One topic is 'Deja Vu', which covers most of the stories we have seen before. I'm not just talking about the stories that fit the overarching tabloid narratives, but stories that get recycled every now and again, ususally when new sets of virtually identical figures get released every three months. One story that pops up a lot in this category is the one of how loads of people are leaving the UK as loads are coming in - the implication being that people are leaving because these people are coming in.
Here's one from May this year: 'Over 200,000 Britons fleeing the UK each year as record 160,000 foreigners are granted citizenship'
Here's one from November last year: 'Half a million migrants pour into Britain in a year, but 200,000 leave'
Here's one from this time last year: '196,000 out, 574,000 in: Record numbers leaving Britain for new life abroad - as immigration to UK soars'
On Friday, I posted (with a crappy link, natch - sorry people) about Anton Vowl's coverage in 'Prove it, you lying racist bastards' of the latest incarnation of the story, ''White flight' as more than 400,000 Britons head for a new life abroad'
'Wha...?' you might think, doing a comedy double take (maybe gobbing out a bit of tea or something - whatever floats your boat), 'but that means the number of white people leaving the country is more than double the total number of people who left last year!'
Except, as anyone who read Anton's take will realise, no.
Whereas the paper's technique last year was to only count the number of British citizens leaving the country for a year or more, while counting the total number of people arriving (including returning British citizens) to make it look as though there's a horrible flood of swarthy people, the technique this year is to count every single person leaving the country for a year or more and pretending that all of them are white. Something that it only dared to imply by using figures for British citizens last year.
That's quite something. Last year, not a single mention of the fact that there were 189,000 non-UK citizens leaving the country, but this year they're counted as 'British residents' to lend some weight to the bullshit claim of 'white flight'.
And that's not the only change in tack over the last year. It seems that the paper's previously masterful use of innuendo to say things without saying them is on its way out.
Last year, the paper managed to imply that nice, smiley white people were leaving while swarthy foreigners were arriving with brick-subtle juxtaposition of pictures. It also only alluded to 'white flight', being incredibly careful to qualify the usage, by saying:
The middle class are increasingly moving out of towns and cities in southern England in a phenomenon known in Whitehall as 'churn'.
The relocation to suburbs and rural areas is similar to the 'white flight' that emptied American cities in the 1960s.
However, the exodus here includes successful ethnic minority families anxious to escape the growing tensions of life in big towns.
See. Not white flight, but similar. It involves successful ethnic minority families. We're not racist, but look at these pictures.
This year, we're not just talking about a localised issue of people leaving urban areas that's a bit like white flight, we're connecting the dots for you and calling the number of people leaving the country 'white flight', even though quite a large number of the people leaving are not white. But we're still not racist. Here's an article about how black people stab white people.
I'm pretty sure the Mail has been getting more brazen recently, relying less on its readers to join dots. Comparing '196,000 out...' with 'White flight...' shows this pretty clearly. While the first version gives the paper the opportunity to claim that it's only addressing the problem of numbers of people and race isn't an issue, the current version makes this far more difficult. The paper is actively drawing the attention of the reader of the race of the people leaving the country, and pretending lots of people who aren't the race the Mail wants us to think they are actually are, but that's familiar Mail territory.
Last month, the Mail published a set of figures that showed that the vast majority of young victims of knife crime are of unknown ethnic origin in 'Over half of young knife suspects are black, Scotland Yard figures reveal' with the words:
Yet in the overwhelming majority of reported cases of knife crime involving young people, the victims are white.
The figures were 222 for white, but 292 for 'not stated'. The only explanation the paper offered for this is that the victims were black gang members who didn't want to be identified.
Last week, the Mail on Sunday reported about the murder of teenager Nilanthan Murddi, making as much as it could of the possibility of the murder being related to a turf war between Sri Lankan gangs. The suspect, as the paper revealed in the story, was white.
It subsequently emerged that Murddi was alleged to be the victim of a racist crime, rather than Sri Lankan gang violence. I've blogged about this a couple of times, but the upshot is that the paper hasn't bothered to report this development in the paper version. It has updated the version of the article on the website, but, bizarrely had made it impossible to find in searches a reader might commonly use to find it, such as the victim's full name, or the words 'racist murder'.
It seems that this non-white knife murder victim is not worthy of space in the dead tree version of the paper when he can't be connected to gang violence. And, remember, black victims don't state their ethnicity because they're gang members.
This apparent ditching of the paper's more subtle approach is great for the BNP. Assembly Member Richard Barnbrook has included the Mail's table from the black knife crime story on his blog. The party has been using the infamous Mail picture from immigration stories like 'Half a million migrants pour into Britain in a year, but 200,000 leave' on their website. Today, Barnbrook has a video on his blog quoting from the London County Council's book of remembrance about how those in the 1914-18 war stood firm in the agressor's path to attack the inclusion of a statue and words of Nelson Mandela in the Assembly Hall (connecting him somehow with WWI Germans), and to attack a statue remembering the abolition of slavery. (Who are the aggressors here, black people? Lefties? We're not told, but probably a combination). Mandela, obviously is not a literal aggressor against Britain. But then, immigrants aren't literal invaders, either. Which didn't stop last Friday's headline in the Express, a paper that will shunt rightward with the Mail in its attempts to out-Mail it, whatever the paper does.
Will things get any better under the inevitable years of tory rule in front of us, as the papers try desperately to attack the government for not being right wing enough?