BBC SNEER AT HEALTH TEACHING
In a Ministry of Health talk broadcast from 2LO… Professor Major Greenwood is reported to have made some disparaging and sneering remarks about advice given to the public on health matters by voluntary societies.
On behalf of the New Health Society, by far the most active organisation for health education in the country, I protest most strongly against a lecturer under official auspices using a privileged occasion for such a purpose.
The offence is rendered all the worse from the fact that we are debarred from making any report from 2LO. In spite of repeated efforts to secure this opportunity for assisting in giving valuable information to the public…we have been prevented from availing ourselves of it by the very Ministry which thus permits a thinly veiled attack to be made upon us.
The public will know how to judge such detraction of a society which is now successfully reaching every part of the country with its health propaganda'.
Rancid anti-BBC agenda? Check
Racist crank pressure group? Check
Insane health claims? You bet.
OK, the language may have alerted you to the twist. This article is from page 8 of the Daily Mail on February 4th, 1928. The New Health Society was 'social Darwinist' (i.e. it opposed all forms of public health, welfare, state aid etc. because such things interfere with the 'survival of the fittest' (which they massively misunderstood). It also campaigned on 'men's dress reform', i.e. looser clothes for health purposes and
saw the bowels as central to health and considered constipation the root cause of many ills of civilisation.
2LO was the call-sign for a radio station founded in the early 1920s and taken over by the BBC by the time Arbuthnot wrote his letter.
But for all intents and purposes, this article - and the rest of the edition - could be printed in the Daily Mail today, with very little alteration. It's a mix of rancid reaction, racism, celebrity gossip ('V.C. Officer Sues Hospital for Negligently Allowing Wife To Throw Herself Out of Window'), sensationalised crime ('3-Finger Jack Super-Forger Sentenced') and snobbery ('The Hostess's Secret, by the Hon. Mrs. Fitzroy Stewart').
Most pleasingly, Mr. Horatio Bottomley - from the comfort of his prison cell - is 'bringing a libel action against the News of the World.
Quite a lot of the rest of the pages are thinly-disguised advertisements for Daily Mail insurance schemes (the going rate for dead motor-cyclists is £250). Mr. Ghandi isn't much liked down at the Mail:
Footballers don't seem to have changed much either: Albert Collins, of Millwall Football Club, denies adultery with Bertha Lukehurst.
In other hot news, the revolting congregation of St. Cuthbert's in Darwen, Lancashire, are pleased that the Morning Prayer will be available at 10.45, but still object to the (presumably disgracefully neo-Catholic) sung mass still being offered. Also in Darwen (I've been there: it's not a bustling metropolis), comes news that the local Liberal MP is resigning, for very honest reasons: it is 'quite impossible to follow politics and business'! Tell that to Nick Clegg!
Demand for Daily Mail 'No Soviet Petrol Used Here' is apparently rising: funny that its columnists still fulminate against dependence on Russian gas imports!
Of course, no issue of the Daily Mail is complete without a good deal of woman-hating. And here we are: 'inconstant' and 'unstable' Woman as enemy of trade and Empire, and woman student as threat to standards:
I'd love to link to all this, but I've only got it on paper. After going to a wedding on Saturday, I stayed with my friend John. He ripped up a nasty lino floor-covering in his new house, and found acres of this disgusting rag underneath.