Despite the resignation of Kent’s youth Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Paris Brown last week, and the revelation of his sickening and cynical behaviour, unrepentant Mail hack Russell Myers refuses to drop this particular bone. So today the Dacre attack doggie has returned to his vomit and brought forth two pointless and nasty slices of hackery in an attempt at self-justification.
Paris Brown and Ann Barnes
What is clear is that, far from any sign of contrition at his cynical attack on someone who had just turned 17, Myers will not leave Ms Brown alone. Perhaps it’s lonely at Northcliffe House. “Paris was 16 when she wrote vile sex and drugs tweets. So why is her ex-boss still insisting she was only 14?”. She’s resigned, for Christ’s sake. How would Myers like it if the boot were on the other foot?
“Russell was just 30 when he started pursuing teenagers with the intention of destroying their reputations. So why is his boss insisting on giving him more headline copy to write?”, for instance. Nobody now cares about the contents of a Twitter feed that has been cleaned out. And if Myers wants to justify his creepy pursuit by suggesting racial smears, let’s see him put the evidence up first (we won’t).
But Myers has also hit on the idea of going after Ann Barnes, who appointed Ms Brown in the first place. To accomplish this, he relies on the more traditional Mail weapons of falsehood and misinformation. “'New police chiefs are a wilful waste of money' said boss of youth tsar... before taking £85k job” is the title, as the Mail hacks stoke up some hate by talking money (again).
Ms Barnes had been chair of the outgoing Police Authority, and in that role had said PCCs would be a waste of money. Her words went unheeded, and elections went ahead. So she stood for election, to make the best of a bad job. That there was a low turnout, which the Mail uses to suggest she didn’t really merit her victory, is not her fault. It just shows many voters shared her initial view.
But Ms Barnes has spent money on a battle bus! That’s a bus? Er, no it isn’t. It’s a VW van. And a sight better value than a mid-range car it is, too. Never mind, though, on ploughs Myers and his co-writer, pretending Ms Barnes is under pressure. “Last night a Facebook page used by frontline officers was filled with outraged comments”, readers are told. How many? Just one is quoted.
And the comment does not call for Ms Barnes’ resignation. So when Myers asserts “Mrs Barnes was facing further calls to quit last night amid claims that she had lost the confidence of the electorate and frontline officers” he has nothing to back it up. Yet Russell Myers may progress through the ranks at the Mail as a result of this routinely disgraceful episode. This behaviour is what generates rewards.
Trashing a few reputations is mere collateral damage. Pass the sick bag.