The right-wing press have unsurprisingly lined up behind the Tories against teachers. Once again, these reactionary rags are attempting to divide the working class. We must fight for a workers’ alternative to the billionaire press.
Teaching unions have recently come under vitriolic attack from the mouthpieces of the ruling class, and particularly the Daily Mail, for standing up to the government’s plans to reopen schools on 1 June.
The Mail ran a headline calling on union leaders to “let our teachers be heroes”, claiming that “militant unions” are standing in the way of teachers who are desperate to return to the classroom. Similar attacks have come from other right-wing papers including The Sun and The Telegraph.
The Tory government, with support from the capitalist press, is trying to paint the teaching unions as a roadblock, standing in the way of children’s education. With astonishing hypocrisy, they claim that the unions are damaging the prospects of disadvantaged children.
This is from a government that has cut per-pupil spending by 8% in the last decade, and seen child poverty rates increase to over 30% – all as a result of Tory austerity. The billionaire press have fully endorsed this.
This hypocrisy reveals the truth behind this onslaught against teachers – that it is not driven by concern over the needs of children, but by the need to reopen schools so that their parents can return to work and businesses can begin making profits again.
We must never forget that the Daily Mail, though it tries to disguise itself as a paper of the ‘ordinary working man’, has always been a rag of pure reaction.
Before the Second World War, the Mail were open supporters of fascism, famously publishing an article with the headline: “Hurrah for the Blackshirts.”
The writer of that article, and owner of the paper at the time, was Harold Hamsworth, 1st Viscount of Rothermere. He was also the great-grandfather of the current controlling shareholder, Jonathon Hamsworth, 4th Viscount of Rothermere.
Today, the Daily Mail does not openly support fascism. Some might think that the paper has therefore toned down its reactionary politics and become a ‘respectable’ publication.
However, even a cursory glance at the paper, and the headlines they’ve run with over the last few years, shows just how rabidly reactionary the Daily Mail remains.
There have been countless headlines whipping up hysterical claims that migrants are flooding into country, bringing crime and stealing jobs. Just a few examples of such headlines include “fury over plot to let 1.5 million Turks into Britain”; “Migrants spark housing crisis”; and “Calais: send in the army”.
Meanwhile, the Mail was one of the leading voices in the onslaught of vicious attacks against Jeremy Corbyn, accusing him of being everything under the sun: a “Czech spy”; a “Moscow stooge”; a “terrorist sympathiser”; and, of course, with staggering hypocrisy, an anti-Semite.
This latest attack on teachers should come as no surprise. The Mail has consistently come out against trade unions and workers taking strike action: complaining over the impacts of a postal workers strike around Christmas time last year; or trying to juxtapose the ‘luxurious’ lives of striking NHS junior doctors against the struggles of ordinary people.
The role of this gutter press is – and has always been – to try to divide the working class in the interests of the bosses and the billionaires.
The Mail, The Sun and The Daily Express are not papers of the people. They exist only to sow confusion through their racism, jingoism, and anti-labour movement vitriol. The working class must have absolutely no faith in the capitalist press. We must fight for a worker-run media.