X Close

Who reads the Daily Mail? The UK's most popular and most hated paper perfectly understands Middle England

The fact that the Daily Mail believes something doesn’t make it untrue. Credit: In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images

The fact that the Daily Mail believes something doesn’t make it untrue. Credit: In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images




May 4, 2021   7 mins

You can tell a lot about someone from the paper they read. Each title represents different social tribes and cultural folkways in British life.

The Times was once the old establishment paper that effortlessly evolved into the voice of economic and social liberalism. The Telegraph, started by an army colonel as part of a grudge against a member of the royal family, has long been the paper of the squirearchy, Tory but bohemian and eccentric at the edges; the Guardian, founded by Unitarian Manchester businessmen, represented the non-conformist tradition that evolved into Left-liberalism, always activated by a keen sense of social justice.

And the Daily Mail? The Mail is purest distilled Middle England. It’s Harry Potter’s uncle Vernon and aunt Petunia; it’s social climber Hyacinth Bucket; it’s Aunt Spiker and Aunt Sponge.

The paper is 125 years old today, and for most of that time has represented the soul of a particular kind of England, read in the golf courses of Surrey, the semis of suburban Essex, the pub gardens of Dorset. It is the most popular paper in Britain — it overtook the Sun last year — and easily the most hated. It’s guaranteed to get a laugh, or a sneer, when a comedian mentions its name.

The Daily Mail is not exactly the conscience of Middle England, but it is certainly a guiding spirit, a collection of all its fears and hopes, although more of the former than the latter. It represents people overwhelmingly conservative in their cultural tastes while also having a prurient interest in other people’s sex lives and bodies, and in particular their failures.

The way it covers sex scandals is quintessentially English, with just enough information to both titillate and disgust, a dose of moralising and concluding the story with a description of the property in which the disgusting actions took place and an estimated market value. (“MP’s sordid sex sessions with rent boy in £600,000 maisonette”.)

This contrast with a central comment piece nicknamed the “whyohwhy” – as in, “why oh why have we allowed the PC brigade to do this/has Channel 4 allowed this FILTH to be shown/have we allowed the country to go to the dogs?”

It’s a winning formula, although it owes its success more to its breadth of interest. The paper was founded by Alfred Harmsworth, the son of a somewhat down-at-heel Irish barrister. He had first gone into the business with a magazine called Answers to Correspondents on Every Subject Under the Sun, and he brought that same reader engagement when he launched a national newspaper aimed at Britain’s recently enfranchised middle class.

The late Victorian era saw a period of rapid expansion in the newspaper industry due to a combination of rising education levels, helped by the 1870 Education Act, and wider involvement in politics after the 1867 Reform Act. Just as Benjamin Disraeli  “discerned the Conservative working man, as the sculptor perceives the angel prisoned in a block of marble” so Harmsworth found the small-c conservative newspaper reader. The Mail was a huge success, but early on its popularity rose especially when it appealed to its readers’ belligerence, and circulation shot up during the Boer War to one million.

There was a darker side to this, and it’s argued that the growth of a newspaper-buying public also helped push the European powers into the disaster that was to follow. In Sleepwalkers Christopher Clark wrote that “In Britain…. a burgeoning mass press fed its readers on a rich diet of jingoism, xenophobia, security scares and war fever.”

The Daily Mail in particular was accused of warmongering afterwards, including the series of rather hysterical pre-war articles by journalist Robert Blatchford about the Hun and his dastardly plans to invade England. Sales went up to 1.6m a day.

The Mail’s owners, famously, were less keen on war with Germany the second time round. After the Munich agreement Alfred’s brother Harold, the 1st Lord Rothermere, sent a telegram to one of the protagonists, congratulating him on avoiding war with the words “My dear fuhrer… I salute your excellency’s star which rises higher and higher.” That didn’t age well, as they say these days.

Its most notorious headline, of course, was “Hurrah for the Blackshirts”, a fact wheeled out every time the paper provokes progressive England, which is often.

The Mail languished until 1971, when Vere Harmsworth, the third Viscount Rothermere, brought in David English as its editor, relaunching the paper as a tabloid. Under English and his successor Paul Dacre — in football terms the Alex Ferguson of newspaper editors — it cemented itself as the voice of Middle England.

It achieved this position by understanding its readership. While its opponents take comfort in the paper’s supposed ability to sway the public, in reality the Mail reflects its readers’ desires and fears. No other paper understands them better – their health, weight, love life, dieting desires and dating concerns, and moral worldview. It is censorious about sex but has more female flesh than any other paper. Whether it’s celebrity cellulite, or the slappers of Cardiff and Manchester drinking themselves to excess, it is almost always disapproving. Esquire magazine called it Britain’s “purse-lipped mother-in-law” and there is something in that.

It also understands what a story is and what angle interests people; the “public schoolboy gone bad into crime and drugs”, for example, is one of its favourite morality tales.

Then there are other staples; rubbish winter wonderlands, sad-looking local councillors pointing at potholes, little ducks that think they’re puppies, cats that look like Hitler, houses that look like Hitler, and cancer. Everything causes cancers or prevents cancer but cancer is all around.

