Our free and fearless press was steadily running out of inconsequential copy to slap on the front pages. The Windrush Generation scandal was generating yet more revelations about the sheer ineptitude and callousness of The Nasty Party. Syria, the NHS, deprivation, poverty, tax evasion, money laundering, all vied with the Home Office’s nastiness for headlines. And then came the ideal excuse to ignore it all.
So today, not even Theresa May getting a pointed reminder on the Government’s culpability in the Windrush mess from Lenny Henry at the Stephen Lawrence memorial service gets a mention. Because the answer to Tory prayers from up and down the land has come to pass: there is a Royal Baby to celebrate. William and Kate - Gawd Bless ‘Em! A new prince is come among us! Praise be to the Lord!
While MPs battle to get their constituents released from detention centres, secure them compensation for being declared illegal, lobby for them to regain lost jobs, and get them their homes back, the right-leaning press has a heaven-sent opportunity to summon up the voice of Bob Danvers-Walker (in black and white) and the spirit of Chicken Paté News to tell the nation of the wonders of the new Royal arrival.
The increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph gives over its entire front page to a photo of the Duchess of Cambridge leaving the (private and reassuringly expensive) hospital with the new Prince. There is, of course, a supplement, because more cheap copy, and it keeps those ghastly poor people out of readers’ minds.
Free sheet Metro has declared “THREE CHEERS” as it inflicts Royal Baby Overkill on tens of thousands of commuters this morning. The Express, no longer the domain of Richard “Dirty” Desmond, but no less cheap and nasty, tells readers “Prince William perfectly captures the life-long reality of parenthood”. That’ll pay for the shopping today, then.
The Murdoch Sun reminds readers that the new arrival was born on St George’s Day, when we celebrate someone from the Middle East who never visited Britain. “8lb 7oz Prince Is Born On Patron Saint’s Day And Bard’s Birthday … Cry for Mummy, England & St George” it declares. Hardly Larry Olivier, though, is it?
Still, at least there is a little more invention there than at the Daily Mail, where the Dacre doggies have adopted a puke-making servility. “LITTLE PRINCE PERFECT … His first royal wave!” Along with a 16-page souvenir pull-out and 18 pages of the main paper dedicated to the event, which is more than they used to demonise Jeremy Corbyn in the run-up to last year’s General Election, little good that it did them.
No room for you chaps on the front page today
Nothing on Labour’s housing policy announcements. Nothing on Windrush. Nothing on another Brexit Lords defeat for the Tories. Nothing on the reality of life for tens of millions who don’t benefit from £80,000-plus-a-year pay deals (hello press people). Nothing on increasing crime. Nothing on increasing homelessness. Nothing on reality.
The nation wishes the new Prince well. And God help the rest of us.