The good old Daily Mail never ceases to disappoint. Each day it shows that it is in fact a very clever spoof newspaper, seeking to poke fun at the prejudices of some of its readers. After all, the alternative, namely that the editorial line of the Mail is genuine and that it means what it says is too horrible to contemplate.
As well as the BBC being a target for Mail disapproval, readers might perceive that the paper also does not like those perceived to be “non-British”. I would never accuse the Mail of racism, so please do not take that implication from what I say. However I can see how a misguided soul could take that impression from some of its articles.
On Monday the Mail published a piece which is now under the headline:-
“Police won’t hand stolen caravan back to couple to protect human rights of the travellers living in it”.
The headline originally referred to “gypsies” and not travellers. At some point over the last day or so that has been changed. Sense prevailing perhaps? Continue reading
Fans of the Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy might remember the Dentrassi. These aliens were “the best cooks in the Western Galaxy”. They provided the in-flight catering on the Vogon Destructor Fleet.
When Ford Prefect and Arthur Dent escape the destruction of earth by hitching a lift on a Vogon ship, they get the chance to sample some of the Dentrassi cooking on board. After a huge build up by Ford about how wonderful it will be, Arthur bites into the Hagra Biscuit, and declares it revolting.
Ford, disbelieving, bites into his, and on finding how horrible it tastes, he declares:-
“These guys must really hate the Vogons.”
For some reason that phrase comes to mind whenever I have the good fortune to read something in the Daily Mail which refers to the BBC. The Daily Mail must really hate the BBC, and seems to go out of its way to find an angle in as many stories as possible to the detriment of Auntie Beeb.
Yesterday saw a perfect example. Continue reading
Every so often one gets confused reading the newspapers. Some things are reported which are undoubtedly false. Some things are mistaken. Sometimes the writer of the article seems not to understand what they are writing about.
And, with that preamble, I am confused by a story today reported in the Mail Online. Regular readers will know that the Mail Online is far from my favourite news outlet, although, as it is one of the most “popular” news websites in the world, I suspect those in charge are not bothered what I think.
Today’s story refers to the former “call girl” who went by the nom de plume of “Belle de Jour” and whose exploits were recounted in a blog and then in book form. She was then revealed to be Dr Brooke Magnanti, a research scientist. Her role was played in the TV adaptation of her writing, by Billie Piper. Continue reading
I wrote last about the nonsense from the Daily Mail’s columnist Max Hastings about the verdict of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in connection with the application by three convicted murderers challenging the practice in England and Wales of imposing life sentences where there was no prospect of release. The so-called “whole life tariff” was determined by the Court to be in breach of the murderers’ human rights under the European Convention on Human Rights (“the Convention”).
This prompted various outpourings of rubbish from newspapers and politicians. Much of the comment was undoubtedly ill-informed, rather than being deliberately twisted to suit political purposes. Ignorance of the issues is slightly more excusable than deliberate misrepresentation of the decision.
The piece I quote in full below is (a) an example of a politician in the media talking nonsense and (b) almost certainly a deliberate misrepresentation. I say “almost certainly” as the writer in question, unlike every one of his predecessors for the last 300 years, has not got a legal training and therefore, being charitable, one must keep in mind the chance that he simply does not understand the verdict. Continue reading
The Daily Mail is not my favourite newspaper, even though there are many people who do like it. It has a “Little Englander” attitude which grates on the nerves and has a clear list of “villains” who it regularly castigates as representative of the evils which bedevil the United Kingdom/England today.
In the words of Dermot O’Leary, “in no particular order”, they include:-
- Tony Blair;
- The BBC;
- Politicians who are not Conservatives;
- The BBC;
- Benefit claimants scroungers;
- Female celebrities who look fat (or who, to a more rational mind, look human);
- Lindsey Lohan;
- Trades Unions;
- Companies which do not pay taxes;
- Supporters of Scottish independence;
- Cherie Blair;
- Irish Nationalist politicians;
- Muslims; (Whilst clearly the Mail cannot hate or fear every follower of Islam, they only seem to get mentioned in the paper in the context of terrorism and destruction of the “British way of life”).
- The BBC. (The Mail really does not like the BBC).
It was therefore not a surprise to see the Mail’s reaction to the decision of the European Court of Human Rights in relation to the application by three prisoners sentenced to “whole life” tariffs for murder. Continue reading