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Wednesday 24 December 2014

Happy Christmas Scrooge Dacre

In Flat Earth News, his go-to book on the workings of the press, Nick Davies observed of the Daily Mail’s legendarily foul mouthed editor Paul Dacre that “Dacre works long hours, so everybody else works long hours. He works Christmas Day, so they do too (There was a famous row one Christmas when Dacre swore furiously at a journalist who had dared to go out for lunch)”.
What the f***'s wrong with sitting on a pile of money, c***?!? Er, with the greatest of respect, Mr Jay

So the Vagina Monologue is eminently well qualified for the attribute “Scrooge”. And, like the Dickens original, he is well practiced in accumulating money while begrudging a decent living to others. The only change from A Christmas Carol is that Dacre hates a more selective part of the population: migrants, the poor, anyone of liberal view, ethnic minorities, and even the disabled.

And, while his paper has been kicking anyone it can find who does not have the money to fight back, Dacre has been trousering yet More And Bigger Paycheques For The Benefit Of Himself Personally Now. As the Guardian has noted, “Paul Dacre’s pay and bonus package soared by 25% during 2014, taking the total remuneration of Britain’s best-paid newspaper editor to £2.4m”.

How much? Brucie says higher: “The editor-in-chief of the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Mail Online received an extra £1m this year – double his usual £500,000 annual salary supplement – on top of basic salary and fees of £1.38m”. Half a million quid is a mere “supplement”? Well, no: a whole million is a mere “supplement” this year. And, as the man said, there’s more.

Along with £34,000 in taxable benefits – including a company car with taxable value of £15,000, car allowance of £10,000, fuel benefit of £6,500, and medical benefits of about £3,000 – this pushed his total remuneration for the year up to £2.41m, up from £1.84m in 2013”. And someone drives him around: no behind-the-wheel stress for him. Private healthcare is thrown in, too.

Then, while his paper is putting the boot into anyone and everyone benefiting from EU farm subsidies – even the Royals – Dacre is trousering hundreds of thousands of pounds of them for his Scottish estate. And no doubt the Mail will be against the proposed Mansion Tax, given Dacre has a place in Belgravia (equals expensive) and a Home Counties pile (probably ditto).

The really sad thing, though, is that, unlike Dickens’ book, there will be no spirits of Christmas past, present and future visiting the Vagina Monologue. There will be no pang of consciousness to shake the certainty underpinning his boiling anger at a world in which young people enjoy themselves, different races and nationalities come together in harmony, and fewer and fewer want to hate their neighbour.

So sad to be alone in so many ways this Christmas. But it’s his own choice.

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