When the controversy over care standards at Stafford Hospital was at its height, the name of Julie Bailey was frequently in the news. The founder of pressure group Cure The NHS could be seen on TV, was feted by the press – especially that part of it that loves putting the boot into the NHS – and meetings at her cafe in Stafford were the subject of many a positive profile and story.
Ms Bailey was back in the news this year in sadder circumstances: the Mail splashed on allegations that her mother’s grave had been desecrated. There had been death threats. Her business had been “destroyed” and she was being forced to sell up in a “cut-price” sale. Her cause was not helped by the Dacre hackery painting Stafford as a larger version of Royston Vasey.
The impression was given that the press was there for her, although, as I pointed out at the time she sold up and moved out of the town, they certainly were not. Papers like the Mail were cynically using Julie Bailey to further their cause of attacking the NHS, and today has come the sad yet utterly predictable confirmation of this fact. The Mail is no longer interested in her.
How can I be so sure about this? Ah well. The Staffordshire Newsletter – you can “like” it on Facebook – has brought the news “Staffordshire Police drop inquiry into harassment of former Stafford health campaigner Julie Bailey”. There is, apparently, insufficient evidence to allow the cops to identify anyone who may have harassed Ms Bailey, and so the inquiry has closed.
That lack of closure should have had the Mail working itself into a righteous froth. But, as I pointed out, the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre and his obedient hackery are interested first and foremost with selling papers and having that all-important conversation with the readers. They don’t really give a stuff about Julie Bailey, and so today the paper has been quiet.
So has the rest of the Fourth Estate: perhaps they are now more concerned with regaining any lost circulation in the Stafford area. After all, the locals are hardly going to be enthusiastic about shelling out their hard-earned cash only to find their paper of choice roundly abusing them. And, as so many thousands joined the march to save Stafford Hospital recently, perhaps they can see they overdid the tone.
Julie Bailey did the press’ bidding: she went along with the Mail and its shrieking assault on not just the NHS and Stafford Hospital, but also on more than 120,000 people who live in the area. Now, when she will be feeling less than happy, the Police having decided to drop their investigation, Paul Dacre and his merry men have inserted fingers in ears and can’t hear her.
Never go to the press. And never, ever go to the Daily Mail. You have been warned.