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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