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Wednesday, 15 April 2015

The Blank, Empty Message of the Daily Mail

You know, that article of the Daily Mail I quoted this morning really tells you everything you need to know about that paper's attitude.

In the Mail's view of the world, the fact that Fr Richard Coles once did something wrong means he can't be trusted to pronounce on something now. In other words, the Mail allows nobody the ability to learn. Nobody can repent. No-one can be redeemed.

It's fundamentally the story the paper re-tells, over and over. We, the innocent nice ones, must be protected. (I presume I'm in that camp, being white, middle-class and without a criminal record). Them over there are alien, criminal, poor, disabled, unemployed. Different.

We must never think that anyone could move from one group to the other. For if a benefits scrounger gets a job, or a migrant works hard and makes a fortune, or a drug taker becomes a vicar - that will destroy the myth of unchanging order we have sold ourselves. So in challenging the ideas of the party of the establishment, Richard Coles is that most awful of things - an imposter. It must be shown that he has a Past. So things can go back to normal. Because if others can change for the better, we or our circumstances could change for the worse.

In the Mail's schema, only one thing must change. Pretty young girls must become pretty young women, so they can be displayed on the right-hand-side of the web page, for the delectation of middle-aged letches. But by remarking that these young women are 'all grown up", the paper will be able to reassure their readers that they have nothing in common with the paedophile who has just been revealed in another article.

Maybe this is why the Mail is so obsessed with health. Because, in a Mail world where nothing must ever change - what could be worse than illness? It turns working people into benefits claimants, able-bodied people into ones who get reserved car parking spaces, pilots into mass-murderers. No, we must take our vitamins, drink filtered water, eat this week's recommended set of healthy foods and not the ones we told you to eat last week, which will give you cancer. Follow our diet tips and live forever! Or, at least, till next week, when we tell you you've just poisoned yourself.

It's a vile creed. A world without change, growth, redemption or hope. A world where we are always good and right, and they are always evil, weird and dangerous. A world where you can live forever - or, at least, for an extra few weeks - without ever having to admit you were wrong.

No wonder it's so popular.

2 comments :

  1. I note that the Mail's swipe at the Rev. Coles was a response to his criticism of an economic policy in the Conservative manifesto...

    ...A policy profitable to friends of the Daily Mail and, perhaps, to some of their readers.

    So the moral outrage, and the criticism of a man's morals in his youth, arise from an unrelated political and economic issue.

    Profit, in other words.

    Just to poke at an issue dear to Daily Mail readers, I will point you at a principle of Shariah law: you can put a case to the Court, impeccably based in fact and moral argument; and be judged adversely because of contaminated motives, and thereby lose your case.

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  2. Justin Lewis-Anthony15/04/2015, 21:45

    The Mail's position is absolutely correct: we can't admit to the possibility of change and redemption, because if we did then we would have to forget, or at least forgive, a newspaper proprietor who once praised Hitler and told his readers that Oswald Mosley was the future of English politics. And to do forgive or forget that would be very, very wrong. Oh! Hang on…

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