The Guardian: A Psychiatric Casebook

The following is a guest post by the Rev Dr Peter Mullen, Hon. Chaplain of The Freedom Association. In this post, Peter takes a look at The Guardian newspaper a week after it became a tabloid. 

Peter_Mullen_(2).pngThe Guardian has gone tabloid, but the change has neither remedied its intellectual deficiencies nor purged its ideological malaise. Very smart, neat presentation, but the same old shibboleths. 

Murderous stabbings – what the paper calls “knife crime,” as if the knives did it – are at an all-time high in London where forty-six people under the age of twenty-five were killed in 2017 alone. This only leads The Guardian to repeat again one of its favourite mantras: “Stop and search is not the answer.” Better a plague of murders eh, than to risk being accused of racism?

The subject of education is always prominent in The Guardian. Well, they know which side their ciabatta is low fat spreaded upon: their every Tuesday Educational Supplement brings in £1million or more in advertising revenue from all those listed teaching jobs at Bog Street Comprehensive. Rufus Norris waffles his way through a typical think-piece: “A myth embedded in our British psyche is being reinforced, that culture and creativity belong to the elite.” What are all these proletarian arts workshops, street theatre and awards for rock and rap music - all so prominently reported in The Guardian - about then?

With Rufus Norris, myths expand to fill the pages available: “The myth goes that the true artist is born mysteriously fully-formed.” That’s not a myth; it’s a piece of nonsense. Mozart himself said, “I had to sweat once so that I find it easy now.” And, adds Norris in his multiplication of myths, “A second myth holds that creativity thrives in adversity.”  But that’s not a myth; it’s sometimes painfully true. Bunyan in prison. Jeremiah in the mire. Were there never any decent poets and novelists living on what they could scrounge? “A third myth that creative sorts are somehow morally wayward.” Some are, Rufus. Have you heard of Byron, Swinburne or the opium-eaters?

The new tabloid Guardian is as full of the same self- indulgent rubbish, the same pharisaical claim to the high moral ground, as the old style paper was. Only some of its sanctimony is not merely self-indulgent but harmful, as when Nesrine Malik tells us, “Migration targets are a form of cruelty.” No they’re not: they’re essential if we are to preserve what’s left of social cohesion in Britain after the mass immigration of the last decades, continuing today.

The old Levellers’ contempt for anyone who aspires to raise his eyes above the gutter persists as Poppy Noor complains: “My community is gentrifying fast and I’m part of the problem.” Anyone who churns out jargon in the quantities delivered by Poppy Noor is certainly a problem – for readers.

However high-minded The Guardian’s pretension, it’s never more than a catwalk’s length from a piece of sheer fluff, such as that offered by Jess Cartner-Morley: “Why fashion has never been so important: from the Golden Globes black dress code protest to Kim Jong-un’s suits and Meghan Markle’s M&S jumper, fashion is the news channel to watch.” And so it turns out that the serious Guardian of all our consciences, which supported the Greenham women in their overalls and boiler suits, is not so far from the Daily Mail after all.

Back to the really serious stuff and the strange remark by Richard Partington, “Dow defies sceptics as it passes 26,000 for the first time.” But the Dow has been rising relentlessly since Donald Trump was elected. So where are these “sceptics”? Answer, only on The Guardian. And it’s Aditya Chakraborty’s turn to carry the red flag: “”The economy benefits only the elite.” O please, Aditya! Since the end of the Second World War the general population has enjoyed unprecedented improvements in living standards. There are more people in work than ever and unemployment is at a thirty years low.

I realise I have neglected to specify precisely what sort of psychiatric case The Guardian is. Well, for most of the time anyway, it’s not the nasty, murderous psychopathic type who comes up behind and garottes you while you’re trying to read an exquisite sermon by George Monbiot or Harriet Harman. No, it’s just the rather silly, childish hebephrenia that makes one do daft things – such as write for The Guardian. 

 

All views expressed in contributions by named authors are their own and may not reflect the views of The Freedom Association.

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