"You may say that I am a dreamer/But I am not the only one" John Lennon: "Imagine"

"So come brothers and sisters/For the struggle carries on" Billy Bragg: "The Internationale"

Elizannie has a reading room at 'Clarice's Book Page' http://www.villiersroad.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

A Lesson in Double Standards or an Open Blog to Lord Rothermere

When teaching, especially small children, sometimes the easiest way to teach literary terms, everyday sayings, proverbs etc is to give an example of the point under discussion.

So today's example for the saying under discussion 'Double Standards' was provided nicely for me by a discussion on last night's BBC2 Newsnight programme. If you missed the piece in question you can view it here.

The piece featured an interview with Jon Steafel, the deputy editor of the Daily Mail followed by a discussion between Steafel and Alistair Campbell on the subject of the Mail's article by Geoffrey Levy published last Saturday attacking Ed Miliband's father Ralph. 

Interviewed by Emily Maitlis, Steafel defended his paper's decision to publish the article by suggesting that Ed Milliband must have been influenced by his father's 'dangerous' political views which commenced with a diary entry of a boy of seventeen, quoted out of context* . However when Maitlis asked whether the paper's owner - Lord Rothermere - had been influenced by his g.grandfather's publication in 1934 of the article written by him [and adult!!] Hurrah for the Blackshirts 

Steafel insisted it would not have done! I was surprised that the walls of the studio did not fall in with such a blatant example of Double Standards.

In the interview on Newsnight, Alistair Campbell displays - imo - a righteous anger against the Daily Mail. Today's edition of the Daily Mail shows no repentance. 

Normally I try to inject a bit of humour into my blogs. I cannot find anything funny in this subject.

*In an article in today's Guardian the author of Ralph Miliband and the Politics of the New Left (Merlin Press, 2002), Michael Newman explains how the Mail distorted quotes from his book.


  1. One law for the Lords and Ladies, another law for the rest of us. If you are rich and privileged you can do and say what you like, and it's all put down to 'showing spirit'; of course if you are not of the elite, any such 'controversial' views are subversive, dangerous and prejudiced. Getting upset about the Daily (hate) Mail being contradictory and unpleasant and divisive, is like getting upset about the sun rising in the morning! I think they actually believe what they write, and sadder still some people actually believe what they read in it.

  2. I know I have wasted a lot of energy this week by being angry - an emotion that I would rather not feel. Because my father was a contemporary of Ralph Miliband I have allowed myself to feel personally involved as well as politically outraged, I think, and my sense of humour disappeared completely. I accept that papers like the Fail set out to enrage those whom they denigrate and sometimes lofty indifference is the best 'reply'. Sometimes that is not always possible, and although experience has taught me that reasoned argument will not change their wicked ways I will still try! Today is National Poetry Day, so thinking about that and playing some Folk Music Heroes has calmed me down a little.

  3. Yes, you mentioned something rather astute there: '...I have allowed myself to feel personally involved as well as politically outraged, I think, and my sense of humour disappeared completely.' I know that when I get angry for any reason my sense of humour goes, and I love to laugh a whole lot. I adore so much comedy and now I try to be direct and honest about something, without getting too angry. Der Angriff, sorry the Daily Mail, is like something from the 19th century, mock outrage and twirly moustaches curling and colonels spluttering over their early morning tea whilst making harsh decisions that create the problems in the first place. It would be laughable if it wasn't reality.

    I listen to a bit of Jose Gonzalez or Miles Davis to chill me out. Better than any drug or booze I find!