Sunday, 10 February 2013

Is the Mail Turning Against the Tories?

Yesterday, I came across the following editorial headline:

"The Tories hang the police out to dry while letting the real crooks - their banker chums - off scot free."

Sounds like a Daily Mirror editorial, or perhaps a quote from one of their columnists Kevin Maguire or Tony Parsons. But that headline came from the Daily Mail.

I was so shocked I thought I'd gone to the wrong web site by mistake. Certainly, I can't recall ever seen such a bitterly anti-Tory headline in the Mail before.

So what is going on? It could be the Mail getting it's revenge in now the Gay Marriage vote has gone through, or just as likely, for the failure of David Cameron to push forward marriage tax breaks. It's editor Paul Dacre is a well know family values man and the Mail has campaigned on these themes for a very long time. If that's the case, then probably the newspaper will get its anger and frustration out of it's system reasonably quickly before resuming it's traditional pro-Tory line.

Or it may represent a deeper, more significant trend. In the multi-media digital age, hemorrhaging money and readers, newspapers can no longer afford to act merely as the mouthpiece of a rich and powerful proprietor, but must be extremely sensitive to the prejudices and tastes of it's readership if it wishes to keep them on board.

If that really is the reason behind that headline, then long term things look very ominous indeed for the shrinking Tory Party. Perhaps the paper reckons that the new, slick, Metropolitan Tories are on the verge of losing middle England permanently. The Daily Express, once like the Mail a slavishly Tory paper,  is at very least sympathetic to UKIP these days. Could the Mail, which is circulation wise a much bigger fish - one day follow suite?