Daily Mail: it’s a scary place

As a paid up member of the liberal élite that’s ruining our country, I do like to pop over to Daily Mail Island every now and again to see what’s exercising the minds of Britain’s tablerati.

This week had two eye-poppingly awful pieces that I just had to pick up on.

Firstly, Leo McKinstry’s sensitive, and thought provoking piece deftly picking at the complex moral issues surrounding the execution in China of Akmal Shaikh: HEROIN TRAFFICKERS DESERVE TO DIE.

No, wait, sensitive and thought provoking it is not. For a line-by-line demolition of the mountains of crud streaming forth from the piece, I leave you with a fisking by Sara Scarlett at Liberal Vision: Should we execute Kate Moss?

A civilised society also knows that the Law isn’t a science, it is an art and can get it badly, badly wrong. A civilised society does not risk executing innocent people either. And as for “maintain morality,” well, I think drug taking is a moral act. If it does not violate another individuals sovereignty and is the partake of consenting adults then the use of my tax pennies being used to stop it is immoral, quite frankly.

(The Daily Mail is, of course, a big fan of China. Just see this story praising the speed of construction of a new high speed train system. Massive transport projects must be so much easier when you don’t have to worry about the rights of those displaced by infrastructure or those employed to do the work. The Chinese road-builder principle – you can build roads quickly with the minimum of equipment if you throw enough labour at the problem)

Secondly, Liz Jones. If you’ve not encountered the woman before, as I hadn’t until someone sent me the link, you are in for a treat. Poor Ms Jones has maxed out her credit cards and was turned away from her usual boutique hotel in Shepherds Bush, meaning that she suffered the unimaginable indignity of not having her Prada suitcase taken by a bellboy or her BMW valet parked.

And this shocking fall from grace led Ms Jones to ponder the awfulness of homelessness in a self indulgent piece that defies any sort of sense. Ms Jones had options, you see. She could have plumped her pampered posterior back into her buffed BMW and driven herself back to her actual home. In the end, she phoned her agent who popped down and bailed her out. But those five minutes of being not-even-vaguely homeless weighed heavy on her conscious:

The wind whipped around my legs and it was suddenly very dark. I had been tossed on to life’s rubbish tip. For the first time, I felt what it must be like to be homeless, to have no money, no one to turn to. I realised that this was about the worst thing that can happen to you. Your humanity is stripped away and you become something to be moved along, stepped over, ignored.
I had reached my low spot through my own stupidity. I had spent too much money and was temporarily broke (my agent eventually turned up to bail me out). But while the plight of the homeless has gone out of fashion in recent years, it hasn’t gone away. Thousands of people still end up on the street because of mental illness, addiction, abuse or sheer bad luck.

Yes indeed, homelessness is bad. But her five minutes without a roof do not seem to have prompted Ms Jones to take any action. Just to redeem something out of this awful article, I’d like to ask you to make a donation to a homelessness charity, right now. Here are some links to national charities working in this area:

Drop us a note in the comments, or donate privately. But please – don’t let Liz Jones’s suffering have been in vain.

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8 Comments

  • Robert Doyle 30th Dec '09 - 10:20am

    Having been exposed to the Daily Mail for the last five days while staying with family, and had to endure horrors like the Leo McKinstry piece, I’m able to report that your correspondent failed to spot another Liz Jones piece in yesterday’s Daily Mail about her stint working with a shelter for the homeless:
    I’ve never liked the homeless – they’re smelly and scary. So would a Christmas shift at a shelter change my mind?
    http://tinyurl.com/yfpa5zx

    I think (hope!?) there might just be an element of irony in the persona of “Liz Jones” that she has created when writes those columns.

  • Good piece. Could say why but haven’t got time at mo. The alternative dimension that is Daily Mail Britain is a frightening place for sure.

  • Joe Taylor Condliffe 30th Dec '09 - 11:13am

    LDV team – great stuff, more of this please!

    Calling out the Daily Mail (and Express, and associated fascist loons) and their stream of knee-jerk, poorly-researched, anti-science, reactionary bigoted nonsense should be the raison d’etre of this site and its community. Keep it up!

  • As an equally paid-up member of the Liberal Elite I buy the Mail on Sunday because I like the crossword. Liz Jones writes a confessional first-person column intended to entertain the mostly female readers of You – the colour supplement.

    If you’re looking for astute political analysis of the rights and wrongs of homelessness in the UK, perhaps you should be looking in a different publication.

    It’s easy to laugh at someone who openly admits that she loves her labels, her home comforts and the status symbols that a working life brought her. Do you also want to laugh at the second half of the article, where she writes about how she has struggled with depression her whole life?

    Do you want to laugh at the fact that she got sacked from the editorship of Marie Claire for criticising the fashion industry’s reliance on anorexic models, and the fact that she has campaigned against size zero body fascism ever since? Maybe that’s even a – whisper it – Lib Dem issue, given the high profile Lembit Opik has taken on the issue.

    Easy targets, cheap shots. I expect better from LDV.

  • I think someone ought to get a sense of humour Gina. Careful you don’t fall from that high horse.

  • Malcolm Todd 31st Dec '09 - 11:50am

    Err – I don’t think Gina’s horse is the highest here…

  • The Mail’s Environment Editor is a long-standing friend of mine who in no way could be described as a member of the Reactionary Right.

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