Content warning: This article mentions atrocities committed against Jews in Nazi Germany that some readers my find distressing.
The Mail on Sunday‘s front page on Sunday 13 December was nothing short of hate-inciting. Not only did it completely misrepresent German chancellor Angela Merkel, but a quote from a government source was even worse. Because that appeared to intentionally incite hate against her country.
As of 11:30am on 13 December, Brexit negotiations remained stalled. Boris Johnson previously said the chances of a no-deal exit from the EU were “very, very likely”. The Guardian reported that there may be a last minute result. It noted that:
foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, pinned hopes for a breakthrough on a telephone call between the prime minister and European commission president.
The Guardian also said that:
Both sides have said they would be willing to talk for a few more days if a final breakthrough could be achieved
So the UK’s final Brexit deal still hangs in the balance. Enter the Mail on Sunday to make matters worse.
Enter the Mail on Sunday
Twitter account Tomorrow’s Papers Today tweeted its front page:
The article was little more than a puff piece for Johnson. It stated that he:
has seized personal control of Britain’s No Deal preparations as the deadline for historic talks with the EU expires today.
The move comes as Government sources put the chances of negotiations failing as high as 80 per cent, with… Merkel being blamed for the European Union’s hard line.
But crucially, its front page quote had nothing to do with the German chancellor. Because the Mail on Sunday was actually quoting a government “source”:
One source said that she was ‘determined to make Britain crawl across broken glass’ rather than compromise
Read the headline, though, and you’d be forgiven for thinking Merkel had said these words herself. But given Germany’s history, that would be unlikely.
As Samuel West tweeted, the country has a “history with broken glass”:
As you know, Germany has a history with broken glass, so this seemed like an odd thing for a German politician to say. Read on, and you discover that this baseless quote is an anonymous one from a UK ‘source’.#MailOnSunday, your headline is xenophobic nonsense. Please stop it pic.twitter.com/nghoTPefkM
— Samuel West (@exitthelemming) December 13, 2020
West is referring to the Kristallnacht. Michael Berenbaum wrote for Britannica that it translates to “Crystal Night”, and is also called “Night of Broken Glass”. It refers to the:
November Pogroms, the night of November 9–10, 1938, when German Nazis attacked Jewish persons and property. The name Kristallnacht refers ironically to the litter of broken glass left in the streets after these pogroms. The violence continued during the day of November 10
Britannica said that Nazis killed 91 Jewish people; attacked around 1,000 synagogues and “ransacked and looted” about 7,500 Jewish businesses. And police arrested around 30,000 Jewish men.
Either the UK government source knows very little about history, or they do and were being inflammatory with their broken glass comment. The Mail on Sunday then gave them a helping hand.
As GIBBON summed up:
— 🏆GIBBON🏆 (@pdb1980) December 13, 2020
Xenophobic trash is nothing new from the Mail on Sunday. But at such a critical point in Britain’s relationship with the EU, this new low is about as abhorrent as it gets. And the same applies to the disastrous UK government.
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?