Discussion of the more serious side of the Mail's agenda
By Abernathy
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In Daily Mail terms, or even just those of the British right-wing press and media generally, I think there’s a strong case to be argued that the word of the decade is “fetishisation”.

What’s that exactly? I hear you ask. The dictionary definition is thus: “to be excessively or irrationally devoted to (an object, activity, etc.) “.

How does it manifest itself ? Widely, and perniciously. It originates, of course, as an element of the “Daily Mail mindset” (remember the luggage carousel?) and is spread deliberately and relentlessly thoughout its readership.

It is attached to many different things. One of the biggest and most high-profile is of course the military, and specifically those servicemen and women making up the rank and file of our armed forces. Almost without exception, every single man or woman serving in the military is, by simple dint of having enrolled in the service, automatically a “hero”. They in fact stop being men and women, and become, unisexually, “our boys”. For the most part, they can do no wrong. Elderly veteran soldiers are particularly fetishised. The strongest and most virulent vitriol is reserved for any small-time criminal that robs the home of one of these (usually) men, even if, as is often the case, the burglar has no idea whatsoever, and no earthly reason to know, that the source of his swag is a war veteran.

Linked closely to the fetishisation of the military is that of Remembrance. What began as a simple but dignified act of national memorialising of those killed during wartime has become, in the minds of the Mail et al, a deeply unhealthy obsession. Its focus is Remembrance Sunday, when opportunities arise to vilify the leader of the Labour party for his scruffy togs or even failing to incline his head at a sufficiently respectful angle. But long before this, from about the 1st October each year, the small red flower whose paper replicas some people attach to their outer clothing during this period to denote personal support for Remembrance itself becomes a powerful object of fetishisation. A widespread draconian edict comes into force that dictates that no-one appearing on television is permitted not to wear the poppy, and those who breach this edict are vilified as Satan himself. Curiously, Nigel Farage seems to be excused from this edict. In the meantime, variations of the simple paper poppy proliferate. Certain right-wing female politicians in particular are guilty of wearing outsized, sometimes bling-encrusted perma-poppy badges, in an ostentatious show of look-at-me worthiness.

And now, following the referendum and in these Brexit-obsessed times, what’s the latest object of fetishisation ?
You’ve got it. It’s “the will of the people”. An advisory referendum that split the voting population more or less 50/50 has delivered a very narrow majority in favour of ending the UK’s membership of the EU.

Arguably, in fact not really arguably at all, it isn’t “the will of the people” at all, but more “the advice of just 37% of the total UK electorate, many of whom were taken in by lies, deliberate distortion, and racist sentiment”. Focusing on the 52% of the referendum vote that was in favour of leave as “the will of the people” in this way is perhaps the most damaging example of fetishisation yet.

The fetishised “will of the people” is being used to shout down any continuing opposition to leaving the EU, to pressurise politicians, and disgracefully and outrageously, personally to attack members of the judiciary whose job it is to uphold and affirm parliament’s role. Supposedly retired UKIP demagogues are planning mass marches on the Supreme Court and openly threatening mob violence.

And we are about to see the trial commence shortly of a fascist simpleton who allegedly brutally murdered a Member of Parliament on the street in broad daylight at the height of the referendum campaign, who grunted "Death to traitors. Freedom for Britain." at his Magistrates Court appearance.

Fetishisation. It’s what the Mail does.
Populist rhetoric and populism in general has overtaken truth and democracy. I think populism should be the word of this century.

To have a fetish about a subject surely implies that the fetishist cares about the fetish? The Mail could not care less about poppies or 'our boys', they just use it as a stick to beat whatever target suits them.
Im starting to think that there is no longer any reasoned debate. Any discussion there now is is lead by the barking mad end of the press, chief culprit The Daily Mail, and its idea of "debate" is to shout and scream "OUTRAGE!!!!!" at any deviation for their lunatic agenda

They seem to have the government in its pocket, for a long time the Tories used the right wing media to churn out propaganda, but now the boot is on the other foot and the lunatics have taken over the asylum.

I really wish someone in government would have the balls to state that the Mail/Sun/Express are utter, utter shite and tell lies all the time and you must ignore everything in them. I don't like censorship, but half of me would like to ban all three as all they are is the mouthpieces of bigoted right wing millionaires who seek to control public opinion, and not newspapers at all.

They are a cancer on Britain
While I'm fairly sure the average Mailite wouldn't want to be in Aldershot or Poole come chucking out time on a Saturday night, there is a good deal of "Our boys should have whatever they want" attitude.

