Croydon car wash crash horror: let’s blame the victims
Can the story of the ‘suspected drunk driver’ who ploughed into five people at a car wash be turned into an immigration issue? In the Daily Mail it can, yes. In the very first line of the horror near Catford bus garage in Bellingham, south-east London, the paper makes the victims’ nationality known and key to the story:
‘A suspected drunk driver smashed into five Romanian workers following an alleged row as they washed his car.’
Why tell us the ‘bloodied victims’ nationalities but not that of the alleged criminal?
The Sun does the same in its headline:
‘Suspected drink-driver ‘deliberately mowed down Romanian car wash workers leaving man, 25, critical and four others injured after rowing with them moments earlier’’
The Croydon Advertiser is less concerned with the victims’ place of birth. ‘Driver questioned after car hits five outside car wash,” runs its headline.
The paper quotes the police, who say the injured people were ‘pedestrians’. ‘Detectives continue to investigate following a collision in Lewisham which left a number of pedestrians requiring hospital treatment,’ says the Met’s report.
Romanian workers or pedestrians?
The Mail says a man aged 25 is ‘fighting for his life’. Two others are in a ‘serious condition’. Two more suffered injuries to their feet and legs. The alleged drunk driver is said to have got out of the car and run down the street before an off-duty officer grabbed him. He was arrested on suspicion of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and drink driving. He was treated for a head injury.
You might be wondering about the innocent victims, but the Mail is more concerned with what they were doing here in the first place. ‘Why are so many car wash staff migrants?’ it asks. Maybe it’s because so many newspaper journalists aren’t. You go where the work is. The Mail comes over a bit thick and defers to ‘experts’ who say such work is cash-in-hand and easy to get.
But the Mail can’t end it there. It wants to smear the victims in more than their own blood. So it quotes Dawn Fraser, of something called the Car Wash Advisory Service, and says that ‘only 1,000 of the country’s 20,000 hand car washes are thought to adhere to UK business laws.’
No-one has been arrested for being run over at work. Yet.