Likewise with crime. The Mail’s overarching theme is one of social breakdown, helping to popularise the catchphrases “broken Britain” or “the broken society”. It reflects the anxiety that social norms are falling apart, an underlying fear of barbarism at the door, an idea that forms a central part of conservative psychology.

For its opponents on the Left the Daily Mail is simply there to stoke fear, a feeling which has only intensified with the internet and hate-sharing of columns by Sarah Vine or Jan Moir (who wrote the most notorious column of recent years). Someone even invented a device that allowed people to read the Mail, presumably working themselves into a parallel frenzy of indignation, without giving the paper the clicks. Others have tried to pressure companies to withdraw advertising.

Mehdi Hasan summed up the common feeling by describing it as “immigrant-bashing, woman-hating, Muslim-smearing, NHS-undermining, gay-baiting”. In response the Mail released a grovelling letter Hasan had written to them begging for a column.

A paper so conscious of its own moral vision inevitably attracts humour as well as bile. Viz once featured a strip called “Robin Hood and Richard Littlejohn”, in which the outlaw’s sidekick is the prominent Mail columnist, up in arms that Sherwood Forest now has a problem with gay men cruising, encouraged by the politically correct Sheriff of Nottingham. “The Sheriff of Bottingham, more like.”

Charlie Brooker’s satirical TV Go Home had a spoof TV show called Daily Mail Island where a group of ordinary people are stuck in isolation with only Britain’s most influential middle-market tabloid. Within a few days the only gay man has been murdered and “Pervert” scrawled on his door.

But most anti-Mail comedy is predictable clapter, Mash Report levels of unfunny: Single mothers! Immigrants! House prices! HA HA the Daily Hell, the Daily Heil amirite. The Harry & Paul sketch “Panel Show” featuring “Oh my God the Daily Mail” as a punchline is basically correct.

It’s tempting to overplay the snobbery element but there is certainly a class angle, the Mail the voice of Middle Englanders against the Radio 4-listening Liberal Upper Middle Class on one side and the feral Underclass on the other.

Sure, the Mail is obsessed with house prices, but for many people their home is their nest egg; immigration has added millions to the population and isn’t without difficulties; we do have a huge problem with inadequate sentencing in the criminal justice system; a lot of modern art is terrible and/or needlessly coarse, while many members of the cultural elite do despise the rest of the country. Because the Daily Mail believes something doesn’t make it untrue, although it might not always be entirely scrupulous about the details (and it’s not the worst).

There is of course a certain Spiderman-pointing-at-Spiderman aspect to the Mail-hate; the voice of Middle England is disapproving and sanctimonious, and often hypocritical, but then so are its enemies in the Liberal Middle Class. Both fear the country is slipping away from them: we want our country back v I want my country back. Both are snobbish, in different ways.

But its worldview is more nuanced than its opponents believe. Unlike other Right-wing papers, it opposed the Iraq War. It regularly campaigns on civil liberties issues or the environment; Dacre, a true conservative, took a huge dislike to ubiquity of plastic bag litter. It dislikes open-door immigration and people taking advantage of the system but it has often spoken up for individual immigrants who are mistreated. It has a strong idea of fairness and decency, one reason it campaigned for Stephen Lawrence’s family.

While often accused of misogyny, it has by some distance the highest proportion of female readers; while critics lament that women would read a paper that likes to take down other women, that rather suggests their own ideology-induced alienation from human nature; competitive newspapers can’t afford such delusions. Likewise, its complex attitude towards the role of women in work, celebrating it but also recognising that the feminist goal of having it all is only really possible for the wealthy — which is largely true.

Yet it is hard to deny that its form of conservatism has a very uncharitable edge; you don’t have to be a drooling, wet liberal to find its focus on benefit scroungers often mean-spirited, targeting people who aren’t paragons of virtue but are nevertheless struggling. Likewise, as with all tabloids, its behaviour while chasing stories could be appalling during the worst excesses of the 1990s and 2000s.

The Leveson Inquiry, and attempts to regulate the press, weren’t a response to an overmighty fourth estate, but a symptom of its declining power. The internet had been slowly strangling the newspaper industry for two decades, while also empowering those it once terrorised. Hugh Grant, at one point the Daily Mail’s nemesis, now has 630,000 Twitter followers, only half of the paper’s circulation.

Similarly, the Mail’s brand of social conservatism is, whatever the government in power, on the losing side. The things it complained about once — the excesses of political correctness and the loony Left — are now basically mainstream. It may sell four times as many copies as its antithesis the Guardian but the Guardian is read by the people who put on the Today programme, and the people who control education, who dominate the charitable sectors and lobby groups, and who make the plays, films, novels and television programmes that form the cultural memory. The Mail can influence and scare 300-odd Tory MPs, but they don’t write the narrative.

Yet while the newspaper’s power is waning, it has now opened up a new chapter beyond, with the Mail Online having just overtaken the New York Times to become the most visited newspaper site on earth, drawing over 50 million unique visitors a month.

