We’ve been struggling a bit recently to find a decent newspaper to read. DH has always been a Guardian reader and I come from a Guardian reading household. My parents even had a letter published in this newspaper many years ago in response to Enoch Powell’s infamous “rivers of blood” speech. We also have some loyalty to the rag as Mancs in exile. The paper was once upon a time the “Manchester Guardian”, it had a proud tradition of independence, it had supported Catholic emancipation and up North, seemed to be the cleric’s paper of choice.
The journalistic standards in the Guardian have certainly slipped since the days when thoroughly decent men like the late Hugo Young wrote for it. We now only get the rag on Saturdays and get the Telegraph through the week. We found the relentless Catholic bashing in the Guardian indefensible, it just displays willful ignorance on the part of the journalists involved.
This is not a good time to judge if the Telegraph is any better. Political bias is clouding everything and quite frankly I so thoroughly disapprove of “personality-cult politics”, just opening a paper seems to send me hypo.
For me there are only two really important sections in a newspaper, firstly the obituaries (which Sherlock Holmes style, I always read first) and secondly the letters page. I’m worried how at home I feel in the letter’s page of the Telegraph, amongst the analogue radio boffins, retired colonels and old school masters. Does this say something about me? Perhaps I belong in a world that smells of tweed, pipe smoke, whiskey and warm valves? Or is it just that such a world offers some comfort and forms a bulwark against the onslaught of meaningless images of politicians’ wives, men in ties and nearly naked celebrities?
I was going to write a bit about something I read in today’s Guardian that nearly curdled my porridge and my brain. It involved someone who felt able to justify a distrust in Distributism because he claimed that Chesterton and Belloc were delusional in their defence of pre-reformation society, were supporters of Mussolini, oh and they belonged to the same group as Eric Gill so they must be perverts too.
On the positive side, all this journalistic tripe is making the pile of marking I have to wade through look more appealing.