Having failed in so much recently - the Knighthood bestowed on his predecessor, and so many of his contemporaries, has eluded him, he failed to get his preferred party, the Tories, over the win line in the General Election, and his only defence against falling sales and advertising revenues is to blame Google and Facebook for doing better than him - the Daily Mail’s legendarily foul mouthed editor Paul Dacre is alone and bereft.
Who f***ing says I can't throw a stampy tantrum in my own paper, c***?!? Er, with the greatest of respect, Mr Jay
Holed up the Northcliffe House bunker, this vengeful, boiling pillar of righteous rage has become increasingly erratic of late, still believing that he is strong enough to anoint Prime Ministers, appoint Governments, decide Government policy, and otherwise bend the world outside to his will. But he is not: that outside world is increasingly passing him by. Sometimes the outside world does take notice, but only to take the piss.
And it is this tendency, to needle the Vagina Monologue, an individual devoid of any sense of humour, that has caused him, in the style of Mr Creosote, to blow himself apart publicly. After the Finsbury Park attack, where the attacker drove a white van into a group of Muslims, Guardian cartoonist Martin Rowson depicted that white van with the side advert “READ The Sun & Daily Mail”. The inference was clear. Dacre went ballistic.
The transgression of the Guardian - giving the Mail stick, when, as any fule kno, in the world of Paul Dacre the stick can only be dispensed by Himself in the direction of others - has resulted in the most spectacular of meltdowns, as today’s Mail has devoted a whole page of raging, incandescent, uncontrolled spite in retaliation at the slight Dacre believes he has received. It is quite awesome. It is also both deluded and unhinged.
“Fake news, the fascist left and the REAL purveyors of hatred” screams the headline of a full-page Daily Mail Comment, which for some reason is not readily available on the Mail’s website. The Guardian, it alleges, has defamed the poor Mail, called its upstanding and patriotic readers uneducated racists, and is symptomatic of the Left’s vicious assault on this great bastion of British values and truth-seekers.
The Mail would never stoke hatred - no giggling at the back, please - and claims that it loves its country. Whether that country is France, home of Viscount Rothermere’s father, Jersey, where the trust through which the current Viscount inherited the Mail was registered, Bermuda, where the group running the paper is registered, or Scotland, where Dacre has an estate which claims substantial EU farm subsidies, is not known.
(c) Martin Rowson 2017
But this is the most basic claptrap. We know full well about the Mail’s nudge-and-wink background xenophobia, racism and Islamophobia. Remember “Teachers 'denied schoolboy, 10, water on the hottest day of the year to avoid upsetting Muslim pupils during Ramadan’”? Pack of lies, as Zelo Street showed at the time. There have been plenty of other Ramadan stories, many of them prejudicial in nature.
Or how about “WE'RE FROM EUROPE - LET US IN” about a group of Middle Eastern refugees? They didn’t say that. Or “FURY OVER PLOT TO LET 1.5M TURKS INTO BRITAIN”. There wasn’t one - it was another attempt to frighten readers using the spectre of Scary Muslims (tm). Martin Rowson’s cartoon was spot on.
And talking of cartoons, Zelo Street regulars will recall the Mail’s publication of one particularly nasty offering from Stanley McMurtry, aka Mac, who depicted groups of armed men in Islamic dress “crossing into Europe” and adorned his offering with rats, thus turning the cartoon from something that was merely Islamophobic into a clear incorporation of Nazi-era anti-Semitism. In the pages of the Daily Mail.
For those who think this an isolated incidence of anti-Semitism, the Mail’s follow-up editorial in support of its disgraceful campaign to smear the name of Ed Miliband’s late father should prove instructive. “We do not maintain, like the jealous God of Deuteronomy, that the iniquity of the fathers should be visited on the sons” thundered the Mail’s riposte, thus sounding alarm at the normally conservative Jewish Chronicle.
Moreover, before the Mail trades once again on the Stephen Lawrence case, it should be borne in mind that the paper was going to pursue a hostile line until Dacre found out that Neville Lawrence, the dead teenager’s father, was the bloke who did some plastering for him when he lived in Islington. Fortune rather than design.
And as to calling “fascist” on others … need one go further? The Daily Mail, with its past baggage, calling “fascist”? Pull the other one. Paul Dacre should have retired when he turned 65. Since then, his increasingly erratic hand on the editorial tiller has hindered, rather than helped, his paper.
Today’s editorial is a last, desperate howl at a world which he no longer understands - and which, increasingly, does not want to understand him.