Yesterday there was a demonstration in London - nothing unusual about that, of course - from those who favour Britain remaining in the EU. Predictably, there was a small counter demonstration. That would have been that, but for the Mail, after Remain and Labour supporter Eddie Izzard had his hat knocked off by a counter-demonstrator, the temptation to splash a few photos was too much.
Lord Rothermere and his pal from Braunau am Inn
And that is where the inmates of the Northcliffe House bunker took a wrong turn: just as the Sun got carried away by the referendum result and prominently splashed a member of neo-Nazi group Combat 18 on its front page, so the Mail has given prominence to a far-right activist, in not just one photo, but three. For a paper with so much historical baggage in this area, one might have thought they would have checked first.
The article is predictably headlined, readers being told “Angry scenes as police separate Leave and Remain protesters at anti-Brexit rallies across Britain (and Eddie Izzard has his pink beret knocked off) … March for Europe launched to pressure Government to delay Article 50 … Protests in London, Birmingham, Oxford, Edinburgh and Cambridge … Typically British scenes included gentleman in tweed waving a Union Flag … And hundreds walked through rainy streets of Bristol during the protest”.
All jolly Mail knockabout stuff - except for “Typically British scenes included gentleman in tweed waving a Union Flag”. Let us look carefully at that “gentleman in tweed waving a Union Flag”. He has been identified as one Jeremy “Jez” Bedford-Turner (sometimes known as Jeremy Bedford-Taylor). And he has serious right-wing form.
"Rule Britannia", indeed
Indeed, back in April when the Standard reported “Anti-Semitic protest in north London branded 'sad and pathetic' after 12 people attend”, the article told “To occasional boos and jeers speaker Jeremy Bedford-Turner made a long, rambling speech telling people ‘the future is white’ … Footage was later uploaded to YouTube, with the description claiming it had been held ‘deep inside The Jewish Republic of North London’. The video culminated in Mr Bedford-Turner waving a pork pie in the air before taking a bite”.
And some friends having a bit of afters
Laugh? I thought I’d never start. So does the Mail give Bedford-Turner a wide berth? Sadly for the Dacre doggies, no it doesn’t. There are three photos of him waving his Union Flag, the first titled “Rule Britannia: A protestor waves a Union flag as he chants during the rally in central London”, and the third “A very British protest: A man wearing tweed holds up a Union flag and speaks into a loudspeaker while a rival demonstrator waves an EU flag”.
"A very British protest", eh?
What the Mail calls “A very British protest” is someone who, not long ago, was condemned for his sad and cheap anti-Semitic stunt in North London. Bedford-Turner is also a former member of the National Front. He hosted a meeting of Holocaust deniers at London’s Grosvenor Hotel last year. We know this as it was reported in … the Mail.
The Mail never can manage to shake off its far-right past. I wonder why.