The Mail On Sunday has sent its fashion guru Glenda Liz Jones out and about to write about one of her favourite subjects, animals abandoned by their owners who either don’t want them any more, or can’t afford to keep them. So off she has gone to Avonmouth – not exactly the most attractive part of the greater Bristol area – to see an abandoned and uncared-for horse.
Of course we f***ing talk to one another, c***
This is one of those subjects that the MoS does very well, Ms Jones telling “She is just one more addition to the estimated 7,000 horses currently at large, abandoned by owners who can no longer afford to keep them – and it seems that unwanted family pets have now joined these roaming herds of so-called ‘gipsy’ animals”, and how owners leave horses rather than face the prospect of selling for slaughter.
So who is she meeting? After all, the Mail has been serially slagging off the RSPCA of late, so it won’t be them. No, it’s someone from World Horse Welfare (WHW), “whose job it is not just to monitor horses abandoned here in North Somerset, but in Wiltshire, Dorset, Gloucestershire and South Wales”. Ms Jones concludes by urging readers “Don’t look the other way”.
Mail journalist writes about WHW and poses next to horse ... didn't I see that a few months ago?
And to accompany the article, there she is posing with the unfortunate mare. It was at this point that I experienced déjà vu: WHW? An article on Mail Online about its work, written by a woman journalist who is also seen smiling next to one of the horses? Perhaps I mis-remembered. But after using the ancient technique known as “five minutes’ Googling”, it seems I did not.
The only difference is that the original article appeared not in the MoS, but the Daily Mail – and there was Private Eye trying to convince readers that the two titles are experiencing something of a lack of cooperation and communication. So who got there first? Step forward freelance and horse-owner Melissa Kite, who had a feature on WHW published in the Mail last October.
Ah yes, I did see that a few months ago
“As a handsome brown and white pony called Cappuccino trots smartly around the riding school, it’s impossible to tell he was once close to death. Three years ago, though, this shiny pony was one of 110 emaciated horses found starving on a farm in the south-west of England. He was so thin and hungry his body had digested all its muscle. His skeletal frame was, quite literally, just skin and bones” she told.
And, as Ms Jones has now done, Ms Kite was snapped with one of the subjects of her copy, putting on her best smile. The Eye was right: if the weekday and Sunday titles bothered to share information, it would have been flagged up and Ms Jones told that someone had been there before – so even if she covered the same organisation, there would have been a reference back to the earlier article.
Even readers of the print edition are going to rumble this carry-on eventually.