Monday, February 18, 2008

Daily Mail pays for dodgy stories: Part XXI

It seems the only qualification you need to be a Daily Mail investigative journalist is to have a thick cheque book.

You remember the post we did about how Sue Reid, top Mail investigative sleuth, had been offering money for Poles - and me (which proves how dumb they are) - to go over to the UK and park illegally and speed, just to 'show' how thousands of Eastern Europeans were doing the same and avoiding paying the fines because their vehicle was not registered in the UK?

Well, the Daily Mail never rests in its ethical quest for the truth.

Here is an email doing the rounds from another Mail hack, Diana Appleyard, who is offering money for information on Eastern European law breaking in the UK.

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: 13 February 2008 15:57
Subject: Response Source - Diana Appleyard , Daily Mail (Request for personal case study)
PUBLICATION: Daily Mail (Request for personal case study)
JOURNALIST: Diana Appleyard (staff)
DEADLINE: 14-February-2008 16:00
QUERY: I am urgently looking for anonymous horror stories of people who have employed Eastern European staff, only for them to steal from them, disappear, or have lied about their resident status. We can pay you £100 for taking part, and I promise it will be anonymous, just a quick phone call. Could you email me asap? Many thanks, Diana.

They must be desperate.

Hat tip to the nice person at Five Chinese Crackers for the email alerting me of this. Original source here?


luridtraversal said...

I'm just waiting for the Daily Mail "investigation" on the Poles Who Like To Eat Carp and Baby Pies, While Drinking the Blood of Their Young!!!

These people are really reaching for new ways to hate/fear/mistrust Poles and other Eastern Europeans. It must be nice for the Daily Mail to have a new scapegoat...

michael farris said...

Guilty confession time: I love the Daily Mail. It's the only English language newspaper I look at on a regular basis.

I totally agree about every nasty thing you can say about it but that's why I like it. I think there's nothing funnier than cynical self-righteousness and it delivers in spades. It's almost as funny as Nicolas Cage in Wicker Man.

And yeah, they don't like Eastern Europeans, but it's not like there's any group that they do like, except perhaps aged victims of violent drunken teenagers (is there any other kind in Britain now?)

luridtraversal said...

"It's almost as funny as Nicolas Cage in Wicker Man."

WTF?!?! They remade Wicker Man??? And with Nicholas Cage??? Jesus Wept!!! I had no idea they did (or are doing?) a remake. That's sooooo sad.

And guilty pleasures are just fine Mr. Farris...

Anonymous said...

Oh dear

Guilty as charged:-(

I read the Daily Mail too - so Michael is not alone:-(

I am pretty disgusted at this - this is why I love this site so much - tells me what is really happening out there! - keep it up BR!!

Is x

Anonymous said...

Am still reeling from this:-(

It's pretty bloody despicable really :-(

I dunno what to say?

Except that my husband, son and I work with Poles - I have good friends who are Polish (in fact taking visiting in-laws out tomorrow round Lancashire and Blackpool:-)

It disturbs me that the DM are doing this - can I help in any way ?

Besides reading a different news paper?


Ix x

Anonymous said...

ehy , Beatroot, can't we manage a little business? I am ready to play the Ukrainian Burglar, the Romanian Bitch, whatever. While your character would be the Honest Brit. As for the £100, it will be fifty-fifty, you will not cheat me, duh? I heard horrible stories about the Pilfer Brits.

Anonymous said...

Excellent work posting this!
to shop myself. I have a flexible work contract and often work from home. This unfortunately means that I frequently leave items from my office at home. I had a tidy up recently and counted AT LEAST 15 biros that are identifiable as company property.

As if that wasn't enough, I recently read coverage of Mohammed Al Fayed calling Prince Philip a Nazi and CHORTLED APPROVINGLY in a PUBLIC PLACE.

beatroot said...

Prince Philip is a complete dick and always has been.

As for Daily Mail - technically it is a great product and mostly always has been - like The Sun. But if journalism is reduced to paying for stories which will be published anonymously then this is not reporting at all - it's a kind of creative writing exercise...

Anonymous said...

Dear Diana Appleyard,
I understand that you are looking for horror stories about Poles.

There are several Poles who I know to engage in unspeakable acts. One of them has unusually long canines that enable him to bite into a victim's jugular vein, from which he drinks until sated. He was recently evicted from an Italian restaurant for hissing loudly.

Another Pole I know wanders the streets in a stupor with his arms outstretched and bites people.

Sadly, both of these individuals seem bent on leaving the UK immanently because of the xenophobia of the locals, the spiraling economy and the fact that Poles in the UK seem more unfriendly to each other than they are back home.

Still, this is nothing new. During a recital of his first piano concerto in Paris in 1846, Frederyk Chopin was interrupted when an Englishman ran into the auditorium exclaiming "The ball cock's broken in the gent's urinals - get the Pole to fix it before she floods!"

Without breaking his concentration, Chopin wrote out detailed instructions for the repair of the ball cock during the adagio.

But even with detailed instructions the Englishman was so unaccustomed to manual labor that the auditorium flooded while he was on his third fag break.

While Chopin was able to float to safety atop his Pleyel piano, the Englishman was humiliated and swore revenge. He took a map of occupied Poland and, with a sharp fruit knife, cut the country right down the middle. This Englishman was none other than Lord Curzon himself!

