Strangler - must be a dirty foreigner - maybe even Polish! (Or the case of the mysterious disappearing articles)

I wanted to wait until someone was arrested for the Ipswich stranglings before posting about this, so I have.

The tabloids dubbed the murderer the 'Ripper', and he had killed a number of prostitutes - but there is something else the case has in common with that of Jack the Ripper. Apparently:
On 10 September 1888 the Manchester Guardian reported that "all are united in the belief that [the murderer] is a Jew or of Jewish parentage[,] his face being of a marked Hebrew type." Sir Robert Anderson, the Head of the Central Intelligence Division, was adamant in his memoirs that the killer was a Polish Jew.
Get rid of the word 'Jew' from that, and we find a similarity with last Wednesday's Mail. In their ongoing campaign to demonise the Polish, the Daily Mail published this story, 'The influx of immigrant workers' as part of its coverage of the strangler case. It's there on the Mail's 'Special Report' list of articles on the subject.

Now, this article doesn't come out and say, 'the murderer is Polish.' It would be stupid to do that, since, you know, he might not be and the paper's evidence would be pretty thin. But what the article does is cleverly imply he could be, while attacking the Polish even if he is not. You see:
Thousands of migrants have arrived in East Anglia in recent years, making the police's task even harder.
They've made the investigation harder, the inconsiderate fuckers. They should have thought of their possible effects on a completely unforeseen serial killer investigation before:
More than 73,000 have been lured by the availability of work in agriculture and food processing.
Look at the dehumanising language right there. People generally aren't 'lured', animals are, unless the reason they were attracted somewhere turn out to be fake, or a trap or the person is a criminal. Criminals are 'lured'. Plus, there's no reference for the numbers, so we can't check. Again. Remember, when we can, we can find out that 3,000 means 100. Or we can find out that reports the paper claims say not to do things to avoid offending Muslims, actually don't mention Muslims once and don't in fact say not to do those things.

Anyhow, these people have been lured to Britain and are hampering police investigations because:
It means police are faced with tens of thousands of people who they know very little about and who speak a variety of languages.
Okay. So far, so sort-of-plausible (if the numbers are accurate, and that's a whopping great if). There are lots of new people in the area, and some might not speak English. Maybe they don't have interpreters in Suffolk, I dunno. I suppose that could make it difficult to interview witnesses or suspects.

We find out in the next paragraph/sentence:
Officers will also be unable to tell if they have committed sex crimes abroad.
Oh. What happened there? A rapid shift in emphasis. We start with police investigations being hampered because of a lot of new people the police aren't familiar with arriving in the area who might not be able to speak English. But with this sentence, we see clearly what the paper is implying - that one of them might be the killer. (Cue some ominous music please). And we don't know because:
Britain is obliged to tell other European countries if sex offenders travel abroad.

But only Ireland has similar legislation.
And we arrive at a familiar xenophobic whine. 'They don't do it, why should we?' mixed with a generous helping of, 'look at how morally superior we are to the foreigners.' Plus, there's some great obfuscatory language in there. 'Britain is obliged to...' you can imagine the Mail readers trembling with rage at the nerve of these bloody Eurocrats making us do things they don't make the French do. Because the 'is obliged to' is passive, making it look as though somebody else is obliging Britain to do this, rather than Britain itself.

More important than that is the implication that one of these immigrants might be the killer, and we don't know because their sneaky foreign government of sneaky foreigners didn't even tell us. Bastards.

"But so far, they've only been talking about European countries. How can this possibly be about the Polish?" you might ask. And that would be because you hadn't read further, you lazy so and so:
The loophole emerged after the rape of a 25-year-old woman in her home near Llanelli, South Wales, by a Polish immigrant.

Josef Kurek, 41, was jailed for life. But Swansea Crown Court heard he had already served nine years in prison in Poland for raping a policeman's daughter.
The article goes on about the case and police not being able to get details from Poland, until the last three sentences:
Prior to May 2004, Ipswich only had small numbers of migrants living there.

The 2001 census records just 7,263 foreign nationals in the town.

The largest numbers then were from the West Indies, India, Germany, America and Bangladesh.
So, they were from those countries. Where are they from now? Well, May 2004 is when Eastern European countries joined the EU and people from those countries could come here as EU citizens. And the example above was about Polish people, so it's pretty easy to work out who they mean. But the figure at the top of the report is likely to be for total immigration, not just that of Eastern Europe - which partly explains why Eastern Europe is only hinted at.

