Twenty two million homes have been given a special edition of the Sun newspaper with the headline, ‘This is Our England.’ On page 2, under the heading, The Sun says, the author explains that the reason for the free paper is to ‘celebrate Englishness and English football’, and to mark the start of the World Cup.
The front page, taking the form of a photographic digital collage, features 118 people, chosen to ‘capture the essence of England today’. Queen Elizabeth is at the centre of the collage, and being the monarch, she is represented larger than any other. Incidentally, Bruce Forsyth is the next largest. Ed Miliband, David Cameron, and Nick Clegg, have fairly average size heads, but in that order, they are represented by images of decreasing size, Clegg’s being the smallest. The very smallest of all is Rowan Atkinson’s, which is attached to the body of Mr Bean who is depicted carrying the chancellor’s oversize budget briefcase. Big Ben has stopped at eight thirty two, and cute Peppa Pig and a smiling Laura Mvula are pleased to be included in the celebration.
Of course, the whole thing is a joke, except for relatives of victims and survivors of the Hillsborough disaster who bear the scars of the tragedy. They are incensed that Ed Miliband posed with a copy of the newspaper. He has made an apology for unwittingly promoting the Sun, because the paper had erroneously reported disgusting incidents done by Liverpool fans at Hillsborough. The newspaper, in 2012, published a profound apology for their inaccurate and offensive coverage.
The prime agenda of the Sun is not to celebrate Englishness and English football, but to promote itself and make money. Of the 24 pages of the free edition, 8 are full page advertisements. Page 12 guarantees cash prizes for every participant in Sun Bingo, and offers a unique code to encourage registration. The small print states that entrants must register to become members of Sun Bingo and they must supply their credit card/debit card details. Before prizes can be withdrawn, a minimum deposit of £10 must be made, which itself can be withdrawn.
On the plus side, if you are a football fan, there’s something for you - a two page spread featuring ‘England’s Greatest’ football players.
Is this really 'Our England'?
Ed Milliband apologises for offence over Sun picture