The Mail is particularly successful in the US, where it has found a niche among mainstream news sites that are both dreadfully boring and ideologically dishonest, so deliberately cryptic that you have to be a Bletchley Park veteran to actually understand what is being reported. The Mail is popular with many Americans because, in contrast, it tries to tell a story – which is, after all, what journalism should be about.


Ed West’s book Tory Boy is published by Constable

edwest

Join the discussion


Join like minded readers that support our journalism by becoming a paid subscriber


To join the discussion in the comments, become a paid subscriber.

Join like minded readers that support our journalism, read unlimited articles and enjoy other subscriber-only benefits.

Subscribe
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

114 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
3 years ago

I hope you do not mind if I quote Yes Prime Minister
Sir Humphrey: “The only way to understand the Press is to remember that they pander to their readers’ prejudices.”
Hacker: “Don’t tell me about the press. I know exactly who reads the papers. The Daily Mirror is read by people who think they run the country; The Guardian is read by people who think they ought to run the country; The Times is read by the people who actually do run the country; the Daily Mail is read by the wives of the people who run the country; the Financial Times is read by people who own the country; the Morning Star is read by people who think the country ought to be run by another country, and the Daily Telegraph is read by people who think it is.”
Sir Humphrey: “Prime Minister, what about the people who read The Sun?”
Bernard: “Sun readers don’t care who runs the country, as long as she’s got big tits.”

Last edited 3 years ago by Matt Hindman
Richard Lord
Richard Lord
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Classic, and oh so true.

Alex Mitchell
Alex Mitchell
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

There never a need to ask permission to quote Ye, Prime Minister

T J Putnam
T J Putnam
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Still largely true, though the position of Mirror and Times readers is no longer what it was. Many Guardian readers content now with cooler lifestyle choices than others. Sun readers don’t care who runs the country as long as they get the bits they like, p.3 or not. Telegraph readers now split between those who think they are beiing subverted and those wanting to do the subverting. Mail readers have kept the faith.

mark taha
mark taha
3 years ago
Reply to  T J Putnam

Who reads the Express, I, Daily Star? The Sunday Sport is read with one hand…

Fennie Strange
Fennie Strange
3 years ago
Reply to  mark taha

I read the Express. Partly because of its hilarious weather forecasts, partly because if I don’t like what an article is saying I can scroll down and find another saying the exact opposite, and partly because my grandmother read it every day, after finishing the Telegraph. Also it has no pay wall.

Niobe Hunter
Niobe Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  Fennie Strange

And it was so cheerful during the long struggle towards fulfilling the Referendum result. Every day a new article about how badly the Eu was doing, how they were about to cave in …none of them based on more than wishful thinking, but then that’s true of pretty much every think piece in the Graun, so why not?

Niobe Hunter
Niobe Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

But no longer accurate. Now virtually all the newspapers reflect the views of the ‘ elite’ globalists. That’s why the circulations are dropping like stones.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Niobe Hunter

What is an “elite globalist”? Do you know any?

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

‘Mehdi Hasan summed up the common feeling by describing it as “immigrant-bashing, woman-hating, Muslim-smearing, NHS-undermining, gay-baiting”. In response the Mail released a grovelling letter Hasan had written to them begging for a column.’
Hilarious. I didn’t know that, but Mehdi Hasan is obnoxious beyond all reason, as well all know.
Anyway, I scan the DM site a few times a day. It helps me to put together a psycho-geographical map of the latest stabbings etc, just as that character in Gravity’s Rainbow charts the V2 bombs falling on London. And there are numerous good writers such as Dominic Sandbrook and Andrew Pierce. In fact, among all the royal and celebrity garbage it probably has more good writers than any other paper. I didn’t know that it had opposed the Iraq War because I didn’t read it 20 years ago, so that’s another good thing. (Never forget that the New York Times supported the Iraq War.)

Last edited 3 years ago by Fraser Bailey
Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

..

George Bruce
George Bruce
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

 I scan the DM site a few times a day. It helps me to put together a psycho-geographical map of the latest stabbings 

One thing that is definitely true is that whereas a source that only reports sensationalist news is of little value on its own, other ones which omit or downplay horrible events because they would hamper its own pet political causes are terribly harmful. (I am looking at you, Guardian! But not just you.)
A member of a specific group killing or raping someone is horrible but just anecdotal, but if it is say 30% or 50% or more or recent brutal murders, or if it is many times their percentage share of the population it is starting to get statistical. And the tabloids allow this picture to be built up.
One site I look at is American Renaissance; it is quite surprising that from time to time they will link to UK tabloids about killings in the USA, presumably because the US media is running defence on the perps due to the group they belong to.

Jerry Jay Carroll
Jerry Jay Carroll
3 years ago
Reply to  George Bruce

The San Francisco Chronicle has stopped running pictures of criminals and those arrested for crimes because they are overwhelmingly black. Therefore, publishing them is racist. This is increasingly the practice in American media. But no one is fooled, really.

