Paul Dacre’s Daily Mail has a well deserved reputation for employing toxic commentators and so it’s no surprise that the tabloid’s take on Stephen Gateley’s death should prove so offensive.
It’s only surprising that similar rows haven’t erupted sooner. Last week the Mail on Sunday (of which Dacre is editor-in-chief) offered some specific criticisms of BNP pronouncements: here Anton Vowl offers examples of Daily Mail columnists whose opinions coincide with those very same British Nazi party views. We should expect no more from Paul Dacre, who is at once a moral crusader and pornographer.
Columnist Jan Moir was merely towing the editorial line when she suggested that Stephen Gately’s ‘strange, lonely and troubling death’ was connected to his lifestyle. Her piece is all the more bizarre for recording that Stephen Gately died from acute pulmonary oedema – a natural death brought on in this case by a previously undiagnosed heart condition – and then going on to connect this with smoking cannabis. In a subsequent statement Jan Moir describes attempts to label her homophobic as ‘mischievous’ while continuing her attempts to link Gately’s lifestyle, including the cannabis, to his death.
Perhaps we should be generous and accept that the exertion of a good night out – which would appear to contradict Jan Moir’s claim that this was a ‘lonely’ death – was a trigger. But the trigger could just have easily have been an otherwise healthy gym workout.
The real aim of the Daily Mail is to push an idealised 1950s lifestyle onto us all; a Britain imagined as white and heterosexual with women happy as homemakers and everyone in a loving nuclear family. That this never existed is of little concern to Paul Dacre and bigoted columnists like Jan Moir. That many of us reject this ideal as racist, misogynistic and homophobic is greatly offensive to them.
Meanwhile, Jan Moir’s column is illustrated with a photo of her heavily made-up face, which appears bloated, perhaps as the result of a life of restaurant reviewing. Obesity really is a lifestyle disease and has a long list of often fatal symptoms. One would hate to see Jan Moir collapse after boxing, the victim of a genuinely unhealthy lifestyle.