Those of us with a shred of humanity, those of us on even nodding terms with basic human decency might choose to spend a few moments today reflecting on the horrific tragedy that befell six of Mick Philpott’s children. We might even go a little further and feel an indescribable rage towards a man, a so-called father, being the conscious architect of the demise of six of his seventeen – yes, seventeen – children.
In a cynical and twisted plot, the jury at Nottingham Crown Court learned, this selfish and misogynistic creature deliberately started a fire and attempted to frame his neighbour all with the intent of appearing the hero by rescuing his children. At the same time visiting revenge upon the hapless neighbour who had slept with his partner. There’s more than enough there to sicken anyone.
Not the Daily Mail, though. For them a human tragedy of this nature is simply an opportunity to push even further their revolting and immoral class agenda. Today’s front page, emblazoned as it is with the banner headline, ‘Vile Product Of Welfare UK’ says everything about a tabloid whose connection to the lofty ideals and principles of the Fourth Estate is as tenuous as those of the Tory party to compassion and equality.
In one sense, there’s little new here; the putrid rag, right from its Hitler-glorifying headline, ‘Hurrah for The Blackshirts’ all the way to the present day, has consistently articulated the most vile prejudices and bigotries of its blue-rinsed, would-be middle-class, Conservative readership. On the other hand, the stomach-turning cynicism of both the sentiment and timing of today’s front-page marks a new low for a publication one might reasonably have concluded couldn’t possibly sink any lower. “Inside the house of depravity: Two giant TVs, a snooker room but the children were barely fed by Mick Philpott whose sordid lifestyle beggars belief!” screams the Hate Mail, in its usual strident tones of sanctimony and sneering self-righteousness.
After a veritable onslaught of vituperation, lies and sheer malice aimed at those out of work, the disabled, single mothers and immigrants alike, the Daily Mail has been a key driver in fomenting a culture of hate against the nation’s poor and underprivileged. Lurid and hysterical attacks, based often on outright lies, are its disgusting stock in trade. And in a week when the poor have been hammered yet further by the introduction of the ‘Bedroom Tax’ and other heartless and spiteful cuts to benefits, it’s nothing less than vomit-inducing that the toilet-paper tabloid seeks to make political capital out of such an emotionally-charged and appalling crime.
Of course, the wretched parents in this contemptible episode are as much a product of the welfare state as Peter Sutcliffe is of the Road Haulage Association. Or Beverly Allitt is of the Royal College of nursing. What they might well be a product of, though, is neoliberal free-market economics; a system where the only possible measurements of value are those that can be entered on a spread-sheet in pounds and pence. A society that sees its workforce as nothing more than a resource to be employed, abused and then sacked at will, depending on the whims of the market. A culture that deems it perfectly moral, no; necessary even, to scapegoat the elderly, the disabled, the unemployed and working poor alike and view them as merely cannon fodder in an on-going class war. The sole purpose of which is to enrich still further those at the top at the expense of those at the bottom. In such a society, one that utterly distorts our natural humanity and produces the most grotesque and aberrant human behaviour in pursuit of wealth, why should we expect anything different from those at the bottom of the social order?
One might also wish to consider the nauseating hypocrisy of its editor, Paul Dacre. This repellent caricature of a press man sanctions, daily, attacks on ‘scroungers’ when the rich and Conservative demagogues, whose cause he so enthusiastically champions, freely use British infrastructure, resources and personnel to acquire their ill-gotten gains. And then promptly shift the loot off-shore to avoid paying their fair share of income tax. ‘Scroungers’ eh? You bet.
In conclusion, then, we can be certain of several things; the Daily Mail, along with its troglodyte scribblers and hacks, who laughably pass for journalists, are an affront to decency, fairness and honesty. With today’s headline they have confirmed their standing as the most toxic faecal lump floating in the sewer of British tabloid ‘journalism’. The comments in response to the rag’s noxious online edition of the Philpott article confirms, beyond any doubt, that’s its readers are stupidly ignorant, cruel and spiteful bigots. Following all this, though, we can also be sure of thing more; they, and the Daily Mail, spit in the very face of humanity.