Category Archives: Politics

Know your enemy – Part 4 surely the end

Gah

Gah Gah Gah GAH.

Over a month. Over one fucking month. That’s how long it’s taking me to read one single copy of the Daily Mail.

Why? I mean the DM has been in the press for all sorts of titillating trolling reasons lately. First of all there was that whole Samantha Brick episode. You know the one? The one where the Daily Mail ran a piece by a women who moaned about how good-looking she woz when she wasn’t all that good-looking and the internet replied by saying she wasn’t that good-looking and she replied saying yes she was don’t be jealous and then she became all famous an’ stuff an’ she went on the telly an’ all the telly people laffed at her, an’ everyone felt a bit awkward cos’ it looked a bit like she wos bein’ used by the Daily Mail as a hate figure to send people like me to look at their website… so then the hole media got divided an’ Charlie Brooker got some sex toys out to make a laff on the telly an’ I made a laff at the telly an’ then Samantha Brick disappeared an’ mummy read me a story. It was the Hobbit. I like theHobbit.

SHE'S UGLY! No she's beautiful... NO she's irrelevant. Now go back to fucking sleep!

Yeah. Samantha Brick. Internet superstar. Someone no-one had ever heard of before was catapulted into every press orifice that she could be crammed into in the name of shameless self publicity. Hers and the Daily Mail’s. Good? Bad? Who cares! If it drives people to your website it wins. And the Daily Mail got that in spades didn’t they. They milked the whole affair dryer than a cow in a desert and bled Brick to death in the process.  Six stories later (that’s right the DM online dragged 6 stories out of her) I’d be surprised if she had anything left of her legendary beauty now. She’s probably just a flap of skin lying on a typewriter. Each new chapter in the saga brought in hundreds of thousands of unique page views, thousands of comments and left a bad taste in the mouths of millions.

But Brick’s not the only thing the Daily Mail’s been throwing out is she? I mean take this headline that I stumbled on a few days ago.

OMG the DM just made me LMFAO

It’s like the Daily Mail mother lode. There are internet Daily Mail headline generators that could not do justice to this. There’s no point in the Daily Mail even continuing as an entity now. They’ve done it. They’ve achieved their image of perfection. They’ve managed to get thieving Gypsies living in palaces into a stopry. Actually – the Daily Mail did even better than this. Because when it first came out I took a screenshot. It seems they’ve even had to tone down the headline.

THAT’S RIGHT – THE ABOVE IS TONED DOWN VERSION OF WHAT THEY REALLY WANTED TO SAY which was.

OMG I can't LOL at this because erm... it's actually really rather unpleasant.

With all this excitement spewing forth like black bile from the DM online you would think that the paper itself, you know: the one people usually pay for (not me ha ha I gets all my papers out of bins!) would be a real page turner. You would seriously think that with Brick, and Gypsies and twitterstorms and all that jazz, that the Daily Mail would be like a rollercoaster ride. Vomit inducing. terrifying, but ultimately quite thrilling and vaguely addictive.

Nope. I’ve struggled every day to pick it up. I’ve read classics in less time than it’s taken me to read one day of the Daily Mail.

Page 53 and we have recipes. What recipe would the Daily Mail throw up all over its loving audience do you think? The latest creation from Jamie? A bit of sexed up Nigella? Certainly not Blumenthal.. or potty mouthed Ramsay. Hold it. What’s this?

The Daily Mail - with recipes from the 80s to make you feel like the world never changed

A Tuna Pasta Bake? A TUNA FUCKING PASTA BAKE? I have NOT EVEN SEEN a tuna pasta bake in over 20 years. But here we are – in a paper caught in a time warp. They have recipes for dishes that died in the 80s. I’m surprised they don’t advice you to serve with SMASH and throw in angel delight for pudding!

