Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Beta Mail

The morning after the declaration before is always good for papers nailing their colours to the mast, but this morning saw something, well, something else.

For many years I assumed that the media in this country charitably arranged things amongst themselves so as to ensure that we all get into the office on time of a morning: Not out of bed yet? Not to worry, here’s Thought For The Day to propel you from under the duvet and into the shower. Shuffling dozily about the kitchen as you prepare breakfast, unable to shake the sleep from your noggin? No matter, here’s John Humphrys being unbearably high-handed and shouty; if he’s not got you on your hands and knees picking transistors and bits of shattered tuning dials out of the cat’s As Good As It Looks steaklets within three minutes then you should probably consult a physician. Flagging a little as you buy your paper? A quick glance at the headline on the Daily Mail ought to do the trick. If it doesn’t on its own then the effort required not to scream “Fffffffffuck off!” into the face of the nearest passer-by will.

Not this morning. The Daily Mail dropped the ball. Usually they’re so good at producing headlines of simple, unspeakable hatefulness, claiming that immigrants have found ways of entering the country through the National Grid and squeezing themselves out of your wall sockets, or that paedophiles are grooming children by getting jobs as ice creams. The kind of thing that wakes you from torpor. This morning, they’ve just gone for the “Wwwwuh…?” card; a headline which would make you shake your head and assume you just needed a bit more sleep so that everything started making sense again:


I’m just going to retype that so that you know this isn’t an error:


Again? OK:


I see.

Dear The Daily Mail,

What in the name of Holy Shaboom are you talking about?

Yours sincerely,

Absolutely Everybody Else.

What class war? What are they talking about? Is this a previously unsuspected class war between the upper-lower-middle classes and the lower-upper-middle classes? Is there perhaps a class that we haven’t spotted yet? Some thus far unexplored bit out the other side of the upper classes where the circle joins back up with the lower classes? Tramps, in other words (makes a kind of sense – tramps sleep rough but in top hats).

What they are referring to, it seems, is Gordon Brown’s description of himself as having come from an ‘ordinary’ background. In light of this, it’s difficult to see where the Mail are positioning themselves. Are they worried that Brown is excluding extraordinary people like Rebecca Adlington and The Thing out of The Fantastic Four? Or have they finally found an embattled corner of the British populace they can speak for (as well as arseholes who complain about speed cameras, obviously)? Are they coming out as standing up for the oppressed minority of public school alumni? About time someone did. Those poor bastards. Have you any idea how much those Bullingdon Club uniforms cost? Ordinary people don’t have to deal with that kind of thing, do they?

Or could it be – and I’ve got to be honest, this is the frontrunning theory to my mind – could it simply be that the Daily Mail is prepared to publish any kind of weak-assed bullshit to further its political ends, much as it does with its endless harrying of the BBC?

Nah. I expect it was a typo.


  1. Why hasn't G2 syndicated this? Eh? Poke your agent with a sharp stick.

  2. Brown does look a bit like The Thing from the Fantastic Four.

  3. Sadly I have to say I missed this headline. It's a shame because I would have enjoyed the chance to look blankly and confusedly at the front page of the Daily Fail allowing passers by to question my mental state.

    Bravo to these fine journalists for raising their standards at this politically critical time.

    Oh, sorry, must have been stuck in sarcasm mode there.

  4. If only the Daily Mail could develop a system where someone could read the draft before it was published, it would save so much hatred in the world. Call it an editor or something. Unless they would see through my cunning plan and appoint someone as spineless and ignorant as the owners.

  5. Not bad for only haf an arse. Loving the key words.

  6. Good value. Keep it coming whenever your ire gets 'igher. I love it when you're angry.

  7. I wouldn't even give the Daily Mail enough of my time to read its headline, but I do sometimes complain about Speed Cameras (specifically the Fixed, instant-death ones). Do I need help?

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