Saturday 5 October 2013

Mehdi Hasan and the Daily Mail

1. So what if Mehdi Hasan pitched himself to work for the Daily Mail three years ago? Journalists, especially those without a berth - as Mehdi was at the time - have got to work to live. And of course he's going to emphasise how much a prospective employer's values are congruent with his own. I'm sure if he'd gone for a job at The Morning Star, he would have burnished his peace and socialism credentials. This is so much nonsense. In my time I've known teachers at Catholic schools who, in turns, were gay, an avowed atheist, and a Trotskyist. I've known Sainsbury's workers who prefer shopping at Tesco and Asda. How many staff at the Mail hate the crap they're reputedly paid well to write? How many newspaper editors laud family values when they themselves out of choice, not necessity, screw around behind their partners' backs? Little hypocrisies grease the wheels of working life, and this will not change.

2. Publishing extracts of a letter of application is not only immoral, the Data Protection Act may have been breached. This was essentially private correspondence of a commercial nature. All employers I've ever dealt with are obligated to state that information a potential employee provides will be treated confidentially, and that is the case whether applications are solicited or not. I'm not a legal bod and I hope someone in the know will be able to clarify this point. Unlawful or not, it cuts against the professional standards one would expect of any employer and shows the Mail and The Spectator as spiteful, gutter publications that will stoop to every low in pursuit of a vendetta.

3. Unfortunately, his monstering will achieve the desired effect among some on the left. That Mehdi is a socially conservative Muslim is hardly news, seeing as he's already written about it. "He's not really one of us" scream the lefty types for whom politics is an identity choice, and debate is about denunciation, not persuasion. Meanwhile labour movement folk who prefer to think and act about bringing positive social change will ignore the shrill cries and continue to welcome Mehdi's muscular take down of the Tories, their press and their politics. If we're going to have to wait for everyone to be a perfectly rounded-out socialist being, we'll be stuck doing nothing for a long time.


Jim Jepps said...

Well said on all counts.

Anonymous said...

rubbish. apparently the Mail rejected Mehdis overtures due to his hardline social views being too "out there" for them.

Anonymous said...

Creeping for a job at the Mail haha.

ejh said...

Also, if Mr Steerpike is interested in issues of journalistic consistency, he might try following up his (rather tenuous) accusation of plagiarism against Laurie Penny with a piece on the weekly periodical that employsBritish journalism's most prodigious and notorious plagiarist.

Sarah AB said...

It was a pretty awful letter, and you are a little too kind to him, but I agree with you more than not.

Robert said...

It is perfectly possible to be a socialist and have socially conservative or reactionary views on issues such as gay rights or believe in the death penalty. Socialism and liberalism are not the same thing.

Speedy said...

I think people thought he was a hypocrite for lambasting the DM for holding the same views he has - being anti-gay, anti-women, etc.

If he had said "well, although i agree with the DM, it was out of order" would have been one thing - but it was the opportunistic playing to the gallery that turned the stomach.

This is man lauds Ayatollah Khomeni and a regime that regularly tortures, imprisons and executes people for free speech.

He's a parasite - preaching one thing to the Lefty media lovies who get a frisson from hanging out with a Muslim, and another to his chums.

It was good to call him out.

Linda V said...

Not anti gay and not anti women.

Speedy said...

It depends how you define it:

As the first commentator notes: "Imagine an article entitled "As a white man, I struggle with the presence of Asians in this country, but I oppose racist discrimination".

On women:

Not that I want to delve in to the whole abortion debate, however when you're dealing with someone who starts at Islamism (kufar/ cattle/ whoopee Iran) you've gotta wonder what he's saying in private (to the non-"useful idiots").

But hey, it's a living.

Speedy said...

Sorry, can I just underline saying someone who supports the Islamist regime in Iran, which regularly executes gays for being gay, women for "adultery" and embodies in law the second class status of women is not anti either is absurd.

Or is it cos those folks be different to us?

Robert said...

At least women can vote in Iran.

In Saudi Arabia they can't even drive. Doesn't stop Saudi Arabia being the West's number one ally in the Middle East.

I'm not defending Iran but the real hypocrites are those apologists for Western foreign policy which uses human rights as a weapon against regimes that are uncooperative while fully supporting client states that have far worse human rights abuses.

Sarah AB said...

I would say he argues against what he sees asa disproportionate or inconsistent scrutiny of Iran from a position of partiality - but does not defend it blindly.

Speedy said...

What's that got to do with Hasan? Since when was he a nation state?

Here's the thing that all those Press TV stars need to grasp - you can be a rancid hypocrite for supporting Iran AND for supporting Saudi Arabia.

I don't see what the problem is TBH.