The article went on to tell “Lord Rothermere hailed the Mail's tradition of holding the powerful to account and exposing 'corrupt, pompous, incompetent and immoral' politicians from all parties”. Well, apart from alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and most of his predecessors, that is. But the point was well made.
Sadly, Rothermere, like his chief henchman, the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre, suffers from an inability to take on board that freedom of speech also includes the freedom to dissent from what the Mail titles want to impose on the country. This was shown superbly by today’s Mail on Sunday as it went into pearl-clutching overdrive.
“ANGER AS LIVERPOOL CUP FINAL FANS BOO WILLIAM … MPs condemn ‘shameful’ abuse hurled at Prince when he shook players’ hands” thundered the headline, as readers were told “LIVERPOOL fans sparked widespread outrage yesterday for booing Prince William and the National Anthem at the FA Cup Final”. And there was more.
“Jeers rang out around Wembley Stadium as the Duke of Cambridge, who is president of the Football Association, was introduced to Chelsea and Liverpool players before kick-off. Fans gesticulated and made obscene hand gestures while the solemn Prince stood singing God Save the Queen. The outburst by thousands of fans was last night denounced across the political spectrum”. AY DYAH! High jolly GHASTLY!
Only later in the article does the MoS explain the hostility of many on Merseyside to Establishment figures in general. As the Liverpool Echo has told, “The origins of why the red half of Merseyside boo the national anthem can be traced back to the 1980s … The Conservative government's 'managed decline' of the city was then followed by the failings of the government following the Hillsborough disaster further entrenched those feelings”.
The article goes on to note “While in recent years, the people of Merseyside feel they continue to be let down by the state and believe the foodbanks outside Anfield and Goodison is evidence of widening inequalities. The frosty relationship between city and country also translates to the English national team, with many Liverpudlians not supporting England during major tournaments like the Euros or the World Cup”.
Also, there is a fierce sense of community on Merseyside, which goes against the Mail’s - and the Tories’ - selfish individualism. And Liverpool fans are as entitled as anyone else to express their feelings and views freely. The problem for the Mail titles is that free speech is something they only cherish when it allows them to tell the rest of the world what to think.
Which aligns the Mail with those régimes Rothermere’s predecessor, Harold Harmsworth, the first Viscount, was so keen to support in the 1930s. There’s consistency for you.
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