joeldurston

Posts Tagged ‘Daily Mail’

Inside the mad world of Leo McKinstry

In Opinion on December 12, 2013 at 7:20 PM

I always think the Daily Express gets an easy ride, given the common contempt for the The Daily Mail, or the “Hate Mail”, “Daily Fail” or, my favourite, “Daily Wail”. For the Daily Express is, believe it or not, a lot more crazy than the Mail. I know this because my job is basically researching from the papers. I’d know it just from the headlines and pictures, but I do read it occasionally and must admit I get some sort of perverse enjoyment out of it. Reading the opinion pages is often akin to voyeuristically looking into the mind of a madman (it is nearly always a man writing on the ‘hard stuff’ like immigration, crime, and immigration).

I think it mostly escapes the opprobrium that meets the Mail because it’s just such a risible newspaper – or ‘newspaper’. Maybe their front page involves jumped-up cures to every ailment under the sun and supposedly catastrophic weather so often that people just think it’s just harmless guff for old farts. (The day after Mandela died, and George Osborne announced his Autumn statement, they still led on the weather).

And in a sense it is harmless. I very much doubt any Daily Express reader has any real power in the world – corporate or political – almost by definition (ie to have such a standing you would almost certainly need to at least have a modicum of intelligence, which one would hope one would use to not buy the Daily Express). But on the other hand, the paper sells nearly as many copies as The Guardian, The Independent and i combined (although these tend to appeal to younger people who will read them more online, and can do so for free). If it was just some grizzled hacks ranting into the wind, that would be fine. But the number of such readers, and the stubbornness of their views, is arguably causing focus group-loving politicians to tack to the Right, in a manner many consider dangerous (myself partly). A recent poll shows that Britons think recent immigrants make up some 31% of the population. They actually make up 13% (around 15% accounting for illegal immigrants). And around 87% of people are white. One way or another this is seriously going to affect race relations and policy, and I don’t think it’s too much of a jump to suggest the Daily Express and its ilk are largely responsible.

It’s like the school bully’s side kick, chipping in with a snidey but unthreatening, unfunny remark after the bully has done his bullying. (I think it’s actually testament to the success and influence of the Mail that the Left feels such a huge need to attack it. The Leni Riefenstahl films of journalism you could say – evil, but effective.) You can see the Express’ insecurity in the way it proudly emblazons, in a big red circle in its top corner, ’10p’, and then ‘cheaper than the Daily Mail’ in small print.

I read one particularly odious piece of bile in this Monday’s paper, from regular columnist Leo McKinstry, a bloated old bag of bigotry and self-righteousness, who makes Richard Littlejohn look positively urbane and who insists he isn’t racist despite basically every week writing an opinion piece painting immigrants as tax-dodging scroungers, killers (wannabe or actual) or both and more.

I completely accept that immigration – in terms of the policy set by the state at least – is an issue, and it’s one I’ve got mixed opinions on. I have little more respect for,on the other side of the spectrum, the insufferable, leftier-than-thou Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. But at least her hugely pro-immigration stance, if naive, derives from a sense of basic decency. (And I respect The Independent in general and think most of its readers are balanced, sane individuals.) But this piece, like McKinstry’s usual, was just such fucking detritus that I felt the need to point out it’s pure unreason. I’m sure, as you’ve made the good choice to read Planet Ivy, I’m preaching to the choir, of people not madly and pathologically opposed to immigration. But, guessing you’re not regular Express readers, hopefully the following will be an entertaining or enlightening insight into the workings of a madman….

One thing you can give him – he doesn’t beat around the bush. Heading the piece “We can’t trust our politicians to act over immigration”, he starts:

“Across the land there is rightly a profound sense of injustice at how we have to support a growing army of foreigners who have never contributed a penny to our country.”

