The Express and more Council calling
I've turned into Victor sodding Meldrew. I've phoned two Councils in as many weeks. This time I've called Sheffield Council about the very dodgy article in yesterday's Express. Obsolete has some brilliant coverage of the article, as ever, including links to the report the article is supposedly about, and the local paper article it seems to have been almost directly lifted from. Almost directly. The local article has none of the vicious nonsense about a 'boom' or a 'crisis' or any mention of riots.
Anyway, the press officer was annoyed that the Council had been pretty seriously misrepresented again. One of the most frustrating things, he said, was that around 90% of the things in the article are correct. The Council has produced a report that says some of the things in the article - but hasn't said there are any racial tensions about to bubble over, hasn't said anything about an increase in ethnic minority births leading to rioting, hasn't said anything about rioting at all, hasn't said anything about a 'boom' in ethnic minority births and definitely hasn't characterised the number of ethnic minority births as a crisis.
What it has actually said is that things are actually in pretty good shape in Sheffield and set out a strategy for keeping things that way. See for yourself. Read the report.
One thing he also said is that the Express hadn't seen the report, and must have based its article on the one in the Sheffield Star. We pretty much knew this already, but that's some pretty serious embellishing there. Without even seeing the report, the Express has added references to simmering tensions, riots, and that the number of ethnic minority births represents a crisis.
Since it's clear that neither the Council nor the Sheffield Star have mentioned the number of ethnic minority births as representing either a 'boom' or a 'crisis', not to mention any of the above, we know that these are insertions of the Express. So we know that its the Express who represents a high number of ethnic minority births as a crisis. It's the Express that creates the link between ethnic minority births and rioting. It isn't the case of the paper reporting what someone else has said.
Who else might think a high number of ethnic minority births compared to a low number of white births would represent a crisis? Make a list. Any nice people on it? Or will the BNP be rubbing their hands with glee at getting their party line printed in the national press?
I like the picture the paper uses to illustrate the article. Makes me wonder if Peter Hill goes our on weekends wearing similar attire, but with a more pointy conical hood.