Sam McLean
Sam McLean
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

but Mehdi Hasan is obnoxious beyond all reason

For once, Fraser, we are in complete agreement. His appointment to the Intercept a few years ago was the beggining of the end there. And regardless of some of his more questionable views, he is just a bad writer.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

“the Guardian, founded by Unitarian Manchester businessmen, represented the non-conformist tradition that evolved into Left-liberalism, always activated by a keen sense of social justice.”

It has no sense of social justice, just hate for all Western traditional values and culture and history. I rarely find they have empathy for the down trodden (even when they invent them, which they do as often as not), just rage against those they perceive as being the trodders, which is anyone White and not hard Liberal/Left.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

The Guardian was indifferent to the lives of the workers and supported the Confederacy.
The Gardian is read by affluent middle class people who despise people who undertake difficult, dangerous and dirty work, especially those those who protect them. They live in secure homes, at a safe distance from feral under classes whom they fear.
The Guardian considers itself a Philosopher King, morally and intellectually superior to all others but bereft of practical experience and therefore lacking sagacity.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

According to you

Niobe Hunter
Niobe Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Brietbart is the place for the London (and indeed other conurbations’) murders. Have you read about the chap chopped up and scattered around the countryside for doing someone down in a drug deal? You won’t get that on al beeb.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Niobe Hunter

Thanks. I don’t have time for Breitbart these days. To be honest I found it too depressing because it is too truthful. Not even I can bear the full weight of reality.

Peter Dawson
Peter Dawson
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I agree. I read – it mostly on my phone – for the puzzles which are interactive and give you a timed position compared to all the others who have tried the same puzzle – it – usually – gives me a sense of achievement – apart from the soduko Level 2 where I always come close to last – The codeword is usually very good – one letter only given sometimes!

Jonathan Ellman
Jonathan Ellman
3 years ago

For all its many faults, the DM reports stories other papers omit.

Daphne A
Daphne A
3 years ago

It’s one of the few papers where lockdown sceptics can freely post and find agreement amongst most of the commenters. I go there frequently these days and I used to be a Guardian reader. But then I also used to be on the left. The government response to covid ended that delusion.

Mark Gourley
Mark Gourley
3 years ago
Reply to  Daphne A

Thank you, Daphne,
I too used to be a Guardian reader but that was 50 years ago as a 6th former at school.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Daphne A

Your disenchantment with a *Tory* government made you abandon leftie politics? On a scale of 1 – 10, how confused are you lol

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago

I read the DM from USA and the most striking thing is how utterly dreary, dull, and pointless all it covers in its UK section is. From DM Britain seems the dullest and stupidest place in the world. In Comparison the USA section is always full of interesting stories, although they are not Pro USA really, they had a big TDS streak, at least they try to find stories, and USA can always provide those.

The online DM is not like the UK print version, which you can pay to read (paywall for the print version which is online too, but little known, wile the purely online edition is free)

The Telegraph and Times putting up a paywall really wrecked the UK news scene, I think it cocks the papers towards champagne Socialists, who, for some reason, will pay the paywall fee, and so the content changes over time.

The DM will accept any BTL post, they do not care – the Guardian has almost quit its BTL, and only allows a very few, tame, posters to say anything. They ban first, ask questions later.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago

“Awaiting for approval”…… I talk of Guardian banning commenters wile DM allows any post – and my post is sent to moderation here – I could not find a single trigger word.

Niobe Hunter
Niobe Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

i think you have used a word which refers to a male hen

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Niobe Hunter

haha

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago

Theres one today on another murder of a farmer in South Africa.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago

The entire paper is a screed for the titillation of the perma-outraged weak-minded. No rational person takes it seriously.  

Richard Lord
Richard Lord
3 years ago

The Mail is the best presented and most easily readable of the online papers that don’t require a subscription. As with all papers, and life generally, it’s necessary to sort the wheat from the chaff, but it’s always worth a scan through. At least scrolling is faster than turning and scanning hard print.

Fred Atkinstalk
Fred Atkinstalk
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Lord

Hear hear! Personally, I think that putting in a pay wall was the worst thing that the Times and the Telegraph could have done (though at least you can still see the Matt cartoon every day in the Torygraph.)

Saul D
Saul D
3 years ago

Comments on the Daily Mail are useful inoculations against the bubble-think of Twitter.

Niobe Hunter
Niobe Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

And often show a remarkable turn of phrase : written by ‘ordinary’ people in real language.
And there is staggeringly little bad language or personal abuse, qualities well to the fore in the Guardian.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Saul D

Competing bubbles

Jean Redpath
Jean Redpath
3 years ago

Intrigued that the story did not mention that the coverage of Covid-19 by the Daily Mail has been more balanced than most – according to Francois Balloux.

Daphne A
Daphne A
3 years ago
Reply to  Jean Redpath

Absolutely. The only accessible paper not towing the government’s line these days.

Mark Gourley
Mark Gourley
3 years ago
Reply to  Daphne A

“toeing” surely?

Peter Dawson
Peter Dawson
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Gourley

That annoys me too – but I usually let it go – it’s the new way of saying what it used to mean – as I have discovered after much “pain staking” research.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Gourley

toeing means fallowing along, towing means dragging it along – and we know the MSM drags government policy towards its nefarious goals. So Daphne was correct.