The idea of hardening views on immigration is true, somewhat at least. UKIP has gained much more support in recent years and two of their core (only?) messages are much less immigration and EU exit. (Funny how Leo is much more supportive of immigrants, though, when they are good at running and throwing stuff and winning us gold medals). Ed Miliband would not for nothing have issued a mea culpa on Labour’s previous liberal attitude on immigration. And this shift in opinion may be because it is believed immigrants “have never contributed a penny to our country”, given the one-sided scaremongering the Express et al trade in. But it is not because there is much truth to the statement. Most studies find immigrants’ net fiscal contribution to the UK in the positive. Which makes sense really; if one takes up residence in another country it suggests they are healthy, mobile and ambitious – all desirable qualities in the job market.

Leo then says politicians are engaging in tough rhetoric on immigration, but “no genuine action”. What about toughening up the student visa system and even closing some higher education institutions in the belief they were bogus? What about the ‘go home or face arrest’ vans? The planned crackdown on ‘health tourism’? All of which have been largely condemned. And while it is true net migration is significant and up recently, immigration into the UK has fallen dramatically under the Coalition.

It gets worse:

“Brimming with self righteous vanity about their supposed tolerance they have turned our country into a soft touch, where free loading, even criminal foreigners are treated by the state with far more respect than decent, hard working Britons. Thanks to ruinous policies our justice system is now used as a battering ram against our civilisation, while our benefits system is a magnet for alien parasites and fraudsters.”

Firstly, ‘alien parasites and fraudsters’ – wow. That’s a lot of hate. At least I suppose you can’t technically be deemed ‘racist’ if you believe those your invective is aimed at are, in fact, a different species. Actually, according to 2012 figures, around 17% of UK nationals claim benefits compared to 7% of immigrants. But hey, let’s not let that get in the way of a good rant. One of the few times he admits (a few) immigrants do jobs, he damns them for that too, presenting a rather tricky catch-22.

He then details the case of “Somalian rapist” Mustafa Abdullahi, sentenced to ten years for a sex attack, who served half that term. There was, almost inevitably, an “only” inserted in there, but it may well have been legally appropriate. He “could not be deported” due to fears for his safety in Somalia (it’s not exactly rainbows and cuddles there, I gather) and his human right to a family life – his mother living in the UK. And he notes a similar case when a woman who committed benefit and identity fraud was not deported due to her four kids.

But then McKinstry pulls out his trump card – the old, blind and (inevitably) devout Christian lady. Jane Phillips was robbed of £50 when giving a quid to a Romanian Big Issue vendor, who admittedly does sound like a nasty piece of work. (And indeed looks it – a mugshot is included online. Then again, does anyone look good in a mugshot?). He has, apparently, a conviction for mobile phone theft and has been barred from several shops for antisocial conduct, and should not be allowed to sell the magazine as he “lives in a £250,000 house with his family”.

So, we learn from this article, a grand total of three UK immigrants have committed crimes (out of a total of around 8.3 million). GET RID OF THEM ALL!!!

It was all worth It, says shamed Flowers

In Satire on November 25, 2013 at 5:17 PM

Reverend Paul Flowers has sensationally hit back at critics of his controversial chairmanship of the Co-op Bank.

The Methodist minister – dubbed by some “the Crystal Methodist” – has been released on bail following arrest in Merseyside in connection with a “drugs supply investigation”, and will face an independent inquiry into events at the Co-op Bank, from where he has been suspended, along with from the Labour Party.

This is in addition to investigation Bradford Council is carrying out over his resignation as Labour Councillor amid “inappropriate but not illegal” content being found on his work computer.

All this has created a storm in the press, with allegations of political cronyism and hedonistic excess flying.

But, in a major twist to events, Rev Flowers, 63, has said it was all, kind of, worth it.

“OK, I probably shouldn’t have done all those drugs and all those rent boys and charge all those expenses – but, in my defence, I did have a fuck load of fun,” he admitted.

“That’s what all these papers are forgetting. Yes, I spunked a load of money up the wall…and more! Oi oi! But at least hardly any of it was your money.

“Firstly, it wasn’t billions like in the big financial crash; it was only millions. That’s like pocket change in the City.

“And let’s face it the only people who invest in the Co-op anyway are the Labour Party – who are getting a fucking good deal, let me tell you, and are coming in for a lot of stick now – and Guardian readers, who are well off enough not to miss a few bob.

