Dacre, Brown and his ‘tin ear’ for Middle England
The Mole: Will Cameron see eye to eye with the Mail editor on the dreadful concerns of his readers?
Always good to see someone taking the mickey out of the Daily Mail and the scare tactics it employs to spur Middle England into paroxysms of anger and resentment.
The Poke website has put up a spoof Tube map - a standard satirical gimmick, but it works pretty well here - titled 'The Daily Mail's secretary editorial formula' - which it claims was stolen from editor Paul Dacre's office wall.
The 'stops' on the map neatly reflect the concerns of Daily Mail readers - or, to be more accurate, what Dacre and his executives assume are or believe should be the concerns of readers: house prices, Channel 4 executives, anorexia, Helen Mirren, lesbian teachers, the death penalty... you get the picture.
It's only a piss-take, of course, but it got the Mole to thinking - does David Cameron yet have a similar map on his metaphorical wall? Share the Mail's concerns about Britain and you get a fairly easy ride from Dacre. Ignore them at your peril.
Gordon Brown made this mistake, of course. He and Dacre were best friends for a while until it became clear to the Mail man that the Scot's severe countenance masked an attitude of utter indifference to Middle Englanders.
One of the more interesting comments Mandelson has made in his interminable interviews this week to promote The Third Man - he said it to Ginny Dugarry at the Times and then repeated it to Patrick Wintour at the Guardian - was this:
"I always remember having dinner with Paul Dacre, the editor of the Daily Mail - it must be getting on for a decade ago - he liked Gordon, and Dacre was Gordon's favourite journalist and newspaper editor - quite how they were able to conjure up such warmth - hahaha - I don't know, but they did.
"But Paul made a very interesting observation about Gordon. First, in his view, Gordon was put on Earth by God to do good and had genuine convictions and they were a force for good.
"Secondly, that he has a tin ear as far as Middle England is concerned; he doesn't easily get on to their wavelength, hear them or respond.
"And, thirdly, that he is an incredibly stubborn person. Once he thinks he's right, once he's made up his mind, it's very difficult to get him on to a different track."
That tin ear. God help David Cameron should he turn out to suffer the same affliction. Which is perfectly possible. Eton and the Bullingdon are as far removed from Middle England as Kirkcaldy and Edinburgh. ·
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