THE SUN IS CALLING THE EU BONKERS AND UNFAIR OVER LAWS THAT AREN’T EVEN HAPPENING

golf-buggy-970884_960_720

The Sun‘s latest ‘Bonkers Brussels’ outrage is over laws that are not in place and are unlikely to ever come into force.

In an article published last week, the paper made claims that ‘new EU laws will come into force’ that ‘will mean all types of transport used on private land will require compulsory insurance’ including for ‘personal mobility scooters, golf buggies and even lawnmowers’.

The issue was also covered in the Daily Mail, without quite the same levels of hyperbole.

The fears over the new legislation follow a European Court of Justice Ruling in 2014 where a Slovenian farm worker was injured by a tractor on private farm land. The ECJ ruled that the vehicle should have had compulsory motor insurance to cover the claim.

The ruling has prompted concerns that the case has set a precedent and that the EU could change laws on motor insurance. At the moment, motor insurance is only required for vehicles using public roads. The European Commission is currently carrying out a consultation to review the issue.

But any changes to laws are unlikely to affect countries such as Britain, where such off-road accidents are covered by the likes of public liability insurance or employers liability insurance. The ruling is likely to be implemented in countries where it might be needed, such as in Slovenia where the only compulsory forms of insurance are motor insurance and professional liability insurance. It’s why this particular case went to the European courts in the first place – because there was no form of compulsory insurance in place in Slovenia to cover it.

The Sun writes that these ‘crazy new European laws’ will mean that ‘motorsport races could even have to be cancelled as premiums for drivers at these would be sky high’.

But they won’t, as the organisers of motor racing events unsurprisingly have accidents covered under their events insurance.

All the EU is doing at the moment is gathering feedback from member states to identify any gaps and determine whether rules need to be changed in areas where people aren’t adequately covered by other forms of insurance. It makes sense in the long run as it will prevent any future cases being dragged through the European courts.

So a typical example of The Sun twisting a fairly rational policy process that actually isn’t going to affect us at all and making it sound as if those health and safety mad Brussels bureaucrats are telling us what to do at every turn. Some things never change.

Don’t like what you’re seeing in the press? If you see an article you’re unhappy with, you can email the press regulators at inquiries@ipso.co.uk to voice your concerns. If enough complaints are received, they will have to look into it.

Tabloid Corrections Facebook page: here.

Advertisements

HOW TABLOID LIES FUEL NAZI EXTREMISM IN THE UK

express front cover

Tabloid newspaper lies are being used by far-right extremist websites to increase levels of racism in the UK. The papers won’t acknowledge it but there exists a clear link between lies printed in papers such as The Sun, the Daily Mail and the Daily Express and overtly racist sites who reprint and share these false articles.

The latest blatant example of this comes courtesy of the Daily Express, a publication that eschews actual coverage of the news in favour of writing rubbish about the EU, immigration, extreme weather, conspiracy theories and supposed Alzheimer’s cures.

Last October, the Express published a fake news article titled TAXPAYER FUNDED ‘ANARCHIST’ PhD STUDENT ‘HELPED START FIRES AT CALAIS JUNGLE MIGRANT CAMP’. It claimed that activist and researcher James Ellison was involved in arson at the migrant camps in Calais on 27 October last year.

On Friday, nearly nine months after the original article was published, the Express published an apology to Mr Ellison admitting this story was untrue.

The paper acknowledged that he ‘had nothing at all to do with starting those fires’ and furthermore ‘had not been in Calais for several months before the fires’. Facts that made the initial story not just a bit wrong but entirely false.

express phd student

It’s not the first time the Express has been guilty of grossly misleading its readers. As usual, it gets a gentle slap on the wrists from the regulators and politely says ‘we’re very sorry’. No details on how the paper managed to get things so wrong. No guarantee that it won’t happen again.

A mediocre apology so long after the publication of the original lies hardly seems worth it. The damage has already been done. Far more people will have read and shared the original article than will see the apology. Worse still, the original article was republished word-for-word (at the same time as the original) on a far-right website called Stop White Genocide.

Although the Express has taken the article off its own website after conceding that it’s fake news, the republished version remains on display.

