The Daily Mail's killer source -

The Daily Mail’s killer source

The Daily Mail‘s rigourous journalistic standards are applied to Khadir’s contentious comments on the royal visit


The Daily Mail is all a-titter about Amir Khadir’s bon mots about the impending visit of Prince Willy and bonnie Kate to Quebec. It’s a tabloidy piece that’s cute in a race-baiting sort of way—they make sure to mention Khadir is ‘Iranian born’ in the headline—but my favourite part is how, to illustrate the complicated politics that play out between Quebec and the rest of the country, the paper combed the pages of the National Post website for the mother of all knowledgable sources: the anonymous commenter.

‘l’ll be ready to welcome them to Calgary. As for Quebec, the less said the better with those constant leeches on the rest of Canada.’

What? Lorne Gunter wasn’t available?

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The Daily Mail’s killer source

  1. Daily Mail: “A Quebec politician has sparked fury after referring to Royal newlyweds Kate and William as ‘parasites’.

    Amir Khadir, who was born in Tehran and is now leader of the tiny left-wing party Quebec solidaire, branded the couple’s upcoming visit a ‘waste of public money’. The political leader is so against the Royal visit that he said he may attend planned protests during over their nine-day tour to Canada.

    His comments in an interview with the Journal de Québec newspaper have outraged the Quebec government, who have demanded an apology from the separatist.

    Canadian supporters of the young Royal couple left outraged messages about the politician’s attack.

    On the website for Canada’s National Post, one comment read: ‘l’ll be ready to welcome them to Calgary. As for Quebec, the less said the better with those constant leeches on the rest of Canada.’

    Link to Daily Mail article too much for Maclean’s liberal readers?

    Don’t understand your problem with knowledgeable source – are non-expert Canadians incapable of having thoughts on what they think of Royal visit or Khadir? Would you be making snarky comments if anon comment was from CBC website about how we all love Quebecers?

    Khadir seems very unpleasant person. I think Khadir is as much a parasite, or waste of money, as our future King and Queen are and our Katie is much easier on the eye than Khadir, so she is better value for money. 

    Probably mentioned Khadir was Iranian because they are nutters when it comes to UK and its monarchy.

    Guardian, Dec 31 2009 – 

    “Iranian conspiracy theories are above all centred on the British, and an obsession with a pervasive, quasi-omnipotent British power, a siasat-e engelis, dates back at least to the start of the 20th century. 

    This obsession reached the very highest levels: Reza Shah, Iran’s first Pahlavi monarch, suspected his own son of working as a British agent. In turn, when that son Muhammad Reza became shah he blamed the British for virtually every international incident, according to the diaries of Asadollah Alam, his confidant and minister of court. Muhammad Reza was even convinced that Muhammad Mosaddeq, leader of the anti-British oil nationalisation movement, was a British employee.

    Conspiracy theories persist under the republic: lift up Khomeini’s beard – so the popular joke goes – and you’ll find it stamped “Made in England”.

    • I’m impressed that you are quoting from the Guardian. You are right that the Iranian regime is known to have a bee in its bonnet regarding the British, something that dates back  to the time of Reza Shah and the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company and is probably not helped today by the excellence of the BBC’s Persian service.

      Still, I don’t think many Brits or more specifically Daily Mail readers know much about this. I suspect that mentioning Khadir’s place of birth was (as suggested in the post) subtle racism.

      BTW the far cruder statements about the British Royal Family can be found in the Guardian’s own comment sections on pretty much any day of the week.

      • The Daily Mail trashes the royals pretty much on a daily basis, so they needn’t talk. LOL

        • Obviously, it’s different when the Mail does it. It’s for circulation.

          • And it works.  They got tremendous mileage out of Beatrice’s hat. LOL

          • Well you must admit, the hat was “mileage worthy”.

          • Yeah, she got £81,100,01 for it on ebay.

          • Excellent!  It really is a piece of art.  It just wasn’t that attractive on her head.

