Daily Mail takes a traditional view-shock!

by Julian Westaby.

Jan Moir

This wee woman is currently Public enemy No1 and it’s all because of an article she wrote, in a recent issue of The Daily Mail. As we all probably know, Stephen Gately, the Boyzone band member died recently, in fairly tragic circumstances. Obviously, for any young geezer to die is a sad event but the fact that Stephen Gately was a famous pop star and an openly gay man, it was obvious  Daily Mail ‘fodder’. They were duty bound to comment on his death. from a ‘traditional’ viewpoint.

Whether you subscribe to her beliefs, or the Daily Mail’s beliefs or whether you’ve even read the article or not, that’s not important. What were ARE defending is ANY journalist’s right to free speech. We’ve got our opinions on the Daily Mail and we’d argue that it’s their JOB to take a slightly priggish, conservative view on anything that’s not straight down the line. It’s what The Daily Mail was invented for. So, for 22,000 people to take issue with a traditional, dyed- in-the- wool, curtain-twitching newspaper’s approach, it’s sort of strange.

This knee-jerk ‘complaints’ culture has become prevalent of late and it’s definitely been fuelled by internet ‘rumour’. The whole ‘Jonathan Ross-Manuelgate’ scenario was something which the Internet blew out of all proportion. In the case of Ms Moir’s situation, it similarly started off on Facebook, when a number of ‘right-on’ liberal types, they urged fellow Facebookers to send off a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission regarding Jan Moir’s article, alluding to the less than straightforward (and we use this word advisedly) circumstances of Stephen’s death. Like it or not, it wasn’t what the average Daily Mail reader (if there is such a thing) would regard as ‘normal’. Three gay guys, a flat in the Balearics, a whiff of ‘drugs’…absolutely ‘no-brainer’ stuff for the Daily Mail to comment on.

And that’s what’s surprising, reading the offending article, is that it’s just someone’s opinion, a bit of virtual fish and chip paper which will be scattered in the ether tomorrow. It’s been blown out of all proportion and is something which has got every trendy outspoken liberal leaping in and out of closets, chatrooms and online forums to condemn someone, for writing a fairly standard bit of Daily Mail-type blurb.

Looking at this and similar newspapers on any other day, there are literally dozens of stories which could have any fairly rational person throwing their hands up in horror at their one-sided slant on modern, British life. As we mention before, it’s the Daily Mail’s job to do this. It’s salacious and it’s what Bearsden, Barnton and Middle-England-shire want to read…society’s gone down the pan. In the ‘Gately-gate’ tale after all, one of the gay blokes in the flat was BULGARIAN!  Could it get any worse? What was HE doing in Majorca? Was he there illegally? There’s a whole ISSUE of the Daily Mail could be dedicated to this one piece of human, personal tragedy.

Anyway, our point is are these 22,000 ‘liberals’ turning us into a generation of mini ‘Mary Whitehouses’? Are they any worse or better than her? Are we getting outraged just because we can? Are we jumping, bandwagon-esque on ANY cause that may trample on ‘liberal’ views, because if we are, the trouble is, we could be fanning the flames of something altogether more dangerous or turning us into one of Europe’s dullest countries.

These are probably the same ‘Liberals’ who are crying-out for BNP leader Nick Griffin to be given his chance to defend his party policies on the great British Institution that is ‘Question Time’. It’s another hot topic of news at the moment. These people want to see BNP on Question Time (because they’ve been democratically elected). If you think BNP are bonkers, you’d watch to see just how big a hole Mr Griffin can dig for the BNP.

If you voted for them, you’d like to see Nick be given a proper, mainstream platform to demonstrate that thousands of people in Oldham can’t be wrong. You’d like to hear him talk about traditional British values and his party’s Churchillian  ‘Battle for Britain’.  Because of course, there are two sides to every story and it really depends on your point of view as to which side is the unsavoury one.

So, with ‘balance’ in mind are we right in condemning a Daily Mail article for perhaps being a bit homophobic?

Here’s another way of looking at things. We’re living in an age where one of the cleverest comics of our age Frankie Boyle, has been heavily censured for making a joke about Her Majesty on TV’s Mock The Week. It’s the one where he suggests The Queen is so old her erm…’nether regions’ are haunted…I watched the episode and was doubled-up with laughter, as were the audience, and all of the other panellists and I’d imagine, most of the people watching at home. Sure, it was an opinion, and a bit shocking, and rude…and bloody funny. So, where are the 22,000 complaints that Frankie was anti-monarchist and ageist? They were not forthcoming because potential complainants, they’re not part of the Internet generation. It would take too much effort to raise a possee.

It’s simply a bit of persepective we need to regain. If it’s easy for an online generation to click a button to vilify an obvious target like The Daily Mail, fine, go ahead and do this. But let’s not open-up the floodgates for a new generation of moaners, who will turn on people, en-masse and shout down anyone, just because they’ve got a different opinion.

It’s Homecoming Year, so let’s let Robert Burns comment on our ability to be transparent and gain balance. And by this, we don’t mean developing a chip on both shoulders.

‘O wad some Power the giftie gie us. Tae see oursels as ithers see us!’