A comment appeared on one of the pages I am a member of on Facebook about the last blog I posted. It read: Confused as to why this is on here. I thought about replying to the comment but then I couldn’t find it again, therefore depriving me of responding with a witty and insightful reply. It was, I suppose, a good thing because the last thing I would have wanted was to start a ‘Comments War’ or whatever they call it. My reply would have been too long anyway. Instead, I thought I would turn my thoughts about Facebook and its increasing similarity to that most odious of newspapers, the Daily Mail, into my next blog. I’m confused as to why – but here it is anyway:
For legal reasons (and because I’m a nice bloke) I have decided not to name the person who made the comment.
I was very sorry that my blog prompted the person to make the comment ‘confused as to why this is here’. The answer to his confusion is actually quite simple – I am a member of that page because I met all the requirements to be a member. I have been posting my blog there for over three years and I have found that many other members of that page actually quite like it. The vast majority of them are old friends of mine, with whom I served with in the Royal Air Force and they laugh openly at some of the things I write (even when I don’t pay them) and sometimes people who don’t know me also read it. There is even a person who hates my guts who nevertheless ticked the ‘like’ box on one of my blogs, although he didn’t make a comment because he still hasn’t got round to speaking to me just yet. Sometimes the posts within the blog are about the RAF and sometimes they are not – but you have to read them first to find out (see how clever I am).
I find it strange that no-one ever makes the comment ‘confused as to why this is on here’ when someone posts one of the many ‘hilarious’ videos of people falling off things (usually things that are in motion) that also have nothing to do with the requirements for being a member of that page (and I also strongly suspect that the people in the videos who are involved in the ‘hilarious’ accidents are not members either and have in fact no connection whatsoever to any members of the page in question). Still, there’s no denying that it is rather funny watching stupid people who are less fortunate than ourselves having accidents that often lead to prolonged and painful spells in Casualty (the hospital department, not the TV show – although I do find that watching Casualty – a show that had run its course over twenty years ago – can be just as painful).
Also, no-one ever says ‘confused as to why this is on here’ when anti-Islamic propaganda is downloaded from the internet – usually from the website of that bastion of truthfulness, the Daily Mail – and posted onto the various pages on Facebook – if I wanted to read that kind of ill-informed rubbish I would join the British Nazi (sorry – National) Party and take out a lifetime subscription to the Mail (or maybe I could skip those two steps and just become a serial killer instead).
In fact, such is the vitriol meted out to Muslims on the pages of Facebook that the site itself is looking more and more like an extension of the Mail every day. Nobody complains about that, and if someone is brave enough to do so they will be subjected to a torrent of abuse in the comments that follow by hordes of Neanderthals that don’t know any better and who stupidly think that all Muslims are potential terrorists.
I have some Muslim friends in the UK and do you know what? – none of them are terrorists. None of them want to turn Britain into a Muslim state and introduce Sharia Law. None of them want to send their children to faith schools. In fact they send their children to state schools because – guess what? – they want their children to be acknowledged, as they should be, as British citizens who have a place in our secular society.
And, let’s face it, if our empire building ancestors hadn’t decided to invade their countries in the first place, taking with them packs of loathsome evangelist preachers to convert them forcibly to Christianity, disgraceful newspapers like the Daily Mail would have nothing to complain about.
Fortunately I was brought up with no religion. Neither of my parents were religious in any way, shape or form, although they did send me to Sunday School every week – but I suspect the reason for that was just to get me out of the house so they could have two hours of undisturbed sex.
But unlike the minority of morons who post inflammatory pictures and articles on Facebook, the Mail does not merely content itself with hating Muslims – it also hates just about everything else in Britain, with the possible exception of the middle classes and the Royal Family. It hates immigrants, feminists, homosexuals, single mothers, asylum seekers, the working class, the upper class, gypsies, atheists, the NHS, the EU, people on benefits, civil servants, socialists, taxes for people who can afford them, film stars who they initially praised to high heaven but who they now think are too famous and deserve a good kicking, and I suspect that a few of its own reporters, deep down inside, also hate themselves.
In his first inaugural address in 1932, Franklin D Roosevelt said that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” But it’s fear itself that the Mail dishes out to its drooling middle class readership on daily basis.
The average Mail reader is someone who still lives in the 1950s and still believes that that period was a halcyon world of plenty; an imaginary golden era of thatched cottages where only white people lived; where women did as they were told because if they didn’t their husbands would give them a good thumping because it was allowed; where the unwashed and untrustworthy socialist working classes knew their place; where homosexuals got beaten up by gangs of real men (who were secretly homosexuals themselves) because they were aberrations in the eyes of God; where children could play outside safely without being kidnapped because paedophiles weren’t invented until the 1980s; and where crime was less than it is now because they had the death penalty and that was a good thing – even if the wrong person was executed.
