Normally returning to the crude propaganda of the Daily Mail requires a decent interval. However, the death of its editorial erotic fantasy has brought out all the despicably authoritarian hectoring that its spittle-flecked contents normally only reserve for those whose temerity to attack the monarchic anachronism it manages to notice - amidst scare stories on health, immigrants and the dangers of allowing any opinion other than its inane, semi-rabid apologias for tax evading plutocrats and its lionisation of ignorance as a lifestyle choice.
This week, it has demonstrated all the qualities of the retarded assailant of freedom of thought and expression that were parodied effectively after the death of the Princess of Wales. Its choice of target is the BBC - much as Thatcher derided the upholding of the principles of balance, honest reporting and perspective in her lifetime.
Apparently, despite an orchestrated campaign by the Mail, there have been an equal, if not greater number of complaints about both the extent and the contents of the BBC's coverage from the perspective that it has been maudlin, excessive and hagiographic - which is hardly surprising. The BBC has been overly-respectful, but it has not wandered off into the deranged idolatry that the Mail, as self-determined policeman of the Thatcher legacy, regards as the only appropriate response to the death of a former prime minister who had largely retired to private life since standing down as an MP over twenty years ago.
The Mail's attitude appears to belong very strongly to the David Irving school of history. Smashing the unions, standing up to Europe and the miraculous victory over a third-world power in a colonial adventure are paraded alongside deregulation of the banks, the sales of social housing and the paving of the way for Tony Blair. These are, apparently, the only things that Thatcher did. The social authoritarianism, the screwed-up economic policies and the destruction of much of the communal fabric are not to be considered.
If Paul Dacre, editor of the noxious effluvium, wishes to pursue this agenda, then, despite its ludicrousness, he is entitled to do this. Freedom of the press is essential. However, this does not extend to the cowardice with which he and Murdoch pursue their commercial and personal vendettas against other media - including the BBC. Dacre's shameful behaviour over press regulation, not to mention his canting hypocrisy in terms of his workplace behaviour and his financial situation (regularly pilloried in Private Eye) suggests that, as an inhabitant of a glass house, his rag should neither throw stones nor, given its shrivelled ugliness, take up naturism.
The previous posting attempted to put some perspective on Thatcher and her cronies. However, while the Mail continues to spew out its bile it becomes much more tempting to join the ranks of those registering their protests at her legacy, the total inappropriateness of the pseudo-state funeral and the doomed attempts to airbrush the 1980s.
For a scummy rag, obsessed with curtain-twitching celebrity culture and happy to jump on every malformed rightist bandwagon, to criticise the BBC over a social media campaign to send a song from the Wizard of Oz into the download chart is beyond parody. Whatever questions of taste exist, the mere fact hat this is happening and that there is a risk of a high chart placing should alert anyone with minimal brain-stem activity to the divisions that Thatcher's government exacerbated and which continue to this day. This is not the act of a totally-isolated loony left, but a phenomenon interesting in itself. For the BBC to be criticised over its refusal to be cowed by suburban prurience is a bad joke, especially since the intention appears to be to contextualise rather than to provide a completely straight-bat approach when the song gets played, once, on a chart show.
Yet this is not enough. If it wasn't for the fact that the Pope is of Argentinian extraction, the intellectually-challenged champions of the right would probably be pressing for fast-track canonisation so that the legacy could be airbrushed further. The Mail and its fellow-travellers are either promoting the kind of uncritical bigotry that fans the flames of totalitarianism, or merely so stupid as to be unable to distinguish cause and effect.
Other than the Guardian, the Mail is the only paper still in the same ownership as the 1930s. Unlike the Guardian it does not have to airbrush its support for Oswald Mosley out of its history - while continuing with its unarticulated English bigotry in a way that any irony-conscious reader might consider noteworthy. The Blackshirt mentality is alive and well.
Yet the idiotic posturings of the Mail are more likely to form a reaction against it than secure support. Despite its desire that nothing critical can be said about Thatcher, there were stirrings from Labour backbenchers, the nationalist parties and others in the masturbatory and unnecessary Parliamentary debate that put a little perspective into the grief-fest. The Mail does not like other people thinking unless they align entirely with its prejudice - the mark of a totalitarian mindset. To appropriate Thatcher's death for contemporary McCarthyism is breathtakingly stupid, evil, and potential incitement.
There is, so far as I am aware, no truth in the rumour that the Daily Mail is to form the basis for a makeover of the official organ of the North Korean Communist Party.