The obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre was incandescent this morning as the Daily Mail’s front page lead thundered “Top economists accused of Brexit doom-mongering after claiming living standards squeeze is worst since 1920s … WHO ARE THEY TRYING TO KID?” The 1920s, of course, is another decade the Mail would prefer its readers didn’t look at too closely (the Zinoviev Letter, for instance).
Why the f*** shouldn't I face both ways on the same subject, c***?!? Er, with the greatest of respect, Mr Jay
The supporting article frothed “Britain’s most prominent economic think tank was accused of scaremongering last night for claiming that families face the biggest squeeze on living standards since the 1920s … The Institute for Fiscal Studies said workers faced a ‘dreadful’ ten-year squeeze on pay, with wage growth in real terms at its worst for a century … It claimed workers would still be earning less in real terms in 2021 than they were in 2008, before the financial crash”. And then came the smears.
“Director Paul Johnson, who spoke out in favour of the Remain campaign before the EU referendum … the IFS - which receives 11 per cent of its funding from the EU”. They cited notorious Tory liar Iain Duncan Cough in support. And then came a further broadside from Daily Mail Comment, the authentic voice of the Vagina Monologue.
“At the height of the referendum campaign, when every economic expert was predicting the end of the world if Britain left the EU, Michael Gove declared: ‘People in this country have had enough of experts … His quote comes to mind again now after the absurdly gloomy forecasts about the cost of Brexit by the Office for Budget Responsibility - the Government’s leading quango of economic ‘experts’ - were roundly dismissed, including by the Chancellor himself”. And there was more.
“Yesterday we had the offensive claim from the Institute for Fiscal Studies - described as Britain’s top economic think tank - that this decade would probably be the worst for living standards since the 1920s … Its director, Paul Johnson, may say the comparison is merely statistical but he must have known it was deeply inflammatory … It has already generated headlines in the liberal media suggesting we are being dragged back to a bygone age of hardship and poverty”. Yeah, that IFS, eh? Who cares what they think?
Well, a paper called the Daily Mail does, actually, or rather it did. As recently as May this year, it was approvingly called “The respected Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) think-tank”. In June, readers were told of “trusted public spending watchdog the IFS”. Ahead of last March’s Budget, the IFS was described by the Mail as “respected”. It was also described as “influential”, which is the real reason the paper is up in arms today.
The Daily Mail respects the IFS, like all other think tanks, when its findings are convenient to Dacre and his doggies. When they do not comply with the paper’s agenda, they are spat on and smeared. That’s the kind and caring world of Paul Dacre for you.