Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Flintoff and the Daily Mail treatment

England cricketer new victim of quality press.

England cricketer Andrew Flintoff is the latest celebrity to receive the Daily Mail treatment - that is having a quote squeezed, butchered and finally turned into a Mail-friendly headline.

If you bought your quality tabloid yesterday, then you probably spotted this scandalous headline:

"Why can't hotel staff speak English? Andrew Flintoff in bizarre anti-immigration outburst".

And before you could read it back to yourself, the Express, the Telegraph, the Sun and the gentlemen over at where all picking at the remains as they paraded similar headlines.

Except that Flintoff (with the non-quote coming from his recent interview with GQ magazine) had not once spelt out the word 'immigration'. This is what the England cricketer really said:

"I have no problems with a multicultural society, I think that is to the benefit of the country. But you have to be careful what levels you take it to. It annoys me when I phone a hotel receptionist in my own country and they don't understand what I am saying because they don't speak English".

Of course, someone should have pointed out to Flintoff, who perhaps is too busy taking wickets to notice, that there are two intimately related reasons behind his hotel pet-hate: cheap labour and the notion of profit uber alles.

However, the fact remains that Flintoff merely stated how frustrating it is when you can't communicate with a receptionist, he did not make an anti-immigration speech. That remains, as per usual, the prerogative of Britain's quality press and their wet dreams.


socialist sam said...

The Sun's comments bit to the article was a parade of serious ignorance. If I was Flintoff I'd warn them of legal action. You have crap ranging from "Not enough ppl speak English in England" to "The fact that anyone can come here and think that they dont have to learn english is just taking the pi55 quite frankly, you want the job, the money, the roof over your head but you dont want to speak the language??? what kind of crap is that"...and rants about the NHS. Simply UNBELIEVABLE.

thepatriot said...

Yes, but you guys are missing the point. So I'll ask you in plain and simple English:

Is it ok for people to come here and settle without being able to hold a simple conversation in English?

Yes or No?

claude said...

but I suspect you resent them even when they do speak fluent English. The anti-immigration lobby are always picking at something. If it's not the language, then it;s the job; then the veil; then the food; then the NHS; then the council flats; then the accent; then this and then that.

Not to mention this simple fact: The stinking hypocrisy of those Brits who move to other countries without bothering to pick up a single word. Look at the hundreds of thousands who have invaded, literally, entire parts of Spain or France.

With notable excetions, the British are universally renowned as the worst when it comes down to learning a foreign language- even if that's where they relocate!

And guess which papers make a big deal out of the fact that they are "PRINTED IN SPAIN"? The Mail, the Telegraph, the Express and the Sun. Because that's what most expats read.

Those Brits are the epitome of what it's like to live abroad without integrating, not even ONE BIT while grunting that "the immigrants are taking over britain". It really is a laugh.

So yes, I mean, if I ran my hotel I'd hire people who can speak English, but I would also keep in mind other crucial factors.

But I also like to think that I'd pay them a living wage.

Because if all I'm offering is a pittance, then chances are I'll only be able to employ people who are desperate- and that means standards may go out of the window (including the language).

I hope that was plain and simple enough.

Ceri said...


Yes, it is OK

Stan Moss said...

this is how the right-wing hijacks issues. The GQ interview with Mr Flintoff was NOT, I repeat NOT, about immigration.

It is the Daily Mail and "patriots" like you who take ANY excuse to start such trite and noxious rants.

Also, Patriot: do we really want Britain to turn into a tiny little isolated island where tourists are put off from coming?

I recently met a French couple who were asking me if it's ok to visit London for a weekend as they've heard "foreigners are not welcome these days in Britain".

Is this what you lot want?

Emma said...

Thepatriot: Typically, you gloss over the point of this article.

Flintoff did NOT, I repeat NOT mention anything at all, or even remotely related to immigration during his interview. This was a complete fabrication and twisting of facts by The Mail.

No, it's not right for people to move permanently to the UK without being able to speak English to some degree, just the same as it's unacceptable for Brits to move abroad and not learn the language of the country they emigrate to.

'Us guys' aren't missing the point at all. You are, for a change.

the patriot said...

And Ceri, tell me, would you also give those people jobs even though they arent able to handle communication at the most basic level?

And Claude: I'm not defending expats. I dont know if what you say is true. If it is then bad on them, what can I say. But two wrongs dont make a right.

Stan: If thats what your French mates think then though. If they wanna come and visit they're welcome if not they can fly elsewhere and see how they like it.

Emma: How am I missing the point?

Stan Moss said...

Stan: If thats what your French mates think then though. If they wanna come and visit they're welcome if not they can fly elsewhere and see how they like it.

You little, little Englander.