Daily Mail’s racial scaremongering on ‘Filipino killer nurse’ undermines its work exposing him

The paper's bad cop-good cop routine cannot mask its drive for collective punishment


The Daily Mail’s coverage of the ‘killer nurse’ story this week saw it run the headline: ‘NHS STILL HIRING FILIPINO NURSES’.

The case of Victorino Chua, a nurse from the Philippines who murdered patients in his care, apparently means a whole country is overflowing with potential psychopaths and killers.

Now, I know this sounds a bit iffy. Still hiring Filipino nurses’? Why shouldn’t they? Are we to assume Chua is representative of all nurses from the Philippines? As someone said on Twitter, how would we like it if all British doctors were seen as potential Harold Shipmans?

But don’t worry, there’s nothing racist about this. Oh no.

Next to the story (May 21st), the Mail ran a column by NHS psychotherapist Max Pemberton headed: ‘It’s NOT racist to worry about foreign nurses’.


The noisy headline, with it’s capital ‘NOT’ to sway any doubters, is a classic example of the bad cop-good cop trick the paper has used for years.

The bad cop says something naughty – about Pakistani men, say, or eastern Europeans, or Roma, (take that, Politically Correct brigade!) – and the good cop chirps in to say that of course we don’t mean to generalise, and it’s perfectly fine for you to read this and accept its assumptions without fear of being a bad person.

In this way the paper drags the terms of acceptable conversation into a dark alley – further and further to the Right – while claiming to stand for truth and common sense.

This is particularly depressing when the Mail appears to have played a key role in bringing Chua to justice, visiting Manila to collect evidence of his criminal past and lack of qualifications, and passing this on to Greater Manchester Police.

It’s a shame the paper’s use of this story for racial scaremongering about foreign nurses casts a shade over its motives for doing so.


In the same paper on the same day, the Mail’s editorial column accused a Belfast Judge, who ruled a Christian owner of a bakery had discriminated against a gay customer, of…

Stirring up prejudice

Adam Barnett is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow MediaWatch on Twitter


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11 Responses to “Daily Mail’s racial scaremongering on ‘Filipino killer nurse’ undermines its work exposing him”

  1. Torybushhug

    ‘Now, I know this sounds a bit iffy. ‘Still hiring Filipino nurses’? Why shouldn’t they? Are we to assume Chua is representative of all nurses from the Philippines?’

    Trust the left to bring out the race card, how quaint.
    It’s actually about the relative ease with which one can assemble crooked qualifications and documentation in certain nations. Corruption is rife in some societies, but I know this will have you squirming in discomfort.

    It’s the same in mortgages, lenders maintain a ‘risk’ register for certain nations such as Nigeria, which of course wont go down well in naïve lefty circles where ‘we’re all the same under the skin’.

    Look at the FCA’s register of those mortgage brokers and financial advisers struck off. Around 50% are from a couple of ethnic minorities. Ouch, I thought we we’re all one happy clappy MC society, boo hoo.

  2. Gerschwin

    Five minutes in Manila and I’ll produce a nursing degree, medical degree, any accreditation you can dream of. It ain’t hard if you’ve got the money, meanwhile in Left Foot Forward land they’re still obsessing about the Daily Mail – it must be a very odd existence getting up every morning and panicking over the day’s DM headline.

  3. Torybushhug

    And another thing…..
    Is it ethical for us entitled greedy Brits to be complicit in taking valuable medical staff from the developing world? The Philippines has much need of nurses, especially in view of the natural disasters that befall the nation.
    How wonderful that us hugely entitled Brits get to ensnare nurses from some of the poorest places on the planet.

  4. damon

    Yes it’s a bit racist I suppose, but hardly surprising that you get these kinds of concerns. The papers have been going on about it for years. Here’s a story from the Telegraph from a couple of years ago.
    ”Number of foreign nurses coming to UK doubled in three years as NHS poaches workers from abroad”

  5. ohmy

    Leaving aside from the childish stereotypes and non-sequitur accusations, it seems that you are falling to a bt of cognitive dissonance in accusing the left of bringing up the race card, seeing as it was the Daily Mail that brought up nationality in the first place

  6. sarntcrip

    the fascist daily fail, the suprise would have been responsible reporting the rothermere rag strikes again

  7. snl626

    see, you Brits (and the rich, western white folks for that matter) don’t have the firsthand knowledge/experience on what we, citizens of poor countries go through on a daily basis. It’s PRIME SURVIVAL here, folks. When you have nothing and you have not eaten for a full day, two days, three days, or fourth….you lose all your mental and physical capacities, become irrational, and you switch to “animal” mode to survive….and, after reading this, you still won’t believe or understand it bec y’all are privileged. That is the basic explanation.