“If they were hard up, they wouldn’t invest their money in a bank fannying around trying to be ‘responsible’ just as a salve their bourgeois conscience, would they?!”

“The Mail, who have of course been hounding me, and its readers won’t have lost any money (and anyway its hardly short of dosh with all their online celebrity tosh). In fact they’ve probably done quite well out of making me public enemy number one.

“Pretty much the perfect story for them, isn’t it? Church scandal, dodgy bankers, drugs, prostitution, sordid homosexual sex and Labour-bashing. I tick all the boxes.”

“They and their readers profess to hate all these, yet repeatedly buy the papers to read about it all, like moths to a light. Thinking about it, that’s kind of moral masochism, which is probably more fucked up than me!”

Rev Flowers also went on to the say that, had the rent-boy well under half his age instead been a glamourous twenty-something female escort, he would be seen, by many, as a bit of hero.

Imagining what a typical reaction to this would be, he joked: “aaahh, that sly fucker, acting all godly while nobbing some hot little piece half his age on the side…. LAAAAD.”

“Let’s face it, what I did sexually pales in comparison to some of the shit the Church has done, which everyone knows about now and is kind of inured to. And look at pop music these days – a barely legal girl former Disney star, miming masturbating herself and swinging about naked on wrecking ball for ten-year-olds to see!

“So I don’t think my…loose morals, you could say – which were legal, I hasten to add – were really the issue. I think it was more the gayness of it all.

“I appreciate I’m not in the best position to preach at the moment, but that worries me to be honest. We have gay marriage now; we should also have equality of opportunity for depraved, duplicitous crack-fuelled prozzie orgies!”

When we suggested to him, that much of the outrage, instead, stemmed from espousing virtue as part of the Church and practising what many would see as hypocritical vice outside it, the Reverend was sanguine.

“Yeeehhh…..well….Methodism could do with being sexed up a bit, couldn’t it? All that helping the helpless is nice, but interminably dull and worthy,” he said.

“And Labour could do with it as well to be honest…bunch of private school kids bleating about energy bills from their Hampstead Heath mansions.

“Ed Miliband wants to reform the whole economic system, but he’s hardly Che Guevara, is he? He’s more Wallace out of Wallace & Gromit.”

The Royal Wedding as reported by The Daily Mail

In Satire on April 29, 2011 at 6:41 PM

This article was commissioned as a report on the Royal Wedding by the Daily Mail. Alas, it was rejected for ‘too rigidly adhering to our usual standards of impartiality at the expense of adequately conveying the necessary passion and patriotism inherently involved in such a momentous occassion’.

‘The crowds had, understandably, been queuing up since Wednesday morning to catch a glimpse of our two glorious newlyweds, who will shine a beacon of prosperity, dignity and nobility to the rest of the world, so desperately in need of a guiding light. As the sun broke over the Thames Estuary on the morning of this momentous occasion, for miles-upon-miles, crowds lined our fine city of London, exhibiting their patriotism and allegiance to the great institution that our monarchy undoubtedly is.

The towering, beautifully regal Westminster Abbey, of course present in so much of our fine country’s history, was again the host for this historic union of kindred spirits. The 1900 guests of the ceremony gradually convened in the great cathedral from around half eight.  In attendance were of course current royals, relevant clergy, the Choir of Westminster Abbey and friends and family of the couple, some of whom have now since had the rare privilege of casting aside their hitherto commoner status to become royals.

David and Victoria Beckham, who have increasingly become accepted as quasi-royals, appeared at 9:30. David looked as handsome as ever with classic, coiffured slicked-black hair and Victoria as stunning as ever in a frilly, navy blue number with matching hat that, at that angle, dazzlingly defied all laws of gravity in sticking to her head. Thankfully, as upstanding as the Beckhams now are, Clive Woodward and his lovely wife were also in attendance, so rugby; a sport played by gentlemen, not moaning, adulterous thugs that proliferate our supposedly beautiful game, could be represented.

