The Trouble With This Country Is The Daily Mail

Posted on: 09 September 2016 by Olderiswiser Editorial

This Intelligence Squared debate questions whether the polarising Daily Mail is at the root of all the country's ills

Daily Mail

BBC economics editor Kamal Ahmed chairs this Intelligence Squared debate in which the Reverend Richard Coles and Zoe Williams argue in favour of a motion asserting that The Trouble With This Country is the Daily Mail. Columnist and author Peter Oborne and Roger Alton, former editor of The Independent, take the stage to oppose the motion.

The Mail seems to relish the polarising nature of its reporting and leader columns; its robustly confrontational stance on immigration, same-sex relationships, Brussels and the welfare state strikes a chord with millions of Britons according to its management.

But is 'dog whistle' sensationalism around emotive issues a responsible form of journalism? In this debate, our panellists argue for and against before members of the audience have their say.

Speaking for the motion

Rev. Richard Coles

Presenter of the Radio 4 show Saturday Live. He is a parish priest and, as a former member of the Communards, is the only vicar in the UK to have had a number one hit. He was one of the inspirations for the BBC hit comedy Rev, and is the author of Fathomless Riches: Or How I Went From Pop to Pulpit.

Zoe Williams

Regular columnist for the Guardian and New Statesman, for which she writes political commentary, interviews and reviews.

Speaking against the motion

Roger Alton

Former editor of The Independent and The Observer and executive editor of The Times. He writes a regular sports column for the Spectator.

Peter Oborne

Political columnist on the Daily Mail, associate editor of The Spectator and former chief political commentator of the Daily Telegraph. His books include The Rise of Political Lying and The Triumph of the Political Class.

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