After the Sunday Mirror ran its exposé on Labour MP Keith Vaz, those who scrabble around the dunghill that is Grubstreet have been either piling in with more alleged revelations, running to keep up with the story, or pontificating long and loud about it. And no-one pontificates longer and louder on any given issue that the Daily Mail’s talentless and unfunny churnalist Richard Littlejohn.
Keith Vaz, guv? He's foreign, innit?!?
Vaz has long been a favourite target of Dicky Windbag, and today’s column revels in the MP’s embarrassment, so much so that he gets rather carried away. After the typically smug start - “It couldn’t happen to a nicer man. This oleaginous creep has been a stain on our parliamentary democracy for as long as I can remember” - it goes rapidly downhill.
“Then there was that dreadful business in which he gatecrashed the grief of the family of the nurse who was found hanged after getting caught up in the Kate Middleton hospital phone hoax scandal, forcing them to pose with him outside the Commons”. Bullshit. The family of Jacintha Saldanha sought out someone from the same Roman Catholic - and Indian-Portuguese - heritage. And it gets worse.
“Even now, Vaz is attracting sympathy from some of his fellow politicians, especially on the Left. They claim his privacy has been invaded and it’s a ‘personal tragedy’ — the line they always trot out in gay sex scandals … Just imagine if Vaz had been a Conservative front-bencher caught with a couple of Eastern European hookers”. STOP RIGHT THERE. We don’t need to imagine. We have the example of John Whittingdale.
And here Littlejohn has no excuses: you could read about it in the Mail - that’s the same paper in which his latest rant appears. Back in April, readers were told “Embattled John Whittingdale has admitted he could be forced to quit the Cabinet over revelations about his private and political life … Reeling from claims about affairs with a dominatrix, a former porn star and two Eastern European women, and about his MPs’ expenses, the Culture, Media and Sport Secretary told a friend last week: ‘I can’t take much more of this’”.
Except, of course, that Whitto was only splashed across the papers after Byline Media ran two stories about his proclivities, Zelo Street posted on the affair, Private Eye magazine ran a full page on him, and BBC Newsnight got involved. And even then, the press decided that their omission was not their fault, instead choosing to viciously dump on campaigning group Hacked Off for suggesting there was a public interest in running the story.
So when Littlejohn froths “Just imagine if Vaz had been a Conservative front-bencher caught with a couple of Eastern European hookers”, HE SHOULD KNOW. The difference with Vaz is that Whitto was a Minister, he was charged with issues like press regulation, and was stalling on Section 40 of the Crime And Courts Act. It was in the press’ interests to keep schtum. So they did, and blamed Hacked Off when their collusion was exposed.
Keith Vaz isn’t of any use to the press, and so he goes straight on the front page. Plus he isn’t a Tory, seeings Dicky Windbag was asking. That’s his answer. You’re welcome.