The perpetually thirsty Paul Staines, who styles himself Guido Fawkes, was rather proud of himself this morning as he Tweeted “Guido Fawkes blog now full syndicated on the Daily Mail”, although all this meant was that the obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre had used a photo Staines had previously published and given him a mention.
That momentary feeling of pride felt by Staines and his tame gofer Henry Cole, the Laurel and Hardy of the blogosphere, sadly did not last long as a fellow Tweeter called them out for becoming part of the establishment. “Dacre is more anti-establishment than Rusbridger, Blackhurst, Gallagher and Harding combined” he retorted. So just how anti-establishment is the Vagina Monologue?
Paul Dacre has been editor of the Daily Mail for 19 years. He has been editor-in-chief of the Associated Newspapers titles (Daily Mail, Mail On Sunday, and until it was sold off recently, the Evening Standard) for 13 years. He is a director of Daily Mail and General Trust plc. He was a member of the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) for nine years and now chairs its Editors’ Code of Practice Committee.
A pair of proper radicals, or maybe not
Former Metropolitan Police commissioner John Stevens met a number of newspaper editors over lunch during his tenure at New Scotland Yard, which might be seen as “establishment” behaviour. These included the appalling Piers “Morgan” Moron – then at the Daily Mirror – and Alan Rusbridger. And they included Paul Dacre, who in 2010 trousered an “establishment” sized £2.8 million remuneration package.
Epithets such as “Booming voice of moral certainty” and “The moral arbiter of Middle England” merely reinforce the “establishment” image, as does Dacre’s use of a chauffeur driven car to take him from country pile to London flat to office and back. This latter is only to be expected for someone who is by now a millionaire several times over. Yet Staines claims he is “anti-establishment”.
Paul Dacre regularly places near the top of the Media Guardian top 100 for one very good reason: he is not merely part of the media establishment, but one of its very pillars. His middle-class and Middle England orientation merely reinforces that position. Staines and Cole do business with Dacre’s papers regularly, which reinforces their position as also being part of the media establishment.
Whether they like it or not, they are both establishment and mainstream. Another fine mess.