The Daily Mail responds to the idea of a fairer society

Today saw the introduction of the Equality Act 2010 which is designed as a ‘basic framework of protection against direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation in services and public functions; premises; work; education; associations, and transport’. Typically the Daily Mail is outraged that we should dare to treat all human beings as equal: ‘Death of the office joke: Coalition enacts Harriet’s PC equality law which means ANYONE can sue for ANYTHING that offends them‘. This is fantastic news, given that my organisation pays for the Daily Mail to be stocked in the library, and as such I can now sue them for offending me (and, in fairness, the Daily Mail fails to meet a lot of equality legislation given its penchant for misogyny, racism, xenophobia and homophobia).

The article froths:

New equality laws masterminded by Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman have come into force today, threatening to create a political correctness minefield for recession-hit businesses.

Under the Act, vegans, teetotallers and atheists are to be given the same protection against discrimination as religious groups while gipsies and travellers will get special favours because of the ‘many socio-economic disadvantages’ they face.

Fancy that, people who do not eat meat, drink alcohol or believe in god deserve the same fair treatment as people who believe that the world was made in 6 days by a fairy that lives in the sky. You can hear the Mail team discussing the Act: ‘And gypsies – bloody horrible tarmac-laying pikey bastards who our best writer – Richard Littlejohn really hates – are going to get special treatment from being discriminated against!’  Truly, political correctness has gone mad. If the Daily Mail dislikes this ‘special’ attention being paid to tackling discrimination against gypsies perhaps it should admit that it is partly to blame for the situation, given their disgraceful coverage and treatment of them and the hate that such coverage fuels.

I know I am repeating myself: but the Daily Mail is a complete joke. Just look at its website:

The Daily Mail: a sick joke
Click to enlarge

The lead story is a backward scream of rage about people daring to want the freedom to go to work at not be subjected to someone else’s idea of a ‘joke’. The whole act is about creating a working environment in which jokes about ‘Pakis’, chain emails about immigrants and other tabloid hate figures can be properly dealt with – irrespective of whether anyone from the target group is offended. The Equality Act 2010 is a clear acknowledgment that any decent human being should be offended by casual racism or discrimination and they should have the full support of the law in raising an objection against it. The Daily Mail article is as laughable as its claim that it is in any way a serious newspaper. Just look at the other top story: ‘Christine Bleakley reduced to tears of laughter as a hawk with a mind of her own causes mayhem in Daybreak studio’.

What is that doing in a newspaper? The juxtaposition between the offensive, backward intolerance and the cosy, meaningless celebrity hit-counter articles sums up the Daily Mail. It hates the world and 90% of the people living in it, but do please take the time to click on this inane article about someone on TV doing something.

I’ve been torn for a long time about requesting that my employer stops purchasing the Daily Mail – after all, we have an equality and diversity policy in work that the Daily Mail clearly breaches – or maintaining my access to the print edition in order to give me stuff to write about. I’m not sure what is in the bests interests of the greater good, getting the Mail banned from work, or keeping it in order to help this blog. Perhaps now is the time to say something.

12 thoughts on “The Daily Mail responds to the idea of a fairer society”

  1. Just a question. What is the difference between Littlejohn’s disgracefully snide bigotry and “Fancy that, people who do not eat meat, drink alcohol or believe in god deserve the same fair treatment as people who believe that the world was made in 6 days by a fairy that lives in the sky. ”
    Many Christians do not believe any such thing about creation. Personally, I think the creation story in Genesis is allegorical rather than literal and science now shows us how God did it. When the Mail makes similarly disparaging remarks about other groups you are, rightly, quick to jump on their backs. Please don’t resort to the same measures and remember, the Mail does not speak for Christianity, it is an abhorrence which Christ would be quick to attack, it just tries to give a impression of having Christian standards.
    Other than that, another excellent article. It is unbelievable how equality for some people can be cherry picked to only apply to groups they approve of. This act is a step in the right direction.