And this is the point isn’t it. DM online is happy to titillate and troll the internet. Putting up pictures of children in bikinis and models wearing even less alongside fame-stalking pap shots and vile editorials to cajole and tease and insult the left while racking up the site visits and creating a vast web auddience bigger than the population of the UK. But when it comes down to it the paper itself is the media equivalent of weak tea. The pisswater you get when you use one bag for two cups and then spill a slosh too much of milk to boot. It’s tepid, watery, insipid and sits on the roof of your mouth til you find some thing else to wash it out with. That’s precisely why it has taken me over a month to consume 50 pages of one issue. Not because it’s shocking but mainly because it’s boring… and a bit soul destroying.

It’s boring because it knows its audience better than any other paper. They’re boring too. They’re boring, banal, selfish, fearful and probably old. No paper in the world can mirror its print audience better than the Mail can, in this respect, it deserves some actual credit for pandering exactly to the opinions and needs of its print readership. Don’t believe me? Well on pages 54 and 55 we get a view into the minds of the readers through the letters pages… and they’re even more disturbing than the editorials. I’ve made a point of reading all the letters. Twice. They’re absolutely batshit. They range from the gentle but pointless humour of the elderly to the evil troll fuelled hate of a rampant nazi. Have this to ease in gently…

ahh bless. Hold it. Someone writes this on a piece of paper and the Daily Mail published it? MENTAL

There’s even a poem.

A poem
About being
a fucking
Chameleon.

And there’s a limerick

A limerick about horses.

And someone sent in a picture of a monster munch crisp. They really did. A crisp that’s supposed to look like a dog. BUT IT REALLY LOOKS LIKE A CRISP NOT A FUCKING DOG.

There’s a letter entitled “knife crime” that is a genuinely angry rant about how young people don’t hold their cutlery properly these days. Seriously. It’s really angry. It starts off like this

“Has no-one else noticed the increasing number of people who are choosing to eat holding their knife and fork in an incredibly clumsy and ugly manner?”

There’s a letter complaining about the AWFUL AWFUL people at Fortnum and Mason and their poor hamper delivery service.

Oh and then you read something like this and just want to switch all your internal organs off simultaneously and let a small part of your soul shrivel up and die

If we spent the £20,000 per illegal immigrant with the aids virus on our border security they wouldn’t be here in the first place

After the letters there’s 4 pages of telly. Not sure why. I bet most of the people who read the Daily Mail still rake the Radio Times every week – although It’s interesting that the first “recommended pick” is a channel 5 documentary called “The Nazis and the Titanic” – what did I say earlier? Playing to their audience.

After that it’s all ads for a bit. Lots of stairlift ads. Lots and lots of stairlift ads. Oh and an amazing advert allowing people who did national service to buy a special national service medal. Seriously. You can buy a medal to commemorate that time you spend marching up and down the square – only in the Daily Mail would we see such a celebration of faux militarism.

After the ads we’re into the business and sport and that’s all I can take. Ever.

The lesson I’ve learned here is big and pretty important though. The Daily Mail won newspaper of the year because of one campaign. The Stephen Lawrence campaign. That’s it. Fair enough. But there is nothing else there to redeem it. In fact there’s not really much else there at all to be honest.

The Mail Online is a walking talking trolling, celeb pap snapping, hotbed of titillation and opinion that draws in the web in a mixture of disgust and fascination with all the gravital pull of a supermassive black hole. But the paper itself is as dull as dishwater. When you scratch the surface of the sensationalist front pages, draw the poison out of the vitriolic  opinion pieces and stop laughing, crying or scratching your eyes out at the letters pages you’re left with nothing but fluff and adverts. If the Daily Mail were a drink it would be a mainstream brand of sherry like Harveys Bristol Cream. It’s sweet sticky and cloying and it has the middle class pretensions that branded sherry had 30 years ago. But at the end of the day it’s still a dangerous fortified wine and if you consume too much of it you’ll it will poison your soul.

Know your enemy part 3

OK so… wow. Has it been that long? Where was I? It’s like a really bad dream. One where I’m frothing at the mouth screaming at the people around me… running down the street, tearing at my clothes crying… “they’re coming … they’re coming…. the immigrants are coming”.

