Perkins & "The Daily Mail"

Morning, Perkins! ... Good grief, man! What's that under your arm?

It's today's "Daily Mail", Sir.

"Daily Mail"! What on earth are you doing with that?

Well, I thought I'd check it out, Sir.


"Check it out?"

Yes Sir. People have been attacking it.

"Attacking it?"

You keep repeating me, Sir ...

I'm just stunned Perkins! Why on earth would anyone sane want to "check it out"?

Well, I've always been suspicious of situations where the establishment and so-called cognoscenti collectively attack something, Sir.

Why on earth is that, Perkins?

Well, they could have an ulterior motive, Sir.

"Ulterior motive?"

"You're doing it again, Sir.

Look Perkins, the Mail is a ghastly, sensationalist rag.

When did you last read it, Sir?

Goodness me, Perkins. I have better things to do with my time.

How can you be sure then that you're not just baying the mindless mantra of your peers?

Look Perkins. I don't read the Mail because it appeals to the mob and has no analysis.

But "the mob" are the mass of the people, Sir.

Exactly, Perkins. Now you're on the right track.

So you don't believe in democracy, Sir?

Don't ask silly questions, Perkins. Of course I do, just as long as the people don't get their hands on government. But seriously, the Mail has no analysis; just a crude statement of facts.

But why are you so attached to "analysis", Sir? Surely it's the facts that are most important?

Well if you don't have analysis then how do you know what's really going on? You need analysis to explain the headlines.

But surely any analysis depends on the spin of the author? Why can't people be given the facts and allowed to make up their own minds?

"Make up their own minds?" Be serious, Perkins. The mob hasn't got a mind to make up; that's why it's called "the mob".

I think you'll find it was the mob that fought and died in two World Wars to protect freedom and democracy in Britain, Sir.

Aha! That proves my point! You don't need to understand much to pop your head over the top and get it shot off, do you! The mob is ideally suited to it.

But "analysis" is overrated, Sir. People should be encouraged to think for themselves.

"Think for themselves!" Now Perkins, those who went to public school can be expected to think for themselves, but as for the rest ...

I'm sorry, Sir; there is in fact too much analysis. I was put off at school at an early age. No sooner had we opened a Shakespeare play than we had FR Leavis shoved down our throats telling us what to think about it rather than being made to interpret and analyze it ourselves.

I'm sorry your education seems to have gone so seriously wrong, Perkins. Did you in fact go to a public school?

Only a poor man's one, Sir .... but analysis in the press just seems to me a clever way of trying to tell people what they should think. I believe Goebbels was very good at analysis, and of course Tony Blair ...

Now Perkins, analysis is all that differentiates us from unthinking morons who cannot understand the law.

You mean the Labour Cabinet, Sir?

No ... errm .... perhaps I should rephrase that ... but really Perkins, this "Defend the Mail" crusade is really a bit OTT, isn't it?

Perhaps, Sir, but it's because it is so heavily attacked by verbal diarrhearists who support totalitarianism. My principle is that your enemy's enemy is your friend, so to speak. If someone who supports dictatorship attacks it at every chance then it can't be all bad, sort of thing.

I'm sorry, Perkins. I don't think I will ever be able to follow the tortured meanderings of your mind.

I think that's because deep down I identify with "the mob", Sir, or as I prefer to call them; "the people" ........

Hmm ...... if I were you Perkins I wouldn't go trumpeting that too loudly round Whitehall. It could put an end to a promising career.