The Daily Mail quandary

I remember being in the UK. Downing a coffee and heading out into the rain to work. Popping into the hospital newsagents in the morning and buying the paper.
I generally stuck with The Times or The Telegraph. If it was Monday, I might get The Sun for the football news. I wouldn’t touch the Daily Mail, because I didn’t want to read alarmist nonsense about house prices or the latest idiotic health-fad idea, e.g.:

How 40 winks in the afternoon can raise your risk of diabetes.
Daily Mail, 9 March

Diabetes risk ‘soars with lack of sleep’.
Daily Mail, 12 March

Quite. But now, in a sinister turn, it seems that the Daily Mail has run out of bad things to say about Britain and Britons (amazing!) and has turned it’s attention overseas. Peter Hitchens’ piece is arguably the most damning, one-sided, ignorant, pessimistic, alarmist thing I’ve ever read about this country. It’s not the most racist, obviously, because some people have the courage and honesty to at least speak openly about their views, however repugnant those views may be.

I sighed when I got to the standard disclaimer a few lines in:

I can promise you I will be accused of alarmism and pessimism for saying so, and quite possibly of ‘racism’ too.

How many times have I read that? It’s put in there because the piece is alarmist, pessimistic and ‘racist’. And when you point that out, the author can say, “Well, I knew you’d accuse me of that”. Of course, it doesn’t make those accusations any less valid.

The article is also inaccurate on many points. The “African Chernobyl” comment made me laugh – I’m about 12 miles away from Koeberg nuclear power station at the moment and I’m really not scared at all. In fact, I don’t know anyone who is, so where did he get that soundbite? 
The power blackouts indicating “a country on the slide” are long gone, as the nation pulled together to use electricity less wastefully.
The upcoming election is being overseen by the strong arm of the IEC together with international observers – it is not “crooked”.
His comments that we do not hear about crime or HIV or corruption is completely laughable. Would that we could hear about something else for a change.
And finally – that machine gun song – only the most desperate of propagandists have ever been foolish enough to take it literally.

And then on Zuma: jibes about his weight and his “charisma of an ashtray”. This from a man who has Gordon Brown as his Prime Minister.
Hitchens points out that Zuma is a polygamist as if this is unexpected and wrong. Well, yes he is. And in the Zulu culture that’s completely normal. Many from that tribe would probably look at Barack Obama and Gordon Brown and wonder why they only have one partner. This isn’t America or Britain – so why should Zuma conform to your Western norms?
And then the fawning support for (white and Western) “popular and effective mayor of Cape Town and leader of the Democratic Alliance” Helen Zille. I had to read twice and then check I wasn’t reading a DA election ad.

I caught up with her at Stellenbosch University, where she was speaking to an almost wholly white student audience, switching easily from English to Afrikaans. Unlike Zuma, she is a witty, fluent orator. She does not break into song, and critics joke that if she did it would be ‘Bring me my cappuccino’ rather than ‘Bring me my machine gun’.
Her aides, however, point out that she also speaks fluent Xhosa, Nelson Mandela’s language, and that many of her meetings are full of black and brown faces. 

 [Her] diagnosis is impressive, cool and clear. [Her] cure: a real law-governed democracy, is attractive.

Once again – the naïve assumption that Western government is the cure-all South Africa requires. But of course, It won’t happen.

She knows the Alliance must break out of being nothing more than a white liberal party. But alas she is a white liberal, albeit a very impressive one.

Indeed. If only those silly black people would understand that the DA doesn’t stand for “Darkies Aside”. But no – they insist on voting for parties that they choose, instead of the ones that Hitchens would prefer to govern the country. How very trying.

Altogether the worst bit of journalism that I have ever seen. But, of course, there will be those who believe every word, like the Daily Mail readership. And then they’ll tell their friends Roger and Helen over a pineapple juice at the Black Dog on Friday evening, wonder if JZ killed Princess Di and then all worry about how it will affect their house prices. Sad, but true.

So why this “quandary”, then? Surely one just avoids the Daily Mail and its obnoxiously snobbish racist viewpoints?

But no, because the editors (who swore they would never again use paparazzi pictures after that 1997 Paris tunnel incident) drag you in with their loss leader: Kelly Brook in a bikini in the Caribbean.

Kelly – Hello!

It’s unfair, but it’s brilliant marketing. And while I hate to admit it, it’s working on me. I just wish I didn’t have to put up with misleading, racist crap to be able to see skimpily dressed ex-Breakfast TV presenters frolicking in the sea.

32 thoughts on “The Daily Mail quandary

  1. Hmm, everything I can say is so obvious I am not going to say it. Except, what newspapers does he read, that he misses out on the crime and the AIDS?

    It just reaffirms why I am avoiding reading the news for a while.

    po´s last blog post was: My daily exorcise (Note: 6000 miles… is not responsible for the content of external internet sites)

  2. Ay Carumba,

    That’s quite an article.
    Enough to get the Mail readership up in arms. If they aren’t bashing the immigrants already in the country, they’re lining up the people who haven’t even left South Africa yet.

