The old media’s double standards on swearing were exemplified by the Daily Mail’s former editor, the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre, who was known as the Vagina Monologue because he called so many people cunts, while his paper went into full pearl-clutching mode as soon as anyone even looked like cursing. Now has come the new media variation on that theme, from the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and the Guido Fawkes blog.
Feared. But only by rickety furniture
F*** off c***, I've retired
Yesterday, Staines’ Media Guido Twitter feed took exception to comments passed about alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, sniffing “A member of the Independent’s lobby team just called the Prime Minister a ‘f*cking c*nt’ in the press gallery”. What’s with the asterisks? We’ve all heard Derek and Clive. Some of us have heard Derek and Clive rather a lot. And not the bit about Tony Newley.
Reaction to The Great Guido’s revelation was not exactly enthusiastic, with Stephen Phelan musing “A true facility for language allows the user to choose the exact right words. In this case an Oxford don could not have put it better”. Matt Turner inferred strangely that Staines and his pals were grasses. And Raven Cozens-Hardy retorted “More truthful than you will ever be”. Cruel. Cruel but fair. And there was another problem.
The Fawkes rabble, or rather, Staines himself, have no room to talk when it comes to deploying the C-Word, as those who follow London’s Mayoral Elections will know. Back in 2012, Staines, accompanied by his then tame gofer, the odious flanneled fool Master Harry Cole, and a young man in a chicken suit (don’t ask) interrupted a Ken Livingstone photo-up outside London Bridge station. Adam Bienkov captured the aftermath.
Quite apart from a camerawoman taking issue with the Fawkes massive not looking who they might have been barging out of the way in order to get near the Labour candidate - but don’t say Staines knocked her over or he’ll set his not very good lawyers on you - there was an altercation between The Great Man and one of Ken’s minders. It seems he blocked Staines from getting near to the candidate - and Staines was not happy.
“You guys started it, you cunt” shouted Staines. “Pardon? What did you say to me?” asked the minder. “Cunt!” retorted Staines. “Can’t you say it one more time?” suggested his adversary. Anything to oblige, it seems. “You are a fucking cunt … you are a fucking cunt” bellowed Staines, in between modelling the XXXL version of his own T-shirt.
But that was then, and now Staines no longer goes out on a whim to contrive stunts for clicks. He’s a respectable part of the media establishment, dontcha know. Besides, the amount of energy involved in hauling all those bellies around London must be seriously taxing. So he just gets righteous about the C-Word instead.
So remember, next time The Great Guido takes exception to anyone swearing - he’s a master of the genre. Just like with the drinking. Another fine mess, once again.
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