Back in September 2009, the Mail’s Ephraim Hardcastle column, by Peter McKay, The World’s Worst Columnist, sneered “Overtly gay Tory blogger Iain Dale has reached the final stage of parliamentary selection for Bracknell, telling PinkNews: 'I hope any PinkNews readers who live in Bracknell will come to the open primary on October 17 to select their new candidate. You don't even have to be a Conservative to attend.' Isn't it charming how homosexuals rally like-minded chaps to their cause?”
(c) Doc Hackenbush 2014
This “let’s get as close to the homophobia line as possible without crossing it too far” stance was typical of a kind of Mail hackery: sly, snarky, and telling the target that he or she is not the Daily Mail’s kind of person. Dale complained to the PCC. It did him no good: the apologia gave every sign of having been written by the paper.
The PCC, and its successor IPSO, will do no more in cases like this than wipe Paul Dacre’s arse for him. It’s a lesson I suspect Iain Dale took on board: former Tory MP Louise Mensch, smeared yesterday by sleazeball diarist Sebastian Shakespeare, looks as if she will follow Dale’s path very soon, although unlike him, she is most unlikely to take on board the pointlessness of complaining.
Here’s what he wrote: “Former Tory MP Louise Mensch, a Catholic, appeared to be embracing all things Jewish when she married her second husband, music manager Peter. But yesterday she spoke out against the most powerful Jewish community in the world over the conflict in Gaza from her new home in New York City. ‘This massacre, and it is a massacre, is the worst thing to happen to ISRAEL as well as Gaza in years,’ she tweeted, adding ‘Netanyahu is a pariah’”.
Ms Mensch is incandescent with rage: “My complaint against Israel has nothing to do with Jews or Judaism and this is anti-Semitic of Sebastian Shakespeare ... I did not speak out against Jews, Judaism or a Jewish community [Mail Online] I spoke out against Israel’s Govt ... Being against Netenyahu’s Govt’s actions in Gaza has NOTHING TO DO with my views on Judaism, Jews or ‘all things Jewish’”.
And then she cranked it up a little more: “Your article racist”. Calling the Mail “anti-Semitic” and “racist” will not help her cause, and, although equating “Jewish community” to the state of Israel is a logic leap too far, all the Mail needs to do is to point to its former pundit Melanie “not just Barking but halfway to Upminster” Phillips, who has done just that in a piece for the Spectator.
All that the Dacre hackery then needs to do is offer up someone like Alex Brummer to tell that, oh no, his paper isn’t anti-Semitic, and if it were, he would not be working there. Dacre will get his arse wiped again, and perhaps it will sink in with Louise Mensch, someone who joyously slagged off Leveson, how out of control our press is.
But she’s taken the Murdoch shilling, and so will not take it any further.