Ashya King: How The Daily Mirror Turned Readers Into Narks And Supported A Police State
ASHYA King: the story of the child kidnapped by the State and hunted by the police is occupying hearts at the Mirror. The paper scalls it a “SCANDAL”. It says the treatment meted out ot Ashya and his parents Brett and Naghmeh King is “BARBARIC”.
The Mirror is right.
The paper says the parents have been “hauled” before Spanish courts. “Little” Ashya lies in a hospital kept apart from his loved ones.
But what did the Mirror think would happen when the British police issued an alert that Ashya and his parents must be tracked down lest Ashya die?
Now the Mirror says BBC football pundit Gary Lineker has called for the police to release the Kings. A petition calling for the same has attracted tens of thousands of signatures.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg says it is “not appropriate” to jail the parents.
The paper’s Alison Phillips oozes:
Little Ashya King lies in a foreign hospital surrounded by staff he can’t understand, struck down by an illness he can’t understand and in the midst of a European drama he can’t understand.
He went to school in Spain. Chances are Ashya speaks Spanish and does understand the doctors. But still Phillips’ article is not based on facts; this is all about how much she and her paper cares for the Kings:
Meanwhile the only people who could give the five-year-old reassurance, explanation, security and love – his parents – are banged up in a Spanish jail. And it is utterly barbaric.
Yeah. It is. And the people that aided the police in their hunt should be ashamed.
Do you know what the Mirror said before Ashya King and his parents became a cause celebre?
Missing Ashya King has been spotted with his parents at a Spanish holiday resort, an expat said, as police battled to find the terminally ill boy.
The good cops were “battling” to find the boy for the oddball parents who let their chidlren play in a swimming pool.
The five-year-old has a deadly brain tumour and experts have warned he needs specialised care immediately. British officers have issued European arrest warrants for “neglect” against Ashya’s Jehovah’s Witness parents Brett, 51, and Naghmeh, 45. They took him from his hospital ward and fled on Thursday.
Their religion is relevant to Mirror. The mood was very much for the police and against the weirdo parents.
The paper recorded the message sent out by Spanish police:
“On the Costa del Sol, family with seven children, one of them needing urgent medical treatment which his parents are denying him. If you see them, phone us.”
These heartless parents denying their poor son the treament he needs. They are, we hear, Jehovah’s Witnesses. Join the dots. Rescue the child from this heartless parents.
The Mirror had more:
Police say that if they do not find five-year-old Ashya King within 24 hours there are ‘serious concerns for his life’
So police say. And so the Mirror did not question.
The Mirror then relayed photos of the parents. They looked a lot like mug shots. We didn’t. We didn’t want to do the police’s nasty work and ask readers to become narks. All papers showed the photos of Brett and Naghemeh King. Why so keen to do the police’s work? Why so keen to make readers into narks?
The Mirror told its readers:
Anyone with information about Ashya’s whereabouts should contact Hampshire Constabulary on 101, quoting Operation Aquilion.
The paper relayed the police’s calls for help without question.
* Assistant Chief Constable Chris Shead said this morning: “It is vital that we find Ashya today. His health will deteriorate rapidly.”
* Hampshire Constabulary said: “We are working with our counterparts in France to activate their emergency child rescue alert procedures to locate the family as soon as possible. If we do not locate Ashya today there are serious concerns for his life. He is receiving constant medical care within the UK due to recent surgery and ongoing medical issues. Without this specialist 24-hour care Ashya is at risk of additional health complications which place him at substantial risk.”
* Detective Superintendent Dick Pearson, from the Hampshire Major Investigation Team, said of Ashya: “He needs to be taken to a medical facility for his urgent health requirements as soon as he is located. We have also launched a social media appeal and would urge everyone to share this appeal, particularly if you have friends and relatives in France and bordering countries.”
* Police have said it is “vital” they find Ashya today. “His health will deteriorate rapidly.” They say his feeding tube is battery operated, and that battery “will run out today”.
* Assistant Chief Constable Chris Shead said Ashya had undergone “extensive surgery” and his last operation was seven days ago. He said: “The information we have received from his medical team at Southampton General Hospital is that he must continue to be fed via a tube by someone with the relevant medical training. If he doesn’t receive urgent medical care, or the wrong treatment is given, his condition will become life-threatening.”
* In a direct appeal to the family, Mr Shead said: “Our message to you is ‘please take Ashya to the nearest hospital immediately’. We understand this must be an awful time for you but the most important thing is to get the proper medical care for Ashya. Please work with us to provide Ashya that care.”
* Mr Shead added: “Ashya is in a wheelchair and is fed through a tube. The feeding system is battery operated and that battery will run out today. Time is running out for this little boy. We need to find him and we need to find him urgently.”
* Assistant Chief Constable Chris Shead said tonight: “Within the last hour, we have been told by medical experts that the battery life on the machine that administers his food is now likely to have expired. We don’t know whether the King family have any spares, the knowledge, or any way of recharging the battery. If they don’t, without properly administered food, Ashya’s condition will deteriorate very quickly.”
* Mr Shead added: “With each hour that passes our concern for him grows.”
And the biggest roll of the eyes is for this utter balls:
Hampshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Chris Shead confirmed the force had obtained a European arrest warrant. He said it was based around “neglect” but added: “That does not necessarily mean they would be charged with that offence.
“It purely gives us the power to arrest and speak to them.”
He went on: “We don’t want the family to be put off by the fact that there is an arrest warrant. We would sooner they speak to us and get Ashya the care he desperately needs.”
Only the police could help Ashya. Only the police could save Ashya The parents just need to see sense.
And, of course, the Kings were arrested. Because that’s what police do.
And now the Mirror calls it “BARBAIC”.
The Mirror was not alone in working for the police. It’s just the most shamless in how it’s changed sides.
You do the police’s bidding without question and you get a police state.