Wednesday, 2 October 2013

The Paper That Hates Britain

Readers of the Daily Mail will, naturally, not be reading my blog as they will be too busy losing their livelihoods to immigrants, contracting swine flu and curing/getting cancer because of something something Diana.  They will, however, be aware that Ralph Miliband existed. And he hated Britain. And then he had kids and the weird looking one wants to take us back to the 1970s, because something something Karl Marx, and The Daily Mail stands by every word in that article until they issue a retraction.

I have no interest in trying to argue about whether or not The Mail should or should not have commissioned that particular article or gone with that particular headline "The Man Who Hated Britain." Doubtless, it is a venal piece of politics to attack one party's leader by dragging his dead father through the mud; and it is unquestionably vulgar, when that man served in the Royal Navy in WWII, to accuse him of hating Britain. This editorial decision becomes transparently moronic when you consider that before WWII the owner of The Daily Mail, Lord Rothermere (great-grandfather of the current owner), advocated appeasement, wrote to Hitler to support his invasion of the Sudatenland and stood up for Mosely's Blackshirts.

All this is the kind of information that should accompany any reading of the Mail's writing on historical matters, given that successive editors have failed to put sufficient distance between their past and current output in terms of the degree of almost fascistic right-wing-nuttery to be found in their pages. However, I want to present the case that, apart from their hypocrisy, tastelessness and anything else, it is The Daily Mail that hates Britain.

Every week there are stories in its pages that denigrate the traditions that have defined the finer aspects of British culture over the last half-century. Great Britain's history of Empire has made it a country at the forefront of multi-ethnic, multi-culturalism, the reality of which is now at the very heart of British life. It is a proud fact that black and Asian Britains are seen on TV, in every town, in almost every village, in every school at almost every workplace, in every high street and at every level of British life - but not just seen, nor merely accepted, but without the need for explanation, without questioning. British people are all colours.

This is something that The Daily Mail exists apart from - their target market is overwhelmingly, disproportionately white, so they attack immigrants at every opportunity without the risk of losing existing readers. But it is the UK's proud history of welcoming immigrants and adjusting to them that The Daily Mail attacks with each of these headlines.

The Mail hates multi-cultural Britain and proudly attempts to sabotage the general bonhomie between cultures you will find throughout the vast majority of this country. Why else would they have splashed the headline "You Must Take Off Your Veil" in a story that was, after all, confined to the time one defendant in an unimportant case would be giving evidence in a courtroom? I could call this headline many things, but at base I think it is a battle-cry to its more small-minded readers, that they will repeat in their minds every time they see a veiled Muslim in the street. It is a silent curse of the most unedifying type; a voice of resentment of others for simply being 'other'.

The Mail's readership is generally older than the average, making youth-bashing a unit-shifter. The regularity with which these articles appear in the pages of The Daily Mail, attacking young people for being feckless layabouts who don't know how good they've got it, makes me think that the Mail despairs of all Britains under the age of 25. The Mail would rather accuse a whole socio-economic group of 'lacking grit' than consider that the economy is in the worst state it has been in 70 years (thanks to the sort of laissez-faire capitalism The Mail advocates), and perhaps that is why young people struggle to get work. The Mail hates Britain's future and attack it's inhabitants with abandon.

The divisive nature of the Mail's editorial bent can be seen in it's reporting of protests. They are usually identified as mobs or riots or some other threatening group. Of course, anyone who has been to a protest knows they are generally peaceful gatherings where people and police mingle fairly amiably in ordered disapprobation of whatever it is they are there to protest. Protests are almost always the preserve of the lefty pacifist, who are about as threatening as a strawberry. Though there are of course exceptions, this is generally the way of things.

The protests at Balcombe against fracking were generally orderly, peaceful and amiable. Police and protester existed side by side and both did what they were there to do. Whilst there were incidents where protesters were arrested (including Green MP Caroline Lucas), the protests were peaceful and no-one was hurt. The Mail, however, characterised the protest as a "battle" and went so far as to accuse the police of "cav[ing] in" when they failed to use sufficiently deadly force to enforce the law.

But Daily Mail readers don't go to protests, so the characterisation goes unchallenged by their own experiences. The Daily Mail would presumably prefer that protests were cleared with bullets and truncheons,  and are so against the right of peaceful assembly in this country that it lies about the nature of protests. There is something very British about the orderly manner in which people will march to make their point, but share some tea with the nice police officer whose job it is to control their activity. It is an essential, defining aspect of British culture that tea supercedes all imperatives and motivations. It is a truth that the outrage and division characterising every headline in the Daily Mail cannot abide - the Mail would rather lie about it, deny it or ignore it than celebrate it.

The Daily Mail hates Britain for its multi-culturalism, hates Britain's future and hates Britain's gentility. It is a paper that hates Britain.

No comments:

Post a Comment