By DAILY MAIL REVILER
Today’s Daily Mail was the normal mix of sensationalism, scaremongering, racism, pseudo-science and anti-reason(their idiocy surpasses common nonsense to such a degree that it annihilates reason whenever the two collide). But The ‘Mail has now seemingly given up all pretence of being a newspaper, not a comicbook, by headlining a report on a car-bombing in Thailand and the rising death-toll from such occurrences with “Ka-boom! …”. They swiftly followed this up with one of the most appalling and malign pieces I have ever had the misfortune to read. They have opted to exploit the sad story of Sophie Howard, a 13-year-old killed by a falling tree branch in Yaxley on Thursday, to spread more of their unthinking anti-union bile.
This was an apparently unpredictable accident, Sophie Howard hit by a falling branch as she sat on a park bench in Peterborough. But the ‘Mail clearly blames her teachers for being on strike, and therefore allowing Sophie and her friends time for their fatal trip to the park. The Mirror and The Telegraph took the same ridiculous angle on the story, but with a great deal more subtlety.
It even seems unlikely to me that anyone prior to the ‘Mail itself was making this absurd connection between events, though obviously, as is typical with this auspicious publication, the article is peppered with conveniently anonymous vox pop quotations reiterating the anonymous journalist’s position. “The fact is if the teachers were not on strike Sophie would have been at school and this would not have happened,” one anonymous source says, completely unprompted of course.
Now, perhaps this is my problem, but I seem entirely unable to find that dubious twitter quote from Mrs “one angry parent” claiming “she should have been safe at school … it could have been my daughter” – perhaps twitter’s search function is broken. Admittedly though, other people have made similar posts following The Daily Mail‘s trash – so if they can’t be honest, at least they’re sometimes prescient(“even stopped clocks”).
If the teachers were not on strike Sophie would have been at school and this would not have happened
Another anonymous source points the finger at local government – yet another constant enemy of the ‘Mail - for ignoring his warnings of the dangerous trees. I wonder if anyone in the ‘Mail’s newsroom recalls the Daily Mail‘s claims that council efforts to maintain or replace dangerous trees were health-and-safety-’gorn-mad caused by “misguided fears” of deadfall accidents. Accidents which the, ever forgetful, Daily Mail have themselves pointed out do happen even in the presence of teachers.
No matter how much of a technically inept Kelvin MacKenzie job this piece was, the crux of its post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacious argument is that; though this accident could have happened at any time, it didn’t, it happened during strikes. Well I too, indirectly , think this is the important issue here. Though the accident could have happened at any time, it happened less than a day ago. There is a family and a school that has just lost a child in a tragic accident, so recently that there is no guarantee that those the ‘Mail accuses know of the death yet. Yet instead of covering the accident in a decent and sensitive manner, this vacuous thought-hole of a newspaper has been peddling that butterfly-flaps-its-wings-and-causes-a-hurricane crap to groundlessly accuse those who knew and taught Sophie Howard on a daily basis of being responsible for her death. They are the soul cancer that is going to finish us all.
If there is anyone at the Daily Mail who still remembers what it was like to be a human being then they will be apologising to both the Howard family and the teaching staff from her school. Failing that, shutting the hell up for a bit and taking a long hard look at the mindless screeching terrorhawk you have become would be a start.
Update: Ending on a song because why not.