Artillery Row

Attack of the Hydies

How the Tillies and the Lillies are transforming right-wing newsrooms

Britain’s conservative newspapers have undergone a quiet revolution.  

A new breed of reporter has infiltrated newsrooms across the land. The days of smoke-filled offices in Fleet Street brimming with hungover grouchy old men are long gone. What has replaced them is far more sinister.  

These are the Poppies, the Tillies and the Lillies (no, not all of them — but a lot of them). Let’s call them the Hydies, after their spiritual leader Marina Hyde. 

Hydies are better looking, nicer smelling and more sober than their Fleet Street predecessors — however, they represent a grave threat to the future of conservatism in Britain.  

Hydies are twenty-somethings, living on low wages in small flatshares in Clapham. Their dream is to work for The Guardian one day, or maybe even host a podcast about brave entrepreneurial women like Michelle Obama or Melinda Gates. However, there are only so many jobs in writing about how gardening is racist in Guardian towers so these struggling graduates must look elsewhere. Hydies read journalism at Leeds Trinity and worked for The Tab during their student days. Their obsessions include disinformation (“isn’t GB News awful?”), black representation in the arts (“there just aren’t any black people in adverts!”) and the gender pay gap (“my boss makes more than me — why is that?”). 

Every major newspaper and broadcaster is filled with Hydies

Every major newspaper and broadcaster is filled with Hydies. However, perhaps most shocking is their domination of conservative institutions. Whether it is tabloids like The Express and The Sun or middle and upper-brow papers like The Mail and The Telegraph no newsroom is immune from this flat white-drinking virus. Even GB News, that bastion of low-status right-wing opinion is brimmed with depressed Hydies down on their luck (“this is just a stepping stone” they assure themselves every night — sending a prayer to the Gods for absolution).   

If you’ve ever been puzzled why The Telegraph has published yet another article about how to decolonise your holiday, or why The Sun defends Marcus Rashford to the hilt, or why the Daily Express hires journalists called Millie with pronouns in their bio then just think: it’s the Hydies.  

A young senior female journalist at the Mail on Sunday is an infamous Corbyn supporter. A few years ago the newsroom of one major conservative paper was full of trans flags on reporters’ desks. There is a “Library of belonging” at Telegraph HQ as reported by Guido Fawkes which offers staff books about White Fragility. The same paper hosted a Drag King event to mark LGBT History Month. The Sun’s editor Victoria Newton, who is probably too old to be a Hydie these days, is renowned for her Left-wing views. She turned on Jeremy Clarkson, is supportive of BLM and regularly suppresses legitimate stories out of fears of being called racist or sexist. Under her editorship the paper’s circulation is so dire News UK no longer publishes The Sun’s readership statistics.  

When Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer visited the offices of one right-wing paper the staff’s reaction to the two leaders could not have been more different. An excited murmur spread across the newsroom when Starmer visited, with people eager to take selfies and photos of the Labour leader. Sunak, the actual prime minister, was welcomed to a cold reception.  

Of course, the more successful Hydies work for Left-wing outlets where they can spread their wings. The BBC’s disinformation reporter, Marianna Spring, is the perfect example. Spring (check out her Wikipedia page), 26, has signed a book deal and made dozens of documentaries, podcasts and news reports to an audience of tens of millions on the taxpayers’ dime. Her grift involves pointing out boomer memes on random Facebook pages and claiming its “news” as if she is an investigative reporter exposing Watergate. In fact, Spring’s role is profoundly sinister and merely punches down on older conservative voters most sceptical of the “MSM”.  

I would encourage you to explore the Twitter profiles of some of these journalists for “conservative” outlets. You will see likes, tweets and retweets criticising Tory MPs, praising striking teachers, lauding Jacinda Ardern and calling for more immigration.  

Still not convinced? Take a look at nominations for the Press Awards’ “Young Journalist Of The Year”. There are more journalists called Molly than men.

Of course, there are many young men who are equally left-wing working for these institutions, however, the majority are Hydies.  

So what explains this phenomenon?  

It’s important to note the most senior people in these organisations are conservatives. With the exceptions of The Sun and The Express, the editors of The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday, The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph, GB News, and The Times are all to a large extent right-wing. However, these men can only control so much of the outlets they run. They do not make every hiring decision, that is down to HR and more junior editors. They can only decide the editorial direction of said publishers. The role of individual reporters is vastly underestimated by those outside of the industry. Journalists decide which stories to pitch to their editors, which quotes to use, the descriptions of various parties, who to interview and how stories are framed.  

 A few conservatives at the top of organisations cannot control the majority of output in companies that employ hundreds or even thousands of staff. Most people interested in journalism are socially liberal and women, therefore it is no surprise they are the ones most likely to be hired despite their views. The truth is there are not enough conservatives who are either interested in a career in journalism or competent enough to do it. Those who are may decide to join companies like Breitbart and stay away from mainstream organisations (i.e. those with the farthest reach) altogether. Why censor yourself at the Mail when you can say what you want at Lotus Eaters?  

Much has been written about high-status industries having been taken over by wokeism, from the civil service to big business. Conquest’s law that every institution that isn’t explicitly conservative turns left-wing applies equally to organisations whose very existence relies on right-wingers buying their content to confirm their own biases and prejudices. It is not economically viable for these newspapers and broadcasters to hire left-wing reporters. As The Sun has seen, their audience will simply turn elsewhere. Once you start lecturing your consumers with headlines like: “I’m a white, middle-class yoga teacher – and that’s a problem”, how long can you survive as a business? 

This may be the future for other so-called conservative media institutions and we will all be the worse off for it. The dead tree press has perhaps been the only consistently conservative-dominated industry in Britain to the horror of FBPE types. In the next few decades that may all change. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a Mail Online journalist called Olivia demanding proper pronoun usage — forever.

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