Let me start by asking a question. If you moved to Poland - you lived there, you worked there, you paid tax there, you contributed to that economy - and you or your partner became pregnant, would you expect to have to fly back to the UK for the birth? If you moved to Latvia or Romania, would you expect their hospitals to turn you away, even if you were paying tax and the equivalent of national insurance?
It's because the answers to those questions seem so straightforward and obvious to me that I have such a problem with the latest anti-immigration hatecast from the Daily Mail. It's called Maternity units turn away British mums as immigrants' baby boom costs NHS £350m . And I think it's safe to say you'd never find anything so wilfully misleading, disgusting and vile in a newspaper if you lived to be 150. (Unless you ever read the Express, obviously. But let's leave them out today, they've had more than enough attention this week and I feel like the Mail's getting left out, poor thing.)
As ever, I'll start with the headline, which is misleading, mendacious and disgraceful. The implication, cleverly couched in such a form of words that someone somewhere at Rothermere Towers could plausibly deny that was ever what they meant to say, is that immigrant mothers are given preferential treatment ahead of British mothers. It's only 'British mums' who are turned away, according to the headline, though the truth is that all kinds of mums were turned away when maternity units were overstretched, not just mums who happen to have been born in Britain.
(Incidentally, seeing as the Mail, Express, MigrationWatch etc are so obsessed with nationality and birthplace, how would they regard a naturalised immigrant on this occasion? Are they the goodies or the baddies? What about a second generation of an East European family who came over in the 1970s? Are they all right? Seeing as it's so important where people are born, what about the daughter of English parents who was born in Poland but has lived in Britain ever since? What then? Would they have to go back to Poland because they were born there, even though they've settled here and have British parents? How British do you have to be to be allowed to be treated by the NHS? Isn't it, oh I don't know, common sense for people who pay NI and tax in a country to be treated by the healthcare system of that country? No? No. Not if it means we can have a go at some foreigners!)
Back to the headline. You'll see it appears to be just the immigrants' babies who are costing the NHS. Isn't that just the most wonderfully misleading thing you've ever seen? (But of course, with the classical Mail plausible deniability of 'well it is strictly true, it just so happens that we didn't decide to mention all the British people having children, just like we didn't mention the immigrants being turned away as the British mums. See, we're not really racist thugs trying to mislead you and give you an utterly false impression of what's going on; we're just very selective about who we're talking about at any one time!)
The we come to the picture, which I think it's only fair that you look at. I won't reproduce it here because I wouldn't like to get in hot water with the Mail for re-using one of their photos. And besides I find it an image which, while not unpleasant in itself, has been used in a completely unpleasant way. If you can't bring yourself to go and click on the Hate Mail's website - and I can understand why you might not want to give their site counter another bit of traffic - let me just say that it's a photo of two women in burkhas pushing pushchairs. How to illustrate a story about immigration? Hmm, well some darkies with kids will do!
Er, OK, but the story is about immigrants; couldn't these people be British Muslims? Doesn't that matter for reasons of, you know, accuracy and that?
No, no, put the darkies in! That'll ramp up the anger in our Muslim-hating readers! That'll get 'em going! Nothing like a woman in a burkha with kids (AND GUESS WHO'S PAYING?!?!?!!!!!) to get the bile flowing.
Maternity wards are being forced to turn away expectant mothers because they cannot cope with soaring demand from immigrants. One hospital even had to shut its maternity ward for two months because its staff were needed elsewhere to deliver babies from foreign-born mothers.
'Foreign-born'. What the fuck? If you're 'foreign-born' does that make a difference? Does it really? If a British person happened to be born overseas, but they've lived here all the rest of their life, then they're classified as 'foreign-born' in Daily Mail Land? It's a repulsive piece of terminology, but I think it goes a little deeper than that. Foreign-born Brits who are white and Christian? Well I think we don't really mind about them. But, as the photo usage implies, we're not really talking about them as being the problem, are we...?
It's the implication of ring-fencing that is so unpleasant and deeply disturbing, pretending that 'foreign-born' mothers have somehow jumped the queue ahead of 'British-born' mothers. A ward had to shut down because the midwives had to go and look after immigrants. Just immigrants? Really? Was it? No. But don't let the truth get in the way of a bit of hatemongering.
