After examining the performance of the blessed Tone before the Leveson Inquiry yesterday, I concluded that the former PM had let Rupe and his troops off lightly, while – if only by inference – kicking the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre and his rabble of attack goons. And with perfect timing, the Mail has confirmed my conclusions today, with a number of pieces clearly written to order.
What if I did f***ing write it, c***?
Or perhaps that should be all except one written to order, because under the by-line of “Daily Mail Comment” we have the thoughts of Oberscheissenfuehrer Dacre himself, contemptuous, dismissive, snarling, scattergunning, flagrantly dishonest (while, of course, accusing anyone not agreeing of dishonesty), and appallingly righteous, while all the time playing the wronged victim.
So it’s a truly vomit inducing exercise. But its vehemence merely underscores what I pointed out previously: Blair’s apparently innocent suggestion, that press regulation be independent of both Government and media, would remove the influence of Dacre and his like. That would be the big change – regulation at present is independent of Government, so that is no concession, a mere distraction.
This conclusion is further reinforced by the pundits piling in behind Dacre, most notably the obedient yet perpetually miserable Stephen Glover, who repeats the Dacre talk of the “News International/No 10 Axis” (a nod to the Mail’s love of the Third Reich there), which is held to be “still corrupting politics today” and is exclusively down to Tone and Big Al.
Campbell, in particular, is a problem for the Mail, and of course the dislike was mutual, as the former spinmeister called the paper “The Dacre Lie Machine”. Both Glover and Dacre attribute the death of David Kelly to him – either explicitly or by nudge-nudgery – which will cause Andrew Gilligan further relief that he continues to get away with cornering the MoD man by his antics.
Clearly, both pieces show the visceral dislike of the Mail not only for Blair’s actions, but also that he effectively froze out the Dacre press and thereby diminished its influence. That is neatly avoided by the odious Quentin Letts (let’s not), who attempts to bring his Parliamentary sketch spinning skills to analyse the Inquiry, but, there being no Tories present to paint as victorious, he falls flat.
But Letts does confirm the mutual dislike between Blair and the Mail. What will be yet more interesting, of course, is when Pa Broon makes his appearance before Leveson. Brown very openly fell out with the Murdoch press, but remains a good friend of Paul Dacre. So look for him to kick Rupe and somehow suggest that allowing Dacre near the levers of regulation would be A Very Good Thing.
Politics, and the Fourth Estate, are never such a black and white business.