Recently, the press has been buzzing with the revelation that Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party, has had connections with a Czech spy. This has been proven to be a false, fake news from the Daily Mail. High profile politicians across the world have had connections with the Soviets, such as Vladimir Putin who was a man inside the KGB or the soviet spy network. A far darker hypocrisy is the fact that the Daily Mail who has suggested that Corbyn is essentially a traitor, is itself a traitor to British democratic and liberal values by supporting Fascism and the Nazis.
The article “Hurrah for the Blackshirts” is one of the most infamous articles that the Daily Mail in which Lord Rothermere, the owner of the Daily Mail states that the Fascists were a noble cause worthy to be supported. The pro-Fascist sympathies of Lord Rothermere were also published in the Daily Mirror, the other newspaper who owned. However, The Daily Mirror after the war recanted its Fascist past in part with its post-war support of the Labour party since 1945. The Daily Mail has never properly changed from its 1930s paper. Its 1938 “German Jews pouring into this country” is no different from its sentiment today when the paper regularly goes for immigrants as a scape-goat.
It wasn’t that the owner of The Daily Mail just published pro-Fascist publications. According to the book Trading with the Enemy written by Charles Hingham in 1983, Lord Rothermere gave a total of $5 million to help Adolph Hitler ascend to power. This kind of support for Nazi Germany is inexcusable, helping what became the enemy of Great Britain. When The Daily Mail has written articles such as “Crush the Saboteurs”, or has attacked High Court judges as “Enemies of the People”, it has not repented of its Fascist past as it is open in its criticism of Rule of Law and opposition to other political parties, which would make any authoritarian smile. People can change. This almost sounds like a truism. Institutions, political parties and companies change over time. However, The Daily Mail has barely changed since its 1930s flirt with Fascism. It is as much an enemy of the Rule of Law now as it was in the 1930s. This comes at a time when democracies across the world are on the retreat, a right-wing authoritarianism comes back into popularity. Worse though is The Daily Mail’s criticism of left-wingers as “traitors” when such hypocrisy ignores its own past when its owner actively supported a regime that fought against Britain in a war that killed over 400,000 British people. The Daily Mail thus itself has betrayed British values in the past and has the audacity to attack Left-leaning politicians as “treacherous”.
The Daily Mail is a paper with a Fascist past. This could have been apologised for, could have been repented of, its editorial stance changed. The Daily Mirror certainly has; becoming the largest left-wing tabloid newspaper in Britain. However, The Daily Mail has not changed. The 19th January 1934 article by the Spectator encapsulates The Daily Mail brilliantly;
“But the Blackshirts, like the Daily Mail, appeal to people unaccustomed to thinking. The average Daily Mail reader is a potential Blackshirt ready made. When Lord Rothermere tells his clientele to go and join the Fascists some of them pretty certainly will. “
Article by Daniel Clemence
Photograph – The Drum