Yes, the Daily Mail has too many typos and stopped displaying correctly on Firefox last week—and somehow nobody in charge of captions recognized impossible-to-miss future Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan in a recent feature about old Derek Ridgers photos.
I can forgive all that, and even overlook its coverage (“uncoverage”?) of non-“celebrities” in its “sidebar of shame,” because DM still uses words like “yobs”; complains about Muslims, gypsies, and welfare bums; and carries Peter Hitchens—here he is on how he deals with beggars—although I suspect that’s only because they are just too terrified to fire him.
The Daily Mail is a traditional British tabloid with one difference: It never runs those pleasingly punny headlines the English “red tops” are famous for—“Elton Takes David Up the Aisle” and all that. Such wordplay is no doubt deemed bad for Google, and the Daily Mail’s international traffic is notoriously gargantuan.
Just imagine the fun some old-time Fleet Street hand would have had with this story:
European leaders agree to relax VAT rules to let Britain scrap the tampon tax.
Really? Would it have killed the subeditor to at least type “pull the plug on” instead?
(But congrats to whoever picked that accompanying photo of David Cameron looking like he’s just realized he’s picked the wrong day to wear white pants.)
Background: British women have to pay a 5 percent value-added tax (VAT) on “sanitary products,” and Cameron’s government can only abolish it if they first grovel before the EU.
The Mail calls the Brussels meeting “humiliating” and “embarrassing”—now we’re getting somewhere!—but Chancellor George Osborne insists that, somehow, the subsequent compromise “showed the value of being a ‘powerful, confident voice’ in the EU.” (No word on whether there was any swimming or horseback riding before or after the meeting.)
Between the “tampon tax,” those regulations on “bent bananas,” and the ruling (after “a three year investigation,” no less) that bottled water could no longer claim to prevent dehydration, is it any wonder so many Brits are sick of Brussels pulling the strings?
At issue, as it were, is the designation of sanitary products as “non-essential luxury” items, while certain boats and helicopters, for example, are not. Before you ladies scream, “MEN!!!” note that in England, toilet paper (!) and toothpaste (okay, well…) are also categorized as “luxuries,” and that this petition to Parliament—
We need VAT from Toilet Paper and Toothpaste removed. It is not a luxury and is a necessity for the everyday man. To put this into perspective, even a newspaper does not attract VAT or even these posh coffee capsules, these are deemed as being non luxurious essentials!
Please sign to get this discussed, as we all deserve fresh breath and clean bottoms.
—only got four signatures.
That “luxury” bit isn’t peculiar to England. Feminine hygiene products were also so categorized in Canada until those evil, woman-hating Conservatives abolished the tampon tax last summer. Except, while that tax is gone, the tariff remains, as this poor man tries to explain. (Bonus points for squeezing “red tape” and “clean up” in there, Mike Moffat of the Ivey Business School. Thanks for playing!)
An American woman at ThinkProgress points to Canada as an example for her nation to follow.
(Get used to four more years of that, by the way. Here is an actual photo of two men on their knees in a New York deli, begging a visiting Justin Trudeau to run for president. Even VICE called this video not just “sad,” but “sad, sad.”)
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