OK, I’m going to regret this. But I’m going to throw this at you anyway.
I haven’t listened to the news for 24 hours. I haven’t watched live TV. I haven’t opened this morning’s papers.
The Duke of Edinburgh died yesterday. He was 99. Outlived by Captain Tom. I’m sure the Queen will find it odd not to have him around after three-quarters of a century. But most of us will manage.
I’m an old white biddy, exactly the sort of person the Press and broadcasters assume will be most interested in this national tragedy.
But I’m not. And people even older than me aren’t distraught with grief either. It’s of passing interest. But it’s a fact of life.
As we approach the end of ours, we have come to terms with mortality. We need to make the most of the time left to us and we can’t squander it on mawkish forelock-tugging sentimentality over the death of a very old man we didn’t know.
I didn’t even know that he sounded like Prince Charles until I caught a snatch of him speaking last night (OK I lied, there was a moment of live TV before switching to Netflix and an old Black Books).
He has been in the public eye all my life and I had never before heard his voice. That’s how much impact he had on me.
If we oldies are matter-of-fact, what about youngsters? To them, he was the name behind the adventure scheme. Full stop.
That leaves the middle-aged. Half of whom perhaps care a bit.
Of course this morning’s papers were devoted to one big picture. They were for Captain Tom a couple of weeks ago and we didn’t think that odd.
Of course we have to note the passing of the Queen’s consort (and hope that she doesn’t forsake the neon wardrobe in perpetual favour of Victoria black). Of course it’s right that the ubiquitous flags bought in a state-ordered job lot be flown at half mast.
But is it too much to ask for a little perspective? The Press is once again showing itself to be completely out of touch with the real world and millions of potential readers. Most of us don’t weep with the Sun or join the Express in mourning.
There can’t be more than a handful of people who really want 144 pages of this stuff – historic or not. Blimey there wasn’t even that much when Diana died – and that was a real story about a young woman’s sudden, violent death.
This is all part of the ongoing conditioning. We are constantly being told what to think. It is all of apiece with the Conservative agenda.
With weeks of vaccine crowing and tell-you-nothing drivel about wanting to go to the pub or book a holiday (yes, we all want to, but there is no new information here), real events are being suppressed.
Real events such as the violence in NI, the catastrophic decline of trade with every other country, the destruction of small businesses that people have spent their lives building up, yet more Johnson scandal and yet more Tory sleaze.
This death is going to be the mother of all smokescreens. It is going to give Johnson another month at least of distraction therapy.
We’ll all notice that he couldn’t be arsed to brush his hair before paying tribute. We’ll notice that he couldn’t be arsed to brush his hair for the funeral. How disrespectful is that?
Very. Because he *could* be arsed to muss it up so that we’d all focus on that and not on his more serious failings.
Meanwhile the BBC sinks further into its pit of cowardice, syncing BBC1 and 2, shutting down BBC4. Because an old man has died and you may not watch peopletelling you how to tend your garden or vie for the Masterchef crown. You must mourn an old man you didn’t know.
It’s the law.
Now I'll leave you in peace. But please do read @brokenbottleboy
Missed this from No7:
...youngsters? To them, he was the name behind the adventure scheme. Full stop. They are far more worried about their own grandparents. They may even be mourning them, thanks to the Government’s cavalier attitude to the approaching coronavirus last spring.
PS: I’m not a republican. I like a royal wedding and a bit of pageantry as much as anyone. Think the Queen does a good job.

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More from @gameoldgirl

10 Apr
Always a challenge to strike the right note on the front with a story like #Philip. Not least the choice of picture - the way most think of him or a man in his prime?
ICYMI a few thoughts on today's offering.
First, it's not about *you* and *your* grief.
Yes, you want to tell people what's inside. But try to dial down the self-promotion. A "magical" supplement? And "historic *144* pages? That screams "don't buy me"
...and do we need to be told about a Monday supplement on today's front page?
It's good to recognise that not *all* your readers may be completely obsessed by the royals. They might like to know you're offering something else.
There are ways to do it....and, perhaps, ways not to do it...
Read 7 tweets
31 Mar
A thread...
The “we’re not racist” drums are beating loudly and proudly today. If we’re truly making progress, that’s great.(1) ImageImage
I’m particularly struck by what has been identified as the key cause for this celebration:

'Education is the single most emphatic success story of the British ethnic minority experience'

'The Commission notes that the average GCSE attainment score for Indian, Bangladeshi and Black African pupils was above the White British average.'
Read 13 tweets
15 Mar
This govt is busy pretending its #policing bill is about making people, esp women, safer.
That is why there is a whole section on protecting monuments, a whole section on shutting up Steve Bray, a whole section on protecting Parliament.
And nothing about women.
Be in no doubt. From removing the whip from Remainer MPs to cowing the BBC to giving Priti Patel and police a free hand ban "noisy" protests they don't like, this Government is openly making it clear that dissent will not be tolerated.
All this talk of "cancel culture" and protecting the free press is a smokescreen. They are cancelling all sorts of cultures faster than any "woke warrior" and, far from holding the powerful to account, the Press is not just colluding with them, but cheering them on.
Read 10 tweets
14 Mar
Mini thread....
Here are the first editions of today's papers. Royals heavy...perhaps as you'd expect as it's their first go after that interview. Kate obligingly provides a royal angle to the #SarahEverard vigil. Because the story on its own? Pah!
(1/?) Image
The tabs are renowned for being nimble between editions. So let's have a look at what they did for their finals. Ah, The Mirror changed one of its sub-heads. The Express replaced the index with a bit about Priti Patel...
(2/?) Image
The Sun and Mail left their fronts exactly as they were. It was all about Kate (and dissing Meghan).
The People is a one-edition paper.
(3/?) Image
Read 5 tweets
19 Nov 20
This is going to be a very long thread.
It is about the #bbc and is timed to coincide with @penguinbooks publication today of The War Against the BBC by @peterpeteryork and Patrick Barwise.
More particularly, this thread is about the way the BBC's media rivals - especially the Daily Mail - prosecute that war.
The timing is serendipitous as Prince William's intervention in the #panorama interview saga puts the corporation back on the front pages...
Read 48 tweets
14 Jun 20
Good morning. Have seen quite a lot of my work on here under the hashtag #dontbuythemail as an answer to the question posed by this morning's Mail on Sunday.
So thought I'd offer a fuller picture (1/?)

@jamesfelton @stopfundinghate
Some tweeps have used composites I created as part of an audit of the way the Press treated #immigration in the runup to #brexit. But they haven't used the most damning versions, so here is the full catalogue from the *Daily*, not Sunday, Mail over the past decade. (2/?)
Read 13 tweets

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