Already on a hair trigger for anything which might adversely affect the bottom line, the obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre at the Daily Mail have reacted furiously - and wholly irrationally - at the news that Virgin Trains, which operates Inter-City services between London’s Euston terminus, the West Midlands, the North West, and Scotland, is to cease offering the paper for sale or give-away on its trains.
Who the f*** does that c*** think he is, letting his f***ing companies decide of their own f***ing free will not to stock my f***ing paper, c***?!?!?
As the BBC has reported, “Drew McMillan, head of colleague communication and engagement at Virgin … [said] ‘Thousands of people choose to read the Daily Mail every day. But they will no longer be reading it courtesy of VT … There’s been considerable concern raised by colleagues about the Mail's editorial position on issues such as immigration, LGBT rights and unemployment … We’ve decided that this paper is not compatible with the VT brand and our beliefs”. And there was more.
“The Virgin spokesperson added that when it stocked the paper, it only sold one copy for every four trains … The spokesperson told the BBC that the paper had never been stocked on its East Coast trains under the management of Virgin/Stagecoach”. So there was little or no demand for the paper. Straightforward business decision.
I've been attacked by Paul who?
The Dacre doggies were apoplectic, thundering “It is disgraceful that, at a time of massive customer dissatisfaction over ever-increasing rail fares, and after the taxpayer was forced to bail out Virgin’s East Coast mainline franchise - a decision strongly criticised by the Mail - that Virgin Trains should now announce that for political reasons it is censoring the choice of newspapers it offers to passengers”. Bleat. Sniff. Snot fair!
VT and VTEC are two different organisations, but ignorance never bothers the Mail. Also, VTEC has never offered the Mail for sale, and there was no protest about that. Moreover, the Mail admits “For the record Virgin used to sell only 70 Daily Mails a day”. So what on earth are they carping about? Oh right, the papers they still stock “like Virgin owner Sir Richard Branson, are pro-Remain”. So it’s “political censorship”. Yawn.
The Dacre doggies seem unaware that they have run a whole series of articles about Branson which have ranged from the disobliging to the plain abusive and defamatory (hello Quentin Letts (let’s not), claiming the Virgin boss was behind a mythical “plot to hijack Brexit”). They thereby converted someone to the ideas put forward by groups like Stop Funding Hate before they had even thought of enlisting his help.
A Virgin Trains Pendolino train heading north west through Tamworth, without Richard Branson on board. Or, indeed, the Daily Mail either (smirk)
This personal attack on the Virgin founder will achieve nothing, though. He has no day to day involvement in VT - anyone expecting to see him turn up at VT-run stations like Crewe (or Preston, Carlisle, Lancaster, Rugby, Wigan North Western, Warrington Bank Quay, Wolverhampton, Coventry or several others) will be sorely disappointed.
Nor will there be any effect on revenue - very few travellers are going to turn to alternative transport modes when it takes just over an hour and a half to get from Crewe to Euston, but at least two hours more to do the journey into London by road.
The Mail could have ignored the loss of 70 copies a day. But the iron law of the Vagina Monologue means any naysayer must be rounded on and punished. So out come the personal attacks and smears. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.