The obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre faced a quandary when reporting on post-Christmas sales: how did they maintain their mission to hate anyone who was not white, and who did not have English as a first language, while cheering all that money that people in those categories - especially those visiting from abroad - spend in the sales? The result has drawn fire from an unexpected quarter.
You ... yes you, you look just like that ghastly newspaper editor
“Far East shoppers fuel £4BILLION Boxing Day Brexit sales bonanza: Foreign tourists take advantage of weak pound to steal deals … Foreign tourists spearheaded a £4billion Boxing Day shopping bonanza … About 27million shoppers, many from China and the Far East hit the high street … This equates to more than £121,000 per second, based on nine hours of trading” proclaimed the headline on the resulting article.
How do the inmates of the Northcliffe House bunker know what nationality the shoppers depicted in the accompanying photos actually are? And how can they be “stealing” if they are spending money on their purchases? But this does not deter the Mail, which sees shoppers who are not white and captions the photo “Foreign tourists spearheaded a £4billion Boxing Day shopping bonanza as they took advantage of a weak pound”.
One of those so categorised was snapped in Leicester, not usually known as a destination for retail tourism. And the justification is lame: “High-end retailers said tourists were often at the front of the queue as they snapped up luxury items”. But there are plenty of snaps of people who are not white, so for the Mail, that’s all right, then.
But one well-known politician did not think that was all right at all. Representing a constituency not far north of Leicester - Broxtowe in Nottinghamshire - Anna Soubry snapped at the Mail’s crude and hateful characterisation of those it wished to portray as “other”. As the Independent has told, “Ms Soubry questioned how the Daily Mail was able to ascertain which shoppers were foreign nationals and challenged the newspaper’s use of the loaded term ‘steal’ bargains. She tweeted: ‘Daily Mail's magic camera IDs “foreigners” “stealing” bargains. British [businesses should] abandon this shameful rag’”.
She went further: “The MP also tagged the campaign group Stop Funding Hate, which lobbies businesses who advertise in tabloids such as The Sun, The Daily Mail and The Daily Express. The group argues that businesses which pay for advertising in the newspapers are inadvertently funding malicious articles about immigration”.
For an outspokenly pro-EU and pro-Remain MP to turn on the Mail, and by implication question the judgment of its intolerant and vindictive editor, is brave stuff. For Ms Soubry to then tag Stop Funding Hate is yet braver: this could well push Dacre over the edge and provoke a full-scale hatchet job and smear campaign.
Next thing you know, she’ll be joining the calls for Leveson 2 to be commenced soonest. Whatever Anna Soubry chooses to do, fair play to her for standing up to the press’ biggest and most righteous bully boy. It’s a pity more Tories don’t do likewise.