Daily Mail witch hunt against Max Mosley

 

Today’s Daily Mail launches an extraordinary vendetta against Max Mosley, son of former Labour minister and British Union of Fascists founder Sir Oswald Mosley.

Mail editor Paul Dacre is one of many Fleet Street barons determined to undermine the new press regulator Impress, which was backed by Max Mosley after many press abuses uncovered by the Leveson Inquiry.

Hence this desperate effort to dig up anti-Mosley dirt from more than half a century ago.

The main focus of today’s story is Max Mosley’s role as election agent for Walter Hesketh, candidate for Union Movement at the Manchester Moss Side by-election in November 1961.  Some of the background was discussed two years ago in H&D‘s review of Max Mosley’s memoirs, in Issue 73.

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Both the Mail and last night’s Channel 4 News highlight a UM election leaflet’s alleged ‘racism’, in an effort to embarrass Max Mosley (who is now almost 78 years old) with views he endorsed as a 21-year-old.


The truth is that hostility to immigration was not confined to Mosleyites.  On October 12th 1961 for example, the Daily Mail itself approvingly quoted a speech to the Conservative Party Conference by Frank Taylor, Tory candidate at that same Manchester Moss Side by-election.  Mr Taylor (who won the by-election and remained Moss Side MP until 1974) said that at the start of the campaign he had met a “coloured man” in the constituency who had been unemployed for more than eight years: “Ladies and gentlemen, you and I are keeping him and his wife and about six delightful little piccaninnies I saw around him.”

Earlier the same year a Daily Mail headline had complained – “Still the West Indians pour in”; while a Daily Mail editorial in October 1961 (headlined ‘A Question of Colour’) would doubtless arouse Mr Dacre’s opprobrium today:
“In asking for a check to immigration most speakers [at the Tory conference] disavowed colour prejudice.  But, in fact, that is at the root of a demand which was not made until West Indians began pouring in.”

That Mail editorial continued: “To express dismay at this influx is legitimate.  There is a case for saying: ‘We believe coloured immigration lowers standards, depresses property values, and may lead to widespread miscegenation.’  But how many people are honest enough to say these things in public?  Not many at the Conservative Conference.”

Dad’s Army star and former Mosleyite Clive Dunn was (unlike Max Mosley) never hounded for his political past.

Today the Mail professes to be shocked by the Mosleyite leaflet from 1961 – especially its warning of the health dangers posed by non-white immigration.  Yet in September 1961 the Daily Mail itself published a warning by a London health officer, Dr Herbert Chalke, under the headline: “Immigrants ‘cause new health problems’”. “Hygiene standards among West Indians, Nigerians, and other coloured immigrants are so low that new problems are being created for London’s health authorities.”

Even aside from the Mail‘s blatant hypocrisy, their obsessive hounding of Max Mosley raises questions as to where the paper draws the line: is no-one allowed to change their political views?  Would the newspaper have similarly pursued former Blackshirts such as comedian Spike Milligan; Dad’s Army actor Clive Dunn; eminent conductor Sir Reginald Goodall; or senior judge Sir Frederick Lawton?

And what about the ‘other Max’ – Labour Councillor Trevor Maxfield who has represented the Labour Party on Blackburn with Darwen Council for more than seven years, despite being a former branch organiser for the BNP?

 

The Daily Mail itself was once the greatest media supporter of Sir Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists

 

The Mail was not always politically correct

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