John Lewis
John Lewis
3 years ago

“The Mail is popular with many Americans because, in contrast, it tries to tell a story – which is, after all, what journalism should be about”.

The Mail online often reports factual news and events which, NY Post aside, the US media completely ignores.

Revealing the Hunter Biden laptop contents including overseas payments to “the Big Guy” was just one recent example among many. By comparison the US media gave Hunter a collective tongue bath for his stunning and brave autobiography while remaining taciturn about how much his book-deal paid along with certain missing details evidenced by the laptop (which he still can’t decide is his or not). Damned Russians.

Last edited 3 years ago by John Lewis
sallylarkin
sallylarkin
3 years ago
Reply to  John Lewis

I think that was the New York Post’s story

John Lewis
John Lewis
3 years ago
Reply to  sallylarkin

You are correct, the NYP attempted to break the original story last year before being banned from circulating it on social media.

I was referring to last month when the Mail obtained a copy of the contents, provided authentication details which as far as I know were not challenged, and proceeded to print some graphic photos of Hunter and sundry women suggesting they were extremely confident of the accuracy of their information.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
3 years ago
Reply to  John Lewis

The reaction to Hunter Biden’s self-pity tale was particularly sickening, given how keen his Dad has been to imprison every drug taker and addict.

Alex Delszsen
Alex Delszsen
3 years ago

Have you heard, “If Kamala Harris didn’t send you to jail, then you’re not Black”?

Peter Dawson
Peter Dawson
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Delszsen

Brilliant.

Sue Sims
Sue Sims
3 years ago

Its sister paper, the Mail on Sunday, has Britain’s best (regular) columnist, Peter Hitchens.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Sue Sims

Peter is on the Sunday DM, but his very sensible columns accept no comments, which is a shame as those would be the ones I would like to see the most, as Hitchens always makes a good argument. He does have some good Youtubes too.

Felicity Roughead
Felicity Roughead
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

If you scroll to the end of his MoS column you’ll find that it states in bold ‘If you want to comment on Peter Hitchens, click on Comments and scroll down’.

Last edited 3 years ago by Felicity Roughead
Susie E
Susie E
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

If you click on the link at the bottom of the article it takes you to PH’s blog, where you can comment. PH even replies directly sometimes!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago

The DM’s dispassionate covering of the killing of Ms Ashli Babbitt, inside the Capitol Building last January, was excellent.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago

They also covered the Hunter laptop story and various other anti-Biden stories , so democrats who claim to have never heard of these things are not being truthful, as they like to look at the Mail , as frquently comment on articles that appeared in it. Mail also uses the system of commenting favourably on something , knowing the story will be completed by thousands of unfavourable comments from the readers.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

Dems have heard of those stories. They’ve also been told that the stories, Hunter especially, are “Russian disinformation” despite the complete lack of evidence of such.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

It often seems that those considered the most educated hold preconceived ideas which no amount of argument will change. They voted for Biden because they consider him like themselves, wheras they didn’t like Trump. Seem to be the same here where certain people were against Brexit as they didn’t like Farage.

Tom Graham
Tom Graham
3 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

It often seems that those considered the most educated hold preconceived ideas which no amount of argument will change

I read somewhere recently – I can’t remember to provide a link – that this has been measured scientifically: The more educated people are, generally, the less open-minded they are.
Personally I think & hope it depends on what type of education, which they did not test.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Graham

I suppose they think they have been educated to perfection? Everything they think must therefore be correct.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

“It often seems that those considered the most educated hold preconceived ideas which no amount of argument will change.”
That’s true of everyone. Including you.

mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago

I do enjoy the DM. Since the Stephen Lawrence murder it has started to call the powerful to account. Now that Private Eye has gone woke the DM is the nearest thing the UK has to anti-establishment news service. So if i want to know what the government and their bien pensent followers don’t want me to the DM is the first site i go to. They do at least cover mulitple opions, which simply could not happen at the graun or Times etc. So Sarah Vine can void her hatred of young, fit female rappers on the same page as another hack invites you to ogle the same young woman “pouring her curves” into a barely there outfit. They have the same balanced view of covid, house prices, causes of cancer and so on.

Last edited 3 years ago by mike otter
Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
3 years ago

I’ve read the Mail for over 40 years and I’m gay..go figure! Love it and I wouldn’t insult my my rear end using the Guardian

Simon Coulthard
Simon Coulthard
3 years ago

Didn’t have you pegged as a DM reader!

Aidan Trimble
Aidan Trimble
3 years ago

Unfortunate choice of words. Or was it ?

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago

Plays to your sub-dom fantasies perhaps

Pete Kreff
Pete Kreff
3 years ago

There is of course a certain Spiderman-pointing-at-Spiderman aspect to the Mail-hate

Spiderman pointing at Spiderman? Is that a thing?

Yet it is hard to deny that its form of conservatism has a very uncharitable edge; you don’t have to be a drooling, wet liberal to find its focus on benefit scroungers often mean-spirited, targeting people who aren’t paragons of virtue but are nevertheless struggling.

