The Daily Mail is famous for its ‘middle England’ obsessions – from house prices and health to the Royal family – but also has a nasty undercurrent of racism and homophobia.
There’s even a widget to generate your own Daily Mail headline: my current favourite “ARE MUSLIMS GIVING YOUR PETS SWINE FLU?”
Yesterday, their online poll was beyond satire: “Should the NHS allow gipsies to jump the queue?”, in response to reports that travellers can get GP appointments without pre-booking. (As the alternatives would be clogging up A&E or dying in a ditch, it doesn’t seem too crazy to me.)
As Mark Pack reports, someone picked it up on Twitter and urged us all to cast our vote. When last seen, the poll was running at over 90% for YES – before the Mail took it offline….
While we’re on the subject of the Daily Mail, another of their obsessions is ‘Town Hall snoops’.
It was the middle of the Euro elections, so I didn’t find time to write about it then, but this article last month annoyed me. The story says ‘Councils are recruiting children as well as adults to spy on their neighbours’.
Rubbish! The truth, at least as far as Islington is concerned, is rather different. The Eyes for Islington scheme is not about snooping on people; it’s about reporting problems so that the Council can clean them up. It’s about taking pride in our neighbourhoods and responsibility for helping keep them clean. And it’s about encouraging young people to be responsible too. School kids have helped design anti-litter posters and run recycling schemes. It’s all good stuff and nothing to do with snooping. You think the Daily Mail would approve!
I should declare an interest in the Eyes – I launched the scheme when I was a local councillor. So I was glad that the Tribune gave fairer coverage of our Eyes scheme.
There is a debate to be had about council’s ‘surveillance’ powers – see Sara Bedford’s piece – but misrepresenting what’s really happening helps nobody.