For me it manifested back in 2014, when I was listening to Chris Evans broadcasting from the D Day anniversary commemorations, and saying that in his opinion, Saving Private Ryan should be screened every day and be made compulsory viewing. OK, he's a gobshite and it was a heat of the moment fill the airtime thing, but it struck me as the very essence of the populism, and fetishisation you both mention.

MAM - comment in the Mirror today, saying that had we seen headlines such as those from the Mail/Sun/etc in a foreign paper, we'd be crowing about those filthy foreigners with their proclivity for fascism, thank goodness for responsible British journalism, never happen here and so on.
Totally correct. I can remember in the 60s and 70s, when World War 2 wasn't all that long ago, there not being a fraction of the fuss over poppies that there is now.
Daley Mayle wrote:Populist rhetoric and populism in general has overtaken truth and democracy. I think populism should be the word of this century.

To have a fetish about a subject surely implies that the fetishist cares about the fetish? The Mail could not care less about poppies or 'our boys', they just use it as a stick to beat whatever target suits them.
You have a case. But whether the Mail cares about the things it fetishises isn't the point. Tere is undoubtedly a process of fetishisation taking place.
By visage
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Its a continuation of the retreat from reason. Nothing these people argue for cant be defeated by simple facts and logic; But to attempt to do so invites a series of retarded counterarguments - 'Yeah, but experts said X so why should we trust them?', 'They dont live in the real world' and so on...
mr angry manchester wrote:Totally correct. I can remember in the 60s and 70s, when World War 2 wasn't all that long ago, there not being a fraction of the fuss over poppies that there is now.
Two things going on there, I think.

First, in the sixties and seventies, there were a lot more people about who remembered first hand what war was like. Not just the commando raids and Spitfire sorties, nor even the bombing and the sense of justice in putting the Nazis to the sword, but the whole lot of it. The disruption to everyday life. The SNAFUs. The queues, rationing and shortages. The blackout, the Blitz, the bugger-ups, the whole bloody lot of it. Now that generation's dying off, and the ones that came after it are lionising them.

Second, there was a much more immediate threat of war. In 1962 the world came close to nuclear armageddon. Conscripts had fought in Malaya, Aden, Suez and Korea, and the TV showed the grim realities of Vietnam. Troops were being shot at and blown up on the streets of UK towns with branches of Boots and Woolworths and all the other trappings of British life. Nowadays, we've a Call of Duty mentality. For all the "heightened terror threat", war is Over There, our news reports from the frontline much more closely managed than they were back then. We've made the soldiers "Our Boys", heroes we can cheer on just as much (if not more) as the super-fit footballers who play each Saturday while we can't get our arses in gear for a kick-about in the park. There's no longer mass enlistment; the military's a career. And more to the point, a bit of wish-fulfillment. Macho men and women with shiny tech and l33t sk1llz in foreign climes giving Johnny Foreigner what for. Kicking ass and wearing shades. Local tearaways come good. Rough diamonds, salt of the Earth. Finest traditions. And so on.

Yeah, fetishisation alright.
Note also how quick they are to ditch any of their fetish objects when they're no longer delivering the desired political punch.

For example the ailing pound.
15 years of "At least we aren't in that lame-duck Euro".
Accompanied to references to it as a weak currency (as it climbed from 64p to 87p).

And now the arse has fallen out of the pound, it's just "One of those things" and the columnists don't like to talk about it.
By Fozzy
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What gets me about the Mail/Express/Sun is that they no longer view it as in any way their function as journalists to hold all politicians to account. On the contrary, they regard it as their function to help them lie and cheat provided that the lies and cheating in question suit the agenda of the individual proprietor and/or editor, and to make up even more blatant lies on their own account. It obviously extends outside politics, and this thread offers further examples - they simply refuse to acknowledge that any soldier is capable of being anything other than a living saint, which means they are fully prepared to close their eyes to the odd bit of murder and torture. When we have a newspaper industry which has no interest in freedom, independence or truth, we offer a free path to corruption, ever more blatant abuses, and ultimately tyranny.
Fozzy wrote:...which means they are fully prepared to close their eyes to the odd bit of murder and torture.
Or on occasion blandly state it but say it's OK because it's one of Our Boys doing it.
Murder and torture of POWs is forbidden by the Geneva Convention. Dad was a POW in World War 2 and said that the Germans didn't treat the British prisoners particularly badly, apart from the fact that the food was pretty crap, but at that late stage in the war it probably was even for the Germans too.
Daley Mayle wrote:I haven't read any wailing or gnashing of teeth in the Mail about the retired ex-pats on the Costa del Whinge following the drop in value of the pound. This must have hit them hard.
They're no longer a useful example, so are forgotten.
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