  8. sparky

    Actually Adam White, the DM article was about the ease of obtaining fake medical qualifications overseas which are not verified properly the authorities in UK. the trial court judge made this very point in his sentencing remarks are made an urgent referral to the Home Office to improve checking procedures as he deemed ut a very serious situation.

    THAT’S the issue here. It’s nothing to do with racism. Yet again the naive, sanctimonious LFF ignores the central issue and adopts their phoney, white, right-on, middle class socialist persona, all frothing with self-important indignation.

  9. Torybushhug

    Britain was like that not very long ago, the people had to fight for their rights. It’s no good running away and leaving the vulnerable behind. Fight and change from within.

  10. Torybushhug

    Nationality is pertinent when considering lax documentation standards in certain nations. Only the most feeble minded offence gathering types would see this as a race issue.
    Indeed I find white people that see racism in everything are in fact themselves tacit racists. They for example make special allowances for certain ethnicities in general conversation which implies those ethnicities are somehow more fragile, less capable.
    Me, I see just a person, not a colour.

  11. win

    Nursing education in the Philippines is a 5 year bachelor of science degree course. During these years, the students take courses in Communications (2 semesters) , Chemistry, Algebra, Physics, Biochemistry, Bioethics, , Biostatistics, nutrition & diet. These courses are on a 101 level but nevertheless demonstrate the width of knowledge that are imparted. Pharmacology, Anatomy & Physiology, microbiology & parasitology, are the other courses taken up and are treated more comprehensively. Nursing practice and procedures then take up the remaining time of their training. After completing the 5-year course, the graduates then take another two to three months revision in preparation for an annual national licensure examination. The examinations are so difficult that a significant portion of the examinees fail to make the mark and thus have to take another round of revisions in preparation for the next years licensure exam. Only after passing the board exams are you allowed to practice nursing. Furthermore, to be able to apply for nursing abroad, you should have rendered at least one year in a hospital, government or private, at which time you only receive a nominal allowance for your services. At this time the nurses would have been a seasoned and ready to take on the nursing profession, indeed.

    My daughter has graduated from nursing in a University here in London. During her years studying she was in close contact with here batchmates in the Philippines who were taking up the nursing course, my daughter having spent her high school years in the Philippines. She couldn’t believe the range of training and the rigours that her batchmates in the Philippines had to undergo. Furthermore, a student in the Philippines has to pay premium tuition rates in government-regulated academic institutions. The tuition rates are so high that only upper middle class families can afford to pay them. The medical books, too are sky high in price having to be imported from US and European printing houses.

    In contrast, she says, schooling in the UK is a walk in the park. The government pays the students a bursary (£600+/month). They only have a handful of subjects to cover spending just three days in the academic halls. Most academic requirements are “course work” which means that they can complete questions on their home computers. Most of her classmates “copy and paste” answers from the web or from books without quite understanding the topics. In the UK, there are two exams to pass each course, one written and one oral. In the written exams, most questions are multiple choice and few are essay-type questions. When you fail to pass said exams, you are allowed three “resits” where you take the same exam again and again.

    In the Philippines, nursing students are given examinations (mostly written and some oral or demonstrations) for every major topic taken. So in one semester, there are several written exams (sometimes as high as 10) and two or three major exams (mid-term, prelims and final exams). A failure in the general weighted average of all the examinations determines the final grade of the student. NO RESITS ARE ALLOWED. A student fails to make the grade and he/she has to retake the same course ALL OVER AGAIN. You fail three subjects in the whole nursing curriculum and you are blacklisted from the nursing curriculum, forever. No college or university will accept you for a nursing course anywhere in the Philippines once you have been blacklisted.

    In general, a nursing graduate from the Philippines is thus more competent that a nursing graduate in the UK. Of course, a good nursing student in the UK is better than a poorly performing nursing student in the Philippines and vice versa. Because of the demonstrated competence of Philippine nurses, it is not surprising therefore that there are a large number of nurses in the US, the Middle East, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and other Western European countries. In many instances, Filipino nurses make up the majority in many western medical centres.

    This is not to say that all Philippine nurses are perfect. Just like everywhere else, there will be a few rotten apples. But this few should not take from the competence and outstanding service that the rest of the professional Philippine nurses have demonstrated.

    I agree that there a few so-called Philippine nurses who are not really licensed nurses and who have produced their qualification papers from illegal forgers in the Philippines and this should be a matter that the Philippine government has to attend to urgently. The same forgery
    The government should round up the scoundrels and throw all these scum who give our nurses a bad name into jails and chuck away the keys in the Pacific Ocean. And this problem is not isolated to the Philippines. I dare say that this things happen in India, Pakistan,

    The other thing that has to be done is for the NHS not to give up the responsibility of examination of the qualifications of prospective nurses to third party agencies. This is the most critical control measure in preventing unqualified nurses from being recruited into the NHS not just from the Philippines but from everywhere else.

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