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Mail menopause

I know that some people on my friendslist were baffled and upset by the recent article in the Mail claiming that depression doesn’t exist. This item from the most recent Private Eye may prove illuminating:
Stung by Allison Pearson’s vengeful final column for the Daily Mail, in which she suggested that working for the elderly tyrant was simply too depressing, the editor vowed revenge. He demanded that his features desk find a “big name” to write about why depression was nothing but a trendy disease used as an excuse by shirkers for avoiding work. Much to his fury, no-one was prepared to put their name to such a piece.

In the end Dacre had to turn to Janet Street-Porter, who duly produced a feature attacking not only the departed Pearson but also the Mail’s Liz Jones. Pearson went ballistic when she saw it, describing Street-Porter as “that fucking bitch” but missing the point that the piece was Dacre’s creation. He always takes a close personal interest in the so-called “Saturday Essay”, which is usually so dire no-one reads it. This time he spent ages amending Street-Porter’s illiterate ramblings before announcing to the features desk that now, thanks to his efforts, he “agreed with every word of it”.
The combination of these two mighty literary titans is irresistible, as demonstrated by the article’s zingy opener:
There's a big black cloud hanging over parts of the UK, and it's not going away. Not volcanic ash - but depression.
Journalism is the real winner here.

I’d be intrigued to know whether this claim by Andy “silhouette” McNab had a similar gestation:
One of Britain's best-known soldiers has dismissed post-traumatic stress disorder among the armed forces as little more than an excuse for recruits to leave the service early.

Andy McNab, the former SAS soldier now turned best-selling author, said servicemen and women “were very resilient” and that the perception that significant numbers of them suffered PTSD was wrong.
He might not seem to be the best person to question so many soldiers’ stories when so many of his comrades have openly challenged his own well-remunerated versions of real-life events, but I’m sure he had his reasons. Maybe Janet Street-Porter is his ghostwriter.

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