• Daily Mail

    Daily Mail

    With reference to the account on pp. 418-9 of the threatened exposure of  Cliff’s application for citizenship by the Daily Mail, I have received the following letter from Neil Rogall:


    From 1977 to 1980 I had the joy of working for Associated Newspapers as a picture librarian in what appeared less like a library than a dilapidated warehouse of photographs. It was a white male enclave replete with girly calendars and casual racism that I spent much of my day railing against. The collection itself was full of gems many of which found their way out of the building via the hands of the Socialist Review picture researcher. There was a good collection from the Spanish Civil War and the early years of the Nazi regime – the latter often labelled with cuttings from the Daily Mail praising the new reborn Germany. There were hidden files too (‘not to be removed without authorisation’) of the editorial floor dressed in Mosleyite black shirts and a file of Edward VIII dressed in SS uniforms with various dignitaries of the Nazi regime. I often worked on the late shifts on my own and used the time to do picture research. In one of my searches I came across a folder marked Tony Cliff. This must have been in late 1977 or 1978. Inside were a series of photos of Cliff looking wild eyed and dishevelled – clearly the product of what photo-journalists call ‘doorstepping’. There were 3 or 4 photos. I probably took them home and then posted them with a short note in a Daily Mail envelope to Cliff. As I recall the Mail didn’t hang on to their negatives, keeping them only a short time. Whether or not the Mail ever decided to use them I am not certain. I can’t remember the editorial floor requesting them but then I only worked a 35 hour week (in practice more like 20 hours thanks to the way we covered each other) and so I wasn’t there all the time and there were a dozen of us working in the library. After leaving the library in 1980 I never thought again of the Cliff photos until the Cliff biography came out