An investigation has found the cost of providing maternity services for immigrants has more than doubled in only a decade to £350million a year.
It's what you do with figures that matters. It's the assumptions that you bring to the table. If you assume that these immigrants are 'coming over here', not paying NI or tax, leeching off the state, popping out kids and then fucking off back home, then you might think that's a bit rum. But is that what's really happening? No. No-one, not even the usual suspects, is even suggesting that's what is happening. People are coming to this country and many are settling. Others aren't but are still going through the normal things that human beings go through, ie having children. Is that really a 'problem', as the Mail says it is? Given that most immigrants from Eastern Europe, for example, are working and paying their dues, why shouldn't they use the healthcare system? Wouldn't it be, you know, kind of racist to stop them? The only 'problem' appears to be that not enough money is being diverted towards maternity services at a time when the population is growing - as it needs to; without the next generation of children, the ever-greying Mail readership will bankrupt the UK as they become infirm and require assistance for care. (Obviously that's not seen as a 'problem' by the Mail and its chums, because they are white and British and therefore that's perfectly OK. Not that I see them as a 'problem' either, of course; it's just to point out where the stresses and strains on the NHS are coming from. Not just immigration, but smokers, drinkers, fatties, you name it)
As I mentioned the other day when I was talking about Maxine Carr and the hate-filled comments attacking her for daring to reproduce, there's something odd I've noticed about reactionary internet people and their attitude towards childbirth. Often in stories about crime you'll see these internet oiks demanding that 'feral children' be castrated for throwing stones at bus stops, or that women who dare to have children out of wedlock on a council estate should be 'sterilised'. It's deeply unpleasant and wouldn't make it onto the letters page, but of course in this internet age where anyone can say anything, there aren't filters of taste. So what do you think the Mail readers think about this subject, which is basically the Government not giving enough money to maternity services and failing to be flexible with its budget? What do you reckon? You know already, don't you. And so do I. But it must be seen to be believed.
Broon and McLabour are not interested in the consequences of the immigration insanity. The object is to flood the country with New Labour voting immigrants and the small details will take care of themselves later when the indigenous population has fled or died out.- B. Carroll, Hong Kong, China
I'd love to think this is a Mailwatch person taking the Michael. But what if it isn't? This is someone in Hong Kong (one wonders whether he is part of the 'indigenous' white population there, or a dirty Chinese fellow) saying that immigration is there to 'flood the country' (in which they don't live).
Another means in getting money out of the UK taxpayers. No doubt most are on the dole receiving family benefits, accommodation and tax credits.
When will the Labour government realise that the sums won’t add up? Hospitals are over crowded, yes for sure but who are in the beds. Not the indigenous.
- Tez, Yalding
'No doubt'. Actually, quite a lot of doubt, caused by the facts. And the word 'indigenous' popping up again. A lovely term much beloved of the BNP, UKIP and other right-wing organisations. In fact I'll go so far as to say that anyone who uses the term 'indigenous' when talking about white people in Britain, wilfully ignorant of the many different races and cultures that make up the UK, should be flayed alive and dipped in lemon juice. But then that's just my opinion.
This is an outcry, British women can't afford to have children. They are too busy working to pay the hefty taxes enforced upon them to subsidise all others that come here. How the government can have the audacity to say immigrants are good for this Country is beyond my comprehension. We are already paying the price for these reckless decisions in all areas. Hospitals, housing, police, work, crime - we are suffering in all areas and this government doesn’t give a toss. How much more are we expected to put up with? Sad reflection on the state of our nation and all I can say is god help my grandchildren, as they don't deserve what's lying in the future. - Lyn, Norfolk, England
Lyn, you're a fucking twat. Understand. British women can't afford to have children? What? You seem to have managed, given that you have not just children but grandchildren. What's 'lying in the future'? Idiots like you, probably.
So, if it's a choice between an immigrant mother and a British mother, it's the immigrant every time, right? Even if she's illegal, naturally.- Barbara F (Ex Pat), Los Angeles, USA
I love the way these ex-pats enjoy commenting about immigration. But they never, ever, ever, ever, ever see the irony. Oh and by the way Barbara, no, that isn't what happens. But why should you care? You're a Mail-reading fuckwit.
