set up and implement practical projects for students to work with local refugee organisations and create links to their local communities".

While there was a petition circulated, it appears this was never submitted to the university. And one of the other concerns STAR had about Coleman was because of his involvement in the Galton Institute, which was formerly known as the Eugenics Society, and how that linked to his work with Migrationwatch. Coleman protested his innocence although referring to 'Continental excesses' may not have been the wisest choice of words when referring to what the Nazis were up to in the field of eugenics.

Coleman popped up again on 10 August with the latest press release and briefing paper from his friends at Migrationwatch, which was largely based on his work.

This is one of the strangest Migrationwatch efforts for a while because, although dated 10 August, it was not reported on until the 12th by the Express and Star and does not appear to have been picked up by the Mail at all.

Is this a first?
Was the Migrationwatch paper really that hopeless that even the Mail and Sun ignored it? Well yes, it was.

UK face a new flood of migrants, warns watchdog was the Express' headline, the Star went with Britain faces new wave of migrants. The claim a UK population in 2050 of 80 million - although Migrationwatch do not actually use that figure at all. Macer Hall's article begins:

Britain faces a colossal wave of immigration over the next 40 years because of predicted population explosions in Africa and Asia, a report warns today.

The influx would send the country’s population soaring well over 77million unless radical action is taken to tighten border controls, experts say.

'Flood', 'colossal wave', 'influx'
- all good emotive words for the anti-immigration lobby. The Star added another:

Britain faces an immigration timebomb because of soaring populations in third world countries.

As with the Telegraph the other day, 'timebomb' implies something dangerous and threatening. Their editorial Foreigners flood to UK is even worse, adding the word 'swamped' before edging very close to BNP-style rhetoric:

Influential think tank MigrationWatch reckons we’ll be swamped by millions more foreigners in the coming years.

Numbers are set to soar, according to world population trends.

By 2050 an extra 17million people will be living here.

It will push our already overstretched public services to breaking point.

We cannot allow these huge numbers of immigrants to continue to swan in unchecked.

Our health, housing and council services are struggling to deal with those already here.

And with a fresh wave facing us from the developing world, they could collapse altogether.

It’s time for the government to cut the numbers coming in.

It’s time to close our borders.

Britain is full.

The problems with all that are so obvious, it's not worth pointing them out. But what is all this based on? Back to the Migrationwatch report, and more importantly the footnote at the end:

This paper is largely a precis of The shape of things to come: world population to 2050.The data have been updated. By Professor D.A. Coleman. A contribution to the Engelsberg Seminar 2005. Published by the Ax::son Johnson Foundation, Stockholm, 2007, in Empire and the Future World Order, pp. 209 230.

Right - so the figures are reheated from a few years ago?

In summary, the paper suggests that since a UN World Population Report for 2050 has shown a big increase in the population of countries where Britain currently receives lots of visa and asylum applications, there is going to be this huge increase in Britain's population, taking it to 80 million.

At which point, one questions leaps out - if this UN Report data is used to claim as fact the population of other countries, why not just look up what it says the population of the UK will be in 2050 and be done with it?

Well because if you look at the latest (2008) Revision (p.62) it states the UK population in 2050 will be...umm...72.3million.

Which isn't quite 80 million. Or even 77 million. It wouldn't have need complicated calculations or sleight of hand. And would have been much easier than using all the graphs which mean nothing.