Ten low-lights from the past few years.
So, Paul Dacre is stepping down as Editor of the Daily Mail in November.
Not, as Alistair Campbell would have it, ‘to spend more time with his EU grants on his Scottish estate and bronzing his corpulent frame in his fourth home in the British Virgin Islands’. Alas, the paper’s proprietor Lord Rothermere says he’s going to stay involved at the top level.
So for now, I’ll avoid a lengthy and necessary tribute. Instead, here’s just some of the recent times the paper under his editorship has made politics worse:
1. When his paper utilised anti-Semitic slurs against George Soros, describing his money as ‘tainted’
2. When his paper spread misleading stories about climate change
3. When his paper attacked abortion providers…on International Women’s Day
4. When his paper described women being promoted in the Cabinet as a ‘massacre of white men’
5. When his paper denounced British judges – who ruled Parliament must be consulted before the government could start the Brexit process – as ‘enemies of the people’
6. When his paper decided to turn a key Brexit meeting between the Prime Minister and the First Minister of Scotland…into a front page about their legs
8. When his paper tried to whip up racially-tinged hysteria over halal meat
9. When his paper victim-blamed women over assaults – suggesting those who ‘sex starve’ their husbands are contributing to rape
10. When his paper helped turn the 2015 election nasty with a shameful attack on Ralph Miliband, father of the then-Labour leader, describing him as “the man who hated Britain”
And that’s just a sample of the past few years.
When the ‘man who hated Britain’ controversy was kicking off, Ed Miliband tweeted: “The 1950s called and asked for their headline back.”
Now it seems the 1950s have called an asked for their editor back…
Sadly, we haven’t seen the end of Paul Dacre’s influence over our politics (he’s not retiring). But, as one commentator put it, for a man whose ‘legacy is one of division, bigotry and fear-mongering. Britain – and the media – will be a better place without him.’
Josiah Mortimer is Editor of Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter.
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