The line lived happily ever after, and in 1942 helped the Universal Genius Joseph Stalin to neatly snap off a big chunk of Poland for himself - but not without the help of Winston Churchill!

Churchill rightly argued that this was the least that the Soviets deserved - after all, they had spent a fearfully long time waiting outside Warsaw for the uprising to finish. And, as the Greatest Ever Briton was fond of saying: 'time is money!'

(that's enough - ed)

beatroot said...


GM said...

The KLF's take on the Wicker Man was better IMO.

Anonymous said...

"I am urgently looking for anonymous horror stories of people who have employed Jewish staff, only for them to steal from them, disappear, or have lied about their resident status."

Sounds fucked up doesn't it?

beatroot said...

yes. It does. I think she has a problem.

michael farris said...

It's also worth mentioning that in the primary sector they're employed in (language instruction) British people do not have a great reputation in Poland.

"I am urgently looking for anonymous horror stories of people who have employed British teachers, only for them not perform their duties, cause more problems than they were worth, steal students, disappear with no warning, or have lied about their resident status*."

* dated today but when the right to work was not automatic for non-Poles no non-Pole felt bad about working illegally (or crossing the border every 90 days in lieu of a residence card and work permit).

luridtraversal said...


Just would like to report to you that Mieszko was born in Szpital Bielanski on 21 February at 13:40 weighing 4 kilos and 200 grams. I'm sooooo proud right now, I can barely move. I'm also soooo drunk!!!

Anonymous said...

Michael Farris, I suspect you're a school owner / DOS rather than teacher:

Well, I've taught in Poland for seven years and put down the perpetual discontent of Polish-owned English schools with expat teachers to the following:
- Polish educational system creates the expectation that languages can be taught like sciences and maths. You teach a few rules (grammar) and then go away and apply them. Try to learn English that way!
- Callan machine learning schools - there should be a fund to reward every teacher that leaves these ridiculous schools (but technically anyone can be drill sergeant here so few expats employed).
- School quality control systems like random inspections. Oh dear - stressful.
- TEFL takers tend to be graduates taking a year off to teach somewhere nice and travel the country they're in. Try that in Poland where teachers' working hours and wages don't really allow much travel. Many seem to end up boozing.
- Many go boozing because fag and booze companies in the UK actively target students with ludicrously cheap promotions.
- Many go boozing because booze cheaper in Poland.
- Poland not exactly top draw for graduates so schools here don't get pick of top CV's
- Salaries for TEFL teachers in Poland not very good. I imagine top talent goes to Korea, Japan or Spain and Portugal where at least it's warm.
- GOD FORBID TEFL teacher gets roped into state school classes like I did. 20+ adolescents per class, 20 different ability levels, minimal discipline, minimal interest. Teacher has every incentive needed to hit bottle, walk out on job, steal students (to kill them).
- School margins on one-to-one classes allow teachers to undercut schools by half and still make at least double their hourly rate. No wonder teachers find it so easy to compete.
- My first school flat was in a cockroach -ridden tower block next to a busy motorway. I think a few other teachers have issues with accommodation!
- School docked my wages because landlord said I'd broken vacuum cleaner. I was allowed no defence even though I'd done nothing to it!

I'm not knocking schools as they are in a challenging business environment, but a lot of bad-mouthing of teachers goes on. This doesn't help schools or teachers.

beatroot said...

Gooooooo Lurid!!!!

michael farris said...

Lurid, congratulations!!!! (belated but sincere).

Now that he's born, you'll be able to catch up on all that sleep you've been missing. Plus, I hear nothing puts a woman in the mood for love quite like caring for a newborn! (okay, that's snark, but congrats all the same)

michael farris said...

anonymous 4:10,

sorry my brain is mush at the moment - what's DOS?

I reaaly am just a university lecturer who's never really taught regularly in a school in Poland outside the university (nor wanted to and I gave up private lessons years ago when I realized I was dreading each and every lesson).

And my example wasn't anything I agree with but just the stereotypes I come across (in and out of the university) and how they could be used in the same format as the Daily Mail hack is using.

Yeah, I've heard of lots of crummy behavior by language school owners too (one of the reasons I've steered clear of them). At one time in Warsaw it was apparently common practice to hire a native speaker and have them start teaching ... and not pay them. The point was to see how many free classes you could get from them, one they quit, there was another native speaker looking around for a job...

The other reason is I have no (formal) training (or special interest) in TEFL and I'm not good with anything but very advanced students. That said, I have enough of a background in other related fields (linguistics, including general theories of language acquisition and a little experience teaching German and Spanish in the states) that I was able to not make a complete fool of myself and even be of some use to students until I figured out what I was doing.

Lately I find myself trying to get out of English classes per se and into more linguistics / translation / etc)

beatroot said...

And good luck with that, Mike. I trained as a sociology teacher and I am OK at doing that. But when I came to Poland I kept getting asked for private language classes. I did it and for the most part hated it. I had no clue what I was doing. Hopeless. But because I was a 'native speaker' they thought I had some credibility. When I had none. I felt like a linguistic prostitute - getting paid for what comes naturally.

michael farris said...

What I remember most are how exhausting private lessons were (the main reason I quit doing them). Even though I liked the people (I only ever did lessons for people I liked) one one hour private lesson usually left me feeling more tired than six hours of regular classes straight.

beatroot said...

Especially if, like me, you had a lot of 18 year old kids - especially boys - to have to have conversation classes with. After about three weeks you had run out of topics to talk about.