Anyone who thought that the aggression shown by hacks at the Mail and Telegraph yesterday towards 16 year old schoolboy Rory Weal for the clearly heinous crime of addressing the Labour Party conference was bad should think again. Overnight, the tirade of unpleasantness has turned nasty and gloating, as well as routinely abusive, and that is down to one person alone.
That hack is Melanie Phillips, whose latest hatchet job on Weal has gone beyond the usual incoherent fact free ranting – and, indeed, has progressed beyond the pale, as she demonstrates a triumphalism and sadistic pleasure in knowing that her chosen victim is a mere teenager, without the means to fight back, nor the financial clout to take Mad Mel to the cleaners for her defamatory outburst.
One out of three's not bad - for Mel
So the banner headline in the MailOnline screams “Millionaire’s Son”. Maybe Mel would not mind being called a “Guardian columnist”, then, as it is equally true. There is also “hypocrite”, always a good route for a Mail hack to choose when seeking a draughty glasshouse. And the poor standard of punctuation – “Well that didn’t take long, did it” [comma and question mark missing] – betrays the hasty compilation.
“Today, the teenage shooting star fell abruptly to earth” crows Mel, before telling that “Now further details have emerged” [comma missing] about Rory Weal’s background, although those details were there all the time. Mel just couldn’t be bothered to do her research. But she does have an authoritative source to back up her latest rant.
Blogs - they're so, like, now and current
And that source is the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines, who styles himself Guido Fawkes, whose amateurish attempt to put the boot in to Weal I considered yesterday (in other words, before Mel penned her latest outburst). Sadly, though, she can’t even manage an up to date screenshot of the Fawkes blog: the one shown is from April 2009 – over two years ago.
This, though, does not detain Mel: like Staines, she shamelessly blames Labour for the failure of Weal’s father’s business – clearly Pa Broon was far more of a micro-manager than he ever imagined – and claims that grammar schools have been “possibly the greatest engine of social mobility ever invented”. Try telling that to all those who failed their Eleven Plus.
And nor does Mel consider that the “very uncomfortable spotlight being shone upon a 16 year-old boy” might be down to her. But she does maintain the mood of menace to the end, floating the idea that “the Labour party had a hand in his performance”, and that “if so, it has a lot to answer for”, which means she’ll use Weal as an excuse for more of the same, while not losing a moment’s sleep over it.
Besides, saying otherwise is defamation. Did someone say “hypocrite”?