THE DAILY MAIL- AN ORGAN FIT FOR PURPOSE? A RAG FOR ALL SEASONS? by Donal Kennedy
I suspect that the Daily Mail is the English language paper most fit for its purpose. And, so far as I can judge its purpose has been foul. It remains in the ownership of the Harmsworth/Rothermere family which founded it in 1896.
Conor Cruise O’Brien, before being lured to an Editor’s Chair in London, explained that the Education Act of 1870 (introduced by “Buckshot” Forster) which made elementary school compulsory, introduced reading to a formerly illiterate stratum of society, and that the Daily Mail exploited the situation to mould it into a pliable imperialist mass. I paraphrase.
Shortly after I came to London I visited its Fleet Street
offices and was shown a copy of its 1st January 1900 issue. Victoria had been on the throne nearly 63 years, the Second Boer War was still raging, and the previous century had seen off Napoleon, and seen
most of the map of the world covered in red, and much of its soil covered in blood. And the Daily Mail and its readers gloried in the gory record.
In the near 120 years since that issue was printed the tone of the paper has changed little. Readers are expected to accept rather than question the paper’s assertions and opinions. Today it tells us that the
Labour Party is anti-Semitic, and when Labour was led by Ed Milliband, the Jewish son of a father who served in the British Navy in the Second World War it claimed that the Party was anti-British.
The 1st Viscount Rothermere took a shine to Adolf Hitler, meeting him first in 1930, and on a number of occasions later, praising him in his paper till the very eve of war,and famously wrote “Hurrah For
The Blackshirts ” (led by Oswald Mosley)in 1934 . Mussolini read the Daily Mail and described it as his favourite English Language Paper. It should not be forgotten, that in championing Ireland’s Blue Shirts
in 1934 John A Costello boasted that as the Blackshirts had triumphed in Italy and the “Hitler Shirts” (Sic/Sick) had triumphed in Germany, so too would the Blue Shirts triumph in Ireland.
As a previous Blog referred to Eric Hobsbawm it might be remarked that he was both an historian and a Jew and that he maintained that the Likud Party that has been in power this past decade in Israel was modelled on Mussolini’s Fascists.