Saturday, 13 February 2010

Melanie Phillips is being deceitful about immigration coverage

Melanie Phillips is a great creator of straw men.

In her latest column on the Spectator website, she turns her attention to the claims of Migrationwatch about a Labour 'plot' on immigration.

As Ian Jack says in the Guardian the:

charge is pure speculation.

It all started last year with some comments from former Government speech-writer Andrew Neather, which he later said had been blown out of all proportion by:

excitable right-wing newspaper columnists.

Imagine that. He added:

There was no plot.

But Migrationwatch wasn't convinced so used the Freedom of Information Act to find out more. They think it's dynamite, even if they aren't quite sure why.

Here's what Migrationwatch Chair Andrew Green wrote in the Mail:

What could have been meant by social policy in the context of immigration, especially as it was dressed up as combating social exclusion?

This must surely have been code for increasing the numbers substantially, as Mr Neather revealed. If not, why all the secrecy?

Why the censorship that has now been laid bare? Reading between the lines of these documents it is clear that political advisers in Number 10, its joint authors, were preparing a blueprint for mass immigration with both economic and social objectives.

In other words: 'I'm not really sure but am guessing at this, and there's no actual hard evidence for what I'm saying'.

It's not very convincing, is it?

But back to Phillips who believes everything Migrationwatch says is true. She claims the 'plot' is:

an act of collective treachery to the nation: an enormous story, you might think? You would be wrong.

Other than in the Daily Mail, I cannot find any reference to this anywhere else.

I wonder why.

Why? Because she doesn't want to.

Her column was published on the morning of 11 February.

And she's right that the story appeared in the Mail the day before, when they wrote up the press release they received from Migrationwatch, and added a column from Andrew Green and an editorial comment.

But she seems to have conveniently missed the fact that the Sun also reported on the claims.

And, err, so did the Express.

And in the same day's Telegraph there was a story, an editorial and another article by Andrew Green. Oh, and Telegraph blogger Ed West covered it too.

And if all that wasn't embarrassing enough, she also missed this:

So for the record: that front page splash appeared the day before Melanie Phillips' blogpost in which she said she couldn't find 'any reference' to this story anywhere other than the Mail.


On top of all those, both Stephen Glover's views on the subject and Leo McKinstry's vile rant were in the Mail and Express respectively on the same day as Phillips wrote her piece - and thus available online. (Since then, Amanda Platell has also written about it).

Phillips either did no research or, more likely, is being deliberately deceitful to fit her agenda. She's trying to pretend there is some conspiracy to try to hide negative immigration stories.

But when that charge is so blatantly false, as it clearly is in this case, it makes her look a bit stupid.

That 'conspiracy' charge is regularly repeated by right-wing columnists in their frequent negative outbursts about immigration. But does anyone seriously believe the media is somehow scared of printing anti-immigration stories?

It would be much harder to find the positive ones, especially in the popular press.

Moreover, if she's unhappy about the Mail not putting this non-existent 'plot' on their front page, she should ask the people who employ her at the paper why they favoured Vernon Kay's love life over this 'enormous' story.


  1. Honestly, I can feel my faith in the people of this nation erode away with each passing day as I'm bombarded with paranoid doomongering about the collapse of our culture. The newspapers are certainly correct in that moral standards seem to be on the decline. What sort of population advocates mob vigilantism and condemns international aid on the basis of "They're not British, not our problem".

    I visit this website every day, especially as others such as the Daily Quail and Daily Mail Watch seem to have fallen rather inactive. Attitudes here are at least refreshing, and it does wonders to my mental state to see educated, rational thought.

  2. Although Tabloid Watch is excellent, I must join Dean in lamenting the Daily Quail's sparse updates.

    Whenever Melanie Phillips is on Question Time, I always wonder why there isn't a ripple of sniggering from the audience when she's introduced as a 'Daily Mail columnist'.

    I like to think they edit it out.

  3. another excellent destruction of the tabloid lies

  4. Can I complain about your misleading title?

    You got it right in the page name (the url), so why you should imply that she's only deceitful about one particular subject is a bit beyond me. ;)


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