Let’s make no bones about it, the Daily Mail is a reactionary mouthpiece, whose target readership comprises the most narrow minded and bigoted in our society. If that seems a little harsh, don’t forget that it was the Daily Mail who took an editorial stance in favour of Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party, and who also published the now infamous editorial piece “Hurrah for the Blackshirts”, praising Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists.
The Daily Mail is staunchly anti-immigration, anti-welfare, anti-human rights, anti LGBT, anti-Europe, anti pretty much anything that doesn’t conform to their own particular view of conservatism and so-called “traditional values”. It’s a paper which preys on people less powerful than them, it’s a paper which isn’t afraid to make political capital out of tragedy, or to bully ordinary members of the public in order to sell newspapers or push their own right-wing agenda. It’s a contemptible publication, and I despise everything about it.
There, I said it. Sometimes it’s good to get these things off your chest.
In the last couple of years, the Daily Mail seems to have crept into my field of vision more often than I’d like. That’s largely down to the internet – Twitter in particular – and the paper’s somewhat reactionary stance towards those who support Scottish independence.
The paper was (quite rightly) condemned by the wider Labour Party last year, after it referred to Ed Miliband’s late father as “evil” and a man “who hated Britain”. Likewise when they accused Harriet Harman and Patricia Hewitt of supporting a Paedophile ring, The Daily Mail demonstrated the shameful way in which they operate; all the while – never forget – profiting handsomely from it.
There is however, an unsettling hypocrisy here in Scotland with regards attitudes to The Daily Mail, particularly when it comes to the issue of Scottish independence, or more recently the Scottish National Party.
For a couple of years now, the paper has led the charge against online independence campaigners, or “CyberNats” as they would call them. Essentially, they take offensive tweets, or online comments by members of the public (often out of context), and insinuate tacit support (or even coordination) by the SNP. It’s dirty tactics, but the Daily Mail has conducted this sort of campaign against countless groups whom they disagree with over the years. It’s nothing new.
What is most worrying though, is the extent to which supposedly progressive, liberal individuals – even politicians – are content to give the Mail’s gutter journalism a pass, when it suits their own agenda. Scottish Labour Deputy (and current front-runner for leader) Kezia Dugdale even wrote an entire article for The Daily Mail in 2014, as a part of the paper’s sinisterly titled campaign “CyberNat watch”.
Just this last week, the Daily Mail plumbed greater depths than even I thought possible. Firstly, announcing the tragic death of former Lib-Dem leader Charles Kennedy as: “Tragic Kennedy was found by secret lover”. Then, not content with having sensationalised Kennedy’s untimely death, they went on to publish stories insinuating that his death was – essentially – caused by supporters of the SNP.
Using a tragic death to make political capital (and, lest we forget, profit) is surely unforgivable? It is one of the most insensitive things I can think of, even by the Daily Mail’s standards.
But lo and behold, the story was shared far and wide. People who should have known better, seemed quite happy to overlook the timing, the insensitivity, the political motivation, and the hypocrisy. Why? Because the article supported their own prejudices. That’s no crime of course, we’re all biased one way or another, but there’s no excuse for hypocrisy.
You cannot pick and choose those Daily Mail attack pieces that suit your own agenda whilst disowning the rest of it. Personally, I reject the Daily Mail in its entirety, it is a malicious entity, masquerading as journalism, and the sooner sensible people stop reading it, or sharing it, the world will be a better place.