I tend to browse Mail Online most days (along with the Graun, the Times, Unherd, Spiked and others, depending on how boring my work is that day and how early I get out of bed) and I would dispute the claim that it has a “focus” on benefit scroungers. I can’t remember the last time I saw an article about benefit scroungers.

A.N. Other
A.N. Other
3 years ago

Interesting points of view. I dip in every day on-line as it’s free, fast and decent for sports coverage. And I find the knockabout style entertaining. At times, almost a parody of itself but with a seam of seriousness that holds the attention. It seems less to the right that the newspaper version.

Three brief points about the on-line version :
1. Yes, I agree there is a lot of fear generation but it’s accompanied by anger generation in equal measure. If you can write to make people angry and fearful you will have a berth there for life.
2. Don’t see the scroungers point at all. Little coverage. Now he mentions it, perhaps they are missing a trick.
3 I call it The Readers Digest! It is shameless about pinching stories from other papers. Lately, at least they have starting naming the source newspaper but they do so without embarrassment. If I don’t get the chance to pick up the Sunday papers I know that I will find any exclusives summarised in Monday’s Mail. But the even pinch football pundits comments from other papers!

Tom Graham
Tom Graham
3 years ago

The Mail is popular with many Americans because, in contrast, it tries to tell a story – which is, after all, what journalism should be about.

What it also does that most of the media no longer wants to do is report the news.
The Mail reports more news stories and reports them days earlier that other UK media outlets.
Where Guardian writers think it is their job to tell you at great length what they think, and what you should think, and the BBC news is all about what politicians think about other politicians, the Mail mostly sticks to telling you stuff that has happened – although a lot of it can be massively banal.

Colin Haller
Colin Haller
3 years ago

From across the wide and cold Atlantic the UK press is something to marvel at from Canada’s media narrowness — such variety and excess!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Colin Haller

“Dives in Omnia” = Riches in Everything.*

(*Porterhouse).

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Colin Haller

Canada is fast approaching a state of full on tyranny similar to that of China.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Oh for heaven’s sake. What utter nonsense.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
3 years ago
Reply to  Colin Haller

A lie can travel round the world while Trudeau’s still putting on his boots.

At least I think that’s how the saying goes

Alex Delszsen
Alex Delszsen
3 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Oh come on, he invented “Peoplekind.” That neologism has brought me many laughs and cheered me up every time I think on that word. Bless.

Alex Delszsen
Alex Delszsen
3 years ago

Read the left column and avoid the right hand column, if you don’t want to look at the “influencers” getting their kit off. I get novel health and diet information, as I no longer subscribe to magazines, plus the overseas news from Germany and the U.S. that their MSM do not want to address. I am not afraid of anybody’s snobby reaction. lol. Like that of the Sam Cams who would wear her awful pajama day wear and moan about their tough year last year, making a few hundred thousands less last year. Yes, this story was on the left hand side yesterday.

Last edited 3 years ago by Alex Delszsen
kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Delszsen

‘Flaunting their curves’ is their favourite expression for pics of pouting women not wearing much on the mail’s right hand column.The Mail seems to get quite a lot of news from everywhere , including online sites like this-I have seen columns written by Andrew Doyle. My particular favourite articles are people arguing over wills.

Susie E
Susie E
3 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

I LOVE the arguing over will articles! Haha. They’re the new benefits scrounger articles 🙂

mark taha
mark taha
3 years ago

We beat Fascism, Communism trade union power the EU. Given the will we can do the same to the twin evils of Islamification and Political Correctness.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  mark taha

You won’t beat the markets mate

Geoffrey Simon Hicking
Geoffrey Simon Hicking
3 years ago

There is of course a certain Spiderman-pointing-at-Spiderman aspect to the Mail-hate
Internet memes are now respectable enough to be cited on Unherd. Huh.

Michael Parkhill
Michael Parkhill
3 years ago

As a Daily Mail reader for 43 years. I realise its part of the establishment since the new editor has taken over. Ooh we can’t question the govt crap.
I will be stopping my subscription as its boring boring boring now.
I’ll just listen to Talk Radio and read unheard as I do anyway. I now rarely listen to ITV OR BBC. why listen to crap when you’ve got something better. Far better researched, truthful, better written/spoken.etc. Etc. Etc. Etc.
I might listen to GB news if it finally starts……. If its not woke rubbish.

Peter Jackson
Peter Jackson
3 years ago

“immigrant-bashing, woman-hating, Muslim-smearing, NHS-undermining, gay-baiting”.
But that’s the beauty of it

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Jackson

This attitude is the DM readership in a nutshell.

David J
David J
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Jackson

My sister wouldn’t agree with your ‘woman-hating.’ She’s a target reader, a middle-aged lady, who just loves ‘her’ Daily Mail. Can’t beat an issue with ‘100 handbags to clutch before you die’ sort of thing.

