The Mail On Sunday, which has returned to the case of Cannock Chase’s Tory MP Aidan Burley and his full participation in a Nazi themed stag party at the French alpine resort of Val Thorens, has today opened up two new fronts in its assault. One perfectly legitimate one is to turn to Stephen Pollard of the Jewish Chronicle to let readers know just what kind of activities the Third Reich got up to.
And the second is to widen the MoS campaign, by making it personal. This is the kind of thing that those in Northcliffe House deem perfectly reasonable, although they have no reason to drag in those who are not players in the drama. The unfortunate recipient of this new attention is Burley’s fiancée, and the reason for the MoS’ action is to let the MP know they are not about to go away.
“Revealed: Racy 'Catwoman' lover of Nazi shame Tory MP was on the committee that cleared him over his French stag-do lies... as video emerges of his friends chanting 'Hitler'” thunders the MoS, managing to find the little relevance that it needs to justify going after Burley’s partner – because she chaired his local Conservative association, which deemed his actions acceptable.
So readers are given the whole nine yards, with every photo of Jodie Jones that can be found: she is seen talking to Young Dave, looking rather worse for wear while at University (not such a big deal, Mail people, ask your Editor-In-Chief), dressed as a schoolgirl, and, horror of horrors for upstanding middle England, kissing another woman voluntarily. Oh, the shame!
On top of all that, she has also committed the cardinal sin of having both opinions and ambition, telling “I definitely see myself in Parliament one day, and who knows what might happen, I won’t rule anything out – I could be Prime Minister one day”. Well, big deal say I, but there is a point to this: Burley has been sent the message that the MoS considers his close friends fair game.
Meanwhile, on a more legitimate and relevant tack, Pollard wastes no time in putting the MP straight: “I don’t have friends who would ever consider toasting ‘the ideology and thought process of the Third Reich' ... I do, however, have family who were murdered by the Third Reich ... Aidan Burley does have such friends”. And Pollard is not some rabid leftist – ask Ken Livingstone.
He emphasises: “A Conservative MP purchased a Nazi uniform to be worn at a stag do in France, where such behaviour is a crime. He then lied to the party inquiry, ordered by the Prime Minister, about what happened”. Burley can try and brazen this out, but next year his constituency will be filled with images from that stag party. His electorate will throw him out so fast his feet won’t touch the ground.
And the press won’t lay off until he goes. Decisions, decisions, eh Aidan?