Team GB has completed the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro with a medal haul which put it in second place overall in the rankings, with only the USA ahead. Yes, we even beat the Chinese, for the first time since that nation returned to the games in 1984. Britain is now officially a “Sporting Superpower”. The value of long term commitment has been underscored. But for the press, their only vision is one of short term opportunism.
Those who scrabble around the dunghill that is Grubstreet care about one thing, and one thing only: selling more copies, however low the methods used, and indeed, however gaping the hypocrisy. So it is that the Murdoch Sun and the Rothermere Daily Mail - one owned by a foreigner, the other controlled by an offshore company - have together focused their alleged patriotism through the efforts of one man this morning.
That man is double Olympic 5,000 and 10,000 metre champion Mo Farah (Mo being short for Mohammed, not that the hacks are dwelling on that), who has been splashed all over the front pages of the Sun, which has declared “Our Greatest Olympics Ever … SUPREMOS”, and the Mail, which has said simply “ON TOP OF THE WORLD”. Farah and his fellow athletes are now, in tabloid speak, “Legends”.
This is, let us not drive this one around the houses for too long, supreme and jaw-dropping hypocrisy, matched only by the shameless opportunism in milking the hard work of Team GB in order to flog a few more papers. Mo Farah is originally from Somalia: he is not merely a migrant, but a Muslim one to boot. And we know exactly what the Mail and Sun have been saying about those kinds of people recently.
For the Sun, we had such measured and informative front page splashes as “1M MIGRANTS HEADING THIS WAY”, and who can forget “Exclusive Shock Poll … 1 in 5 Brit Muslims’ sympathy for Jihadis”? Refugees from the Middle East and North Africa - that would include Somalia - were Scary Muslims (tm), they supported terrorists, they were all coming over here, and then they would all claim benefits!
The Mail, in its own inimitable style, was if anything worse, with headlines like “WE’RE FROM EUROPE … LET US IN” (the family in question was from the Middle East, but hey ho) and “CALAIS: SEND IN THE ARMY”, instructing the Government how to deal with all those uppity refugees across the Channel. And who can forget Mac’s rabidly racist cartoon depicting all those refugees as terrorists - or even rats?
For most of the year, both the Sun and Mail have one united approach to anyone coming to Britain from the Middle East and North Africa - they’re “Migrants” who bring terror in their wake, sponge off all those “hard working” readers, and overload schools and hospitals. Then for a brief period whenever there is a major sporting occasion and hacks discover that migrants can also win medals for us, and help sell papers, they become “legends”.
I give you the inmates of the Northcliffe House and Baby Shard bunkers. What a total and absolute shower.