Something rather curious appears to have happened over at Northcliffe House, as a highly personal attack on the judiciary in the print edition of the Daily Mail has somehow been lost in the laundry en route to Mail Online. Fortunately, a concerned reader has shared a screen shot of the rant (see how that happens, Mr Dacre?) so we can see the clear intention of the piece.
What's f***ing wrong with kicking a few girlies every so often, c***?!? Er, with the greatest of respect, Mr Jay
The underlying story is that “A mother told the High Court yesterday that ‘miracles do happen’ as she pleaded for the life of her critically ill baby son. The boy, who was left severely brain damaged after a traumatic premature birth by Caesarean section, has spent his short life on a ventilator in an intensive care unit”. An unnamed NHS Trust has applied for permission to switch off the one year old’s life support.
In a routine Mail false comparison, the Ashya King case was spuriously referenced: “In words that echoed those of the parents of five-year-old cancer victim Ashya King, whose family fled the UK after disagreements with the NHS over his treatment, the baby’s father said they had been made to feel ‘our child is not our child any more’ by doctors who gave ‘no consideration’ to their feelings”.
That is bad enough journalism, but the most blatant attack on the entire process was directed personally at Ms Justice Alison Russell, who had already been a recipient of the Mail’s attention: “A senior judge has been allowed to take a feminist title for the first time. Newly-appointed High Court judge Alison Russell will be known on the bench as Ms Justice Russell, it was confirmed yesterday” it reported last May.
Lost in the laundry: this highly personal attack did not make it to the online version of the article (shared by Katy Guest)
This was the starting point for today’s rant: “Ms Justice Alison Russell is an arch feminist with a history of gagging the press ... the Judge ... who is unmarried and has no children, was appointed to the High Court in January ... She immediately made headlines by asking to be referred to by the title ‘Ms Justice’ rather than the traditional Mrs or Miss”. The shame of it! And there was more.
“Within months, she had again caused controversy, gagging a 94-year-old former midwife from talking to the Mail about her claims that social workers were ‘persecuting’ her. The Judge, 56, was born in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, and educated at Wellington College ... Unusually for a successful lawyer, she did not obtain her degree from an ancient university but from the then South Bank Polytechnic”. No children, not married, and went to a Polytechnic.
And she’s stopped the Mail using an elderly woman to generate more cheap attack copy. This means that Ms Justice Alison Russell is not the Daily Mail’s kind of person, and therefore a legitimate target. The hacks have clearly been instructed to suggest to readers that whatever decision she makes will be wrong.
The twist is that this attack appears to have been too much even for Mail Online.