Poles accuse 'Daily Mail' of defaming community

Poles in Britain have accused the Daily Mail ofdefaming their community in a letter of complaint to the press watchdog.

Many articles published on Polish migrants were likely to foster racial tension, the Federation of Poles in Great Britain said. The federation, the largest group representing Poles in Britain, says that of 80 articles published on the subject by the Daily Mail in the past two years, fewer than five were positive. Headlines such as "Are young Polish workers robbing their country of its future?"; "Britain is country of choice for many 'feckless' Poles" and "Polish Borat claims groping women is normal in eastern Europe", are among those that have caused fury.

The federation accused the newspaper in its letter to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) of being unacceptably racist. "If the subject had been Pakistani or African immigrants, such a string of article headlines would have been considered blatantly racist and probably subject to a court summons," the letter said.

"This kind of shock reporting, week-in week-out, serves only to exacerbate the tension", the federation added. "They are slingshots aimed at Europe and the Government which rebound against Poles and other central Europeans in street abuse, fire-bombed homes and mob attacks, while the Daily Mail washes its hands of all responsibility."

The PCC confirmed it had received the complaint, but said it was not in a position to make a full assessment until further documentation was filed.

Wiktor Moszczynski, of the federation, said the full documentation would be sent within a week.

"It will take us a while", he added. "The full text of what they've written about us would fill a shopping bag; it's a gigantic pile."

The Daily Mail was accused of continually trying to "eke out a negative story wherever possible". In the letter, the federation compared the coverage of a government report on migration released on 17 July last year with that in The Independent.

While the Daily Mail headline said "Influx of immigrants costs every UK household £350 a year", an equivalent article in this paper, based on the same report, was headed "Home Office: migrants work harder, earn more and pay more taxes than Britons".

The executive managing editor of Associated News & Media, Robin Esser, told the federation in a letter that the Daily Mail was "not in any way anti-Polish", and the sometimes violent reaction of Britons to Polish migrants was "worrying", but "not the fault of the Daily Mail".

A spokesman for the Daily Mail said: "If you take the balance of articles published by us, the 'Polish Migrant' has not been identified as a 'hate figure' and we have often and continuously drawn attention to the benefits Britain has and does derive from the skills that immigrants bring us."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Junior Business Systems Analyst - High Wycombe - £30,000

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Junior Business Systems Analyst role...

Guru Careers: Talent Manager

£30-35k (P/T - Pro Rata) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienc...

Sauce Recruitment: New Media Marketing Manager - EMEA - Digital Distribution

£35000 - £45000 per annum + up to £45,000: Sauce Recruitment: The Internation...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003