      • ” …. I don’t think many Brits or more specifically Daily Mail readers know much about this. I suspect that mentioning Khadir’s place of birth was (as suggested in the post) subtle racism.”

        Other than your belief that everyone who is not like you is racist, what do you base your opinion on? And while you aren’t racist, aren’t you being rather xenophobic?

        I lived in UK for many years and they know all about the Iranians and their crazy conspiracy theories. It is not a secret, the Brits think it is funny and mock them because Iranians believe Queen controls world. 

        And the only reason I choose Guardian article is because of liberals who decide whether something is true or not depends on what paper it appears in.

        • SOME Iranians believe in conspiracy theories, just like SOME Canadians and SOME Americans do.

          • Asia Times, June 2007 – 

            “”The British have a bad historical record here, and there is so much contempt against them for their role in supporting dictatorships in this country in the past. They are still blamed very strongly by many people for every vice, even for allegedly bringing the clerics to power in Iran,” he said. 

            The June 14 birthday celebrations for Queen Elizabeth by the British Embassy drew protests from angry students. Some 50 students demanded that the ambassador be expelled and the embassy be closed. They made it clear they were only awaiting a signal from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to take over the “den of the old fox”, as the British Embassy is often called by anti-British Iranians.”


            Ordinarily I would agree OriginalEmily1 but not this case. Maybe not all Iranians but it is much more than some.

            It is part of their culture, now. Brits are Iranian’s bogeyman.

          • Oh puleeze….after so many years of colonialism both the UK and the US are hated there. That’s hardly crazy conspiracy theory or ‘part of their culture’.

            Many countries feel the same way about imperialists.

          • “Guardian, Dec 31 2009 – 

            “Iranian conspiracy theories are above all centred on the British, and an obsession with a pervasive, quasi-omnipotent British power, a siasat-e engelis, dates back at least to the start of the 20th century.”
            How many centuries before it becomes part of their culture?

          • It’s part of the ‘ White Man’s Burden’ the Brits didn’t think about at the time. People get surprisingly nasty about being called ‘savages’ who need to be ‘civilized’, you know. Colonialism has left a bitter legacy in many countries…and the Brits are now aware it’s come back to bite them.

            Do you think the Chinese or Indians have any better opinion of the Brits?  Or numerous countries in Africa?

            The bitter fruit of Empire.

          • “Do you think the Chinese or Indians have any better opinion of the Brits?”

            I do, yes. 

            Thanks for laugh, Colbert Report.

            Daily Telegraph, June 2011 – “After four years as Israel’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, I am leaving to represent my country at the UN ….. But the venomous tirades of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, its president, also include regular mentions of “criminal Britain”, proof that you must be doing something right.” 

            The Hindu – May 2011 – “Britain would raise its diplomatic profile in India and China as part of its drive to strengthen relations with “the world’s two emerging superpowers,” its Foreign Secretary William Hague announced on Wednesday.

            “So we will significantly increase our presence in India and China, the world’s two emerging superpowers. We will strengthen our frontline staff in China by up to 50 officials and in India by 30, working to transform Britain’s relationship in their fastest growing cities and regions,” he told MPs.”

          • The UK’s attempt to ‘strengthen relations’ has nothing to do with how the Chinese or the Indians view the Brits.

          • They feel the same way towards the Americans, for the same reasons.

        • I’m British (and Canadian too). 

          I’ve no memory of ever hearing among British family, friends or colleagues, a discussion regarding the Iranian perception of the British Monarchy, though I have however read of it in the Guardian (and elsewhere). 

          Maybe I’m wrong, I don’t get out much, but I do not think it very common knowledge (in the UK) that the Iranian regime is constantly aware of the (imaginary) hand of British interference. I am thus unconvinced that mention of Khadir’s birthplace in the Mail was an allusion to this supposedly common knowledge. 

           I did not actually accuse “everyone who is not like me” of being a racist, but think it quite possible that the writer/editor of the piece mentioned Tehran to highlight or signal the untrustworthiness of Khadir (this together with his political affiliation). I think I might have better described its use as a “subtle appeal to racism”. 

