Posted by Tim Ireland
September 16th, 2010
The Daily Mail have just engaged in what can fairly be described as a typically misleading attack* on someone with whom they have a difference of opinion; rather than allow their argument to stand on its own merits, they have chosen to entirely misrepresent the position of their opponent.
All praise to Stephen Fry, not only for having the courage to stand up to the Daily Mail, but for also having the wit and patience to pick their pathetic straw man to pieces:
I was one of 50 signatories to a letter that called into question the official state nature of the papal visit. I didn’t write the letter, but am proud to stand behind it and with my fellow signatories. Otherwise my “hate campaign”, as they well know, begins with the words, “I’ve no objection to the Pope coming to visit Britain, he is welcome to do so…” it is, as I go on to say, none of my business. I go out of my way to make it clear that I fully respect the desire of the pious, the faithful and the devout to welcome their spiritual father, their supreme Pontiff.
My only objection is that this be a State Visit. It hasn’t happened before and the Vatican is in no real sense a nation state. Visit the place: it takes fifty minutes to walk round. You don’t need a passport or visa to enter. It is a curlicue of history that makes this “absolute monarchy” (to quote the Holy See’s own website) a “country”. Under no reasonable or worthwhile definition does the Vatican match up to the old-established and widely accepted Montevideo protocols on statehood. So by all means come, but please don’t ask the British taxpayer (a figure whom the Daily Mail is usually so zealous to protect) to help foot the bill.
Believe me, there is no hate there. None whatever. The Mail knows this perfectly well.
As Fry points out in his opening remarks, this is an example of the staff at the Daily Mail “intentionally, knowingly lying” to their readers, and we make no secret of the fact that the purpose of this site is to warn their readers that they are under a constant barrage of balderdash designed to make them afraid and/or hostile, sometimes for no other discernible logical purpose than to keep sales ticking over… but we do not discount the theory that some of this activity may be due to an unknown number of writers and editors being as mad as cut snakes.
[*The online version of this article was updated at 10:29am, and presently acknowledges the true position of the signatories of this letter (that Pope Ratzinger should not be given the honour of a state visit to this country), in passing, before going on imply/maintain that this equates to a refusal to engage in or allow open dialogue on religious matters. Further, this minor acknowledgement of reality does nothing to address the "atheist hate campaign led by Stephen Fry" text under their front page headline.]
UPDATE – You’ll probably want one of these as much as we do:
Categories: Religion |