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Saturday 6 August 2011

Mandy Leads The Cab Rank

The word has clearly gone out from the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre: twice this week, his obscenely overmonied churnalist Richard Littlejohn had told readers that Phonehackgate is no big deal, and today came reinforcement of that message from the appalling Amanda Platell, resident Glenda and occupant of weekend lead spot on the Daily Mail cab rank.

Mandy’s routinely catty and sniffy copy has as its lead item a routine attack on Speaker’s wife Sally Bercow, thus saving the exertions of the odious Quentin Letts (let’s not bother) for once. There are two reasons for the rubbishing: Sal is not considered suitably wifey enough, which as any fule kno is in contravention of the Dacre wifeyness code.

And she is also about to go on Celebrity Big Brother, which is now a Channel 5 show, and part of the Desmond empire. Anything Dirty Des gets involved with is automatically A Bad Thing in the eyes of the Vagina Monologue, particularly because Des used to own a number of top shelf magazines: Desmond calls these “adult” titles, but Dacre’s forthright assessment is that they are “porn”.

But to show that she’s not just having a go at the Bercows, Mandy then widens her attack – after calling Sal “puerile ... hideous ... publicity-obsessed ... tawdry” – to include the whole of “our pygmy political class”. Who might she mean? Well, most of our politicians, it seems. Even Young Dave gets a smear: “as the markets crash, our Prime Minister swans off for the first of his two holidays this summer”.

Mandy then lines them up and knocks them down: Corporal Clegg, Mil The Younger, and acting head man William ‘Ague. She is unimpressed by them all: “we’re being run by callow, political careerists who have never lived outside the Westminster bubble, have no experience of the real world and are desperately lacking in real leadership skills”.

As opposed, no doubt, to the skill set so magisterially deployed by her editor. But what is the point of this recycling of otherwise routine why-oh-why copy? You might have blinked and missed it: “How telling that for the past month, as the US and Europe have been lurching towards a new slump, all our pygmy political class could talk about was the phone hacking scandal”.

The word has indeed gone out from Paul Dacre: it’s no big deal, Daily Mail readers. And woe betide any hack that says “Motorman” to the editor. Or Southern Investigations. No blagging jokes will be permitted. It’s a non-story, right?

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