          BTW, a quick search of both the Mail’s and the Guardian’s website links to 3007 stories in The Mail (since 1997) and 3336 (since Jan 2010) in The Guardian containing the word “Iran”. I am inclined to think that The Guardian’s coverage of Iran (and international news stories in general) is superior to the Mail’s (though obviously they have some good journalists). This doesn’t guarantee the accuracy or truth of stories that appear in Guardian (or imply the Mail is unreliable) but might suggest why liberals (and even conservatives) should consider the Guardian a “newspaper of note”.

          • “I am inclined to think The Guardian’s coverage  ….”

            “I think I might have better described its use as a “subtle appeal to racism””

            Why? Based on what other than your opinion?

            I think Guardian is mostly twaddle that rots people’s brains (they have a great football section tho). I only put it here because I know most Maclean’s readers will think it is brilliant.

            Daily Telegraph story I read today about Khadir also mentioned he was Iranian born. Should conservatives who read Daily Telegraph think Guardian paper of note? 

            I can’t tell if you lived in UK or not. I don’t claim the Brits sit around having discussions about Iranian regime but a couple of times a year an Iranian story will appear tv or paper and people will say, “those crazy Iranians … they are at it again!”. 

            If you have Brit relatives, ask them. Honestly, I would be shocked if your UK relations are unaware. 

            Daily Telegraph: 

            “Amir Khadir, an Iranian-born member of the left-leaning Quebec Solidaire party described monarchy as “a parasitic system that was inherited from ancient times”.

          • Ok regarding The Mail’s mention of Tehran, perhaps I’m wrong. 
            Perhaps Brits do know that conspiracy theories regarding Britain are common in Iran. 

            They would read the words “born in Iran” and think to themselves… 

            “Oh yes, I see, an Iranian. Oh they’re all anti-British conspiracy theorists!. Isn’t that just typical.”

            Wouldn’t that, at the limit, also be a bit racist or xenophobic? 

            Of course, the newspaper might just have mentioned his place of birth because it was, after all his place of birth.They might also have mentioned that he is a medical doctor but they chose not to. Why? 


            I lived 27 years in the UK but immigrated to Canada in the nineties. I regularly return home to visit family (with whom I am in daily contact) and I read British media (including the Telegraph) daily.

            I think Telegraph readers would recognize the Guardian as a serious newspaper “of note”. I vaguely remember Theodore Dalrymple, (a conservative writer I  admire) acknowledging this point, even while critizing the paper’s “world-view”.
            I’ll ask my sister about conspiracy theories and get back to you. (I’ll try not to ask and leading questions.) Perhaps we have just moved in different circles.


          • “Perhaps we have just moved in different circles.”

            I was thinking that myself. I wonder if this is politically correct thing – Persia notorious for conspiracy theories for long time, conspiracy theories just might have originated in Persia. 

            “Conspiracy theories in Persia are a complex set of beliefs attributing the course of Persian history and politics to the machinations of hostile foreign powers and secret organizations. 

            Particularly since the beginning of the 20th century, Persians from all walks of life and all ideological orientations have relied on conspiracy theories as a basic mode of understanding politics and history. 

            The fact that the great powers have in fact intervened covertly in Persian affairs has led ordinary people, political leaders, even the rulers themselves to interpret their history in terms of elaborate and devious conspiracies.”


            “I lived 27 years in the UK … ”

            I born/raised in Canada but lived in UK on/off for decade after I graduated university. Every time I told Brit I was from Can, they would always ask me what I was doing in UK. Could not understand why I would want to live in UK – have family there and love history. 

            Are you glad you emigrated?

          • Conspiracy theory exists because much of history involved conspiracies.

