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TUESDAY 16 JULY  2024

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The Mail’s Grade A Crapfest is utterly unworthy of this once great Tory-supporting paper

By ALAN FRAME


When I was lucky enough to work for the Daily Mail in the ‘70s it was a privilege to be there under the great David English. I had joined the old Daily Sketch (of blessed memory), my first perch in London after three years on the Express in Manchester, and it was where I met English. A year later he invited me across to the Mail when he became editor.

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David, a committed Conservative, made the Mail into a great paper full of talent. Above all, though a Tory supporting paper, it was balanced. How sad then that its modern incarnation has become such an unthinking disgrace, mindlessly supporting in every known way the Tory Party even after it had descended into the undisciplined mob of the last four years.

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In the run up to the general election it did everything to warn readers (most of them conservative with or without a capital C) of the perils of ‘Starmergeddon’ as the man responsible for the implosion of this once great and decent party called it. I refer of course to Boris Johnson, now the Mail’s £1m once-a-week columnist. (By the way I have no proof that is what he is being paid though I was told so by an impeccable source. So it may be a lie and I justify that in the knowledge that I am matching what the Mail and Mail on Sunday have been doing about the Labour Party for months, if not years.)

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The final straw came on Friday, the morning when the Labour landslide became a reality. Under the headline ‘Welcome to Day One of Starmer’s Socialist Utopia Comrades’, another of its overpaid columnists Richard Littlejohn started with ‘The British people have just ushered in the most hard-Left government in history ... soaring taxes, uncontrolled immigration, net zero lunacy and rampant wokery.’ Littlejohn, looking like an elderly skinhead and writing with all the finesse of one, further predicted that all the multi-millionaire Britons would immediately be fleeing and scenes at private airports would ‘resemble the chaotic evacuation of Kabul’ (ignoring then fact that it was a Tory foreign secretary who had organised that from his holiday on a foreign beach.)

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‘This time next week the only non-doms left here will be Albanian people-smuggling gangsters.’ Then he claimed that ‘in Starmer’s Britain people will be hired on the basis of their skin, not on the content of their character or the ability to do the job.’ And so on and so on...

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It was the sort of Grade A Crapfest fit only for Viz magazine after too much booze and pills. Utterly unworthy of a once great Tory newspaper whose writers included over the recent years Keith Waterhouse, Ross Benson, Ian Wooldridge, Lynda Lee-Potter, Bernard Levin and of course Ann Leslie and Geoffrey Levy.

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By contrast The Times, once a boring bastion of the old Establishment, has become what the Mail and the Express once were: informative, critical, balanced, amusing and brilliantly written. The Express is finished, and not before time, thanks to successive owners.

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But there is hope for the Mail if only Rothermere, known to be close to his journalists, would wake up. There should be no place for yobs like Littlejohn and posh yobs like Johnson. They bring disgrace to his inheritance.     


7 July 2024

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