As Rupe and his troops prepare the very last issue of the Screws, there are a number of variously desperate analyses and re-tellings of why the title is closing after almost 170 years in print. I give you the Maily Telegraph blogland hall of mirrors and source of smoke.
Spinning the story as a tale which demonstrates the ideological purity of his particular world view is MEP and occasional Tory Dan, Dan the Oratory Man. Hannan has concluded that it was all down to market forces, and that Adam Smith’s “Invisible Hand” was at work. I do wonder if Fidel Castro ever thought of his overthrow of the Batista dictatorship as Adam Smith in action.
Smith, in any case, said it was “as if” an invisible hand guided the market, which suggests that the great man was admitting a gap in his knowledge. Those on the right have been redefining Wealth Of Nations to suit their argument for decades. And, Hannan says, the Mirror was also at it, so the rotten lefties are also bad.
Meanwhile, the loathsome Toby Young has cast the affair as a re-run of Roundheads versus Cavaliers, with Young Dave and his jolly good chaps the latter, while the hated Guardian are the former, with Alan Rusbridger painted as some kind of latter day Oliver Cromwell.
And this is utter and total crap. Young and the other Guardian bashers are trying to play both sides of the field: on the one hand, the title is derided for its circulation and called out for its columnists’ supposed detachment from reality, then on the other is cast as some great force, the very equal of the Murdochs.
But for total brass neck there is nothing to touch James Delingpole. Del Boy knows what he dislikes about the whole business: “the liberal-left (who they?) wallowing in a stew of their own self-righteousness”. Also, “the media campaign had been orchestrated to a frenzied pitch by the BBC and the Guardian”, the former being “pathologically leftist”.
All the usual Del Boy goodies are here: typical is “What is it about the liberal-left and its pathological loathing of freedom of speech and open debate?” which the more eagle eyed will recognise as a viewpoint fraudulently advanced by a number of hosts at Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse).
But Delingpole also has a serious warning to his readers: “This is the kind of moral and intellectual decadence that is leading once free and prosperous nations like Britain and the US into decline and ultimately into ruination”. Woah! And he gets a Nazi reference in there too.
Pity it’s just about forthright criminality and straightforward reporting, eh, lads?