While our free and fearless press pretends that what John Ford did on behalf of the Murdoch Sunday Times between 1995 and 2011 is merely “historic”, and that the paper has changed its ways completely, no such dispensation is allowed for press campaigner Max Mosley for what he did in the early 1960s.
Why the f*** shouldn't I kick the c***s who want to make me accountable to my f***ing readers and the wider public, c***?!?!?
The problem here is that the paper spearheading the assault on Mosley, and indeed anyone who can be linked with him, is running out of ammunition, and losing the attention of its readers. That paper is the Daily Mail, where the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre has decreed that, despite the Mail’s past love affair with Fascism, racism and indeed Nazism, and eulogy of Oswald Mosley after he died, the attack must continue.
So today the barrel has well and truly been scraped, with the first exhibit being Mosley’s appearance over the years at the South African Grand Prix, which was a fixture in the Formula 1 calendar until the mid-1980s, when it was pulled from the schedule because of the country’s continuing policy of Apartheid. But there is a problem with this attack line.
Mosley was for many years part of the March team (the M in March stands for Mosley), and being a Formula 1 team principal meant being there at all the races, including, until the mid-1970s, one round in Spain, at the time a totalitarian dictatorship. He was then involved in legal matters for the Formula 1 circus. That he, and other team bosses, drivers, mechanics and administrators, were there doesn’t mean they backed Apartheid.
Moreover, had the Mail protested at the time - like heck - its righteous stance now might sound a little less hollow. Then there is the attempt today to pick off anyone who can be linked with Mosley, however tenuously, which is rather more insidious.
First up is the attempted smear by association of Brian Cathcart of Kingston University, because the Alexander Mosley charitable trust made a donation to fund research in support of Cathcart’s book The News From Waterloo. This is used to smear Kingston University, and also campaigning group Hacked Off: “When Prof Cathcart took a sabbatical with Hacked Off in 2013, questions were asked about who was paying his salary”.
Nudge. Wink. And that was a mere sighting shot. Then we hear that Kingston University’s “Chancellor is leading black writer and commentator Bonnie Greer” (the Mail can’t just call Ms Greer a writer, it has to stress “black”). So then comes “neither the university nor its Chancellor, Ms Greer, had responded to a series of questions about the donation and its relationship with Mr Mosley”. That’s her smeared! And on it goes.
Next is “Hacked Off, which Prof Cathcart founded in 2011, with high-profile support from actor Hugh Grant and comedian Steve Coogan, and whose goals Mr Mosley supports”. Grant and Coogan duly smeared too! Anyone else remotely connected? You bet: “Ms Greer is advertised to attend the forthcoming Byline Festival in August. Byline is a website with close links to Hacked Off … Mr Mosley is a shareholder in Byline. Others due to attend the festival include actor and Hacked Off director Hugh Grant and Mosley beneficiary Tom Watson”. That’s Tom Watson dealt with. An MP backing Leveson Part 2.
And Byline Media? The ones who unearthed John Ford’s work for the Sunday Times? The very same. What a fortunate coincidence! Or maybe not.