The Daily Mail is so cheerfully and consistently hypocritical that most of the time it just feels like too much bother to pick them up on it. But every now and then, a gem comes along that’s so delightful that you can’t help yourself.
The Mail’s coverage of Saturday’s TUC march is such a gem. Here’s the opening from a piece by James Chapman this morning:
Ed Miliband was under fire last night for addressing Saturday’s march and comparing the protesters’ cause to that of the suffragettes, and the anti-apartheid and U.S. civil rights movements.
The article continues in the same vein for another few hundred words, with various folk quoted expressing their outrage that Ed Miliband would dare to compare himself or his rag-tag band of scummy demonstrators in any way with the suffragettes and other noble battlers for human dignity.
What the Daily Mail omits to mention is that the term ‘suffragettes’ was coined by… the Daily Mail. What could explain such a strange moment of shyness on the paper’s part? Perhaps the fact that the Mail devised the term as a term of abuse (until members of the movement defiantly appropriated it)?
And if you think that’s ironic, then try this: the Mail invented the term to pour scorn on members of the Women’s Social and Political Union specifically because of their use of direct action – coining the term ‘suffragettes’ to distinguish them from the broader movement of ‘suffragists’.
So for the Mail now to pour scorn on Ed Miliband for sullying the memory of the suffragettes: well, that probably represents some kind of all time best for the Mail. Ladies and gentlemen – the Daily Mail. Providing progressives with endless entertainment since 1896.