Daily Archives: June 5, 2010

‘Live’ Grenades

A classic piece of tabloid rubbish has been floating around today: ‘Don’t panic! Props for Dad’s Army play were live grenades‘ (Daily Mail); ‘Dad’s Army props were live grenades‘ (Daily Mirror) and ‘DON’T PANIC! OUR DAD’S ARMY PROPS ARE LIVE GRENADES‘ (Daily Express).

As soon as I saw this story I thought what a huge amount of free publicity this production has received, and I had a nagging feeling that it was a set up. The original story does make it clear that the actors did suspect that the grenades were live and did call the army. However, as the original article makes clear, although a controlled detination was carried out the grenades turned out to not be live and actually survived the explosion intact. Nonetheless the original article still uses a misleading headline: ‘‘Corporal Jones’ actor doesn’t panic after finding live grenades’.

The Express, Mirror and Daily Mail do not mention at any point that the grenades were found to not be live and the Express and Daily Mail both contain the exact sentence:

The devices – both dating from 1918 – were detonated in a controlled explosion which was heard for miles around.

One wonders whether this group of actors planned this story or just got extremely lucky. Either way, they got a huge amount of free publicity from journalists who just don’t care about factual accuracy – because as far as they are concerned: if the grenades were not live, then there wouldn’t be any story.

Shameful

Not content with publishing Richard Littlejohn’s column criticising the innapropriate use of ‘Mister’ Derrick Bird and the implication that Political Correctness played some kind of role in the Cumbria shootings, today they wheel out a pretty standard attack on health and safety: ‘Health and safety rules stopped paramedics treating the injured‘.

As I pointed out last night, whatever course any person or organisation takes the Daily Mail will happily criticise them. This ‘story’ centres around the fact that Police held back Ambulance crews until armed police had secured the areas around the wounded. This attempt to prevent putting paramedics in the line of fire is dubiously understated as ‘fears over health and safety’, not ‘fears of putting paramedics at serious risk of being shot and killed’.

One can only imagine if paramedics were allowed or told to rush to each scene and one of them or more had been shot and killed that the Daily Mail would be asking for heads to roll and would have no doubt denounced the order as ‘crazy’. After all, the Daily Mail scream ‘nanny state’ when social services intervene, whilst simultaneously screaming ‘why wasn’t something done?’ when social services do not intervene.

This is a pathetic attack on health and safety from a newspaper that has absolutely no shame, using the death of 12 people to push its own distorted media narratives.

The Misery of the Daily Mail

With all the faux-outrage over the mythical banning of England shirts and flags you’d think the Daily Mail would be behind one school’s plans to close early on June 23rd so that students can make it home in time for the 3pm kick-off. But they’re not: ‘School to close early … so the pupils can watch England play‘:

A school has angered parents by revealing plans to close early to allow pupils to watch a World Cup game.

Headmaster Neil Strowger has agreed to shorten lessons and bring forward a GCSE exam to enable his 1,200 pupils to get home in time for kickoff.

The controversial decision was taken after a request from pupils who are given a say in the running of their school through its Student Voice.

This is why it annoys me when politicians or anyone else tries to make decisions that will please the likes of the Daily Mail: it is a fruitless and pointless task. If the school had told 1,200 pupils they could not leave early to watch the game the Daily Mail would no doubt have attacked the school for ‘crushing patriotism’ or ‘English culture’. Yet, if the school shortens lessons and works to meet both the educational needs of the students and their desire to finish early for one day of the school year to watch an England match then they get outraged over that. Considering the World Cup is only every four years it really is a pathetic attack from the Daily Mail.

Naturally the Daily Mail get a quote from rent-a-gobshite Nick Seaton, of the Campaign for Real Education (who, like all organisations run by half-wits have a terrible website): ‘This is totally irresponsible. Schools have a responsibility to operate as normal unless there are exceptional circumstances that require them to close.’ Parents are also angry because they claim ‘that they are being forced to sort out unnecessary childcare arrangements'; even though the headmaster has clearly stated that ‘the school plans to run activities for pupils requiring supervision due to parents’ work commitments’.

All in all it seems like a sensible decision, lessons are 5 minutes shorter and one exam is being slightly brought forward. Students still attend the same amount of lessons and if their parents cannot pick them up or be at home to receive them at that time then the school has activities and supervision arranged. Those that can get home can support England in a world cup that comes around once every four years (assuming that they even qualify). Considering how the Mail constantly lambastes the ‘nanny state’, the lack of ‘common sense’, the health and safety ‘killjoys’ and the PC brigade sucking all the fun out of childhood and life in general you’d think they’d be really supportive of this decision.

But no, because the Daily Mail’s job is to criticise everything irrespective of whether, logically, they should really be writing a positive article.