    Or maybe it’s a ploy to get sympathy for South African immigrants when they do arrive on these shores (although the phrase “Sympathy for immigrants” will go nowhere near the Daily Mail).

  3. Po > He reads one while he’s out here. Then he goes back to his Hampstead pad.

    Reflex > Impressive, isn’t it? I laughed at your comment re the immigrants and the DM. But of course, remember that there are two sorts of immigrants when it comes to people with that attitude. Paler ones, “forced” to “flee” from the colonies by the weaknesses of HM Government are more than welcome. It’s just those darkies and Poles they’ve got to keep out.

  4. I can not stand the Daily Mail for reasons unknown to even myself, and I know if it was a choice between that and sitting alone in silence in a waiting room, silence would win everytime. What a complete arse he sounds. Great post mate

    Wiggy´s last blog post was: WordPress upgrade (Note: 6000 miles… is not responsible for the content of external internet sites)

  5. Because I am too lazy to find your other posts, just thought I would let you know that I have applied for my World Cup tickets.
    Looks like a lot of money when paying in Rands, I am secretly hoping that I don’t get all my choices and bankrupt myself in the process.

    According to Murphy’s law though, I am probably going to get my choices and still get comps.

  6. Wiggy > He knows best. But it’s best out of him and a plant pot.

    OL > I’m sure this has been forgotten already.

    Reflex > I have applied too. Bastard of a system having to choose who to get tickets for this early on. As long as I get my boy to a match, I’m happy. Ish.

  7. Not the greatest system, I just applied for random Cape Town matches and the final.

    Difficult to choose single matches when there hasn’t been a seeding yet, hopefully get to see one of the big European countries (except maybe Portugal).

  8. Reflex > Final was beyond me. I can’t face travelling during the tournament. I did 7/8 CPT games. And the wife tried some too.

  9. Hi! Came by from Wiggy’s blog and I tried to vote for you! But too bad the Voting Phase is Over”

    Anyway, hope you come by my blog anytime!

    Daisy´s last blog post was: Tuesday Theorize (Note: 6000 miles… is not responsible for the content of external internet sites)

  10. The Daily Hate Mail. The paper that supported Oswald Mosley & his blackshirts..

    Hitchens is a real old style Conservative, he’s probably still in favour of bring back the ‘jolly old empire’.

    What i found more worrying was Clarkson’s article laying into the British expats in the Sinday Grimes.

    He needs a right good kicking for that article.. grr.

    But i’m certainly not an chip & eggs eating, football watching whinging lager lout. Not so sure about 6000 tho.. 😉

  11. Daisy > Well thanks for dropping in, anyway. Voting closed at midnight (CAT) last night. Do come back soon!

    DW > Idiots. Off to look at Clarkson piece now.

    Emil > Absolutely. *drool*

  12. DW > OK – just read the Clarkson piece. Very amusing and actually quite accurate in some ways.
    However, I find myself unoffended, because he is writing tongue-in-cheek: much like his piece on Jozi a couple of weeks ago.
    I love the way everyone thought he was COMPLETELY serious on that one, conveniently ignoring the fact that he said that Jo’burgers were trying to stop Mozambicans giving the lions in Kruger, feline AIDS. Idiots.

  13. DW > Thanks. I daren’t look. “hehehe” could be construed in a number of different ways.
    Re: JC – Like I say, he’s writing tongue in cheek and he’s deliberately trying to prompt a reaction. So I won’t.
    But, yes – it’s in my top three of best things I ever did. Number one was being born.

  14. Wiggy > Thanks. I think.
    At this point, maybe I should reiterate: Note: 6000 miles… is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

  15. I’ll put a review up on my website I think 😆 And I’ll hide it away so only your readers know what the hell i’m on about HAHA I dont wanna tarnish your great reputation with my seedy links 😆

  16. I struggle to understand why the British press feels the need to publish this stuff? Does the Daily Mail feel like it has a social responsibility to lead people’s thinking? (I usually buy the Times)

    Not sure, but I think this article is damaging to all good intentions in SA, regardless of who you support in the election.

  17. thanks for a reasoned reply to Hitchens – I am appalled at how his article is being forwarded to me like its some sort of Gospel truth. It probably is, I guess, for people who routinely mention “I am not a racist, but…” and then go on to dismiss other people’s cultures. Heck, I may not like Polygamy but I fail to see how that impacts on anything other than white, middle-class UK sensibilities. The fact that this nugget of info about JZ makes it into the headline of the piece gives you an idea of the cultural bias in the article.

    Not that I want JZ as President, personally I’d prefer Zille. I just object to the whole country being trashed because of one idiot in the international press.

    And can I remind everyone that when Mandela became president people screamed and bought tinned food and candles expecting Armageddon. Then they calmed down. When Mandela went people screamed and bought tinnned food and candles saying Mbeki would ruin everything. Now Zuma’s on his way and they’re….yep, squeeling again…

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