Daily Mail Online

Four years ago when foreign-born British athletes were competing in the Olympics, the Daily Mail and Telegraph called it controversial and said they were “plastic Brits”.

And yes, that included Mo Farah and the Belgian-born Bradley Wiggins.

But now the right-wing newspapers seems to have conveniently forgotten itheir embarrassing racism since Mo Farah is dominating the coverage again.

The term was derived from Plastic Paddy, which was used to describe people who claim to be Irish despite not residing in that country.

This is the Daily Mail front page today

Daily Mail Mo Farah

There’s no mention of the term “plastic Brits”. But four years ago the Daily Mail reported:

The controversy over ‘plastic Brits’ has been reignited by the revelation that Team GB will have 61 overseas-born athletes competing at this summer’s London Olympics.

Team GB Andy Hunt has come under fire over the selection of Cuban-born triple jumper Yamile Aldama and wrestler Olga Butkevych, who was born in Ukraine but received her UK passport only a couple of months ago.

And now a Daily Telegraph survey has revealed that 11 per cent of the 542-strong were born abroad. The figure has been inflated by some athletes who were simply born away from home to British parents. Basketball and handball will both field nine foreign-born competitors in London.

That wasn’t the end of it either.

Another comment piece by Des Kelly was more inflammatory, claiming that ‘Plastic Brits insult our Games‘. There were numerous such articles.

Also worth remembering, Mo Farah came to Britain from Somalia at the age of eight.

He would likely be depicted by this Daily Mail cartoon at the time (via @josephwillits).

The Daily Mail came under a torrent of criticism, and it seems to have seen some sense now

Let’s hope this marks the end of another embarrassing racist episode for the Daily Mail.

  1. With the reactionary Daily Mail it’s not really considered embarrassing at all. In the UK we’ve become accustomed to ‘our’ reactionary media, softened to its not-so-casual racism and misogyny. We’re currently witnessing an attempted political coup, supported by the judiciary, the BBC and even (especially) liberal papers like the Guardian, and yet it’s presented to the general public as just another news item. It’s like watching a train crash in slow motion watching how our democracy works. Come the next election we’re invariably treated again and again as if we have virtually no functional long-term memory, and we will continue to allow them to get away with it. Expect no improvement, expect further erosion of rights and standards. And expect the general public to label you as ‘Loony Left’ if you dream to question it.

  2. Generally I agree with what you say, but please don’t use the WE word – I’m not any way accepting of our truly dreadful reactionary media, the BBC, the f****** Grauniad or the rest. Neither, I suspect, are you. I fight it where I can, and am labelled loony left by some, and worse.
    In Scotland, those of us who see independence as a possible better way are used to the vilification by the main stream media.
    Don’t say WE accept it. You don’t, I don’t. Don’t be softened. Don’t be accustomed. Tell those who do they are wrong, and why. This is now a serious battle for the soul of these islands. Stand up and and be counted. I am not part of that WE and I don’t honk you are either.

  3. The Olympic medal haul cost the British Gambler approximately £5 million per medal. I don’t know if gold ones cost more specifically, but a rowing eight or a rugby seven get to share the 5 million, hopefully between them. However, I think it is outrageous that the Government and the Royal Family get in on the act with the Honours System when they are net non-contributors to the cost of the elite Sports Lottery Grant (unless, that is, if they are lottery punters too).

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