Stop White Genocide’s extremist credentials are evident on the website’s home page with links to posts such as ‘A Tribute to Horst Wessel’ (a Nazi stormtrooper leader in the late 20s turned into a far-right martyr after being shot dead) and ‘Hitler Pleas For Peace’.

Chillingly, the words ‘We must remember these traitors… James Ellison’ have been inserted underneath the reproduced Express headline.

stop white genocide

So the Express prints lies about an individual and he ends up on a list of traitors on a Hitler-supporting website. It shows you where irresponsible tabloid reporting can lead.

This sort of thing is a common occurrence. Type any inflammatory right-wing tabloid headline into a search engine and you will be likely to find links to all manner of dodgy extremist sites who either reprint the articles word for word or put their own spin on it.

It’s a dangerous web of false news with links to some violent far-right extremists. Worryingly, our tabloid press is feeding into it on a regular basis.

Don’t like what you’re seeing in the press? If you see an article you’re unhappy with, you can email the press regulators at inquiries@ipso.co.uk to voice your concerns. If enough complaints are received, they will have to look into it.

Tabloid Corrections Facebook page: here.

WHAT THE TABLOIDS DON’T MENTION ABOUT THE TEACHER WHO ACCUSED SCHOOLS OF BRAINWASHING PUPILS

school

Last week, both The Sun and the Daily Mail reported on a teacher who has spoken out about what he sees as school pupils being brainwashed into being left-wing Labour supporters.

Calvin Robinson, an IT teacher at an Inner London secondary school, claimed that ‘young people are being indoctrinated to a left-wing mentality from a very young age.’ The Mail reported that ‘SCHOOLS ‘BRAINWASH’ PUPILS TO SEE TORIES AS ‘EVIL’ AND SUPPORT LABOUR, SAYS TEACHER WHO FRONTED DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION RECRUITMENT DRIVE. The Sun covered the story with the headline ‘ARE YOUR KIDS BEING BRAINWASHED INTO SUPPORTING LABOUR? TOP TEACHER CLAIMS CHILDREN ARE SECRETLY TAUGHT ‘FROM A VERY YOUNG AGE’ THAT TORIES ARE ‘EVIL’.

Both papers are keen to emphasise Mr Robinson’s credentials as a top teacher who worked with the DofE ‘I Chose To Teach’ campaign, which is fair enough. What neither paper mentions is that he is an active Conservative party member in West London. He is the Youth Officer for the Hampstead & Kilburn Conservative Association. He also stood as Conservative candidate in the Kilburn local elections in 2016 and was Campaign Coordinator in Ealing & Central Acton in the recent General Election.

None of these things disqualify Mr Robinson from having an opinion on teaching in British schools. He is himself a teacher, after all. But it’s a bit suspicious that the papers omit this information. It puts a different slant on the revelations when you realise that he has a prominent role within the Tory party for ‘reaching out and engaging with constituents under the age of 34’.

There will doubtlessly be teachers who wear their political colours on their sleeves, but is it happening regularly enough to imply that it’s rife within schools to the extent that one side is being shut down, as The Sun and the Mail do in their articles? Mr Robinson’s evidence itself seems to be fairly flimsy. It was taken from a blog he wrote on the Conservatives For Liberty website in June last year just after the Brexit vote.

The only actual instances he mentions are about the Brexit vote – one where a teacher said to pupils that the idea of the Leave side winning the referendum was ‘scary’, and another where an Executive Headteacher sent an email that included a link to a petition asking for another referendum. He also mentions that he was asked not to bring up the subject of Brexit the day after the Referendum as many of the pupils at his school are European.

None of this is necessarily evidence of pro-Labour or anti-Tory bias, as many Tories (as well as LibDems) campaigned on the Remain side too.

Recent research by TES found that there has been a shift towards Labour support among both primary and secondary school teachers (68% in 2017, up from 51% in 2015). But expressing support for a party in a survey carried out just before a general election does not equate to ‘brainwashing’ kids in the classroom. It will take a bit more than the Tory press reporting on a Tory party activist to set the alarm bells ringing on that issue.

Don’t like what you’re seeing in the press? If you see an article you’re unhappy with, you can email the press regulators at inquiries@ipso.co.uk to voice your concerns. If enough complaints are received, they will have to look into it.

