A confession; I don’t spend a great deal of time on the Daily Mail website. Consequently, I was surprised to find in my latest browse that there’s no specific Politics section on this repository of all that the righteous, beating heart of Middle England deems to be correct politically; although not politically correct, obviously, because that’d be absolutely fucking mental, like women-only train carriages or making bankers pay for a banking crisis.
There’s news, though. In a newspaper, no less. Big news that warrants its own section, which is (as of 31/08/2015) headed up by the story of an eight-year-old ballerina who has “pirouetted her way into the nation’s hearts” in an advert for John Lewis, who I don’t suppose happen to be on the Mail’s list of sponsors – keep a lookout for adulatory Daily Telegraph articles claiming that, not only are Tesco’s financial improprieties not worth reporting on, but every little really does help.
Somewhere below the ballet coverage/John Lewis plug is an article claiming that if you say Jeremy Corbyn’s name three times into a mirror he’ll appear and collectivise the shoes off your feet. If this sounds like a smug Guardianista fantasy of a Daily Mail article, that’s because it is, but for some perspective the other day their front page headline actually, genuinely read “MIGRANTS: HOW MANY MORE CAN WE TAKE?” Somehow, I get the feeling it’s a rhetorical question, from which we can infer the answer “not many.”
The Mail’s Westminster Today section is fronted by an attack on a senior Labour politician for his alleged links with Middle Eastern extremists; Tony Blair (hur hur, got you there) who in 2011 apparently called up fresh-faced protégé David Cameron to try and cut a deal to save his old chum Muammar Gaddafi (who, as a child, I always assumed from his name was some kind of errant Welsh despot). Underneath, it’s business as usual; an article breaking the shock scoop that Corbyn – well-known defender of all things Thatcherite – was opposed to the Falklands War, and one titled “Corbyn’s backers want to get rid of the Queen.” To be fair, it makes perfect sense that Lord Rothermere’s paper would defend one’s right to inherit stuff, be it the British throne or a national newspaper.
These blood-curdling revelations proved to be only the tip of the iceberg, however. The Mail and the Telegraph – increasingly in possession of the journalistic standards of the Mail and the business scruples of FIFA – have revealed that Corbyn is affiliated with a group that goes further than Hamas, further than Hezbollah, further even than the Trotskyist entryists of the Green Party; no less than Al-motherfucking-Qaeda themselves, as they’re known in the hood of Kabul. “Jeremy Corbyn calls death of Osama bin Laden a ‘tragedy’” blares the Telegraph, and indeed in the course of the article Corbyn endorses 9/11, argues that 7/7 didn’t go far enough, that Britain should nuke itself to protect the rest of the world, Bin Laden was “the most inspiring leader since Chairman Mao,” George Bush doesn’t care about black people and Taylor Swift should give all her awards to Beyoncé.
The Telegraph article actually contains the Corbyn quote in question, in which he expresses the radical, extremist view that people who commit atrocities should be put on trial by due process rather than shot by soldiers and dumped in the sea. Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron – miffed as all fuck that his plans to attack Labour from the left have, um, not gone so well – Tweeted that “Corbyn is utterly wrong. Bin Laden’s death was not a tragedy. The tragedy was the 2,977 who died during that awful day. We remember them.”
It’s a helpful reminder of 9/11’s general badness to all those who hold the offensive belief that it might’ve been cool if we’d’ve had the chance to ask its mastermind about it a little bit; such banana-bending, roadkill-chomping utopian looney left nutters as Barack Obama, Boris Johnson and Farron’s former leader Paddy Ashdown. If these insurgent Communist mentalists try and sign up to Labour to vote for their comrade Corbyn, I bloody well hope the party determines they don’t share its “aims and values.”
It feels like only yesterday that the Telegraph consisted of quite good journalism with quite poor values, although really that era was sometime prior to them dubbing David Cameron “the chosen one.” They have some good journalists; Peter Oborne, for example. Although, actually, he left the paper earlier this year because of their unscrupulous underreporting of the scandals their mates at Tesco and HSBC became embroiled in. So, they had a good journalist. You can see why some of Oborne’s views were anathema at the Telegraph. In a thoughtful Spectator article earlier this year, he dubbed Ed Miliband “the most successful opposition leader since Attlee.” He had a point. Miliband was certainly very successful at keeping his party in opposition.
So, is the right-wing press to continue being an unutterable crock of shit? Well, you know that question is as rhetorical as when the Mail asks how many more migrants we can take. At this point in this fucking bleak trajectory I can see only one conceivable plan of action, one I learned from my dear friend Harriet Harman (she emails me and stuff!), acting leader of the Labour Party. It’s called entryism, and I’ve got it all worked out. Now that former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks has been appointed chief executive of News UK, I propose a mass leftist infiltration of the Murdoch press. It’ll be as easy as getting a ride on Lord Sewel, provided Brooks is anywhere near as crap at noticing entryists as she was all that phone hacking.