1 October 2009

The Hateful Daily Mail

This is the first time I've ever lifted a title verbatim from someone else's blog.

It's taken from one of the UKs top political bloggers, Iain Dale, who is rightly complaining to the Press Complaints Commission about an article by Ephraim Hardcastle in today's Daily Mail, which includes the following classic piece of Mail hatefulness:

Overtly gay Tory blogger Iain Dale has reached the final stage of parliamentary selection for Bracknell, telling PinkNews: 'I hope any PinkNews readers who live in Bracknell will come to the open primary on October 17 to select their new candidate.

You don't even have to be a Conservative to attend.'

Isn't it charming how homosexuals rally like-minded chaps to their cause?

You can read more about why Iain Dale is complaining and how to support him HERE. And, if you have red hair, or have any friends, relations or loved ones with red hair, take a deep breath before reading on.

Down with red heads - Mail exclusive
As for why I think it important enough to mention the Mail' at all, let alone its latest slur, it's to remind people that they've been peddling this kind of 'overtly' prejudicial journalism for decades.

One of the most scurrilous pieces I ever saw came from the pen of Ann Leslie, who's supposed to be so worthy and respectable that her services to journalism have been honoured by her elevation to Dame of the British Empire.

On the day before one of the general elections in which Neil Kinnock was leader of the Labour Party (1987 or 1992), the Mail published a two page spread with a perceptive article by Ms Leslie urging their readers not to vote Labour.

The headline summed it up with a warning never to trust a man with red hair (even though, at the risk of sounding baldist, Kinnock didn't have a lot of it left even then).

In fact, according to this erudite award-winning journalist, it would be too much of a risk ever to vote anyone with red hair into Downing Street. She developed her case in nauseating detail, listing every unfounded stereotype about the allegedly negative characteristics and temperament of 'red heads' that anyone has ever heard of - presenting them, of course, as established facts of life.

So, if it's any comfort to Iain Dale, he can at least breathe a sigh of relief that he doesn't have red hair.

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