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Tuesday 16 October 2012

Littlejohn – Now It’s Police Bashing

[Update at end of post]

The appetite for those who write for the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre to use the past activities of Jimmy Savile to settle any and every score they can find remains undimmed, as unfunny and tedious churnalist Richard Littlejohn has demonstrated today. Dick has slipped his charmless and dishonest attack piece in as second item on his column, but it’s rather an easy spot.

Women bosses, Guv? Not in the Met, innit?!?

Ostensibly the idea looks interesting: Dick is considering who might be brought in to assist the BBC in their enquiries as to what Savile got up to when making programmes for them, and where and when he did it. He then suggests a senior Police officer, which also seems reasonable. But one look at the name – DAC Sue Akers – shows he is in reality on a mission to kick the Leveson Inquiry.

Along the way, he also smears Ms Akers, dumping on her the responsibility for a “gay paedophile ring” in Islington, and the death of Victoria Climbié. But hasn’t he also talked of her telling “friends” that she’d like to be involved in any enquiry into Savile, and quoting a Met “source”? Indeed, but a cursory search shows that Littlejohn cadged the story from the Independent's Sunday diary column.

Surprised? You shouldn’t be: at least he didn't just make it up, like “any Afghan climbing off the back of a lorry in Dover automatically goes to the top of the housing list”. Dick doesn’t have facts to back up the argument he intends to make? Stuff it, just make them up or cadge a rumour, then put any dodgy bits in quotes. Lawyers satisfied, target smeared, editor happy, job done.

The reason for the cadging and smears then comes clear: Sue Akers is leading Operations Weeting, Elvedon and Tuleta, looking into the continuing investigation into phone hacking, corrupt payments to Police officers, and computer hacking by those who scrabble around the dunghill that is Grubstreet. In pursuit of these tasks, a number of hacks and executives have been nicked.

And that’s enough for Dick to go after her reputation, especially if he can smear Leveson on the side, which he duly does. But as so often, Littlejohn has clearly just scribbled out his thoughts without the most basic fact checking. He asserts that Sue Akers was “head of child protection” in Haringey, but this is a council post, not a Police one. And Victoria Climbié was eight when she died, not ten.

Still, Dick does what Dacre is demanding, and that is to keep the smears coming on anyone who might pose a danger to the Vagina Monologue “editing with freedom”, which in lay persons’ terms means doing what the hell he likes, including character assassination, falsehood and misinformation, in order to present information in the way that he finds acceptable.

And Littlejohn gets his million quid a year into the bargain, so that’s all right, then.

[UPDATE 1500 hours: Martin Hickman of the Independent has pointed out that the rumour concerning Sue Akers' wish to get involved in the BBC's enquiry came from his paper's diary column last Sunday. This is a new one on me: Dick usually looks no further than his own paper for stories, or makes them up to suit. No surprise, of course, that he didn't credit the Indy, because it has not followed the tradition of Fleet Street Omerta and has reported Phonehackgate extensively.

So I've amended the original text of this post to reflect my updated knowledge. Many thanks to Martin for the heads up]

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