Sometimes, as J K Galbraith observed when showing how those who ignored Keynes in the 1930s effectively made his case through the 1937 slump in the USA, the opposition rides to your rescue. So it is with Leveson and moves to achieve properly independent press regulation in the UK, as the Daily Mail’s unfunny and talentless churnalist Richard Littlejohn has galloped into view.
Facts, Guv? Better put traps down, innit?!?
As we know from what the PCC called “Stable versus Associated Newspapers”, this now discredited body ruled that is was fine for Dicky Windbag to peddle packs of lies because he was merely doing it for effect, and to make a point. This was OK because the column was clearly identified as opinion, rather than news. But having an opinion and being dishonest are two very different things.
“So what if UKIP is a protest party? How else do we protest if not at the ballot box?” pondered the great man today. This is a perfectly reasonable topic for debate, and no-one should have any problem with him riffing on the subject. What is not reasonable is the welter of totally untrue statements and assumptions that neither he, nor his legendarily foul mouthed editor, can stand up.
Let’s count a few of them: “[Ken] Clarke ... believes Britain should be run by foreigners (1). He is in favour of our laws being made in Brussels (2) by people we didn’t elect (3). He is quite happy to surrender what remains of our national sovereignty (4) and open our borders to all-comers (5) ... Ken thinks our courts should be subordinate to foreign judges (6)”.
Clarke is “passionate ... about a European superstate (7) ... thinks turning Britain into a safe haven for international terrorists (8) is a price worth paying (9)”. And what about Labour? “bankrolled by a neanderthal trades union leader (10) who wants to take Britain back to the days of general strikes (11) and public ownership (12) and led by a weirdo (13) last seen playing footsie with George Galloway (14)”.
So what else doesn’t he like about the UK in 2013? “ [An] energy policy which includes automatically turning off our fridges by remote control (15) rather than building power stations (16) ... Democracy is Britain is in a perilous condition (17)”. “We’re governed by a Coalition nobody voted for (18) ... Ed Miliband is basing his entire strategy on gaining just 36 per cent of the total vote (19)”.
How can he do that? “Rigged constituency boundaries (20) ... Labour’s rotten boroughs (21).” So how’s Dicky windbag voting? “I won’t get the chance to vote UKIP on Thursday because there are no council elections in London (22)”. He won’t even be in the country. But, however unintentionally, he has shown why the PCC is currently powerless to stop acts of malicious and serial dishonesty.
Today, Richard Littlejohn made the case for Leveson. Well done that man.