          • Best description of newspapers from Yes, Prime Minister:

            The Daily Mirror is read by people who think they run the country;

            The Guardian is read by people who think they ought to run the country;

            The Times is read by the people who actually do run the country;

            The Daily Mail is read by the wives of the people who run the country;

            The Financial Times is read by people who own the country;

            The Morning Star is read by people who think the country ought to be run by another country;

            The Daily Telegraph is read by people who think it is.

            And Sun readers don’t care who runs the country, as long as she’s got big tits.

        • If Brits know all about “the Iranians and their crazy conspiracy theories”.Why did the Guardian feel it necessary to explain about this to their readers in the first quote you cited? 

  2. John Manley…aka ‘Beaker’….suggested we abolish the monarchy right while the Queen was in the country.

    Other than a few comments about bad manners, nobody paid attention. He wasn’t villified like Khadir.

    • True, but Manley never called the Queen a parasite on society.

      • Same idea.

        Lot’s of  Brits call her that.

        • If you say so, but it would just go to prove that if you know of lots of Brits politicians who call the Queen a parasite of society it’s because you’ve heard of it somewhere in the news. The press does pay attention when politicians call the royals parasite, whoever they are.

          • There’s a whole republican movement in the UK, has been for years. They promised to step up the attacks when the queen mum died, and they’ve stuck to it

            The whole ‘fairy tale’ wedding and trip to Canada are an attempt to counteract that.

  3. The Daily Mail …. “tabloidy” … surely not.

  4. ‘l’ll be ready to welcome them to Calgary. As for Quebec, the less said the better with those constant leeches on the rest of Canada.’

    MP:  I wonder if it’s occcurred to you just how ironic it is that they chose this anonymous opinion, which is none the less pretty representative of the vast majority of the views of Post commentators re: Quebec? Particularly when you consider it’s pretty much the exact language used by [ leeches on British society] a good many rednecked anti monarchists in the UK. For an ex pat Brit like myself, it’s pretty funny – especially so when consider the irony is almost certainly lost on all parties mentioned; The Mail, The Post and its anonymous commentator.I guess rednecks are the same all over the world,…blissfully ignorant and mostly proud of it.

    • What exactly is your definition of redneck?

    • Interesting how you twist a story about anti-British sentiment coming from an Iranian Quebecer into a bland insult towards “rednecks”.  I don’t think you have the slightest idea what the term “redneck” means, you seem to have invented your own definition.

      • What’s interesting is how you interpret pretty much any opinion you don’t like as twisting something or other, or not having the slightestest idea what something or other means. I’ve lived and worked among rednecks pretty much my whole life…don’t need any pointers from you.
        Since you don’t get my point: it’s mildly amusing that a anonymous  post commenter is expressing a commonly held negative opinion about Quebec, using pretty much the same language a typical opinionated anti- monarchist Brit would use to describe their opinion of the Royals. The casual racism of the Mail and the lazy generalizations of the post guy seem to have the same target – Quebec.

        • I don’t think you actually have a point.  If you are claiming the language is similar, please elaborate, because the commenter used only a single friggin’ sentence. Which word in that sentence is shared by those who hate Royals and those who hate Quebecers, and nobody else?

          Still waiting for your definition of rednecks.  You say you’ve lived and worked among them without saying what it means. Show us you have the balls to back up your insults.

  5. The royal family is a symbol of Canada’s history, the country being a former dominion of the British empire.

    I think it’s only fair to point out that an Irianian born individual might not share the common fondness for the shared heritage of many native born Canadians, even some of these Canadians born in Quebec.  However, it seems ironic that someone who benefited personally from the open arms of Canada’s immigration policy, Khadir, would mock some of the historical and political precursors to that policy, our common British/French/European heritage of individual rights and freedoms.

    In Quebec, the only culture that matters is the French culture and history.  All others don’t count and must be mocked and derided – especially Albertans such as Lorne Gunter.  It is Khadir that started this senseless quarrel, yet Patriquin feels the need to defend Khadir and throw aspersions at Lorne Gunter.

