Except there wasn't as much outrage as you might expect. The Sun, perhaps anticipating its readers' rage at the govenrment te paper is supporting, doesn't seem to have covered it at all. The Mail dispatched the anonymous DAILY MAIL REPORTER for two stories - the straigt 'Coalition to ban detention of immigrants' children' and the more pro-government ''Shameful' detention of immigrant children to end in May, pledges Clegg'. Predictably, the readers hate the news. The comments are amusing - well, they are if you find a creeping contempt for your fellow human beings funny.
Here's the top one from 'Coalition to ban...':
And just how much is this going to cost the taxpayer, if the parents of these children were not here illegally then the children would not be in a detention centre, Clegg if you don't want children in these centres then close the borders and stop all immigration for at least 5 years.And from ''Shameful' detention...':
- trevor, hale cheshire, 16/12/2010 6:20
i dont mind paying extra taxes if it means the government hiring converted oil tankers which can house people so they can be shipped straight back to where they came..............IM SORRY BUT IF WHERE YOU LIVE IS SO BAD THEN YOUR FIRST CALL OF PORT MUST BE YOUR SANCTUARY............NOT FREE CASH AND HOUSES BRITAIN.............Of course, neither stayed on the front page for very long.
- joseph prescott, liverpool england, 16/12/2010 13:29
Neither of these papers gave their readers what they wanted, instead either siding with the government or ignoring it.
The Express though - hoo boy. If you're wondering what sort of heartless bugger would cry 'humbug' at the news that innocent children are no longer held in custody (aside from Daily Mail commenters of course), look no further than Macer Hall, winner of last month's '5cc tabloid bullshit of the month award'. Macer, in full on pantomime villain caricature mode, managed to secure top shouty front page headline position with 'ASYLUM GETS EVEN SOFTER'. That's right, the Express thinks a system that pretty much imprisons innocent children and removes them from the country by force is 'soft'.
The story has it all, it has bullshit like:
Mr Clegg will also announce that the Yarl’s Wood detention centre in Bedfordshire is closing immediately.No he wouldn't, since it's just the family unit. Still, Clegg did stupidly make the mistake himself when he first mentioned the plans months ago. You can't blame Hall for not checking the current info. Oh, hang on. You can.
It has a quote from Philip Davies. It has an unsupported vague claim about 'many tories' thinking too many Lib Dem policies are being implemented. It doesn't have outraged comments though. It seems that it at one point did - the story is listed as having 8 comments, but clicking through shows that 'Have Your Say' is disabled now.
That shouldn't come as any surprise to people involved with the website. It already stopped asking its regular 'How much do you hate immigrants' question in the 'Have Your Say' section because of the people it was attracting. Imagine how hateful those comments must have been.
It's difficult to see how any of them could have been worse than the paper's own editorial. 'FAMILY FRIENDLY GAMBIT IS SOP TO LIBERAL SENSIBILITIES' lays it all out, including:
In some quarters their measures will certainly generate such a response. Metropolitan liberal opinion will suggest that locking up children was always barbaric and a disgrace to an advanced country in the 21st century.Yeah, some people might think it's wrong to lock up children, but they're just liberals. You know there's another 'but' that follows this, huh?
Here it is, in all its 'verging on taking the piss, would be funny if it wasn't being serious' glory:
But back in the real world people will be forgiven for smelling a rat. Were previous governments of all shades really so cruel as to sanction the locking-up of juveniles for no good reason?Yeah. In the real world, you'd smell a rat if someone suggested you might not want to lock up innocent kids. Jesus. What a shithole 'the real world' must be for the sort of bell-end that usually uses the phrase 'in the real world'.
This line of reasoning is embarrassingly bad. It doesn't deserve much more than pointing and laughing. But you kind of have to point out what's wrong.
See that bit about 'previous governments of all shades' which is supposed to counter the idea that locking up children in an advanced country is a disgrace in the 21st century? There was only one other government of one shade in the 21st century. So, you know - no.
As if that weren't bad enough, Yarl's Wood with its family unit has only existed since 2001. As has the concept of keeping children in detention, it seems. According to this report from Medical Justice:
The New Labour government made a decision in 2001 to detain children and families subject to immigration control in the same way as single adults.In 'the real world' imagined by right wing blowhards, governments of all shades have locked up kids so there must be something in it and we shouldn't stop now. Except in the real real world, you know, the one that actually exists and that, only one government did that. It's the one that the Express thinks was 'soft' on asylum.
So the Express is the only one of the three main right wing tabloids to give its readers what it thinks they want, which appears to be ill-informed farting about how horrible it is that we wont be locking innocent kids up any more.
If Desmond decided to pull his shitrags from the PCC, could they get any worse.
Special thanks to Jamie Thunder and Atomic Spin for their help with links for this one.