After the Rothermeres finally prevailed upon the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre to depart the editor’s chair at the Daily Mail in favour of Geordie Greig, who does not share the Vagina Monologue’s propensity to vindictiveness, bullying, threatening politicians, law enforcers and the judiciary, and indeed trying to ram Brexit down the readership’s collective throats, some pundits may be wondering what the future holds for them.
And one of those who may be concerned more than most is the deeply unpleasant Andrew Pierce, who might find the demand for smear pieces and hatchet jobs drying up under the new régime. His latest hit piece is hardly likely to endear him to Greig, although it could put him in contact with the Mail’s legal team in very short order.
Pierce had authored “Meet the City spinmeister orchestrating the insidious plot to reverse the will of the people on Brexit … The Rat behind Remain” about Roland Rudd (Roland Rat - geddit?!?!?). This deployed the full range of smears from A to, er, B.
“Within minutes of the secret meeting of Brexit saboteurs in Smith Square finishing on Wednesday, Roland Rudd, the shadowy multi-millionaire spin doctor behind the campaign to derail Brexit, was in receipt of a full report … In his open-plan office on the 13th floor of the iconic Adelphi Building, with its panoramic views of Westminster, the man dubbed the ‘godfather of Remain’ was on the phone, demanding that every cough and spit be relayed to him. Increasingly, he believes he scents victory” he told.
Shadowy! Saboteurs! Spin doctor! Open-plan office! Zap! Pow! Dull! But who is Roland Rudd? Why should Mail readers fear and loathe him? “Rudd, an oleaginous charmer with just a hint of the spiv, is the boss of a City PR firm and a lifelong EU fanatic who set up the pressure group Open Britain immediately after the EU referendum in June 2016”. Shine a light, a Mail pundit calling “spiv” on someone else. Get the diary out!
Pierce’s article also made a number of highly creative claims about the New European, a publication which has the audacity to take a line that is not in accordance with the Dacre diktat. Much of this was potentially actionable, as Matt Kelly pointed out to Pierce: “.@toryboypierce Not sure how much else of this story is total bollocks, but the bit about The New European certainly is. Retract and correction, pronto please. Ta”.
Kelly also confirmed that this was a hit piece to order: “textbook Mail hatchet job - all the cliched trigger words are there. mostly yawn inducing”. And Paddy Briggs observed “This should be taught on Journalism courses as an example of how innuendo, made up ‘facts’, irrelevant details, sly hints and the rest are used to create a ‘story’ where none exists. @toryboypierce is a master of these dark arts. aka ‘Propaganda’”.
The scale of that propaganda can be seen from the comment by the New European’s Twitter feed: “apparently we’ve got swanky new offices in central London! pity it’s only in the imagination of @toryboypierce. Wonder how much else of this Daily Mail hatchet job is total fiction”. Rather a lot of it, most likely. And thus the problem for Pierce.
Geordie Greig will be under pressure to trim the pay, and indeed numbers, of pundits bequeathed to him by Dacre. And suggestions as to who should face the chop are unnecessary, when fools like Andrew Pierce have done that job already.