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This week I'm drinking crazy water and reading a load of pompous tosh on the train

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14.01.2018

Stop press!

PERHAPS in response to the bad PR they've been getting over the Christmas period (see last week's diary, or just try going somewhere by rail this winter) Virgin Trains have moved into crowd-pleasing mode and decided to generate some good feeling amongst right-minded commuters – by effectively banning the Daily Mail.

The company has made the decision not to stock the paper for sale on its trains after concerns raised by staff about the Mail's stance on issues such as immigration, unemployment and LGBTQ rights.

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“We've decided that this paper is not compatible with the VT brand and our beliefs,” said an internal staff memo. “This won't suit all of our customers or all of our people – it's certain to draw some criticism. But we've listened to many colleagues over the last few months, and we feel that this is the right move to take.”

Not everyone agrees and, it's fair to say, there has been some criticism. Mostly from, or generated by, the Daily Mail, which took time out from publishing positive portraits of migrants and job-seekers, and praising diversity of all sorts (no, not really) to send columnist and consultant editor Andrew Pierce into battle on BBC Radio 4's PM programme. Ranged against him was journalist and former Labour Party communications director Lance Price, while puckish presenter Eddie Mair took the role of referee.

It was quite a spat. Price called out the Mail for failing to uphold the “British” values of decency, equality and fairness and said that if he worked for Virgin Trains he would be one of those saying he found it to be often racist and homophobic. Pierce, who is gay and in a civil partnership though opposed to gay marriage, said he wouldn't work for a newspaper that didn't........

© Herald Scotland