We MUST stop ALL immigration now! How many times do we have to say this before someone listens and has the guts to do something about it. Successive governments have forced me to give my hard-earned money to people who should not be in my country. Who will do something to stop this destruction, perhaps even reverse it? Human Rights and Political Correctness should play no part in the halting of immigration. Common Sense is all that is required. One could be forgiven for thinking that there is a master-plan to destroy Great Britain. Regrettably, this country has been allowed to become nothing more than a sponge for spongers and it is not able to sustain the situation. We do not have the hospitals, doctors, dentists, police, prisons, schools, social services, roads, houses etc to cope with these people - nor should we need to.- John C, Cambs
But as I've said before, the elderly are a much bigger drain on UK PLC than immigrants. Yet John C reckons that if we stopped immigration, everything would be all right. I say, let's go the whole hog! A quick bit of Logan's Run to take the pressure off, John C? Would that be all right with you? Don't mind if we start with you, do you?
What an appalling side effect of immigration. Our own people denied a service so that immigrants can bring more tax-consuming babies into the UK. The cost to the NHS plus all the child benefits and tax credits: another cost of immigration that is conveniently forgotten by its proponents.- Surreyboy1, Surrey UK
Yep I bet it's hard for you to cope in Surrey. Oh, and by the way, TAX CREDITS ARE ONLY PAID TO PEOPLE WHO WORK. YOU WILFULLY IGNORANT CUNT. Isn't it funny that 'British' babies aren't considered tax-consuming though? They're all right; they're white. And don't talk about 'our own people'. I'm not one of you, you motherfucker; I never want to be associated with scum like you, Surreyboy1.
What a disgrace in this day and age! Immigrants are better looked after in Britain then the REAL BRITISH people! Get your act together Mr Brown and have this rectified NOW. - Mrs Thow, UK
Immigrants are better looked after in Britain than the REAL BRITISH people? Where does it say that in the article? I don't blame you for getting that impression, Mrs Thow, you dozy bitch, because as I've said above it's been very cleverly put to imply one thing but actually say another - but why not have a look at the words next time. Actually think about things. Instead of just believing the total and utter dogshit the Mail curls out into your tiny brain. But there's the truth, isn't it; there's the truth of the Mail and its clever wordplay that says one thing while giving the impression that an entirely different thing is going on. There's the end result. A nice bit of justification for any racist who thinks immigrants aren't REAL BRITISH people.
It's depressing. And it's going on more and more. Today's headline in the Express? Something about 10 MILLION MIGRANTS. Was it true? I don't even have to look at the words to tell you it isn't true; more than that, I can quite happily promise you it's an utter lie. (5CC has a point-by-point destruction of the half-truths, smears and bullshit). So where is this coming from, and why? That's a difficult question, but people in Britain are seeing their disposable incomes shrink, job prospects worsen, pensions decrease and money drain away through wages not keeping pace with inflation. But no-one blames the rich. No-one blames the politicians of all stripes since 1979 for making society more divided, less fair, more unequal and less compassionate towards the vulnerable and weak. Because there is consensus among the rich, who own newspapers, that it's not their fault. Blame the black man. Blame the Pole. Blame the Muslim in a burkha with a pushchair; it must be 'them', it must be 'otherness'; it can't be the rich.
It is a vile, vile story. But those of us who disagree with these lies about immigration, spouted by the rich to conceal their own rape of the middle class and working class, must keep making a noise about it. Yes, it gets depressing looking at the same lies day after day. But we must go on. We must keep looking at these lies, and exposing the liars who tell them. I for one am fed up with immigrants being targeted, lied about and abused. I have had enough. I am 'British-born' and I am 'indigenous' and I am saying I do not agree with the Mail and Express when they tell these lies. They do not speak for me, they do not represent me and they do not represent any intelligent person with a questioning mind and a willingness to look at the facts with an open mind.
But open minds seem to be so scarce sometimes.
- And they breed like rabbits and smell and they fuck their cousins and I’m a taxpayer paying for them! I am!!!111!!!!
- Bloody immigrants, coming over here, stealing our racism
- Bloody hell, it’s something good on the BBC’s website
- Links 27/3/9: Put that bloody light out
- Bloody eggs, coming over here, stealing our food scares