Wednesday 10 May 2017

What's the Daily Mail stance on hospital parking charges?

When Jeremy Corbyn announced Labour's fully-costed plan to scrap NHS hospital parking charges the Daily Mail headline put the most negative spin possible on the story, using it more as an excuse to ram home criticism of Corbyn than to actually explain the policy.

The bullet points beneath the astoundingly biased headline were a laughable demonstration of the poor standards of journalism at the Daily Mail (the UK's newspaper of the year don't forget) with the third bullet point claiming that the Conservatives dismissed the proposal by claiming that Corbyn would be able to pay for it!

The Daily Mail stance on hospital parking charges

To get an idea of how hypocritical this biased anti-Corbyn slant on the story is, we only have to look back to July 2010 to see the Daily Mail's delirious reaction to the scrapping of hospital parking fees at Trafford General Hospital.

The Daily Mail headline described the move to scrap parking charges at Trafford General as a victory for patients, and the article went even further by describing it as "a major victory for the Daily Mail, which has been campaigning against hospital car park charges for years"!

If one hospital scrapping parking charges is a major victory for the Daily Mail and their campaign against parking charges, then surely a major political party adopting the policy as a manifesto pledge would have to go down as an awesome and unforgettable triumph? But somehow no.

Daily Mail readers

A look at the readers' reactions to the two stories tell a depressing story of how easily manipulated Daily Mail readers are.

In 2010 every single one of the top ten best rated comments about the Trafford General Hospital story were in opposition to hospital parking charges. Rusty from Surrey declared parking charges "immoral", Mags from West London said that they were "an abuse of power" and "a way of taxing the sick and their families" and Jane from Brigg said that the Chief Executive of Trafford Healthcare Trust "should get a medal the size of a bin lid" for scrapping the charges.

In 2016 the reaction to the Daily Mail's hit job on Jeremy Corbyn's policy of scrapping hospital parking charges was very different indeed.

The top rated comment described the policy as "a cheap attempt to woo the public", another called it "a barmy idea", and another Mail "reader" demonstrated that they hadn't even bothered to read the article they were commenting on by claiming that Labour "never say a word about how they are going to pay for it" even though the article explain more than once that the policy was to be paid for by increasing tax on private medical insurance. 391 other Mail readers demonstrated that they hadn't bothered to read the article either by upvoting this lamentable drivel.

When Pete from Liverpool responded to this "never say a word about how they are going to pay for it" accusation by correctly explaining that the Tories have borrowed far more in the last seven years than every single Labour government in history combined the Daily Mail readers downvoted his reply.

Daily Mail readers obviously don't like actual facts!

Several of the other top rated comments were also clear demonstrations that the contributor hadn't even bothered to read the article, including one who blabbered on about the policy being funded by "a magic money bag", another going on about "taxing martians" and another gibbering about "free beer".

A look at the most downrated comments on the hit-job article tells an incredible story. All of the worst rated comments were the ones criticising hospital parking charges as "unethical" and "disgusting" and praising the Labour Party for announcing "a well thought out and costed policy".

After the Daily Mail tells them to hate parking charges, all of the best rated comments take an anti-parking charges stance. But when the Daily Mail tells them scrapping hospital parking charges is a silly idea, all of the worst rated comments are the ones that take an anti-parking charges stance!

So that's the standard of political debate at the Daily Mail.

If the headline tells them that scrapping parking charges is a good thing, Mail readers react with absolute delight. If the headline tells them that scrapping parking charges is a bad thing, they spew a load of furious politically illiterate gibberish on demand!

What we can do

  • Boycott the Daily Mail (and other extreme-right hate comics masquerading as newspapers like The S*n and the Daily Express).

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