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Saturday 2 November 2013

Letts Kick The Staggers

The legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre makes great show of his wish to have that all-important conversation with his readers, the Daily Mail’skind of people”. He and his dubiously talented array of hacks and pundits are ever alert to the issues that concern their own Middle England heartland. But there are also obsessions to serve, itches to scratch, and one of those is actor Russell Brand.
Harry Potter and the Gobshite of Arslikhan

So it is that Dacre has ordered the odious Quentin Letts (let’s not) over the top to execute a hatchet job not merely on Brand, but on the New Statesman for having the effrontery to allow one of the Mail’s hate figures to edit an issue of the magazine. But Quent has a problem with Brand: he is conspicuously jealous of him, and especially his ability to garner the attention of younger women.

Those young women plainly were tantalised by him, even though he looks — how can we put this? — a mite diseased” snarked Letts, from whom most of them would run a significant distance if he so much as looked to be making a pass at them. “One could make generalisations about women having always been attracted to herpetic Lotharios, but it might be incautious to do so”. Poor jealous Quent.

Letts was particularly unhappy at Brand’s swearing, so how the poor dear gets through his supposedly frequent encounters with the Vagina Monologue I can’t imagine (Dacre even managed the F-word during his testimony to the Leveson Inquiry). But why lay into the Staggers? Mainly because of Brand: “it is important for Mail readers to know what this pied piper says”.

So pundits like Letts can kick him again, no doubt. “You and I might be tempted to think Russell Brand is simply a low-rent show-off ... but the bien pensants of London see him as something more important than that”. Self-appointed arbiter of morals, restaurant and theatre critic calls the Staggersbien pensants”. Yeah, right. And why does he have to borrow from James “saviour of Western civilisation” Delingpole?

Brand has cleverly used the low-circulation New Statesman to finesse his public profile just at the time he is flogging tickets for a tour which is making him thousands of pounds a night”. If it’s such a minor player, Quent, what’s your problem? Oh hang on, Brand also got a spot on Newsnight, so there must by definition be BBC bashing. And so there is. The programme’s editor used to work for the Guardian. Yawn.

Quent upbraids Brand for being based in the USA (forgotten your pal Littlejohn?) while describing Staggers staff as living in “a privileged cocoon”. This from a hack insulated from reality by the creature comforts of Northcliffe house, money he couldn’t hope to make elsewhere, and a London address at a private members’ club. Then comes the usual whining about the left.

Quent, you’re in a very draughty glasshouse right now. No change there, then.

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