After the Lord Mayor’s show, and all that: this morning, as I signposted yesterday, the odious Quentin Letts (let’s not), who was not taking notes at the presentation given by Lord Justice Leveson yesterday, has offered his routinely dishonest take on proceedings. This is accompanied by the occasional smear, as is obligatory for anyone labouring in the service of Paul Dacre.
Harry Potter and the Gobshite of Arslikhan
Leveson, in the Letts account, “summoned us” – he didn’t, Quent, you had to apply by email for a seat, just like me – to a “windowless room”. With the winter sun outside at a low angle even in the middle of the day, he’d have complained yet louder if it wasn’t. Leveson “entered stage right”. Wrong again, Quent, from where you were sitting it was the left. Minor details, eh?
But do go on. “A smell of garlic filled the room”. It sodding well didn’t, unless it was confined to that front row where you were sitting. Maybe Mail pundits carry some around to ward off marauding facts. Leveson “sat down ... in front of two glasses of clear liquid”. It’s called water, Quent, the same stuff that was being dispensed at the back of the room. You walked past the jugs and glasses to get to your seat.
Never mind, though, Quent’s got a smear up his sleeve: “the old liverspot” he calls Leveson, thus telling his readers that the old boy’s a bit past it. Not as past it as someone who talks of “thumbs intertwined” while the photo used shows nothing of the sort. Nor someone who applied to attend a presentation where he was told there would not be a Q&A, only to whine that Leveson spoke “sans interruption”.
“At the end, several people clapped. One gathers that they were not journalists”. You didn’t bother to check, Quent, did you? Most of the people in my field of vision joined the applause, including the team from Northern and Shell, who as any fule kno have been removed from the jurisdiction of the PCC, Richard Desmond’s principal complaint being the disproportionate influence of Letts’ own editor.
Quent also fails to mention the Hacked Off people. It’s not as if he couldn’t see them: Evan Harris, Hugh Grant, the Dowlers and Dr Kate McCann (sitting together across the aisle) were easily picked out by the camera to Letts’ right, and he looked around to his left regularly to talk to a bloke in the second row. If he wanted to know the source of that applause, it was literally right in front of him.
Then there is a final whiff of bullshit: “After that ... we cartwheeled back to the Commons”. No you didn’t – you queued for the lifts (just like I did) before shuffling out the door to the sight of an unfeasibly large number of long lenses. But, like me, none of them would have been interested in Quentin Letts. They were there to record the sight of the victims – the ones Quent doesn’t bother mentioning.
After all, Dacre wouldn’t like that from an obedient hack. No change there, then.