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Friday 16 November 2012

Paul Dacre – Not Waving But Drowning

[Update at end of post]

Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
Step out of line, the men come and take you away

Stephen Stills, For What It’s Worth

No I'm not f***ing losing it, c***. Wibble

The deliberations of Lord Justice Leveson have been completed, and the unveiling of his report is imminent. But there has been no announcement, so how can I be so sure? Simples. I have read the runes that are the Daily Mail: here, the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre has ordered one final barrage against Leveson. Despite not knowing what is to be recommended, the ultimate hatcheting has been unleashed.

Moreover, no less than eight features have been splashed across Mail Online, indicating that Dacre has imposed his authority on Martin Clarke. So what of the factual basis for the tirade against the Media Standards Trust, Hacked Off, and especially Common Purpose? What is the conclusion of the Mail’sSpecial Investigation”? You’ll love this one.

Under the thundering headline “A coup by the Left's old boy network: The Leveson Inquiry has momentous implications for free speech. But this Mail dossier raises disturbing questions about the influence of a quasi-masonic nexus of the 'people who know best'”, and under the by-line of Richard Pendlebury, there is a why-oh-why introduction on the BBC and Alistair McAlpine. “How could this happen?” it asks.

And the answer? “We don’t know, but we do know ...” comes next. And that just about sums up the whole of the Mail’s screed. While taking great care to stress that they are not suggesting for a moment that Leveson himself is other than a man of absolute integrity and principle, Pendlebury and his pals proceed to lay in to everyone else involved, however tangentially.

While the BBC is being reviled, its staff, like Robert Peston, are quoted approvingly (and totally out of context, but what the heck, it’s the Mail, dammit). Accusations of organisations being “Quasi-Masonic” are liberally thrown around. Common Purpose is held to be some dark and all-pervasive force, which would be a remarkable thing, if it were not merely a provider of training and facilitator of networking.

But the clincher for Common Purpose is that it may have broken the Data Protection Act once. And then the bullshit alert rang: Operation Motorman revealed that the Daily Mail made 985 requests of Steve Whittamore. As Nick Davies noted in Flat Earth News, “overwhelmingly, the requests which had been made of Whittamore involved breaking the law”. Can you smell hypocrisy?

[UPDATE 1730 hours: clearly, I'm not the only one thinking that Paul Dacre might be losing it. At the deeply subversive Guardian, Roy Greenslade says "After seeing today's edition of [the Mail], I really think it's time for the men in white coats to visit its Kensington offices as soon as posible". He goes on to discuss the logic leaps and phony revelations in what is surely an over-the-top attempt to get at Leveson, who I suspect has already completed both report and findings.

Meanwhile, over at the Staggers, you can read "11 Surprising Revelations in the Daily Mail's anti-Leveson hatchet job", which at least sees the funny side of Dacre's latent anger and hatred boiling over. That Greenslade is right - as I am, folks - to suggest that the Mail's editor is away with the fairies is merely confirmed by the rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, who tell their readers "The Mail were bang on the money with this morning's revelations". They sup some strong stuff at the Fawkes blog]


Anonymous said...

Newspapers take a great deal of care what they say about real Freemasons but, according to Dacre, a group of linked people or organisations is quasi-Masonic.


neil said...

I, for one, welcome our new Quasi-Masonic overlords. Better than the last bunch of bastards.

Anonymous said...

My lord Dscre doth protest too much. leveson looks like he's going to put the boot in and for dacre there's nowhere left to hide...except..in conjuring up a political conspiracy. my nostrils are filled with the stench of paranoia and desperation.

here's hoping that this hysterical rant precurses the demise of dacre's editorship; a true draining of the swamp can only begin on his exit.