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Wednesday 20 May 2015

Daily Mail Olive Cooke Hypocrisy

Last Saturday, the Mail was unequivocal as to who had caused 92 year old Olive Cooke to take her own life: “SHAME OF CHARITIES THAT DROVE OLIVE TO HER DEATH” thundered the front page headline. The supporting article spelled it out: “Shame of charities that prey on the kind-hearted and drove Olive to her death: Organisations who exploited pensioner's kind heart admit to sending begging letters”.
There was more: “A string of household names – including Amnesty, the Alzheimer’s Society, Save the Children, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, Prostate Cancer UK and Breast Cancer Care – were yesterday revealed to be among those that sent Mrs Cooke letters before her suicide … Politicians and campaigners said last night it was appalling that the frail great-grandmother had felt under siege”.

In support of this was a suitably judgmental tirade from Daily Mail Comment, the authentic voice of the Vagina Monologue: “Today the Mail reveals more shocking details about the torment suffered by Olive Cooke – Britain's longest-serving poppy seller, who took her own life after being hounded by dozens of charities … If [charities] do not have the decency to stop voluntarily, the government and its army of well-paid regulators should intervene”.

And to show that the Mail’s campaign was an orchestrated one, Glenda emeritus Amanda Platell weighed in withDespicable charities preying on the elderly … how truly sickening that this most kind-hearted of women was preyed upon in her old age by charities demanding more and more of her money, to the point where she could take no more and committed suicide”. Readers were clearly told which way to think here.

So any Mail reader stopping by at the Independent’s site may have been surprised yesterday to see the headlineFamily of 92-year-old Olive Cooke say charities 'not to blame' for poppy seller's death”. Her family “has hit out against reports that pestering charities played a part in the 92-year-old’s death, stating instead that the organisations are ‘not to blame’”. Olive Cooke’s granddaughter went further.

[Nan] believed that charities are the backbone to our communities, that they can be the scaffolding for us in our times of crisis. She believed that charities give us support, hope and courage when we need it the most. I think that the amount of contact from charities was starting to escalate and get slightly out of control, and the phone calls were beginning to get intrusive, but there is no blame or suggestion that this was a reason for her death”.

Indeed, Olive Cooke “had left the family ‘a beautiful note’ explaining the reasons for her death, which were connected to depression, lack of sleep, and health issues around being elderly. The reasons had ‘nothing to do with the charities’”. So what did the Mail have to say about that? There has been no more than a grudging Mail Online piece, suitably slanted to allow the hacks and pundits to justify their charity bashing.

Daily Mail lies and smears, and having done the deliberate damage, moves on to the next target. Nobody gains anything from the exercise except the Mail. No change there, then.


Anonymous said...

Surely it should be emerita, as Ms Platell is female?

Stephen said...

It is amazing how right-wingers expect charities to take the place of huge sections of Government, seemingly without wondering how on earth they are expected to finance all the extra work.

AndyC said...

And in addition to what Stephen wrote, dont expect charities to take up the slack if the RW press is going to slag them off for trying to do just that.