Week 16: Villain – The Mail On-Line

by George_East on April 22, 2012

This Week’s Villain of the Week (incredibly for the first time) is the The Forger’s Gazette , The Daily Hell, I mean the Mail On-Line

This week’s news has been dominated by the trial of Norwegian mass murderer, Anders Behring Breivik.   The trial has been faced with the sickening spectacle of Breivik gloating about the coldblooded murders of cowering teenagers, and his exposition of his half-baked neo-nazi ideology.    His villainy is on another scale to most of those we feature in our Awards.  There was the sense this week though of Breivik recognising that he has a stage and playing it for all its worth.  The reality is that for all the pain his callous words continue to cause to the family and friends of the victims, and to the survivors of the massacre, he is not going to be causing any more harm going forward.   Once the trial is over, so thankfully is Breivik.

But the ideology to which Breivik subscribes – that of the anti-immigrant, extreme nationalist right is on the up.  Today it appears that Marine Le Pen has achieved a record breaking percentage of the vote for the far right in the first round of the Presidential Election.   Although the initial exit poll suggesting that she had achieved a shocking 20% of the vote appears to have been on the high side (the latest figures on news site France 24 as I write this suggest an actual vote at the moment of about 18.6%), the numbers are sending shock waves through the French political establishment and have done much to take the shine off of Francois Hollande’s victory.    It would appear that the second round is likely to see some nasty rhetoric from a desperate Nicolas Sarkozy, from his reference to ‘French identity’ in his speech to party supporters tonight.

It is against this background of a resurgent far right, exploiting the economic fall out from the financial crisis to target immigrants and non-white French, that this week’s Villain Award was subject to a last minute change.

This morning The Mail on line published a piece by a nasty little publicity seeking right wing pundit, Richard Waghorne, entitled ‘Despite Her Flaws, The Only Responsible Vote In France Is One For Marine Le Pen’.   I am not going to dignify it with a link, if you can stomach it no doubt you can find it yourself.  So far as I can find, the Mail has not published any editorial of its own on the Presidential Election or any other opinion pieces today suggesting that Waghorne is wrong.

No, the only opinion piece the Mail has published on the day of the French election is one endorsing the fascists.   The piece itself is utterly disingenuous, using the excuse of one of the Mail’s obsessions (the evil of all things EU) to justify the support for Le Pen.   The piece suggests somehow that the Front National is no longer the party of Jean Marie ‘the Holocaust is only a detail of history’ Le Pen.  That somehow Marine is not the fascist her father was because her primary targets are Muslims of North African origin rather than Jews.   Those paying attention to far right politics  will recognise Le Pen junior’s political strategy as straight out of the BNP playbook.  There was no mention of Le Pen’s speeches in the campaign that suggested that French citizens of North African origin were not entitled to be considered French citizens at all.   This remains an unreconstructed neo-fascist party.

The Mail has, of course, got form on this front.  It was openly pro-Oswald Mosley in the 1930s.  It was its role in the publishing of the Zinoviev letter which brought down the first Labour government that led to the great Michael Foot calling it the Forger’s Gazette for his entire career.

And the Mail On-Line cannot hide behind the fact that it was just a columnist writing this piece.  It commissioned the piece.  It wrote the shocking headline (note ‘the only responsible vote’ – not to vote fascist would be irresponsible).  It has published no piece distancing itself or critizising Waghorne.   It is the most widely read news website in the UK.  It gave this odious little man a platform.  The only good thing to come out of his story is that the most popular reader comments on the post, were universally negative.   They were willing to call a fascist a fascist.  Unlike the villainous fellow travellers of the Mail On-Line. As one commentor on the piece asked, ‘what next for the Mail – Is Nick Griffin Misunderstood?’.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Eddie Kaye April 23, 2012 at 8:01 am

Thanks for pointing this out George. I was unaware of its existence, so I will give it a read. It doesn’t surprise me from the perennial purveyors of ‘simplistic take on comlex issues for the terminally stupid.com’. Their agenda is simple: whip up as much bile in middle England to sink the proverbial battleship and stiffle any progressive and meaningful debate. Showing a single mother with 15 kids by 18 different fathers (and the Karen Matthews images) lets them peddle the myth that anyone on benefits is quite happy so long as their fridge is full of Stella Artois and their Regal packets supplimented. Seeing someone ‘escaping jail’ when in their world they should be doing 20 years to life for stealing a box of corn flakes, then when someone does get a ridiculous sentence for something trivial they claim it was nowhere near enough. How anyone takes this glorified Beano seriously I will never know.


David Blythin April 23, 2012 at 8:54 am

Thanks for that George…here’s some good news about the far right.



Ray north April 23, 2012 at 11:27 am

Well said Mr East. Spot on.


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