The inmates of the Northcliffe House bunker seem determined not to allow the departure of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre from the editor’s chair at the Daily Mail to mark the end of the spiteful, authoritarian and just plain nasty journalism that was his trademark. To this end, the cudgels have been taken up by the Mail on Sunday today with a crude apologia for disgraced Arcadia boss Philip Green.
“GREEN: IT WAS ONLY BANTER” says the man from the Ron Hopeful headline department, before going on “TopShop breaks silence over allegations of sexist and racist bullying … He brazenly dismisses claims as ‘zero’ and says his life is now a ‘horror story’”. Well, my heart bleeds for the obnoxious, overmonied SOB.
So what has he told the MoS? “I'm very, very, very upset. I'm being used as target practice when there is zero [evidence] that anyone has turned up with. It's injuring my business, all the people potentially working in the business, and it's injuring me and my family … Tina is horrified, she's appalled that people are treating us like this. We all feel the same. It's a horror story. Somebody can say whatever they like and people just follow you around, chasing you and harassing you”. Happens to the little people all the time, Phil.
But do go on. “I've been in business for more than 40 years. There has obviously from time to time been some banter, but as far as I'm concerned that's never been offensive … I've got a good relationship with all my staff. In all that time, until the recent issues, I've not had one litigation or complaint … If anything I've said has caused offence, I'm happy to apologise. Nothing I've said was ever meant to be offensive”.
Yeah, right. Now put the victim-playing against what Owen Jones was told by an Arcadia whistleblower: “[he] allegedly routinely came into meetings to ask women if they were ‘naughty girls’ needing ‘their bottoms slapped’; commented on a woman's weight saying she ‘must be a lesbian because no man would marry her’ and asked an Asian woman if she was ‘eating too many samosas” for starters. And there was more.
“When one woman asked Philip Green to use her actual name in a meeting rather than ‘sweetheart’ and ‘darling’, he told her to ‘shut the fuck up’. But there was a widespread culture of silence at his Arcadia group which left women feeling unable to speak out”. Plus the small matter of those seven-figure payouts. And the non disclosure agreements.
While Green - probably destined to lose the “Sir” sooner rather than later - blusters “Peter Hain's behaviour is just disgusting” (pot, meet kettle) and one of his supporters claims “He seems quite hurt nobody really likes him in the UK and says everyone has forgotten the good he has done for the country purely because he is rich” (he lives in sodding Monaco, for goodness’ sake), the MoS article is a day too late.
That is because those who still needed to make their minds up about Philip Green already did so. At least the MoS allows Liz Jones to suggest with little subtlety that his behaviour has been hushed up for decades because of his power within the industry.
You get a hell of a lot of banter for a million notes. I’ll just leave that one there.
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