The Daily Mail’s legendarily foul mouthed editor tried, and failed, to turn his paper’s faux outrage over Channel 4’s Big Fat Quiz Of The Year 2012 into a second Sachsgate. But Paul Dacre’s inner boiling anger is never stilled: the Mail has now turned to mounting a series of hatchet jobs on the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) instead.
Why? Because I f***ing can, c***
This typically slanted and mean spirited campaign of falsehood and misinformation reached its zenith on Saturday with “Why did the RSPCA shoot dead more than 40 sheep in a grisly dockside massacre? Mail investigates horrific slaughter of animals unloaded from French lorry”. The RSPCA responded by calling the piece “utterly inaccurate” and noting that it was not the first Mail smear of them.
The campaign by the Dacre attack doggies started after the RSPCA led a successful prosecution of the Heythrop Hunt: those accused of “unlawfully hunting a wild fox with dogs” pleaded guilty. A video presented to the court showed hounds being encouraged to go after the fox, which was then literally torn apart. But there was another angle: one of the accused claimed the Heythrop was being picked on.
Why so? Well, Young Dave has ridden with this hunt, and once the suggestion of unfair interference had been made, it was not a long journey to reach the assertion that the RSPCA had become some kind of vehicle for political interference. And the Mail thrives on smearing organisations using claims of politicisation, so the attack on the RSPCA began in earnest.
“Revealed: RSPCA destroys HALF of the animals that it rescues - yet thousands are completely healthy” screamed the headline as the agenda – that the charity should keep its nose out of prosecutions and stick to whatever the Mail deems is properly charitable stuff – was relentlessly driven home. In support were obedient pundits like the odious Quentin Letts (let’s not).
Letts span the behaviour of the Heythrop Hunt as some kind of rather minor affair – they had merely “erred”, he asserted. “Has one of Britain’s oldest and most-cherished charities become a branch office of the London legal profession, and a highly politicised one at that?” he asked readers, in the style of Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse).
And Dacre knows that other media outlets will ride on the Mail’s coat tails – this from the Telegraph is typical – and thus amplify his campaign. But what is its point? If the RSPCA does not mount prosecutions against those who perpetrate cruelty to animals, then what is its point? One thing is for sure, there will be more of this, especially now the charity has cried foul. That will just fire the Mail up for more.
The moral world of Paul Dacre must be a truly miserable place to be right now.