Elton John and his special friend (or whatever we’re supposed to call them now) David Furnish had obviously somehow sneaked in through the…umm… back door. There were also several assorted dignitaries from the Commonwealth such as King Mswati III – last absolute monarch of the world who criminally lived in polygamous luxury while his people starved. The dignitaries were presumably in attendance to copy our winning monarchical formula and as a sign of gratitude for the immeasurably positive role played by Britain in the social and economic development of their respective… places’ development. Well, I suppose now it is fair to call them nations, largely due to our help. But even the presence of a few… undesirables, shall we say, could not spoil this event. We can only hope that they learn from our shining example. Oh well, I am sure Prince Phillip will have some words of wisdom for them, admirably unbowed as he is by these Nazis screaming for political correctness at mere utterance of anything resembling independent thought.

Our fine leader David Cameron, with wife Sarah in a gorgeous green number, joined glorified PA Nick Clegg, George Osborne and wives at ten past ten. Considering their deplorable (and thankfully, futile) efforts to disassemble the monarchy, there was thankfully no invitations for Messrs. Blair and Brown.

Shortly after, William and Harry arrived at the Abbey. Respectively, both looking resplendent in a bright red and black, embroidered military uniform. The outfits illustrate the princes’ admirable commitment to the military and hopefully will go some way to restoring public faith in the brave, brave, ill-treated soldiers.

As Prince Phillip and the Queen entered the Abbey at 10:50, Kate Middleton left the luxury Goring Hotel. Kate’s equally elegant sister Pippa arrives at 10:57, wearing a splendid, long, Alexander McQueen cream dress with cowl neck, and proceeds to walk down the aisle hand-in-hand with Prince Harry. A definite chemistry was in the air between the two young beauties…another burgeoning Prince/Middleton romance, perhaps?! Time shall tell.

Finally, at 11:03, the moment a nation has awaited with baited breath for hours, nay weeks, nay years, arrived; the unveiling of Kate’s dress! And, I’ll tell you what, it didn’t disappoint! She glided out of the car upon her father’s arm, wearing a show-stopping Alexander McQueen dress with glorious veil and tiara, long full skirt, fitted bodice with long French Chantilly lace sleeves and spectacular 2.7m bridal train. The maker Sarah Burton was almost in tears of happiness at what a wondrous sight Kate had made her dress.  After acknowledging her adoring public, she walked down the aisle with her father Michael Middleton. What a proud moment it much has been for him to give away his daughter into the wonderful royal family, having himself risen up the hierarchy from the grim, sordid, squalor of working-class life.

At around 11:10, Kate arrived at the altar and lifted her veil, to which William lovingly mouthed “you look beautiful”. The Dean of Westminster started the ceremony and introduced the Kate and Will’s moving wedding vows. Catherine then took Prince Will’s hand in hers and recited after the Archbishop the timelessly beautiful declaration: “I, Catherine Elizabeth, take thee, William Arthur Phillip Louis, to my wedded husband,….”. The Archbishop then blessed the ring, which had been fashioned by a Llandudno jewellers from a piece of Gold given by the Queen. Then after William had placed the ring on Catherine’s finger, the couple kneeled to be blessed by the Archbishop and have it pronounced that “they be man and wife”.

There then followed several magical readings, prayers and songs. One can hope that such an awe-inspiring service will restore the place of the Church and its moral values in British society, which is tragically being corrupted by a series of horrible vices such as pre-marital sex, drinking, gambling and general decadent depravity.

At 12:15, the glorious newlyweds got in the carriage which idled past the adoring crowds to Buckingham Palace for the iconic ‘balcony kiss’. An hour or so later, Will and Kate appear through the balcony, smiles on their faces as wide as the vista of adoring masses sprawled out beneath them. to a cacophony of awe and wonder. Heralded by the spectacular flight of the aircraft above them, Catherine and William then kissed, not once but twice – images that will go down in history.

My parting thoughts on this day of days are that I hope it inspires the many leeches on our otherwise great society to take inspiration from these two fine examples of monarchy to get off their backsides and make something of their currently pitiful lives, instead of scrounging off the goodwill of the rest of us! (Ed: You do realise don’t you, that the royals cost the British taxpayer around £40 million a year and the wedding is estimated to have cost half that…?!)

A. Royalist ’

Joel Durston