    1. @ Darren

      I just think that if you are a Christian you should believe in the literal truth of the bible, that is surely the whole point of having an irrational belief. It shouldn’t be tempered with interpretation as surely that is risking disobeying the god you worship – what if you die and he’s annoyed because you decided that he hadn’t really created the world in 6 days and that part of the bible were not true… It seems strange to me that people believe in god but then don’t believe that such an all-powerful person could create the earth in 6 days. Surely, if you do beleive in an almighty god, infinitely powerful then surely it would be doubly irrational to then believe that the creation of earth in 6 days was ‘allegorical’.

      You cannot mix religion and science, allegory and fact. You either believe in god and everything that goes with it, or you do not. I just really don’t think anyone should be flicking through the bible ignoring the parts about raping women, wiping out new borns or making the world in 6 days and instead focusing on the parts where Christ tells you to love your neighbour. If that is god’s message then why bother with the other few thousand pages?

      I understand your point but I feel your comparison to Littlejohn is not wholly accurate because I am not picking on a disenfranchised group, I am being snide against a group that has enjoyed a priveliged existence – to such an extent that the Mail thinks it outrageous that atheists could be given the same treatment. At the end of the day it is an irrational belief that brainwashes children and that offends me. I’ll respect Christians the day they decide only to preach to adults, rather than preying on children in order to stand a better chance of disinforming them.

  2. Of all the Daily Mail’s pointless pieces of “outrage” over the Equalities Act, this perhaps the one that got to me the most:

    “Fire chiefs forced to prioritise the poor when drawing up fire fighting plans as poorer areas need better cover because they tend to suffer from a greater number of fires owing to the worse state of their homes and a lack of smoke alarms”

    Why the hell is this a bad thing? More fires means the fire brigade should probably focus their attention to those areas. It’s not “prioritising the poor”, it’s making the fire brigade more efficient.

  3. You’re expressing the views of a religious fundamentalist. If we tried to explain the Big Bang, stars and planets being created from clouds of dust, life evolving over millions of years as increasingly complex organisms grow and adapt to fit their environment to people 2-5000 years ago they would never have been able to grasp it. The ancient Jewish tradition was to explain difficult concepts by stories, bringing things to people in a language they understand. As humankind has grown and learnt, so things have been gradually revealed to us and science has been he vehicle through which this has happened. The Bible itself is a gradual revelation of God’s nature and that revelation did not stop once it was all written. Unfortunately, just as fundamentalist Christians have used ridiculous arguments to try to deny things such as evolution (quite why, over millions of years, the eye cannot have evolved I don’t know. The argument just makes them sound as ignorant as they are being)thus imposing their own religious beliefs upon any evidence they may have, so atheists can jump to conclusions by pointing to scientific advances and discoveries as, in some way, disproving the existence of God. I have never understood the idea that faith and science are in some way incompatible just as, upon reading Genesis, I cannot understand how anybody thinks it was even meant to be taken literally. The main difference is that faith, by its very nature, is taking a risk on something you can never be 100% certain. Unlike science and reason it can never produce any evidence as those of us with faith in God only have the evidence of our own experiences, which mean nothing to anything else. I promise you, my faith is not irrational, but I fully understand that it looks that way to someone who doesn’t share my beliefs.
    I am a father and, like any other parents, bring my children up according to my values. The fact is that I believe that we gain everlasting life through Jesus (which I know seems irrational to you and many others) and not to teach that to my children, the people I love more than anyone, would be wrong. I know how that comes across to you, but I promise you that it is not brainwashing. I don’t know if you have children, but if you did and one became a Christian wouldn’t you, as an atheist, try as hard as you can to make them see the error of their ways? It’s the same thing, just from different positions. My parents, my Mum in particular is very right-wing, true Thatcherite blue, and brought me up telling me how great she was and all the wonderful things she did for our country. The thing is, I don’t share those views, any of them, because I have a mind of my own. So do my children, and I don’t shelter them from other world views at all. If Christians brainwash their children then why is church attendance falling?
    As for the Littlejohn comment, it was a bit extreme, but think about what you have said there. If you truly believe in equality then you should believe in an equal right not to be subject to petty comments, disenfranchised and institutionalised alike. I do, however, apologise for comparing you in any way to him. I have always enjoyed your blog and, contrary to popular opinion about Christians, almost always agree with what you have to say.
    Sorry if that was a bit rambling, I’m not much of a writer. I hope I put my point across, but no, I don’t expect you to agree with it, just respect it a bit more.