In other words, the average Mail reader will believe anything that is within its bile-infused pages. Over the years they have believed that groups of politically correct left-wing socialist bastards were planning to have the words of Baa Baa Black Sheep changed to Baa Baa Green Sheep. They believed that science boffins were ‘arrogant gods of certainty’ and that ‘a country run by them would be hell on earth’ because they relied ‘solely on empirical facts.’ They believed that dangerous products like mouth wash and Pringles caused cancer. They believed that teachers left a boy of five stranded in a tree because of Health and Safety Regulations. And worse still, they believed the despicable Richard Littlejohn when he wrote that five women who were killed by a serial killer practically deserved it because they were prostitutes.
There have been more complaints to the Press Complaints Commission regarding factual errors, misrepresentations and downright lies in the Mail than there have been about any other newspaper. Here are just five stories the Mail has made up:
EU TO BAN BOOKS THAT PORTRAY TRADITIONAL FAMILY VALUES
PRIMARY SCHOOL PUPILS DENIED WATER ON HOTTEST DAY OF THE YEAR BECAUSE IT WAS RAMADAN
CHRISTMAS TO BE REPLACED BY WINTERVAL
HALF THE ELECTRICITY PRODUCED BY WIND FARMS IS DISCARDED
WOLVES WILL BE RETURNING TO BRITAIN
Earlier this year the Mail turned its vitriol onto Labour Party leader Ed Miliband. In an attempt to discredit him it declared that his late war-hero father was THE MAN WHO HATED BRITAIN because he had been a Marxist academic, conveniently ignoring the fact that it has its own rich history of bigotry, hypocrisy and intolerance. Oddly it didn’t seem to remember that throughout the 1930s its owner, Viscount Rothermere, was an outspoken supporter of Oswald Mosely and the British Union of Fascists, declaring in one headline HURRAH FOR THE BLACKSHIRTS, and even as late as 1940 it was the only newspaper in Britain that still supported Adolf Hitler. The Daily Mail, it seems, loved Britain so much that it was more than willing to hand it over to Germany and the Nazi Party.
And speaking of Adolf Hitler, the following article appeared in the Arab News in January of this year.
HITLER DIED AT 95 IN SOUTH AMERICA
BRAZILIA: Adolf Hitler died at the age of 95 in 1984 in a small town near Brazil’s border after having escaped his Berlin hideout, says a new book.
The book contains a photo that allegedly proves this theory challenging the official story that says Hitler died after losing World War II and shooting himself in a bunker in 1945, reported Al Arabiya News quoting a story in UKs Daily Mail. Simoni Renee Guerreico Dias, the author of Hitler in Brazil – His Life and Death, has written on her belief that the Führer fled to Argentina and then Paraguay before settling in the Brazilian state of Matto Grosso to hunt for buried treasure with the help of a map given to him by Vatican allies.
Simoni is a Brazilian who comes from Cuiaba. The author also claims that Hitler ‘may have lived as Adolf Leipzig in the small town of Nossa Senhora do Livramento, 30 miles from the state capital Cuiaba.
She is now planning to use DNA tests using a relative of Hitler living in Israel, after being given permission to exhume Adolf Leipzig’s remains from his alleged final resting place in Nossa Senhora do Livramento.
The very fact that this story originally appeared in the Mail should give you some idea of its validity, and that it is about as far from the truth as the theory that the dinosaurs died out because of cancer related illnesses caused by habitual smoking.
I’ll leave you with the words of the brilliant activist/comedian Mark Thomas, whose book The People’s Manifesto was derived from his live shows where ‘audiences were given forms and asked for their policy ideas, grand or small, to change the world’.
Policy 20 is ‘THE DAILY MAIL SHOULD BE FORCED TO PRINT THE WORDS ‘THE PAPER THAT SUPPORTED HITLER’ ON ITS MASTHEAD’.
The Daily Mail should be forced to print this on its masthead, although not because of a desire to stigmatise the paper, because frankly it has done a bang-up job on that task itself – it is as Stephen Fry said, ‘a paper that no one of any decency would be seen dead with’. Nor is it to indicate the Mail’s right-wing tendencies. (If you don’t think the Mail is right-wing then you’re probably a reader and there is little anyone can do for you.) Nor is it to serve as a reminder that the paper has a history of supporting orchestrated indignation. The real reason the Mail should print the words ‘The paper that supported Hitler’ on the masthead is just to ensure there is at least one factual accuracy on the front page.
Levy, Geoffrey, The Man Who Hated Britain (Daily Mail, 27 September 2013)
Roosevelt, Franklin Delano, Inauguration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt 1933 (Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, Retrieved by Wikipedia, 22 January 2009)
Rothermere, Lord, Hurrah for the Blackshirts (Daily Mail, 19 January 1936)
Thomas, Mark, The People’s Manifesto (Ebury Press 2010) ISBN 978-0-09-193796-6
Unknown, Hitler Died at 95 in South America (Arab News, 27 January 2014)
Wilby, Peter, Paul Dacre of the Daily Mail: The Man Who Hates Liberal Britain (New Statesman, 2 January 2014)