In the wake of David “Shagger” Mellor being caught ranting at an unfortunate taxi driver the other day, the Daily Mail had to pass judgment. And, perhaps not totally willingly, the appalling Quentin Letts (let’s not) has been sent over the top by the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre to pass severely adverse comment. In doing so, Quent has opened mouth and inserted boot spectacularly.
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The headline, “Who do they think they are? First Labour's sneering Emily. Now Mellor. How much more proof do we need that the smug elite despise the rest of us”, does not help Letts. We are supposed to believe that he is not one of this “smug elite”, despite his having attended a private prep school, Haileybury and Imperial Service College, Trinity College Dublin and Jesus College Cambridge.
Moreover, Quent is a member of the Savile Club, and has a place in the country, dontcha know. He sneers that Mellor “sets himself up as a connoisseur of the higher arts”, yet he is the Mail’s theatre critic. “David Mellor is warped by self-belief, fuelled by an unerring sense that he can do no wrong” he tells, seemingly unaware that this could serve equally well as a description of Himself Personally Now.
The unfortunate parallels keep on coming: “he remains a national voice on our radio airwaves and he continues to pop up on serious news programmes as a political pundit”. Like you do, Quent. “Mellor was never much of an oil painting, but he was vain and bright — impressively fluent, too, even while being palpably insincere”. Was he looking in the mirror while writing this?
“Others noted his smarmy way with TV interviewers, using their Christian names and presenting himself as a moderniser” he goes on, immediately invoking memories of a recent BBC Question Time appearance. “At the same time he was superbly knowledgeable about classical music”, which I suspect Quent is, although I might just get him on opus number nerdery.
But do go on. “Mellor was National Heritage Secretary, the position we today call Culture Secretary, and had given a warning to newspapers that they were ‘drinking in the Last-Chance Saloon’ when it came to ethics”. Ah, the real reason for the shameless hypocrisy, just like the Letts attack on Leveson – despite his having not bothered taking notes at the presentation and getting caught, eh Quent?
And so he goes on, right to the bitter end: “But as the world can now see, that sophisticated aesthete has a rotten core. Not that he will care one hoot. The man ... is shameless”. You certainly are, Quent. You couldn’t give a flying foxtrot, and “rotten core” sums up rather well someone who has sold his soul to the Vagina Monologue in return for a nice wad and an easy life.
“They looked from Mellor to Letts, and from Letts to Mellor”. No change there, then.