Mzansi Afrika

From Johannesburg South Africa, a window on the world

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Media xenophobia reaches new heights

We are supposedly living in an age of enlightenment, but it seems the world is becoming a place of increasing intolerance. According to The Independent (UK) media xenophobia is reaching a high in Britain:

"London, April 4 – Take one British newspaper and one day - the Daily Express on Thursday. "The evil in our midst" was the page one headline about the arrests of the British Muslims (sic) for questioning in connection with possible terrorist offences. In common with other papers, the Express carried a long interview with the father of one of those arrested, and this was carried across pages four and five. It told of extremist Muslim factions and attempts to influence young Muslims in Britain.

Over the page was another spread on the atrocities in Iraq, the murder and display of American contractors. "Descent into barbarism" read the headline. Two pages on, we have "The great asylum con trick", coverage of the immigration row, and the Blair exchanges with Michael Howard in the Commons. At the bottom of the same page, under the headline " 'Peril' of the foreign truckers", we read that British lorry drivers were very concerned about the arrival in this country of drivers from the EU accession states. Unnamed British truckers believed this would "open the floodgates to dangerously unskilled workers". It would be "only a matter of time before an eastern European HGV driver causes a fatal crash in Britain". Turning on again - same paper, same day - and we had the horrendous story of the "Migrant on the run who killed our innocent angel aged 12". This was the serial sex attacker from Poland who had got into Britain, where he had attacked and murdered Katerina Koneva. The report of the conviction and life sentence for Andrezej Kunowski also mentioned the fact that he had had a heart by-pass operation on the NHS." (More)