Daily Fail

As people will know, the Daily Heil is returning to its historical roots and currently posting increasingly virulent attacks on the travellers at Dale Farm. I want to look at a little snippet from one of their stories that you can find here.  In it, a reporter claims that his story was based on “successfully infiltrating the anarchists at Europe’s largest illegal traveller site”.  And one quote in particular caught my eye.  In it he claims that he talked to

bright Left-wing students arguing passionately about their desire to bring down capitalism and ‘replace it with something better’

You’ll notice the last four words are in direct quotation marks, making it clear he wants us to believe this is what was actually said.  Now, call me cynical, but I’m pretty sure it is highly unlikely that the students he supposedly talked to phrased their opinions in almost exactly the same way as the spoof crusty group, Cyderdelic.


Somewhat unusually for the Heil when they do this kind of thing, one of their reporters actually has put his byline on this.


Honestly, Arthur Martin, did you think nobody would notice?  Hasn’t Hari just got himself into a lot of shit by doing something very similar to this?


Or, as a left-wing student said to me earlier, “you see that Arthur Martin?  That’s your idea of quality journalism, that is”.  Which was followed by his friend who pointed out that “you wouldn’t let it lie”.



  1. I noticed that the last five words are in direct quotation marks. There is a bad habit I’ve noticed among certain bloggers to use quote marks in this sloppy way, it isn’t just the Mail.

    The “quote” from Johnny Marbles girlfriend seems questionable.

    Anatole France knew how to answer those like Simon Heffer who blather about equality before the law:

    “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich and the poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.”

  2. Oops, good catch!

    I think it’s shoddy when done by bloggers, but it is a bit more serious in this case. (And I do sometimes use single quotes as a way of mocking a specific attitude or claim, but I think that’s really obvious when I’m doing so).In the context of the supposed infiltration (“infiltrating” most direct action groups basically consists of going up and saying hello), I think he’s deliberately using quotes there in order to add authority to his piece. And, in the wider context of what he’s writing about, I think the implication is very much that he got this information through investigative journalism, even of the reactionary kind.

    And yes, I only caught up with the background to the ‘quote’ from Johnny Marbles’ girlfriend earlier. Seems to be her word against Martin’s. And I suspect we agree on who is likely to be a more reliable source.

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