One thing was clear from the moment Theresa May announced her decision to ignore all the previous wise advice from Herself Personally Now and call a snap General Election for early June - the right-leaning and anti-EU part of the press would be not merely on board, but baying and screaming for her to win, and win big. But even the most hardened and cynical pundits could not have predicted the reaction of the Daily Mail.
Yes, the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre has had an embarrassing schoolboy crush on Ms May from before she became PM last year, but today’s front page headline was OTT, even by his standards of grovelling: “In a stunning move, Mrs May calls bluff of the ‘game-playing’ Remoaners (including ‘unelected’ Lords) with a snap election and vows to … CRUSH THE SABOTEURS” reads the mildly intemperate and intolerant headline.
What's so f***ing bad about a dose of good patriotic fascism, c***?!?
The military mood, sound of jackboots and accompaniment of marshal music oozes from that grim front page, with its less than flattering image of Ms May redolent of something out of Nineteen Eighty-Four, and headline quotation directly echoing the zealotry of Vladimir Ilyitch Lenin. Dacre clearly misses the certainties of Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler, the Greek Colonels, Francisco Franco, and António de Oliveira Salazar.
Back to the Mail's glory days, eh?
The suitably thunderous Daily Mail Comment was also triumphalist beyond belief: after telling readers what to think by decreeing “A bold decision - and the right one for Britain”, we read why the Mail knew all along what was coming. “Perhaps the biggest surprise about Theresa May's bold call for a snap election was that it came as such a surprise to the inhabitants of the Westminster village” sneered Dacre.
Dacre's great inspiration
You see - he’s an outsider, not one of the Metropolitan Liberal Élite! But do go on. “Yet hasn't it been increasingly clear for months that calling a snap ballot was fast becoming the Prime Minister's only realistic option? Indeed, the Mail believes this was not just a brave and shrewd decision. It was also her only way of clearing the political air, ending the dirty tricks of her Remoaner enemies and maximising her chances of driving the best possible deal for our country in the Brexit negotiations”. But it was not Ms May’s fault.
Spot the howler (Copeland is the wrong colour)
“It is through no wish of hers that delaying the election has become increasingly unrealistic. As she made clear yesterday, the blame for this lies squarely with Remoaners at Westminster”. And what would she do with those traitors, pray? “It will also be her opportunity to reform the Lords, an increasingly bloated house of cronies and dodgy party donors that is no longer fit for purpose”. Any more 1950s ideas out there?
You bet: “another advantage of an early election is that the Tory manifesto will give Mrs May her chance to win a mandate for reintroducing selective state education, which gave so many bright working-class children a leg up in life before bien-pensant liberals kicked the ladder away”. Get a big majority, screw up education once again.
There was even a helpful map of the UK, showing all those constituencies the Tories hope to win. It’s only a pity that whoever put the article together forgot that Copland changed hands in a recent by-election - the Mail shows it as Labour red.
But the message is plain: obedience is obligatory. Dissent will not be tolerated.