The Mallorcan resort area of Magaluf is, for the Daily Mail, not unlike all those scandals from 30 or 40 years ago that it has been splashing across its front page this past year: it’s been there for all that time, it’s been providing holiday entertainment of its own inimitable kind, and yet, until recently, the Mail wasn’t interested. But now that there’s a whiff of naughtiness, the hacks are suddenly all over it.
Magaluf: it's a holiday resort no shock horror
I first became aware of the particular, er, attractions of Magaluf for those ordinary, hardworking people that the Mail sometimes claims to speak for in the early 1970s, when on holiday in nearby Palma Nova. Holiday charter flights had only recently entered the jet age – it was three and a half hours from Luton to Palma in a Britannia, and bloody noisy up front, thanks – but already the area was notorious.
So this month’s faux outrage is telling anyone who has flown into Palma in the past 40 years what they already know: there is a part of Magaluf – only a part of it, mind – where young people over-indulge themselves. This many of them enjoy doing. And the young having a pleasurable experience is exactly what sets off the righteous and judgmental side of the Daily Mail.
This happened two summers ago – though, for some reason, the article has gone missing – with the hacks returning this year, firstly because it was suspected that unemployed people were visiting the resort. Yes, someone was getting benefits and blowing them on a cheap night out in Magaluf! The Dacre doggies homed in on the appearance there of White Dee, aka Deirdre Kelly.
Sadly for the Mail, it has since been revealed that she stopped claiming benefits two months before they caught up with her on Mallorca. So when Guy Adams wrote that “she is famously said to receive £10,000 a year in welfare payments on the basis that she’s too depressed to work”, that was another of those “expedient exaggerations” which find their way all too easily into Mail articles.
And so it is with today’s splash: “Neon lights, cheap pints and lots of flesh: A day (and night) in the life of scandal-hit holiday resort Magaluf”. What “scandal”? All that the photos show is sunshine, sea, sandy beach, and places where they sell food and drinks. Holidaymakers dress for the beach because that’s where they are. They’re on holiday. This, Mail hacks, is not a crime.
As those taking exception to the 2012 Mail hatchet job said, the strip is only part of Magaluf. If you go there, you know what to expect. Many holidaymakers from across Europe like that. It’s been the same for more than 40 years. There is no scandal: the local Police have investigated the bar at the centre of the shock horror story and will not take any further action. It’s just the Mail looking for an excuse to get outraged.
Next year it may be mainland Spain, or Greece. Nobody who matters will care.