Then I’m falling… endlessly falling, until hands reach and grab me, shaking me awake. And I’m here. Sat in front of a computer screen. The concerned faces that swam before me are gone. I’m out of the sanitorium and back home. And that was after just 22 pages of the Daily Mail. The Daily Mail I’ve promised myself to try to read cover to cover (well at least what I can manage). The Daily Mail that I found on the train on the 6th March and it’s taken me this long to get 22 pages into because …. because…. well I don’t want to go there again.

This is the least S&M pic of a straitjacket I could find

Page 23 and it’s back to the warm cuddly face of the Daily Mail – the grandmother you still love even though she sometimes says things like “Back in my day there was nothing wrong with calling them gollywogs” because she’s your granny, she loves you… besides, she was born in a different age … and she’ll probably be dead soon.

That’s right… Dad’s Army. Oh.. but it’s a bit sad because someone’s died. Hold it. And he only appeared in one episode of Dad’s Army?! This is actually utterly bizarre. The DM is reporting the death of Philip Madoc but is saying his most memorable role ever is appearing as a German U-Boat commander  in one episode of Dad’s Army? I’m gonna have to let that one wash over me.

Page 24 – Leveson. So in page order the death of someone who appeared in one episode of a sitcom in 1973 is more important than a national media enquiry? Mind you. At least it puts the boot into the met a bit – Go Daily Mail!

The Euphoria doesn’t last long mind. There follows a montage of random fear and loathing mixed in with a heavy dose of opinion that is hard to stomach… Woman poses as boy to seduce teenage girls. Chinese super-rich hunt polar bears. BBC wastes taxpayers money. Ooh pictures of David Beckham with his son! Best friends die at 99 (yes… that is a story). Union reps cost police £4.8m (just to hammer that into your fat kneejerk skull – that’s equivalent to 200 bobbies on the beat apparently – in fact the article, barely a few hundred words, manages to include “bobbies on the beat” 3 fucking times). Ha Ha someone called Rachel Ragg writes for the DM… which is a RAG! Geddit? Geddit? OK – I’m losing it here. Time out!

OOH LOOK – There’s a double fucking spread about … wait for it… no really. WAIT. THE FALKANDS WAR. Seriously – forget the 30 year time gap. The DM is adapting a book in a bid to let the jingoistic nostalgia junkies bask in every British victory ever and sock it to those dirty forruns! Think I’m joking? The piece is entitled “Under the Argentine Jackboot” – How subtle do the DM want to be? This subtle “We don’t ever want to become Argentinian. We are British and always will be – no matter what rubbish we hear from the Argentinians” Ahhh – a home (thousands of miles away from) home. Like Gibraltar… that open sore on the coast of Spain were fat-rosy-faced career criminals go smeared in faded tattoos and old England shirts to buy marmite and crisps and moan about immigration without a hint of irony.

What next? Diana auction… of course! Then its Health – NHS reform gets 2 pages. Page 38 is like a quack page – squeezy balls, muscle pills and superbugs. I’ll skip the puzzles and cartoons if that’s ok… although I do love the massive weight of opinion and angst out there about Fred Basset being the worst EVER comic strip.

HAHAHAHAHAHA no? Me neither.

I try to ignore the horoscopes but I’m caught by the fact that someone has actually written to the resident soothsayer asking what stage in the lunar cycle was best for conceiving children…. WHAT?  No? Really “I hear that the waxing moon is better, but as children grow in the dark I was just wondering?” Seriously. What the fuck is that? The soothsayer isn’t content with writing shite out for each of the 12 star signs… he also kindly adds a premium phone line for each star sign so the feeble-minded and gullible can be exploited further. How kind!

