I Read It in the Daily Mail

The Daily Mail this week achieved what seemed like an impossible goal – to be roundly criticized by all three major political parties in the UK. Yes, Labour, Liberal Democrats, and Conservative leaders are all disgusted by the vile attack on Ralph Miliband, father of the present Labour leader, Ed Miliband. The article, by Geoffrey Levy, calls him a Marxist, which is fine because he was, but also says he “hated Britain.” This is doubly bizarre because Ralph Miliband came here as a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany, and joined the Royal Navy to fight against the Nazis.

The Guardian has the main article here, among others exploring the developing story. Ed Miliband demanded space in the Mail to respond to Levy’s libel, and its editor, Paul Dacre, was forced to accede with ill grace. Miliband’s response is here, accompanied by the Mail’s reiteration of Levy’s accusations and an editorial in which it refuses to apologize.

The Mail’s behaviour is despicable because they’re attacking Miliband’s father as a way of attacking Miliband himself, who they called “Red Ed” right from the moment he was elected leader of the Labour Party. If only their fevered imaginations saw clearly. In truth, he has shamefully accepted large chunks of the Tory agenda, but he’s still the only hope of reversing the lurch to a Victorian past.

What makes it worse is the paper’s antisemitic history, supporting Mosley’s Blackshirts in the 1930s, sympathizing with Hitler right up to the start of war, and demonizing Jewish refugees. See this telling blog post on Pride’s Purge, with a clipping from the paper headlined, “German Jews Pouring Into This Country.” That would be the result of the actions of a certain Mr A. Hitler, good friend of the Mail’s owner, Lord Rothermere.

So who “hates Britain” now?

The Daily Mail is a truly evil, hate-spewing rag, and not just because of this issue. They hate immigrants (Muslims are the new Jews), the unemployed, poor, feminists, single mothers, atheists, secularists, and so on ad absurdum. The following video is the ultimate take-down, demonstrating exactly why the Mail is evil, starting with their penchant for drooling over photos of under-age girls.

Dear Daily Mail

Mondays shall be music day in my quest for features on Beautiful Railway Bridge. And let’s start off with a bang. You might recall the Daily Mail’s sterling coverage of this year’s Glastonbury Festival, where it ignored Amanda Palmer’s music and focused entirely on a stray boob.

Her splendidly robust riposte is this song, dedicated to the Daily Mail, and first performed at the Roundhouse in London. Persons of a delicate disposition should probably not watch this video.

Adventures in Language: April Fool Day

April Fool

I hope you were agreeably fooled. The Today Prrogramme, which I wake up to in the morning, gave it all away for most of the papers. Including my beloved Guardian. As it turned out, this year’s joke is ingenius rather than so subtle you’d be scratching your to find it.

The idea of Guardian Goggles, with apps to ensure loyal Guardianistas can go through life being fed only information that embodies a liberal bias, is brilliant. Oddly enough, this tendency was demonstrated in a thread on the BBC zombie series, In the Flesh. I had been disappointed in the first episode, but heartened to find the second was better. This is my comment:

I watched the first episode and didn’t think much of it. Like Kieren, all too pallid, passive, and sensitive. Second episode is much better, with some real oomph. I like Amy for dragging him off for a day trip, and the introduction of Rick is putting the cat among the pigeons. That vicar is a bad lot.

I don’t want politically correct allegory, I want entertainment that also manages to tell the truth about human relationships, as Being Human did. In the Flesh is shaping up nicely, and I’m looking forward to watching the last episode.

A poster who’s been on cif since 2004 replied thusly:

Reference to “PC” is usually shorthand for not liking the minority under discussion. But you can read the Rotters as any marginalised community you wish.

This was irritating, since I do support most of the values espoused by the Guardian, and I fired off a couple of snippy replies:

Now that is the problem with taking a perfectly good phrase and assuming an inherent bias. Not in my case. I just don’t wish to be lectured.

Come think of it, your comment is the perfect illustration of the April Fool joke in today’s paper.

Many of the things that are correct (in my view) are also politically correct, in the sense that there’s a broad consensus in their favour. Unfortunately, some people who don’t share those views use the expression to suggest a conspiracy to hide facts from the public, or a form of indoctrination. I don’t see why my use of the expression should be curtailed simply because others abuse it. As a result of that abuse, there’s now a knee-jerk liberal reaction, which is as absurd as the original mis-use of the expression.

But enough of that. It’s not often I have a kind word for the Daily Mail, but credit where it’s due. I did like their April Fool article about a toilet roll in Fifty Shades of Grey, to tie in with the novel. A neat way of saying the novel is shit. The comments below the story are particularly amusing, not just the ones that don’t get the joke. This endearingly offf-topic reply wins the Beautiful Railway Bridge prize for providing too much information.

Whilst I appreciate that Poundshop loo roll is OK for you, I personally find that with my bowel complaint that there is such a thing as loo roll that is too cheap. For example, it may not have the softness or absorbancy, so you end up using twice as much. So it can be a false economy. I agree that Aloe Vera impregnated stuff is just a marketing gimmick though.

Of course, the whole story could be true…

Slavic Dawn

Little Englanders are much exercised by the possibility that the combined working populations of  Romania and Bulgaria, 29 million work-shy, benefits-scrounging immigrants, will descend on dear old Blighty in 2014. This is when the perfidious EU lifts restrictions on movement between the 25 member states.

The Coalition has hearkened unto its heartland (the Daily Mail) and produced an action plan – negative ads in Romania and Bulgaria emphasising the downsides of life in the UK. You would have thought that triple-dip recession, an economically illiterate government demonising immigrants and the poor, and swingeing cuts to social services, would do the trick. Romanians and Bulgarians must be desperate to come here.

But enough carping. As a patriotic Brit, I’m willing to do my bit in repelling the Eastern Hordes. To that end I made a poster for the ad campaign, and here it is:

Keep Out!

What do you think? I’m not 100% convinced about the caption, but the image scares the crap out of me, and I live here. Suggestions are welcome as long as I agree with them, and there might be a prize for the best one. No, really, there won’t be a prize, though the winners will get a mention. Shall we say a week?

Update: Just changed the caption to something I like a lot more.

Emission Impossible

One of the upsides (and there aren’t many) of the Mail Online is that it sometimes posts quirky sciencey stories when there’s not enough right-wing, immigrant-bashing, foreigner-hating, Little Englander bollocks to fill the “news” section of the site. That’s the wide bit to the left of the sidebar of shame.

This one is quite charming – “Sperm have ‘an appalling sense of direction’ crashing into walls and each other in race to the egg”, complete with a photo of stock cars crashing into each other to make the point. While I’m considerably miffed that the Mail pre-emptively stole the obvious choice for a photo to head this blog post, I have to admit they’ve done well with the article. I can’t vouch for its scientific accuracy, or when the research took place, since there’s no link to the study. But that doesn’t matter. As entertainment it’s already done the job.

Woody Allen has been here before, in his role as an inept sperm in the 1972 film, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask). Here’s the entire coital sequence, from fettuccine to apres-sex cigarette.