I wonder if Daily Mail readers ever get tired of being fed dishonest headlines designed only to enrage them. I wonder if Daily Mail readers ever just want to be informed, to actually know – in a clear, honest way – what is actually going on. Today Nick Clegg released some details on planned changes for Paternity/ Maternity leave. This is something that could have an impact on a lot of people, and the Daily Mail – who are always concerned with the state of families – would surely want to report sensibly on what was being proposed.
According to the BBC:
The new scheme, first proposed by the last government, will let a father take up any remaining unpaid leave if their partner goes back to work early.
The BBC article then confirms that:
if a mother returns to work without taking a full year’s maternity leave the father will be able to take the remaining time, up to a maximum of six months. [Emphasis is mine]
Instead of concentrating on informing readers of the truth about proposals the Daily Mail instead does this:
Utterly dishonest, sensationalised and designed to get people angry or scared. The headline, as usual, is a complete lie and this kind of reporting just tosses another spade full of soil onto the coffin of the PCC.
Put this story into a wider context. The Daily Mail constantly attacks the idea of single-parent families – Peter Hitchens even went as far as calling for the complete abolition of benefits to single mothers – declaring such benefits as part of the ‘state-sponsored assault on marriage’. The Daily Mail is forever linking the breakdown of the traditional family to the ‘breakdown’ of society in Britain – broken families equals broken Britain. Yet Nick Clegg announces the chance for fathers to have a greater participation in the first year of a child’s life and they react with horrified exaggeration.
It leaves you wondering if fathers are needed for child-rearing after all, or whether the Daily Mail will react childishly and stupidly to any news item, even if it goes against their normal line.