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Sunday 25 November 2012

Leveson Is Served (33)


The Daily Mail has a history of less than tolerant behaviour towards minorities. Nowadays it’s Muslims, travellers and anyone of minority sexual preference, but in the past it included, at least by implication, followers of Judaism. Thus the paper gave its wholehearted support to Oswald Mosley’s blackshirts in the 1930s, an openly fascist party with Nazi sympathies.

The anti-Jewish tendency receded in the light of events during the Second World War, but such is the desperation of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre and his obedient hacks – and this includes the Mail On Sunday, of which he is Editor in Chief – that today the smear has been exhumed so that the MoS can put the boot in to Lord Justice Leveson, in advance of his report being published.

Not content with the shamelessly dishonest headline from the online version of “Cameron set to defy Leveson on law to allow state-controlled press... for now”, which once more not only suggests knowledge the MoS doesn’t have, but also wilfully misrepresents statutory underpinning, Mick Hume’s “Q&A” addendum to Simon Walters’ article goes further.

In reply to the question “Who is Lord Justice Leveson?” the answer given is “Brian Leveson PC [Privy Council] QC is a Liverpool-born, Oxford-educated Orthodox Jewish lawyer”. You read that right. Quite apart from being inaccurate – Leveson was educated at Liverpool College and only took his first degree at Oxford – none of that has any relevance to his presence as head of the Inquiry.

And the only reason for digging up “Liverpool-born” is for the sniffier part of the punditry to look down their noses: they’re all crims and whingers, because, well Kel said so and so did Bozza’s magazine, so they must be. Then there is “Orthodox Jewish Lawyer”, which is loaded with prejudicial bigotry. Leveson is a Lord Justice. So we don’t need to know that he’s a lawyer. It’s blindingly obvious.

Moreover, that he is Jewish is not even slightly relevant to the conduct of the Inquiry, and whether or not he is more or less Orthodox is neither here nor there. So why has the MoS let that one past the sub-editors? There can be only one reason: that it is part of the paper’s script. The Dacre campaign against Leveson is now so desperate that a little anti-Semitism has been sanctioned.

No doubt there will be protests along the lines of “we employ Jewish people so we can’t be bigoted”, but they pulled that one with gays, wheeling out Andrew Pierce on the one hand while letting Letts and Littlejohn put the boot in on the other. Forget the article trying to pretend Young Dave will do the Fourth Estate’s bidding – the real story is that the Mail is prepared to sink so low. Bang out of order.

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