While the row over Those Topless Photos rumbles on, with action under way in the French courts and the editor of the Irish Daily Star getting carpeted, the pundits are trying to make sense of the hooha, or in the case of the Mail’s tedious, unfunny and obscenely overpaid churnalist Richard Littlejohn, making no sense at all but revealing just what he and his pals are really worried about.
Topless, Guv? It's all about tits, innit?!?
Dick wants his readers to look anywhere but at the facts, so at the outset spins a total non sequitur with “Can you imagine the Queen going topless?” which has exactly nothing to do with the Kate ruckus. Brenda (Gawd Bless’Er!) enjoyed her younger years when one didn’t take snaps of that sort of thing, not if one knew what was good for one. And one didn’t imagine, either.
But his main point is, once again, to defend press self-regulation, despite the PCC proving totally useless over the years, although of course that same body has given Dick the odd Get Out Of Jail Free card, for instance over his assertion that “any Afghan climbing off the back of a lorry in Dover automatically goes to the top of the housing list”. They called that “allowable” because it was an “opinion” column.
And that cuts to the real reason for today’s Littlejohn rant, as he reveals when asserting that anyone publishing the Kate photos in the UK would bring “the prospect of a Leveson-inspired lynch mob”. Really? I missed the lynch mobs at the Leveson Inquiry, probably because there weren’t any. This is another use of Dick’s column to slip a few porkies under the popular radar.
That is confirmed as he blusters “Opportunist politicians would seize on the offending pictures to impose statutory and wide-ranging restrictions on the Press in this country”. Yeah, that rotten Labour lot never forgave that nice Mr Dacre and his rabble of hacks for making up all those stories about Cherie Blair, and Tone, and Peter Mandelson, and Big Al, and Prezza, and, well, anyone they pleased.
Yes, Dick doesn’t want any more of that pesky regulation, and certainly nothing of the sort that would impinge on his ability to dispense whoppers to his heart’s content. After all, it’s all out there on the web, innit? I mean, Leveson can’t control that, can he? So there’s no point in cracking down, is there? Be fair, what have my pals at the nice fluffy cuddly Daily Mail ever done to you?
And it won’t wash. As I pointed out yesterday, the only reason those photos are not all over the lower end of the tabloid press is the prospect of the Diana spirit coming back and driving a backlash. This is yet another clumsily cobbled together column trying to spin the Mail as some kind of force for good, rather than a force to do whatever its legendarily foul mouthed editor deems necessary to spread his word.
Leveson is going to report, and Dick can’t stop him. Get over it, Mail people.