Those who look in regularly on Zelo Street will need no introduction to the Brexit attitude of the Murdoch goons at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun: the inmates of the Baby Shard bunker are renowned for their hectoring and even abusive attitude to all those who so much as doubt the wisdom of carrying out an act of national economic self-harm merely for the delectation of the likes of Creepy Uncle Rupe.
Tony Gallagher - far less pleasant than he looks
The howling denunciation of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar for the heinous crime of both sticking up for his country, and outlining a policy towards the Irish border conundrum which is what our own Government has said in the past that it wants as part of the Brexit deal, is typical of the genre. So when the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph indulged in an act of aggressive bullying towards 12 Tory MPs last week, the Sun’s editor concurred.
After the Tel ran its “The Brexit mutineers” splash, showing photos of all 12, including six women - Heidi Allen, Nicky Morgan, Sarah Woolaston, Vicky West, Antoinette Sandbach and Anna Soubry - there was considerable pushback, including from many in the Leave camp. The front page “naming and shaming” was regarded by them as counter-productive. But the deeply unpleasant Tony Gallagher was not among them.
In an exhibition not only of an uncaring nature, but also of the kind of Tweets that do not age at all well, Tone shrugged “I can’t see what’s wrong with p1 of the Telegraph today. It’s called journalism. Absurd over-reaction”. But then, he doesn’t mix with the lower orders, and rarely dines anywhere that charges less than £100 a head for nosh’n’drinks. And the worst opposition he’s likely to meet on the streets is someone from Channel 4.
The situation for those Tory MPs, and especially the women among them, is rather less pleasant: as I pointed out yesterday, an organisation called Voter Consultancy Ltd has been buying Facebook advertising space in order to run personal attacks on the latter. Thus far Sarah Woolaston, Vicky Ford and Nicky Morgan have been targeted. But there is no evidence that any of the men have. And it gets worse - a lot worse.
As the BBC has reported, “Ex-Tory minister Anna Soubry says her office has received 13 death threats since a newspaper front page named her as one of 15 ‘Brexit mutineers … The pro-EU Remain supporter said the police took the threats seriously and had passed two cases to prosecutors” [my emphasis]. The Tel’s excuse? “The paper's editor defended what he called ‘the legitimate actions and language of a free press’”.
The report continued “The threats had included ‘references to what happens to mutineers’, [Ms Soubry] told the BBC, adding: ‘A number of tweets have said we should be hung.’ … She added: ‘If the Telegraph had not printed that headline those death threats would not have come through - that is a fact’”. And as for hiding behind the “freedom of the press” - there is no licence to effectively shout “fire” in a crowded theatre.
That Telegraph front page story was cheap, shoddy and downright nasty journalism. Now it has resulted in death threats. The Sun’s editor thinks that is just fine. Don’t buy the Sun.