“Dacre kills with headlines”, one long serving Daily Mail hack told Nick Davies. And one career that the Vagina Monologue would dearly love to kill is that of Commons speaker John Bercow, at present relaxing on a solo holiday in India, while wife Sally is the only reasonably well known inhabitant of the Celebrity Big Brother house.
Did you just call me Bobby ****ing Charlton?
There is, however, a problem in using CBB to get at the Bercows: although Dacre loathes Richard “Dirty” Desmond, owner of Channel 5 which is screening the show, the sleb goss side of things sells papers. So lots of screengrabs have been plastered all over Mail Online – alongside the Kardashian wedding and anything that can be dug up about Posh’n’Becks – while the hacks sharpen their hatchets.
Harry Potter he ain't
And today’s hatchet wielding flannelled fool is the self important Quentin Letts (let’s not), who feigns sympathy for John Bercow while laying into his wife with a stream of abuse: “trashy bint”, “slapper”, “unlovely”, “Hooray Henrietta” and “ghastly” are all deployed. But for Letts to smear the Bercows is not news, so why is this special? Ah well. All the better to propagate the latest rumour.
Letts is pushing the line that Sally Bercow’s appearance on CBB is putting a strain on her marriage. He tells that “Friends of Mr Bercow, quoted in the Sunday media, suggested the Speaker was at his wits’ end”. Moreover, this had been “reported by a prominent Fleet Street political editor”. So who was this “prominent political editor”? Er, Simon Walters, of ... the Mail On Sunday!
Unity's favourite Scumbag
So this “story” is being passed between the “news” and “comment” parts of the Dacre empire rather in the style of Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse). And Simon Walters has, as they say, previous: Unity at the Ministry of Truth blog called him out back in 2007 for being selective with his facts. Walters is also notorious for his “We are biased, admit the stars of BBC news” rant from 2006.
And there you have it: this “story” is nothing more than a steaming turd, excreted by one of Dacre’s toadies, then unsuccessfully polished by another. It combines the Mail aggression against the Bercows with the Dacre diktat of wives being subservient to husbands, not being of independent means, and certainly not having any sort of career, unless the Vagina Monologue gives his approval.
Moreover, the line may have been crossed with this one: at the end of his tedious rant, Quentin Letts refers to Sally Bercow as a “doxy”. Doxy is Old English slang for prostitute: there is no way that can be defended as free speech or robustly expressed opinion. It may be time for the Bercows to make an example of the Mail’s repugnant diarist and his legendarily foul mouthed editor.