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Friday, 30 January 2015

Mail Patriotism Hypocrisy

The realisation among the obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre that some of those who contributed to the events that unfolded on the day when Winshton was given his state funeral fifty years ago were paid for their efforts has continued to feed into the pages of the Daily Mail, with Simon “Enoch was right” Heffer being sent over the top to freely dispense false equivalence and selective historical recall.
The dockers, Churchill and the war's most shameful secret: Second World War strikes reveal disgusting lack of patriotismthunders the headline, as the Hefferlump skates conveniently over the actual reasons for those strikes: workers were being asked to put in longer and longer hours in often dreadful conditions. Something had to give, and on occasion, it did. Patriotism did not enter.

On the question of the dockers being paid to lower those crane jibs, Heffer is particularly harsh: “This revelation is a reminder of one of the most shameful aspects of both World War I and World War II: the disgraceful lack of patriotism of many in the Labour movement.
Indeed, even in 1965, there were trades unionists who considered Churchill as a class enemy”. And why does he think that was?

Some of that hatred dated back to 1910, when Churchill was Home Secretary and he sent troops into Tonypandy to control striking miners”. And to that I call bullshit: Heffer is being obtuse and selective. Who would have recalled the time before the Great War by the mid-60s? The event he manages not to reveal is Churchill’s fateful decision, when Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1925, to return Britain to the gold standard.

Sterling had declined in value during and after the Great War: the pre-1914 exchange rate, when the currency had last been backed by gold, was $4.86. By the mid-20s, a pound was worth approximately $4.40. Putting Sterling back on the gold standard, at $4.86, effectively increased the cost of exports by 10% at a time when much of mainland Europe’s manufacturing industry was getting back into gear.

The effect of Churchill’s mistake was to render much of British industry uncompetitive, with the result that unemployment rose and remained high throughout the rest of the 20s. And when the effect of The Great Crash crossed the North Atlantic, things just got worse. For many, there was a decade and a half of unemployment, poverty and misery - all precipitated by Churchill’s action. But the Mail’s readers are not told this.

Nor are they told that, while Ralph Miliband, reviled by the Mail, volunteered to join the Royal Navy, although, as a foreign national, he could have sat the war out, Paul Dacre’s father Peter sheltered behind the cover of a reserved occupation to avoid being called up when he turned 18 in 1943. Anyone less than charitably inclined might call that, oh I dunno, how about a “disgusting lack of patriotism”?

Those in charge at the Daily Mail have no room to lecture anyone about patriotism.


AndyC said...

Pass the sick bag Alice, to borrow a phrase.

Bob said...

Tom Pride sums it up very neatly: In 1944 when the 22-year old Ralph Miliband was bravely risking his life storming German positions protecting the Normandy beaches, Paul Dacre’s 19-year-old father Peter Dacre was working in London as a show business reporter for newspapers such as the Daily Express.
Quite how a fit 19-year-old managed to avoid call-up to the front line at that time God only knows.
Perhaps show business reporters – like coal miners – were considered just as essential to the war effort as fighting soldiers?
Whatever the reason – you’d think Mr Dacre would want to avoid comparisons between the two men.

Heskin Radiophonic said...

There's also a false equivalence between patriotism and support for Churchill. The two are not the same.

SteveB said...

Where did going on holiday with Hitler and sending hin congratulations on invading the Sudeten land count in the patriotism stakes?

Anonymous said...

Is this the same Simon Heffer who wrote quite a balanced article about Churchill in the New Statesman a fortnight ago?


Heffer appears to change his tone in line with which newspaper he is writing for.