  4. “I have never understood the idea that faith and science are in some way incompatible just as, upon reading Genesis, I cannot understand how anybody thinks it was even meant to be taken literally.”

    “The fact is that I believe that we gain everlasting life through Jesus”

    Not to denigrate you or anything, but how do you jump from believing logical, intelligent, million-times-reviewed scientific stuff like the big bang and evolution, to believing “Jesus” can grant us everlasting life? Surely half your first paragraph suggests that indeed 2000 years ago the only people could grasp was that there was some higher power doing all this, but now we’ve at least begun to realise how complex and amazing the world can be without any diving/unexplained intervention?

  5. The problem is, a number (I wouldn’t say the majority) of Mail writers genuinely do believe that the world was created in six days by their sky daddy – I refer here of course to Peter Hitchens and Mad Melanie Phillips. Their ideas are somewhat along the lines that discrimination against people who don’t believe such things is wholly acceptable – thus, I think it is perfectly appropriate to mock their BS. Ridiculous as a six-day creation may be, it just becomes a tad more ridiculous when the Fail gets involved.

  6. Anon, I fully understand your point. However, that’s why I went on to talk about faith in something you can never be 100% sure about based mainly on personal experience. I still feel that a line, which is almost cliche now, that science explains how and religion expains why, holds true. You may turn out to be right and a scientific explanation of my own personal experiences of God may prove that my belief is wrong. i don’t believe that will be the case though.
    Doxie, to an extent I agree. However, I will not attack someone’s beliefs, even if I disagree with them. I do, however, attack the practices of those at the Mail and elsewhere, in this case the use of a faith which I do not believe Phillips, Hitchens et al truly follow to try and justify their bigoted world views by cherry picking parts of it and interpreting it out of its historical context. That is to wholly violate Jesus’ own practices of treating all areas of society, rich and poor, weak and strong, accepted and shunned as equals, with the same respect and love.
    i’m not trying to preach here, just do two things. Try to show you that the Christianity espoused by the right-wing media is an abberation created to try and justify bigotry and to show people why I believe what I do, just as I fully understand why you don’t believe it and find it delusional.

  7. I love you. Really, I truly do. I think there should be a law where all Daily Mail/Express/Sun readers have to read your blog.

  8. Speaking of historical context, doesn’t the legal principle of supervention as applied to the various rules and laws in the Bible mean that many contemporary Christians who take their faith seriously need to go back to check source? It would also imply that Revelation goes in earlier than the Gospels, but that gets difficult…

    Ahem. I was going to say, there’s a heavy selection bias on both sides of the comparative theology you’re coming up with, Darren. Would it be acceptable all round to take it as read that any explanation exclusively dependent upon an openly interventionist God is irrational, those that don’t do not necessarily reflect any degree of faith or lack thereof, not all Christians are Creationists and that it’s a bit pointless to advocate fairness and then reject one sub-group of the population out of hand? I know that third one isn’t necessarily helpful, but it doesn’t seem useful to stick with a strict, literal interpretation of a tonally inconsistent book of the canon when it’s also already been through however many other languages on the way to contemporary editions, and some of those meant some… interesting translation.

    We’re all humans here, except the bots. Was that not the point of the legislation, and indeed the critique of the Daily Mail’s slant on their report?

  9. Whenever I post a comment on the Daily Mail site, explaining that the fact that I disagree with homosexuality doesn’t make me homophobic, the comment doesn’t get posted. I think the Daily Mail moderators need to re-read their dictionaries. When you can’t even express a moral opinion you know that even the Mail has succumbed to political correctness.

  10. The Daily Mail seems to be completely ‘ban happy’ and so politically correct that most people cannot post there, they seem to be an extreme publication who naws at the chance to ban everyone who has anything to say, and the daily mail finds everything offensive. Period. Hypocrites, and politicaly correct lunatics seem to run the daily trash…

    they shure to love to run thousands of trashy stories and gossip not worth a whisper.. but if someone comments (isn’t that what comments are for?) they get banned for life as if they are evil for commentinging in such a way that whizzes on the moral authority they bestowed upon themselves.

    They publish trash, yet condem commentors as typing unpseakable words if they dare comment of trashy articles. Hypocrites.

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