Tabloid Corrections Facebook page: here.

DAILY MAIL JUMPS ON DOCTOR WHO OUTRAGE BANDWAGON WITH FALSE ARTICLE ABOUT DECLINE OF MALE PROTAGONISTS

Dr who

Following the announcement of the first ever female Doctor Who on Sunday, which provoked the predictable ‘political correctness gone mad’ backlash by the usual suspect sections on social media, The Daily Mail spotted a clear opportunity to try and stir up outrage among its readers the next day with a false and out-of-touch article bemoaning the death of lead male actors on British TV.

The article was titled ‘EXTERMINATE! AS DOCTOR WHO CHANGES SEX, THE DAILY MAIL’S TV CRITIC CHRISTOPHER STEVENS ASKS THE PROVOCATIVE QUESTION… WHY ARE ALL THE MALE HEROES DISAPPEARING FROM THE BOX?

The article was part ‘politically correct feminists are taking over our programming’ and part attempt to have yet another dig at the BBC. But, despite being written by a supposed TV expert, it was full of more holes than a hipster’s jeans.

It started off by making a fair enough point, that of the discrepancy in earnings between the corporation’s top male and female presenters. A justifiable accusation of not practising what it preaches was hurled at the Beeb. There may be plenty of talk of diversity quotas but, as Mr Stevens points out, it is ‘equal in all things, except… in the wages department.’

But it quickly emerged that this was just the starter course on a menu consisting of little else but BBC-bashing.

Things moved onto moaning about the decision to cast the 13th (or is it 14th? I really can’t be bothered to check) Doctor Who as a woman. This, according to the article, is ‘another politically correct blow to a TV show that was once simply a children’s favourite’.

The Mail didn’t explain why a fictional time-travelling character regenerating for the umpteenth time as a woman rather than a man will spoil the fun for kids who will happily engage with stories consisting of talking animals and cartoons where characters die and immediately come back to life.

But in its attempt to jump on the ‘political correctness gone mad’ bandwagon, it seems the paper has misjudged the overall mood of Doctor Who fans. According to a Radio Times poll, only 15% of fans are against the idea of a female Doctor whereas over 40% thought the decision was ‘fantastic’.

But worse was to come. The paper linked the decision to what it saw as an over-riding culture of anti-male casting in British TV shows.

‘Already it’s rare to see a British detective show with a male lead’, bemoaned Stevens before adding ‘In almost every new British drama, men are relegated to sidekick status or else cast as moral weaklings’.

From here, things descended to conspiracy theory levels. ‘TV writers and film-makers who defy the trend will be condemned as sexist dinosaurs… Many will simply give in and submit the same pre-approved plots about dauntless single mothers beset by psychopathic males.’

Stevens then makes the rather ludicrous claim that the only space allowed for male characters on TV these days is as ‘rapists and villains’.

To back his theories up, Stevens names a handful of contemporary British TV dramas with female leads. But a quick look at the evidence shows that there are still plenty of British TV dramas being produced with traditional male leads.

Looking at programmes commissioned by the BBC over the last couple of years, there has been no shortage of male lead parts. Around half of dramas still have male protagonists. Stevens’ claim that men are relegated to sidekicks and no longer get a look in with detective dramas doesn’t bear up to scrutiny.

Dramas commissioned with male leads as detectives over the past couple of years include New Blood, The Moonstone and SS-GB. The 2016 Doctor Who spin-off series Class also had males in the lead parts.

Things are no different when looking at Beeb programmes in the pipeline. These include The Child In Time, a forthcoming BBC One drama with Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role; Hard Sun, another BBC One drama featuring a male and female detective partnership; two Agatha Christie adaptations with male detective leads; and Strike, a detective series based on JK Rowling novels featuring a lead detective played by Tom Burke.

Sorry, but it looks like this politically correct world where it’s impossible for white men to find a lead part in TV fiction exists only in the minds of some science fiction fans and Daily Mail journalists.

Don’t like what you’re seeing in the press? If you see an article you’re unhappy with, you can email the press regulators at inquiries@ipso.co.uk to voice your concerns. If enough complaints are received, they will have to look into it.

Tabloid Corrections Facebook page: here.

