The Daily Mail have been forced to retract claims made about flights and buses being “fully booked” with economic migrants from Romania and Bulgaria. As restrictions on workers from the EU accession countries were set to expire on 1 January, the paper ran a story headlined “Sold out! Flights and buses full as Romanians and Bulgarians head for the UK”.
The piece claimed:
“Almost all flights from Romania to England are full”
“one airline doubled the number [of flights] to meet demand”
“one-way tickets are selling for up to £3,000″
But the paper has now beenforced to issue a correction after readers were able to find plenty of tickets for flights and buses – using a little-known tool called “the internet”. Attempting to shift the blame to “local travel agents”, the paper states:
“We have since been made aware that some reasonably priced flights and seats on buses were available from Bucharest and Sofia at that time.”
An addendum to the original piece is even more fulsome, stating that “some readers were able to find a larger number of flights leaving Bucharest and Sofia at the beginning of January”.
And that airline “doubling” the number of flights to the UK?
“We are also happy to clarify that some of the additional flights were put in place before January 1.”
Trying to use business/first class tickets to suggest that economic migrants were paying “up to £3,000″ to get to Britain was a particularly nice touch.
UPDATE: This was the leader column in their Sunday sister paper two days prior. “The truth”, eh?
With Labour Party’s latest party political broadcastturning the screw further on energy prices, the Tories have dispatched uber right-winger Priti Patel to claim — in the Daily Mail — that the film features lefties ‘masquerading as ordinary people’:
“Labour’s party political broadcast would be a lot more effective if they used real people rather than their own coterie of left-wing campaigners and champagne socialists”
Which might have worked as an attack line … if the ‘Guardian journalist’ and ‘left-wing campaigner’ concerned wasn’t Jack Monroe — whose food writing career is based on her experiences as a single mum trying to feed her young son on as little as £10 per week.
Monroe left her job after shift patterns “played havoc” with childcare for her son and she struggled to afford the lengthy commute to work, which the Mail goes on to suggest was some kind of cynical career move:
“Jack Monroe created a media career for herself after she chose to leave her job in the Essex Fire Service in 2011 to look after her young son full-time.”
“I may be a charity campaigner and political activist, but that does not invalidate 18 months experience of living in a freezing cold flat, on very little money, trying to look after a young child – which is what the campaign invited me to speak about.”
With nothing to say on energy prices, the Tories have resorted to an ad hominem attack on someone with first hand experience of living on the breadline.
There’s certainly no love lost between Alan Sugar and Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre:
“The trouble with them [Daily Mail] is they’re so arrogant. They support some of their deep rooted journalists that have been with them for a long, long time. There is a special ilk of people that work at the Daily Mail, nasty, nasty people and it starts at the top with this Paul Dacre guy who has gone too far this time. I think the shareholders of the Daily Mail group have got to demand his resignation.”
Commenting on Alastair Campbell tweeting the location of Dacre’s home:
“I’m not advocating that there should be any form of violence or anything like that. My address is in the public domain, the Daily Mail have put it in the public domain many times. My business address has been in the public domain. The Daily Mail has had no qualms about putting it in their newspaper many a time. I’m not advocating that there should be any forms of illegal actions at his address but it would be quite funny if there was a demonstration outside demanding his resignation.”
Liberal Conspiracy editor Sunny Hundal may well take Sugar up on his suggestion:
RT @OwenJones84: How about 'The Britain The Daily Mail Hates' (that's most of us, then) demo outside its HQ? < let's go to his house instead
Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre’s vicious attack on Ed Miliband’s war veteran father has given rise to collective head scratching at how his own journalist dad, Peter Dacre, managed to avoid the draft in Wold War II. With Sunday Express reporters hardly a vital component of the war effort, Scrapbook reckons his sometime role as personal assistant to Lord Beaverbrook provides a more likely explanation.
Born in 1925, Peter Dacre was 14 at the outbreak of the war but would have been eligible for conscription by his birthday on 8 June 1943, with nearly two years of European hostilities left to run. By this point the bar on 18 year-olds serving overseas had been lifted — meaning that Dacre Snr would have been eligible to serve alongside Ralph Miliband in the Normandy Landings. Peter Dacre wasn’t in the list of conscription exemptions and we know of no medical condition which would disbar him.*
Around this period, however, Dacre Snr had served as a personal assistant to Express proprietor Lord Beaverbrook, who just happened to hold a number of war ministries under Winston Churchill and who was lord privy seal — the fifth of the great officers of state — from 1943 when Peter Dacre became eligible for the draft.
So did Beaverbrook use his political clout to keep Peter Dacre out of harm’s way?