Andrew D
Andrew D
3 years ago

Worth it for the Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse link alone

Terence Fitch
Terence Fitch
3 years ago

The Mail Online is an entertaining read- the crazed obsession with Meghan vs the nice one. Often they run more informative pieces than the Guardian using graphics for stats. Often two contradictory stories on one topic. Actually I’m OK with that. The morally grotty bit of The Mail I think is the prurient slavering over minor celebs’ bodies though the minor celebs are compliant of course. It’s a kind of sleazy end of pier slobbering like some odd uncle we should all avoid whilst at the same time spouting moral condemnation. The dirty raincoat photographer stuff- drunk girls with legs etc is also distasteful, like some outdated Max Miller stage act. Is Middle England minded that way? Perhaps.

Athena Jones
Athena Jones
3 years ago

The Daily Mail is an odd mix of rubbish and substance. While its page is a nightmare of popups, it probably appeals to more because it still does have a level of independence and is not a slave to agendas.

David J
David J
3 years ago
Reply to  Athena Jones

The Mail has good standards of basic English, very few typos, and it knows its market.
I used to read the most outrageous story plucked from the online edition to my committed left-wing gf. She enjoyed them as much as I did!

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Athena Jones

The Daily Mail …… is not a slave to agendas.”
The Shard is not tall.
Water does not run downhill.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Athena Jones

Dear God. You seem to believe that : )

Andrew Raiment
Andrew Raiment
3 years ago

I haven’t read it in a long time, the last time I did, there were a series of photos (centre page spread, no less) of celebs sunbathing, with a mocking lines about cellulite and middle aged spread. You might turn over the page to then find a concerning article about teenage girls having body image issues and eating disorders.

Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
3 years ago

I’m an American reader, and am a reader because the Daily Mail reports stories that the ideological (and steeply declining) American press refuses to report.

Stephen Rose
Stephen Rose
3 years ago

“Facisim in oven gloves” is my personal favourite DM description. I can’t think of a more vilified newspaper, perhaps the Grauniad comes close, but that is now beyond parody.

Martyn Hole
Martyn Hole
3 years ago

My only observation is that back in the Good Old Days when I was flying twice a week and BA provided free newspapers (including the Mail), it was the paper of choice for almost everyone. Great way to spend an hour rather than worrying about your presentation.

Kremlington Swan
Kremlington Swan
3 years ago

That was very informative. One thing you missed out is readability.
The Daily Mail always got the visuals right. Right type face, right amount of white space. That is something the Guardian, for example, seemed to refuse to even care about. Of course, the Guardian of old was not what it is now. Back then it was readable because its content shone. Now they employ celebrity columnists, back then they employed writers. It makes such a difference – then you didn’t care that the print came off on your hands, now you wouldn’t care if the type face was embossed with gold leaf.
The Mail wasn’t just easy on the eye, it was, as far as its content went, the equivalent of easy listening, which really means it was well written.

Its prurience has never ceased to surprise me, though. It is exactly like a group of people who spend an hour discussing the appalling surfeit of sex on the television these days, before taking the car keys that have been chucked into the bowl on the coffee table.

What does the Daily Mail remind me of? It is more ‘who’. Boris Johnson. Boris Johnson is the spirit of the Daily Mail made flesh.
If you are a very sensitive type it is best you avoid the Daily Mail, likewise with Mr. Johnson.

nick harman
nick harman
3 years ago

The Harry & Paul ‘It’s the Daily Mail! had me rolling on the floor, so accurate. I think it embarrassed so many comedians that very few now come out with that lazy joke anymore.

Karen Jemmett
Karen Jemmett
3 years ago

I did buy it once for a week in order to get the entire series of The World at War on CD, ironically. Apparently, a lot of people buy it for it’s daily Bikini Bootcamp where all these ghastly celebrity types humiliate themselves by parading around in skimpy swimwear in order to stay relevant. I see it’s still subscription-free online, btw. Personally, I would have thought all newspaper proprietors are now worried about the impact Covid has had on their readerships. A lot of people who had rarely ventured online before are now adept at arranging Zoom calls on their computers and have finally mastered the art of emailing rather than being kept waiting on the telephone for days to book their Vaccinations. I imagine it won’t be long before they’ve worked out how to read the DM for free on their phones and laptops…

Alex Delszsen
Alex Delszsen
3 years ago

— I meant to write a reply.

Last edited 3 years ago by Alex Delszsen
Richard Budd
Richard Budd
3 years ago

asdf

Last edited 3 years ago by Richard Budd
Don Gaughan
Don Gaughan
3 years ago

I like the Daily Mail for its courage and fact based articles that reveal the hypocrisises , iinjustice and tyrannies the woke left cult are inflicting on every free democarcy in western civilisation today.
That their readership is growing and one of the top news sites in the world is an encouraging sign that people are turning away from the politically biased liberal propaganda noise of the mainstream media and seeking a more credible alternate view of the wotld affairs.

Kevin Foster
Kevin Foster
3 years ago

Reminds me of the type of people who read which paper:

The Times: read by the type of people who used to run the Country!

The Telegraph: read by the type of people who do run the Country!

The Guardian: read by the type of people who would like to ruin the Country!

The Sun: read by people who couldn’t give a f… who runs the Country as long as she’s got big t…!!