Now, this is a pretty sneaky article to slip in among the rest of the coverage of the murders. But it's not the only implication about a dirty foreigner being the killer that the paper made. From the Mailwatch forum comes this quote from a Mail story:
Paula, a drug addict and mother of three, said she believed her friend Gemma Adams might have been killed by one of the thousands of migrant workers who arrive in East Anglia every year looking for agricultural work.

She had had 'bad experiences' with migrants, she said, who 'think they can do anything to a woman and get away with it'.

Ipswich is just ten miles from the international ferry port of Felixstowe, and one theory being investigated is that the killer could be an immigrant worker.
Dirty foreigners. Anyway, when I was about to type up this post, I wanted to cover that story too, but couldn't find that quote anywhere on the Mail site. So I googled the quote and got a link to this article, 'Desparate police admit strangler is out of control'. But the quote isn't there. Sticking it into google news gives a link to the identical article on thisislondon (the site for the Daily Mail and General Trust's London papers) and it isn't there either.

Also from the Mailwatch forum is this link to a story apparently implying the murderer is a dirty foreigner:


But clicking it gives an 'article not found' message. Is this the same article before the immigration references were removed, or a different article altogether that the paper has had to take down? Apparently, this article is a copy. Either way, it's a bit of a shame because it apparently had comments like:
I am more than happy that the authorities have got or will very soon get the instigator of these terrible murders.
The fact that the guilty party may be an immigrant is absolute complete political dynamite.
Hopefully all governments of this country have understood the meaning of a wake up call.

- Mike, UK
Well said Mike. If the murderer does indeed turn out to be an immigrant then surely even stupid Blair must put a halt to immigration, or at least have thorough criminal and medical checks put into place and tighter border control.

- Cathy, Watford, England
And best of all:

The implication seems to be that allowing immigration will lead to murder! Fred West and Peter Sutcliffe were natives; didn't stop them being serial killers, did it? Every nation has its share of freaks and lunatics, and while there is a place for a debate on immigration, it isn't appropriate to hijack this tragic situation to score cheap political points. Shame on those of you who try. The issue should be addressed in a calm, rational manner and not with kneejerk prejudice. Of course there needs to be better control of the immigration system, but seeing a series of murders as indicative of anything other than someone's personal depravity, at a time when we have no clue who is responsible but we do know five families are torn apart, is stupid.

- Olivia Lee, Cambridge, UK
Well said, Olivia Lee.

Is it possible that someone complained about saying a dirty foreigner did the murders without anything to back it up, so the paper had to remove the references from their websites? Could there have been a deluge of complaints like Olivia Lee's comment, so they had to go? Are the paper just embarrassed now that someone not foreign has been arrested? Is it possible that the paper was not content with not being able to imply the murderer might be a dirty foreigner because of this, so it left up another article doing just that in a milder manner (and I'm sure that headline's changed - it would be rubbish otherwise)?

I think we should be told.

*UPDATE* Another article looks to have been taken down (thanks again to Tuber in the Mailwatch forum). Mentioned here at Radio Orla, it apparently included:
Pole sought by Suffolk police

A migrant worker from Eastern Europe is being sought by police investigating the Suffolk strangler murders, reported Daily Mail on December 15. The man - who has not been seen since Wednesday - drives a dark blue BMW similar to the one in which victim Anneli Alderton was last seen alive. He works on a farm close to where more than one of the serial killer's five victims were found. His BMW has been left parked near his home, and a police forensic team spent yesterday afternoon examining the car for any evidence linking it to the victims. Police believe the man may have vital information which could help them with the inquiry.

As well as the link between a BMW driver and Anneli, there were also reports last night that victim Annette Nicholls was seen getting into a BMW at around the time she disappeared. Five Ipswich prostitutes have been found killed.

And Radio Orla points out:
Ed. What is offensive about the Daily Mail's article is that having said in its headline that a Pole being sought, nowhere in the article is there such a connection, except that someone from East Europe was being sought by police.
That'd be the 'Withdrawn!' tactic. Which clearly wasn't enough to stop this article getting pulled. I kind of hope it was because of threats to sue this nasty paper's arse rather than embarrassment.

The article is also mentioned here at newsik.net, which links to a thisislondon article that has been disappeared. There's also more here at Anorak, which should probably go on my blogroll. The beatroot also covers it well.

The Mail itself includes a broken link to 'Strangler police hunt BMW Pole' from 'Police have fifty Suffolk Strangler suspects'. It has the same url as the missing story above, so we know what's missing now.

Obsolete has more about how nasty this paper is, with coverage of Littlejohn's latest column.

1 comment:

septicisle said...

At least the possibility that the Ripper was Polish/Jewish is based in fact; 3 of the main suspects were are such: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_proposed_Jack_the_Ripper_suspects

Littlejohn's article in the Mail today was also a disgrace.