Daily Mail doesn’t know the difference between non-nationals and ethnic minorities

According to the BBC, seven Revenue and Customs staff have been sacked for deliberately underpaying benefits to ethnic minorities.

However, the Mail has gone with Racist taxmen who deliberately under-paid child benefits to non-nationals are sacked:


In other words, the Daily Mail is trying to imply that the people who were underpaid were not British citizens.

Non-nationals and ethnic minorities are not the same thing. Saying that they are the same thing, is in effect the same as saying that black people and Asians (who are an ethnic minority) are not British.

Mind you, it’s not as if this is the first time the Mail has tried to imply something along those lines

As can be expected, the article has attracted the usual variety of credulous comments:

The only saving grace of the piece is that they didn’t put the word “racist” in quote marks or try to make some comment about how “you can’t talk about immigration these days”…

UPDATE: The BBC first posted their story around 12.23 in the afternoon. Then, at roughly 1.50 in the afternoon, the Press Association distributed this story, which bares striking similarities with the BBC’s original story. It is in the Press Association’s version that “non-nationals” makes its appearance.

It would seem that the Daily Mail copied their version from the PA. It’s not clear why “non-nationals” was not mentioned in the BBC’s version but is mentioned in the PA’s.

I’ve e-mailed the Press Association to find out why the phrase was included. It remains to be seen whether I’ll receive a reply. If I do not, I will attempt to contact someone at the BBC and, failing that, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs themselves.


Filed under Media and journalism

4 Responses to Daily Mail doesn’t know the difference between non-nationals and ethnic minorities

  1. Hutcho

    In the Daily Mail's slight defence, their article is a fairly dry, barely touched version of the Press Association's article. They've just used it almost word-for-word and PA also refer to 'non-nationals'.

  2. Thanks for that. I've just found the PA's version.

    I think it's possible that the BBC's version came before the one from the Press Association. The BBC's article was last updated at 12.23 today, yet the PA's version was posted "2 hours" ago.

    If true, it would mean that it was the PA that added the reference to "non-nationals"…

  3. I'd definitely recommend getting in touch with HMRC either way. It could be that saying non-nationals is perfectly justified here – I agree we've not yet seen evidence it's specifically non-nationals, but that's not to say the BBC weren't being overly vague with 'ethnic minorities'.

  4. Yes, this is precisley what I'm thinking.

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