Michael Hobson
Michael Hobson
3 years ago

Two points to make: first that the Mail is supposed to have more readers who are Labour voters than the Guardian, which perhaps isn’t that surprising given the size of their respective readerships. The second and more significant point, is clearly connected. There is no ‘middle-brow’, middle class left of centre newspaper. Eddie Shah tried to fill that gap with Today back in the 80s and failed. That’s why so many respectable old folk read the Mail: there is no alternative at this level in the market.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
3 years ago

This is onhe first articles on the media in general written by someone that seems to know what they are on about….well done.
The broadcast media are, in terms of their understanding and response to the effects of digital on news, about where papers were in 2000.
The Mail has consistently divorced online from print and pursued the demands of online consistently, hence it’s huge presence online.
Years ago one could see it spun off and become a US listed media entity..there are huge challenges as news delivery closes in on that singularity where the main vehicle is video, and News UK right now are trying to get ahead on this aspect.
So it’s all to play for, but if the BBC through that Today/Newsnight prism you describe, insist on following the path they have been following, it is likely that sooner or later they will no longer be writing the narrative for the quango classes, or anyone else.
That ability to stay connected to it’s audience has been lost for now by Labour, and is being lost in exactly the same way, and for the same reasons, by the BBC.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

Its most notorious headline, of course, was “Hurrah for the Blackshirts””.
It also commented, during the 1930s, “We need someone like Adolf Hitler in Britain“.

Christian Moon
Christian Moon
1 year ago

Today’s front pages make a good job of expressing what each paper stands for:
https://order-order.com/2022/09/09/front-pages-the-queen/

James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago

It’s just…

Last edited 3 years ago by James Chater
Rob Alka
Rob Alka
3 years ago

I pay a subscription of about £30pa to access the The Times on line for all 7 days, when that cost of that subscription is near enough paid for by my buying a hard copy of the much superior Sunday Times to read in the bath for 50p less than its cover price.
Otherwise I would prefer to read the Daily Mail midweek. Because with that paper I know without doubt I’m being lied to or mislead and there is a strange kind of honesty about a newspaper that is an upfront transparent exaggerater, liar or deceiver.
By contrast, the The Times has a respectable dignified broadsheet presentation and an over-educated writing finesse which, other than on a Sunday, disguises deliberate lies and innuendoes within a pillar of objectivity (as befits what was once called a Newspaper of Record), composing headlines for a (news) article that is all too easily mistaken as a truthful summary, when it is actually the opening salvo for an alleged scandalous piece of news or character assaasination which only a well educated analyticaal-minded reader eventually recognises as flagging & flogging a news item as cheap and scurrilous as typical Daily Mail news fodder.
Is it therefore any wonder that many people take the more entertaining soft option of social media.

steve horsley
steve horsley
3 years ago

nasty,sniping,sneering rag.at least the sun has a certain humour to it but the mail is just spite and hate.

Helen Barbara Doyle
Helen Barbara Doyle
3 years ago

My parents were avid Mail readers, and I was too, until Dacre was binned and Gregg brought in to try to reverse Brexit.
The Mail no longer cares for middle England, or the Tories and it hates Boris.
I think it’s days are numbered.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
3 years ago

In the early part of the pandemic last year, with panic buyers denuding supermarket shelves, the Daily Mail provided a welcome relief – in that it is printed on rather softer and more absorbent paper than my broadsheet newspaper of choice.
Though in the long run it proved ineffective as a lavatory paper substitute given that, thanks to its content, it is likely to leave the customer with the impression they have more s**t on them than they started with.

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago

The DM is a rag that supported the NSDAP and Mosley’s fascists. These days the online version appears to be stuffed full of celebrity gossip and cleavage thumbnails for its enlightened readers. The voice of the so-called silent majority on issues of welfare and immigrants. Katie Hopkins was a DM writer for Christ sake.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

Looks as if you ‘corrected’ too quickly! The ‘H’ word is now acceptable.Hallelujah!

jim payne
jim payne
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

Many people of all kinds supported Hitler and Mosely. Some royalty and many of the days “Beautifull People”. Some realised their mistake and others quietly went to the far left. Why is History always being brought back to Shame us? I didn’t support either, or slavery, so why should I hang my head in shame about our past?

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago
Reply to  jim payne

Read the Daily Mail to your hearts content, Jim.

Niobe Hunter
Niobe Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

Well, the Guardian was against the abolition of Slavery in the the Southern States, because of its links to the cotton trade. Tirra lirra, it’s all in our grandparents or older times. Judge people and institutions on what they do in the present.
BTW, as you invoke the name of the Saviour, you might like to consider His views on forgiveness and condemnation.

Zach Thornton
Zach Thornton
3 years ago

The DM is a rag that supported Hitler and Mosley’s fascists. These days the online version appears to be stuffed full of celebrity gossip and cleavage thumbnails for its enlightened readers. The voice of the so-called silent majority on issues of welfare and immigrants. Katie Hopkins was a DM writer for Christ sake.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Zach Thornton

Yes – any paper that would employ that excuse for a human being is beneath contempt.