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Tuesday 12 May 2015

Don’t Menshn Whitto

As Young Dave assembled a cabinet of his jolly good chaps yesterday, the Guardian’s head of media Jane Martinson observed the appointment of John Whittingdale as Culture Secretary and asked “What will John Whittingdale do with the BBC now he has a free hand?” Whittingdale is of the Thatcherite right, but under his chairmanship, the Culture Select Committee was famously hard on anyone and everyone.
(c) Doc Hackenbush 2014

This included the summoning of Rupe and Junior to express their - albeit highly temporary - humility. One of those quizzing the Murdochs on that day, though, has viewed Whittingdale’s appointment and the question of press self-regulation as some kind of triumph for the worldview of Herself Personally Now: yes, (thankfully) former Tory MP Louise Mensch has been pretending to be a grown-up again - and once again has failed.
Her opening Twitter salvo was all that a Mensch rant connoisseur could have wished for: “Would have given any money to see @peterJukes face when Whitto announced as Culture Secretary hahahahahahaha hahahaha ha ha ha :) #maturity”, going on to claim that, on Leveson, the new appointee was “Against. Whitto stands full square for freedom of the press. #HackedOff will be gutted” (It’s “four square”, Louise).
Journalist and playwright Peter Jukes, having been tagged in that Twitter outburst, replied “I rather like him @LouiseMensch and unlike you, you seems to have some grace and social skills”. Ouch! Louise wasn’t having that for a moment: “he doesn't return your feelings, and will ensure the #HackedOff bully campaign is consigned to the dustbin of history #freepress”. Murdoch pundit claims someone else is a bully. Yeah, right.
She went on (as if you needed to ask) “Whitto held Leveson inquiry in same low regard Gove did. The freedom of our press will be untrammelled by govt regulation”. What has “Oiky” Gove got to do with it? Who knows? And, indeed, who cares? Jukes broke the bad news to her: “But Leveson is law now, with a triple lock to prevent political interference”. Two-thirds majority in both Houses of Parliament to rescind it? No Chance.
But Ms Mensch was saying “la la la”, had fingers in ears, and couldn’t hear him: “#hackedoff get zero respect. Your side has lost immensely” (nobody has lost anything, buy hey ho). Of Whittingdale, she claimed “he's too busy being Culture Secretary. #HackedOff will be sacked off”. The appointment won’t make a blind bit of difference.
It was left to Jukes to remind Ms Mensch what she had just said. “'Zero respect’ for hundreds of victims of phone hacking including Dowler family. And to think you sat on the DCMS”. Quite. But he was debating with someone who was not even close to being in touch with reality: “Leveson was rejected already by the last Culture Secretary it will never be implemented. Thanks @sajidjavid”. The Royal Charter and its associated legal provisions were implemented long ago. Sajid Javid didn’t so much as touch them.

Louise Mensch fails to join the grown-ups once again. And they let her become an MP.


rob said...

"And they let her become an MP."

What's more interesting today is that Spivvy Shapps hasn't been sacked completely but is kept in Government as a Minister.

Typifies how Tories wish to be seen? Sharp practice is the way for SMEs if they want to succeed?

Anonymous said...

Mensch and her kind forget Newscorp transgressions were criminal as well as regulatory. They committed crime after crime after crime freely and on a daily basis with never a single post-facto public-interest justification.

Leveson, though important in protecting our democracy, is irrelevant to stopping what Newscorp was doing and wish only to continue doing.

Get them in the dock.