THE SUN’S CLAIMS OF BBC LEFT-WING BIAS DON’T ADD UP… LITERALLY

BBC_TV_Centre

Last week, The Sun ran an article titled ‘LEFTIE BBC’ in which the tabloid made the claim that the corporation was showing evidence of political bias towards the left-wing. It’s an accusation often thrown around by the likes of the Daily Mail and Britain First, so it seems only natural that The Sun would want in on the act.

The paper based its claim on the amount of money that the Beeb had spent on The Guardian newspaper (the left-wing scourge of the right-leaning papers) in 2016-17, figures it had obtained through a Freedom of Information request.

‘BBC accused of left-wing bias after spending £139,260 on copies of The Guardian’ said the sub-header. Interestingly, there were no details on who exactly was accusing the BBC of left-wing bias, other than The Sun itself.

Presumably nobody was, because beneath the finger-pointing headlines sat a complete and utter non-story.

Yes, the BBC spent £139k on 69,212 copies of The Guardian. But the FOI request also revealed that it spent £96,151 on 70,605 copies of The Times, £98,029 on 65,192 copies of the Daily Telegraph and even £28,661 on 56,317 copies of The Sun – the last of which is a shocking waste of license-payers’ money!

So although the BBC spent more money on The Guardian than any other individual paper, it spent more money and bought far more copies of right-leaning papers than left-leaning ones. The reason why the bill for The Guardian was higher is because it’s a more expensive paper.

The papers were purchased daily, according to the BBC, as ‘journalists were expected to have a comprehensive knowledge of stories on any given day.’

So why is The Sun trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes with this piece of journalistic tat? It seems that the BBC has become caught up in a tug of war between left and right in recent times, with both sides desperate to label it as a biased institution. On one side we have the right-wing tabloids accusing the broadcaster of left-wing bias, on the other side we have the likes of the Canary and Momentum screaming right-wing bias.

In truth, if the BBC is to be classed as sitting anywhere on the political spectrum, it’s in a fairly centrist position. Its news coverage is arguably slightly to the right of centre while its cultural output is slightly more left-leaning. Overall, it takes a less critical stance on government behaviour (e.g. austerity measures or foreign military interventions) than hard-hitting left-leaning publications such as the New Statesman, but it is also responsible for current affairs programmes, satire and artistic output that is more critical and left-of-centre.

The reality is that the BBC is a very diverse institution with many different departments and it’s pretty much impossible to pin it down and label it as one thing or the other. Yes, you can isolate individual stories or pieces of work and find evidence of bias, but to say that the corporation as a whole is deliberately leaning one way or the other politically is to misrepresent it. Both sides are guilty of repeatedly doing this by cherry-picking or, as The Sun has done here, distorting the facts.

Don’t like what you’re seeing in the press? If you see an article you’re unhappy with, you can email the press regulators at inquiries@ipso.co.uk to voice your concerns. If enough complaints are received, they will have to look into it.

Tabloid Corrections Facebook page: here.

THE DAILY EXPRESS, FAKE NEWS AND THE PROMOTION OF RACISM IN SOCIETY

Sadiq_Khan_November_2016

There are many examples where the tabloid press in this country has been guilty of stirring up racism among the general public through deliberately publishing untruths or distorting facts about migrants, minorities, Muslims and others.

Here’s one such example from arguably the worst offender of the lot – the Daily Express. Back in March, the paper published a completely misleading article titled ‘SADIQ KHAN BOASTS OF 1.5 MILLION NEW PEOPLE TO CAPITAL AS HE REVEALS ‘SHOCK LONDON PLAN”.

Now, what the article was reporting on was the London Mayor’s Clean Air strategy. He was at an event talking about plans to make London a greener and more sustainable city. Part of those plans involve effective planning for estimated future population growth. During the course of the discussion, he said:

‘you better remember that our population (of London) is rising, it is currently 8.5 million, by 2020 it will be 9 million and by 2030 it will be 10 million.’

Khan (pictured) was simply referencing likely population trends. Big city populations usually tend to continually increase over time – if not affected by things such as war, disease outbreak or large-scale flight – due to many factors including increasing life expectancy and geographic expansion as well as influx of new residents. It is a key role of the London Mayor to plan according to projected increases, as well as to attract new residents to the city and make it an economically thriving place.

