Social media users have reacted to today’s Daily Mail front page “It’s time to pull plug on the Lords”, with many highlighting the paper’s outrage at unelected representatives it has defended in the past.
The right wing British tabloid, run by Paul Dacre, reportedly the only media figure to receive hospitality from UK PM Theresa May within her first 6 months in office, has taken aim yet again at the Lords, after peers defeated the government for the fourteenth time on the EU Withdrawal Bill.
The Daily Mail backed Brexit and is a little peeved at what it sees as the Lords frustrating the ‘will of the people’ and trying to “thwart Brexit.” LBC Radio presenter James O’Brien tweeted a list of particular people the paper has targeted, from judges and MPs to academics and now the Lords, for what many see as simply exercising their democratic rights.
So that’s judges (Enemies Of The People); MPs (Crush The Saboteurs); Academics (Our Remainer Universities) and now the Lords.
Paul Dacre’s sociopathic rage is running out of targets. pic.twitter.com/3rD9YnxwiH
— James O’Brien (@mrjamesob) May 10, 2018
Jo Green, the Ex Head of Press and Broadcasting for Labour tweeted a quote from the Daily Mail Editorial September 19, 2003, where they described the lords as “robustly independent.” What has changed for the editor-in-chief, Dacre?
“The truth is this prime minister (Tony Blair) hates the robustly independent Lords, which has proved a more effective check on an over-mighty executive than the Commons … Now he wants a Lords full of placemen, puppets and toadies.”
Daily Mail editorial, Sept 19th 2003
— Jo Green (@jg_ccpress) May 9, 2018
The apparent change of heart towards the Lords from the Daily Mail has not gone unnoticed by lacasadelliberalismo on social news aggregation and discussion site Reddit, commenting that:
In 2000 when the House of Lords defeated the Labour government’s attempt to repeal Section 28, a law that banned local authorities from promoting homosexuality, the Daily Mail hailed the Lords, running the headline “Praise Be to the Lords.”
However, the issue of Brexit has dominated political discourse over the last few years, a subject the Mail seems incredibly emotionally attached to, as illustrated by their latest antagonistic front page.
It’s not just the Daily Mail that has come under fire for their supposed about turn on their attitude towards the Lords; Brexiteer Tory MPs who have spoken out against the Lord’s latest defeat of the government, such as Jacob Rees-Mogg suggests “The peers set themselves against the people, using an ermine-covered wrecking ball in their efforts to stop Brexit,” has been identified as one of those many MPs to have voted against Lords reform in 2012. The list Daily Telegraph journalist Michael Deacon has tweeted makes for interesting viewing.
Brexiteer Tory MPs who voted against reforming the House of Lords in 2012:
— Michael Deacon (@MichaelPDeacon) May 10, 2018
The Daily Mail’s attention grabbing headline sits next to a large picture of the Queen with a line underneath that reads “Has she EVER looked so happy?” prompting joe.co.uk’s Nooruddean Choudry to tweet “Imagine questioning the legitimacy and relevance of the Lords as a part of our democratic system whilst gushing about a monarchy.”
Imagine questioning the legitimacy and relevance of the Lords as a part of our democratic system whilst gushing about a monarchy pic.twitter.com/hnFSZjgZyR
— Nooruddean (@BeardedGenius) May 10, 2018
From what some may see as an outpouring of love from the Daily Mail towards the Lords in 2000, to explicit hatred towards peers whose job is to hold governments to account, all in the space of 18 years. Just a typical life cycle for an average marriage? Let’s hope the Mail can move on without bitterness if divorce is on the Brexit horizon.
Omar Baggili, RT Journalist
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