When Prince William went on his skiing holiday, he would not have conceived that he would be roasted as a ‘slacker’ from the press.
The Duke of Cambridge was the latest target in the age in which we now live — the age of Brexit. While it is widely accepted, despite official neutrality, that the Queen supported Brexit, early on in the campaign the Prince gave a speech seen as favourable to remaining in Europe. In the hiatus between the parliamentary vote, giving the prime minister a blank cheque and the start of actual negotiations, there was a lack of an enemy of the people in the news. Now the Duke of Cambridge is being warned by The Daily Mail that he imperils the future of the monarchy!
If ever anyone did a thought experiment as to what the UK would be like if it was run by the Daily Mail, this would be abandoned as redundant. Theresa May is powerless to resist, even if that is what she wanted. The Mail backed her leadership campaign, making her beholden from the start. Since she has no mandate beyond the acclamation of 200-odd Conservative MPs, she clings to the vote to leave the EU as her right to prime ministership and her mandate comes through the ‘Hard Brexit’ demanded by the Mail.
At the onset of her premiership, May said she would govern the country on behalf of both sides and be a unifier. She has done nothing since to implement this pledge. The Mail, under its editor, Paul Dacre, does not recognise compromise as anything other then detestable weakness. May has been accused by those who worked under her at the Home Office of being so ruthless a negotiator that she lacks the imagination to see the argument of the other side. In several television and radio interviews and Prime Minister’s Questions sessions, she has shown a lack of ability to think on her feet. Our PM is driven not to compromise, since that would deviate from the Mail’s approval.
David Cameron rode the tiger for his own benefit at the general election before being consumed as he tried to step off ahead of the EU Referendum. Allegedly, he tried to get Daily Mail and General Trust proprietor, Lord Rothermere, to sack Dacre to ensure a smoother passage in the referendum. Apparently, when learning of this, Dacre was incandescent with rage (his default setting) and worked even more furiously to win the referendum.
The lurid front pages attacking immigrants (along with The Daily Express and to a lesser extent, The Sun) can be said to have led to a surge in racial hate crime that has not abated since last June. In line with the Mail’s 1930s past, anti-Semitic incidents have risen to record levels in 2016 in the accompanying xenophobia. The Mail’s criticism of the Dubs Scheme bringing in child refugees from Europe has seen it brought to an early end, with May citing lack of capacity but stonewalling on where she gets her data. Unhappily, the Mail of the 1930s also attacked Kindertransport (of which Lord Dubs was a member as a child).
Most high-profile was the Daily Mail going full Robespierre/Trotskyist in calling High Court Judges ‘enemies of the people’. The Daily Telegraph chimed in with a similar headline, ‘The Judges versus the People’, but using a phrase that was deployed to brand many innocents as traitors and send them to the guillotine of the firing squad was a rupture with Britain’s traditionally tolerant and inclusive past. From Edmund Burke onwards, the British have often looked down on foreign revolutionary fervour (ignoring the English Civil War), welcoming those fleeing from that. And what did the Judges do to incur such nationalistic wrath and have their personal lives dissected? Uphold the sovereignty of the British Parliament that was a major plank of the Leave campaign! The Government failed to protect the judges, with May going as far as to defend the Brexit press who are more than capable of looking after themselves. The denigration as ‘Remoaners’ of those who oppose Hard Brexit also continues relentlessly.
Now however, the Daily Mail has come up against an even bigger bully than itself: President Trump. After Mail Online (a big source of Dacre’s power) published (and rapidly retracted) a disobliging article about Trump’s wife, Melania, it was hit with a $500 million lawsuit from Trump. And if Lord Rothermere must shoulder a half a billion dollar loss, all the money Dacre has made will fall to nought and that sack should, finally, beckon.