Yet the Express deliberately twisted Sadiq Khan’s words to make it appear as if he was making a pro-immigration statement. But firstly, Khan wasn’t ‘boasting’ about 1.5 million new people. He was merely stating the likelihood of population increase. Which, as previously mentioned, occurs due to various factors.

Secondly, there is no ‘shock London plan’. Khan was discussing plans around environmental sustainability, which is no shock to anyone with an ounce of awareness of environmental challenges facing big cities over the next few decades. By implying that there is some sort of secret plan to increase immigration, the Express is intentionally trying to mislead and stir up fear.

Finally, even if Khan did have such a plan and was boasting about it, he has NO CONTROL over immigration. London has no border controls, and arrivals and departures to and from the country as a whole have nothing to do with the London Mayor.

You can see what kind of image the Express is trying to conjure up in readers’ minds. Muslim Mayor lets slip his fiendish plot to fill London with migrants. This appears to be exactly what has happened over the past few days as, for some reason, the story has been picked up by various right-wing/nationalist/patriotic websites and social media pages, generating ridiculous levels of outrage among readers.

On Friday, it was picked up by a Facebook page called British Voice where it has been shared over 600 times and has generated nearly 1000 comments. Comments such as:

‘Muslim wanker’

‘I wonder what religion these people will be…’

‘Sack this prick, he’s bringing our country to its knees’

‘Under Khan, London is polluted with immigrants. It’s becoming a Khan caliphate’

‘All Muslims no doubt. Londonstan’

‘Traitor…pure Islamic piece of shit’

‘1.5 million more terrorists’

‘This man has to be immediately beheaded!’

‘He just wants to foul our streets with more of his kind’

Another Facebook page, an anti-EU page called Get Britain Out, had a similar number of shares and comments:

‘Twenty years and you won’t be able to go out… if you don’t like the sound of being overrun your (sic) a racist’

‘How to get elected as mayor of Londonistan? Import at many Moslums (sic) as needed. This biased Britain hater needs to be ousted’

‘He’s organising a takeover, he needs to be gone’

These aren’t isolated comments that have been cherry-picked. This is just a tiny sample of hundreds of vile abusive comments, inspired by a mainstream newspaper wilfully misreporting the facts and twisting the comments of an elected official about making London a greener city. You’d be hard-pressed to find a clearer example of fake news promoting hatred and division.

Yet this is what happens when the likes of the Mail, the Express and the Sun print their distorted version of the news. They get picked up by far-right websites and social media pages and circulated as the truth.

The link between the tabloid press and racism is clear to see. It’s time something was done about it.

Don’t like what you’re seeing in the press? If you see an article you’re unhappy with, you can email the press regulators at inquiries@ipso.co.uk to voice your concerns. If enough complaints are received, they will have to look into it.

Tabloid Corrections Facebook page: here.

A YEAR ON FROM BREXIT, THE EXPRESS IS STILL PUMPING OUT LIES ABOUT THE EU

express euro

Like an alcoholic that can’t resist the booze, the Daily Express just cannot give up its addiction to writing twaddle about the EU. Twelve months on from the Brexit vote, the paper is still filled daily with tales of those meddling Brussels bureaucrats.

But whereas an alcoholic poisons only themselves, the Express poisons its (thankfully ever-dwindling) readership with its misinformation.

The paper’s latest erroneous claim is that Brussels ‘plots to force euro on ALL states’.

The article goes on to say that Italian MEP Roberto Gualtieri (one of the EU’s Brexit negotiation team) stated that the EU will make sure that every EU member state joins the euro by 2025.

But what Mr Gualtieri said, in a discussion with Andrew Neil on the Sunday Politics show, was that although it is in the EU’s interests to get all countries to sign up to the euro, it’s up to the individual countries themselves whether or not to join.

‘It would be good for us to enlarge the eurozone’, he admits, before adding ‘of course, this depends on each country’s political will.’

The Daily Express and Sunday Express were sanctioned five times for false stories published about the EU in the first half of 2016 up until the Brexit vote.

Tabloid Corrections Facebook page: here.