Daily Mail removes poll backing priority for gypsies in NHS

By staff writers
June 20, 2009

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A Daily Mail poll which recorded 93 per cent of respondents as in favour of gypsies ‘jumping the NHS queue’ appears to have been removed from its website.

The vote, which yesterday provoked a Twitter campaign urging people to back the rights of gypsies in access to healthcare, was a huge embarrassment for the right-wing paper.

The question "Should the NHS allow gipsies to jump the queue?" was posted by the paper yesterday morning after an article by Richard Littlejohn complained that the ’diversity' industry was taking “sadistic pleasure in persecuting the taxpaying majority”.

Littlejohn complained that “gipsies will be allocated a full 20 minutes with a doctor and allowed to bring their extended family into the waiting room”.

In the article he repeatedly ridiculed travellers who face limited opportunities right across Europe, in work, education and with regard to their health needs.

“One of the most striking aspects of the 'mobile community'” he said “is that they tend not to go anywhere - except flying to Florida on holiday twice a year”.

"Most of these 'travellers' are Irish tinkers, itinerant scrap-metal merchants, scruffy hippies left over from the 1983 Glastonbury Festival, or dubious waifs and strays from Eastern Europe doing a bit of freelance begging" he said.

"Somehow, they have managed to get themselves classified as a homogenous, oppressed ethnic group, with all the rights, privileges and lavish welfare benefits that entails."

The article came at the end of Refugee Week in the UK, where the place of marginalised and persecuted groups such as gypsies are acknowledged and recognised.

But in a move which is being heralded as demonstrating the power of social networking, a Twitter campaign launched yesterday morning urged people to vote “yes” in the Daily Mail poll.

The result was that over 90 per cent of people responding to the poll voted in favour of prioritising gypsies in the National Health Service.

The poll or results no longer appear to be available on the website this morning. In its place are a selection of polls entitled "Today's Poll", the main one being about 'wheelie bins' and including one which asks: "Should Commons Speaker Michael Martin resign?".

The Commons Speaker announced his resignation more than four weeks ago.

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Keywords:gypsies | daily mail
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