From the June 1978 issue of the Socialist Standard
Under the heading “Britain’s Biggest Daily Sale” the Daily Mirror recently told us something important. Well, important enough to run to 3 pages on Wednesday 8 March and 2 pages on Thursday 9 March. Now that’s important and no mistake.
Who could resist it? I mean, a question like “Why Has This Man Captured A Princess’s Heart?”
Forget the heart, you sneer (for after all it is the Wednesday tea-break in the Heart Attack Machine Factory). How about her income? Now there is something worth capturing. Princess Margaret has a £50,000 annual income. Having squandered your 7p on the Daily Mirror you want the goods. “Why Has This Man Captured A Princess’s Heart?” You want a short, easy, fool-proof method.
Well it seems a distinct advantage, if you are in the Princess heart capturing business, for your old man to be well-heeled. We are informed by the biggest daily selling newspaper “Roddy’s brother Dai, older by 18 months, is fascinated by sport and hunting. Even these days, he will race home to the family’s 2,000 acre estate near Abergavenny, Gwent and hunt with unashamed zeal much to his father's delight”. Roddy wasn’t interested: "I am not particularly interested in killing small animals.”
So there’s a clue. Be a sort of gentle guy. Oh, and by the way, make sure your old man has 2,000 acres. Dustmen don’t capture Princess’s hearts.
O.K., you say, the guy isn’t a dustman so what does he work at? The biggest selling daily is ready to inform you. After all, knowledge is power.
The Daily Mirror is a little vague on this one though: “. . . a fair haired young landscape gardener (and would-be pop singer). . .”
The would-be pop singer is easy. Who isn’t? The Saturday nights of Clapham and Maryhill ring to the bath-room echo of plenty of potential Jaggers and Bowies. Gardener? No sweat there either. Their income is as poor as yours.
So what’s the Princess heart-winning ingredient? Let’s take a look at big brother—yes, the fox-hunting one. Whatever else you could say about Roddy Llewellyn’s occupation, his brother could never be accused of gardening.
Vagueness creeps over the biggest selling newspaper again. “Dai has done a variety of jobs. From the travel business (“I wore a bowler and stiff collar in those days”) to his present endeavours which involve boosting British goods in the US”.
But if they are vague on the work-life of the brothers they describe as “Two of Britain’s most intriguing bachelors” they are quite specific on the love-life. How do you think they became Britain’s top-selling newspaper?
They tell of Dai and one of his mates pulling a couple of “very English, very debby girls” in a nightclub of course. Dinner and on to another club. He then hired “a famous Latin-American singing group” to accompany them to Annabels and the Clermont Club. . . . and then on to a friend’s house.
And so to bed. In this case “eventually Dai and his companion ended up making love to the two girls side by side on a huge bed. while the group stood round serenading them—stark naked.”
To all dustmen, engineers, school teachers, labourers and other ungrateful workers who may be reading this—a word of warning.
If you want to find out how a section of society can lead this sort of life-style don’t read the Daily Mirror.
Oh, sure, they’ll give you details of Roddy’s visits to Barbados, Istanbul and Acapulco. You’ll get the details of "Dai’s 4 or 5 cocktail parties in a night...”
But to find out why you live the dull repetitive life you do; while Dai can say “My motivation is simple. Eat, drink and be merry—I genuinely don’t care what people think. I believe I should experience everything in life that is possible”—don’t look to the top selling newspaper.
Better take out a subscription to one of Britain’s lowest selling newspapers—The Socialist Standard.
For only in this newspaper will you read that the Dais and Roddys of this world lead their jet-set lifestyle only because you—the useful members of society —provide the wealth that makes it possible. Dai’s income comes from your endeavours. The wealth you produce is more than you get back in the form of a wage or a salary. The surplus you produce makes it possible for these parasites to live the way they do.
All this is bad enough, but the Daily Mirror going on about how Princess Margaret refers to her parasite boyfriend as “my darling angel” and similar gushing nonsense, is to add insult to injury.
The one piece of information to emerge out of the whole silly story is the item . . . "He’ll (Dai that is) eventually take her home, indulge in a bit of “boffing” (current upper class slang for you know what) and drive her home.”
Boffing. Now there’s a new one.
Next time the gaffer tells me that I'm not working hard enough. I can reply “Away and boff yourself.”
Let’s hope he doesn’t read the Daily Mirror.