    As for Patriquin’s “complicated politics that play out between Quebec and the rest of the country”, perhaps it’s worth noting that there is more to Canada than just those politics.  Canada does have a historical connection to the royal family after all, and the Queen remains, to this very day, the head of state of Canada.  There is some compicated politics in the UK, there is some complicated politics in the history of Canada being a dominion of the British crown, and there is a lot of complicated politics everywhere.

    But according to Patriquin, God forbid that people fail to show sufficient knowledge and deference towards the complicated politics of Quebec. Maybe Quebecers might show a little respect for others’ politics, history and traditions for once.

    • Well don’t look at me. I’d be quite happy to dump the feudal institution of the monarchy, and I’m neither Quebecois nor Iranian.

  6. I am going to suggest that perhaps The Guardian described Mr. Khadir’s ethnic’s origins because they thought people would see his name and wonder about his background and  how long he has lived in Canada.  This background information is usually given in a news article.  Further, I am going to suggest that when people say we should get rid of the monarchy, they refer to the institution.  They do not target specific members of the monarchy and demean them by calling them nasty names.  William was born into his position.  He did not aspire to it.  He serves in the British military, as does his brother.  Mr. Khadir does not even want to be a citizen of the country that he immigrated to.  If he gets his wish and Quebec separates, he won’t have to concern himself with what role the monarchy plays in Canada.

  7. Well they could have asked you Martin – you certainly qualify as a know-it-all.

  8. JMHO but the UK papers were merely discounting Khadir’s statement by pointing out he is not representive of the majority of Canadians and used the annonymous comment from the NP validated that.

    As far as Khadir, he is quite a puzzle.  I’ll ask my Iranian neighbours about these British/Iranian conspiracy theories – never heard of them before.  As I recall France had more influence on Iran while they were busy colonizing in the Ottoman Empire.  French was the language used in secular education.   Here in my Iranian ‘hood’ they say “merci” rather than “mamnoon”.

    “The flamboyant Khadir got himself elected in just about the only riding he could, Montreal’s Mercier riding which is arguably the most pro-sovereignist and militant riding in Quebec.   Since then, he has been working quite successfully to raise his profile and popularity by purporting to stand up to the ‘big guys’ and opposing just about anything the Quebec, Canadian or American government does or says.Ever since he symbolically threw a shoe at a photo of President George Bush, at a rally in front of the U.S. consulate in Montreal, his popularity has skyrocketed. LINK”

    “Born in Teheran, Iran, Dr. Khadir immigrated to Québec with his parents at the age of 10.  He is a practicing physician at Le Gardeur Hospital and the co-spokesperson of Québec Solidaire, a small progressive party born of the left wing of the Parti québécois, the lukewarm remains of the Québec NDP and the typical rainbow coalition of hippies, communists, university professors, vegans and failed artists who, in other countries, support Ralph Nader and Jack Layton.
    Oh, and he might also be a slightly nutty conspiracy theorist and, according to columnist Pierre Foglia, the Northern Hemisphere’s most far left politician.”

    • “I’ll ask my Iranian neighbours about these British/Iranian conspiracy theories … ”

      I first learned about them when I moved to London and had Iranian neighbuors. You know how a few people believe in The Illuminati? Well, substitute UK Monarchy for Illuminati and that’s what many Iranians believe, not just a few. Take Iranian neighbours seriously if they do believe in conspiracy theory because they really believe but it will sound batsh#t crazy to you.

      Wiki – “Iran – United Kingdom relations are the bilateral relations between the countries of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Islamic Republic of Iran. 

      Iran, which was known as Persia before 1935, has had political relations with England since the late Ilkhanate period (13th century) when King Edward I of England sent Geoffrey of Langley to the Ilkhanid court to seek an alliance.”

  9. Well maybe if you want to encourage people not to post anonymously you could give them some rights over their content on your pages and not be so quick to ban opiners you disdain.

    Further, given the secrecy of Canadian media about their ownership (iPOLITICSca for instance) and editorial process so much of what pretends to be journalism is read by me as a partisan offering by anon..