If the Mail didn’t exist, the perpetually offended would have to invent it. And if the perpetually offended didn’t exist, the Mail would need to spend a lot more on PR.
The despised right-wing rag sparked outrage again this morning. Splashing on Theresa May’s shock announcement of a snap election yesterday – an attempt, May said, to see off Rearguard Remainers – the Mail’s front page shows a glaring Theresa May above the words ‘Crush the Saboteurs’.
Like the ‘Enemies of the People’ High Court splash before it, today’s Lenin-lite front page sent the liberal Twittersphere into apoplexy. Labour MP Stella Creasy called it ‘chilling’, Gary Lineker warned about a rise in ‘hate and aggression’. Guardian journalist Michael White called it ‘the language of fascism’.
Appearing on the Today programme this morning, May was even moved to distance herself from the paper. And somewhere, on Fleet Street, the Mail team toasted another job well done.
For years, the Mail’s political relevance has been fuelled as much by those who hate it as those who love it. And post-Brexit it’s outdone itself. For all the talk of the Mail whipping up the fury of Brexitland against the ‘Remoaners’, ‘saboteurs’ and judges, what it really excels at is driving right-on types to the brink of hysteria, and hitting the trend list in the process.