Saturday, 15 June 2013

The Daily Mail archive

I’ve been browsing the Daily Mail Historical Archive, a new digital database for which my university currently has a trial subscription. It’s a fascinating resource for the social and cultural historian, although if I were being picky, I’d have to say that some of the stories can get a bit samey (see below).

‘The number of foreigners who cross the Channel and make England their home is increasing in alarming proportion … This sea-girt island of ours also seems to be a happy “half-way house” for the foreigner leaving his own country for other lands …’ (‘Immigrants on the increase’, Daily Mail, 16 January 1901.)

‘Hygiene standards among West Indians, Nigerians, and other coloured immigrants are so low that new problems are being created for London’s health authorities, says a health officer …’ (‘Immigrants “cause new health problems”’, Daily Mail, 7 September 1961.)

‘Private security men working at London’s Heathrow Airport have uncovered an audacious immigrant smuggling racket … The illegal travellers are hidden behind trays of food and bins of catering debris and driven through the security gates to the “safety” of the catering firm’s headquarters in Middlesex …’ (‘Smuggled Asians: Jet Set Style’, Daily Mail, 13 August 1973.)

‘Today Western Europe is haunted by the spectre of mass illegal immigration from the Third World and Eastern Europe, where the aftermath of Marxism leaves a devastated landscape …’ (‘Swamped … by the new underclass’, Daily Mail, 8 October 1991.)

‘The tide of immigrants lapping at our shores has become a tidal wave. Every day, hundreds arrive here from Eastern Europe, lured by the promise of a state-subsidised lifestyle they can only dream of back home …’ ‘(Welcome to Gravy Train UK’, Daily Mail, 3 October 1998.)

I also discovered that the Daily Mail first used the phrase ‘bogus asylum seeker’ on 6 November 1996,  in an article titled ‘Rapist’s refuge in Britain’.

1 comment:

  1. As you plough back through the archive, it would be fascinating to know whom they pilloried before immigrants. It really is 'Speed Hating'.

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