Week 45: Villain – The Mail

by Jackie_South on November 9, 2014

DailyMail_VillainNot for the first time, this week our regular award for the most despicable villain of the last seven days goes to Britain’s least pleasant newspaper.

A week ago, George East and I sat in a Hackney boozer eating a very good, if equally very pricey, Sunday roast. The topic turned to that morning’s papers – the big scoop was the Mail on Sunday‘s story that the “This is what a feminist looks like” T-shirt produced by Elle and the Fawcett Society and worn by a number of politicians was in fact produced under sweat shop conditions in Mauritius.

George and I disagreed on the merits of the story: to me, the idea that any politician should rigorously investigate the production of anything that they wear before deciding to put it on is ridiculous and to make a story that they were effectively hypocrites for not doing so was pretty shoddy. George thought it was a legitimate scoop by the Mail.

Except, it later transpired, it wasn’t. Elle and the Fawcett Society provided evidence on Tuesday that they had properly checked out the factory where the T-shirts were made, and that they were made ethically. This was one of the few factories in Mauritius where the minimum wage was paid, where there was a standard working week and where staff had unions.

So, either through lazy journalism or pure malice, the Mail story was foundless: they had simply assumed that because the T-shirts were made in Mauritius that they were made exploititively. No doubt, their editors were too busy rubbing their hands with glee at the ammunition for a cheap shot at Harriet Harman, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg that they simply could not be arsed to check if the story had any foundation.

Of course, the Mail hasn’t apologised for its false story. Yet again, they have proved to be lying, moral-free, scumbags.

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