Trust the Daily Mail to cynically use the death of a political figure for its own ends.
The former IRA terrorist turned politician and peace process negotiator (pictured) died on Monday night. His death was followed by tributes from a range of political figures from Britain, Northern Ireland and even the US.
Most were careful to say that, while you can’t overlook or condone his involvement in terror attacks from his past, you have to acknowledge the role he played in the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland in 1998.
Tributes were paid to McGuinness from, among others, Prime Minister Theresa May, Tony Blair, former US president Bill Clinton and DUP leader Arlene Foster. Even the Queen, who shook McGuinness’ hand in 2012, sent a message of support to his widow.
Yet despite the fact that figures from across the political spectrum paid their respects, the Daily Mail chose to single out Jeremy Corbyn and the BBC and criticise them as if they were terrorist sympathisers.
The paper has repeatedly stuck the boot into left-winger Corbyn ever since he became Labour leader and has become more and more critical of the BBC in the months since the EU referendum, viewing the corporation as being biased towards the liberal ‘remainer’ attitudes it dislikes so much.
The article singling out Corbyn noted the public ‘fury’ (i.e. a few people outraged on Twitter) at his ‘warm tribute for IRA killer’.
The paper tried to imply that the ‘glowing’ tribute was fawning and one-sided. But the full statement released by Corbyn acknowledged that McGuinness had spent ‘years as a key protagonist in the tragedy of the conflict’.
The article on the Beeb was even more desperate, little more than an exercise in trawling through Twitter to find a handful of people criticising the news coverage.
One tweeter was quoted as saying the BBC were treating McGuinness ‘like he was on par with Nelson Mandela’. The irony being that Mandela himself was denounced by the Daily Mail, who wrote at the time of the concert to mark his 70th birthday while in jail in 1988: ‘The ANC and its leader Nelson Mandela have no more claim to be saints or heroes than do the Provisional IRA with their lynch mobs and car bombers’.
As the Daily Mail has so clearly tried to manipulate the death of McGuinness to stick the boot in, it seems like a good time to remind people once again that the paper once openly supported fascism and was owned by a man who was a personal friend of Adolf Hitler.
Daily Mail article from 1934 (above) by founder and owner at the time Lord Rothermere (pictured below with Adolf Hitler)
Not exactly in the best position to try and take the moral high ground on these issues, then.
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