When Cathy Ashton was nominated for the newly created EU post titled High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy back in 2009, not all those involved in European politics were impressed. When she had become a trade commissioner the previous year, one had called the event “a perfect demonstration of what is wrong with the British state”.
But such whining was only to be expected from Dan, Dan The Oratory Man. Well, as time passed, the condemnation of whatever she did poured down, especially from the obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre. The Daily Mail was routinely aghast that Ms Ashton had not only been given the job, but also that she would not leave when they demanded it.
In 2010, Hannan was hired by the Mail for “As the EU ‘High Representative’ manages to miss a vital defence summit... Baroness Bungle and a £45bn negation of democracy”. The Mail’s only gay in the Northcliffe House village, Andrew Pierce, followed up with “Who earns more, Hillary Clinton or Baroness Nobody? Cathy Ashton... even though she's the laughing stock of the EU”.
The following year brought “Brussels foreign affairs chief Baroness Ashton 'saving £40,000 in EU tax deal'” from Gerri Peev (nice change from BBC bashing there), who later followed up with the routinely fraudulent “Baroness Ashton 'facing axe' from her £250,000 EU job because she's 'too weak'”. And then came a truly dishonest and plain nasty smear from Tim Shipman.
“Baroness Ashton called on to resign after likening shooting at Toulouse school to troubles of Palestinian children in Gaza”. The killing of Jewish schoolchildren in the French city had, however, not been simply compared thus: Ms Ashton had also mentioned killings in the Israeli town of Sderot. Shipman’s interpretation could only be achieved by editing that out. So now it was getting very personal.
There has been much more from the Mail in this vein, but what there has not been is any equivalent acknowledgement of Cathy Ashton’s achievements, and there have been several notable ones. As trade commissioner, she led the delegation that sealed a trade agreement with South Korea, virtually removing tariffs. She was the first to gain access to Mohamed Morsi following his removal from power in Egypt.
She has helped to significantly reduce piracy off the Somalian coast, and brokered a deal normalising relations between Serbia and Kosovo. Now Cathy Ashton has been centre stage in getting an agreement over Iran’s nuclear capability. There was even a grudging report in the Mail, but not so much as a hint that there was any regret that Dacre’s attack doggies had expended so much energy kicking her.
Shame on you, Paul Dacre. And shame on your cowering, miserable hacks.