Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I did not know this

From Wikipedia's entry on the Daily Mail: (via Pootergeek)

"Rothermere was a friend and supporter of both Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler, which influenced the Mail's political stance towards them up to 1939. Rothermere visited and corresponded with Hitler. On 1 October 1938, Rothermere sent Hitler a telegram in support of Germany's invasion of the Sudetenland, and expressing the hope that 'Adolf the Great' would become a popular figure in Britain."

Like a lot of people, I've always been happy that there was a few fragments of evidence that the Mail offered bits of support to Moseley's Blackshirts. It's neatly confirmed a few prejudices and I know that it's been the basis of a lot of cheap shots.

In less argumentative moments, people have often pointed out that the Mirror - now a Labour paper wasn't exactly hostile to the knuckledraggers at the time, so - cheapshot aside - the Mail's history is not really something that I've taken very seriously.

But if Wikipedia's reporting here is in any way a balanced account, it really does up the ante a bit, doesn't it? It's not a portrait of a paper that just flirted with Fascism, but one that made arguably the greatest mistake that any UK-based newspaper could have made in the 20th Century.

From that account, it's also interesting that Stanley Baldwin had to defeat the demagogic upstarts at the polls in order to rescue conservatism.

I suspect that, at some point, little David Cameron may have to do the same?

1 comment:

MatGB said...

Is this one of those things that I file under "common knowledge" but isn't in fact that well known?

Weird, sorry, thought everyone knew that—looks about right to me without going to check more authoritative sources, it was very very late that the Mail switched from support to attack.