Diana Appleyard race row simmers
Diana Appleyard, a freelance feature writer regularly commissioned by the Daily Mail has been caught off guard after turning to Response Source, an online service that connects journalists and public relations people, in search of ‘horror stories of people who have employed Eastern European staff, only for them to steal from them, disappear’ et cetera.
I know of a village shop that went bust after a staff member stole more than £10,000. The thief was Welsh, but if I lied to Diana Appleyard that they were Polish, say, she’d know no better and pay me £100 along with a promise to protect my anonymity.
Perhaps inevitably, the Response Source email soon fell into the hands of Labour bloggers, where it was published to illustrate the Daily Mail’s racist political agenda. Allegations of racism failed to surprise a former Diana Appleyard colleague and the story has been slowly spreading across the internet.
Sadly, political debate is too often defined by anecdotes with a human interest, rather than cold and boring facts. And so much public relations activity revolves around finding – or less ethically fabricating – stories that support viewpoints that may not be as common as they seem. Here Diana Appleyard is working to create the impression Eastern European workers are more dishonest than others.
This incident does expose the techniques used by writers like Diana Appleyard to help the Daily Mail promote racial divides in Britain today; though in future she’ll probably stick to ringing around trusted friends for her racist anecdotes.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Diana Appleyard is not responding to emails on the matter. But fortunately, her piece has yet to appear in the Daily Mail and rumours Diana Appleyard is to widen her search to include Liverpudlians who steal, Welsh who renege on bets and Scots who don’t stand their round down the pub, have as yet proved to be unfounded.