Blimey. The health section goes on for ages… and it’s awful. Skits on orange juice being unhealthy, a letter to the doctor where the good doc gets on a soapbox and whinges about a lack of compassion among nurses. There’s even a special regular section called waterworks about urinary problems… Dentures. The ubiquitous cancer page (good news this time… they’ve cured colon cancer… tomorrow it will probably be that colons cause cancer). There’s even a mini-health interview with Kelly Osbourne (yeah… the one whose dad is famous). Of course… the entire health section is decked out with ads for various gadgets and books. My favourite is “The saltpipe” – it’s a porcelain inhaler for salt. INHALE SALT – IT CURES EVERYTHING. A snip at 30 quid….

Of course… you know the health section is coming to an end when you see a full-page ad for electronic cigarettes. Mmmmm nicotine and water vapour…

Blimey. Is that the time? I’ll have to finish this off another day. I’m starting to get to the juicy bits.

To be continued.

Know your enemy part 2

 OK so Lets GO! This is what the Daily Mail – our NEWSPAPER OF THE YEAR looked like on 6th March when I dragged a used copy off a train seat to take it out the “news-pool”

Front cover – Ooh heart pills. Eh? HEART PILLS? Is that news? Well actually – I can’t be too critical here can I – after all – the Express ran the same headline (mind you – the Express is running a headline today about how Aspirin beats cancer for fucks sake). It’s not like there was much else going on in the world is there. I mean apart from Harry Lusting after Katie Perry (the Star) or benefits cheats (the Sun) or transsexual con artists (the Mirror). Oh… and a massive crackdown on protests in Russia and the ticking time-bomb of Eurozone debt…. but forget that foreign rubbish A HEART PILL is what counts.

News – Well what did I expect? It seems that even-numbered pages are about the serious agenda driven stuff and odd-numbered pages are about fluff. So page 2 is about Israel and the US. Page 4 is all about cutting child benefits and Page 6 is devoted to the Mail campaign against secret court cases, with a cameo from old school Tory poster boy Ken Clarke… you know the one. Justice Secretary, the bloke who categorises rape into “serious” and “non-serious”! Anyway by the time page 8 rolls around we reach what a lot of broadsheets put on the front page Putin’s crackdown….

 Meanwhile  Page 3 runs with a story about Prince Harry’s shoes. Yes. His. Shoes. Page 5 has a saucy picture of some Oxford librarian temptress and page 7 is a pictures feature comparing SamCam’s appearance in different pap shots taken while she’s out running.

Still with me? You’ll wish you weren’t. Whenever I get past a certain mark in the Mail (and that’s very rarely, train seats come at a premium you know) I get hit by this sudden completely overwhelming depression and sickness. It’s usually when you’ve braved the first few pages and the news becomes less fluffy and more agenda driven. OK so… Sam Cam, Ken Clarke and Prince Harry are hardly subtle hints at the political leanings of the DM – but if you’ve passed the initiation the views of the paper seem to hit you in the face a lot harder the further into it you have the courage to delve.

On page 9 the agenda ramps up with a rant by Dame Joanne Bakewell about how teen magazines sexualise young girls. Never mind the reality that it’s usually when people are in their teens that they start getting curious about sex – it’s WRONG for teens to talk about sex.

Maybe the DM has a point here? Or maybe it’s rank hypocrisy given the massive overt sexualisation of EVERYTHING when you browse the Daily Mail online. A cyber-world where DM paps relentlessly pursue FIVE-YEAR-OLD Suri Cruise for bikini shots. In fact the Daily Mail website is bikini obsessed. A search for the 6 letter word turns up 5,699 results. I’d show a screengrab but anything from DM online is virtually NSFW these days.  We only have to fast forward a few pages here and the Mail is discussing a Gina Ford suggestion that mothers should “grin and bear it” and have unwilling sex with their partners soon after giving birth…. So sexualising teenagers is wrong – but pre-teen bikini shots and forcing yourself to have sex when you don’t want to are fair game… yeah?

Anyway the massive hypocrisy of the Mail when it comes to moralising is a common theme. Onwards – before I get bogged down too much.

By page 14 I actually do feel physically sick. The paper has 80 pages – and I’m sick by page 14. That’s how bad it is. Maybe they should put something on the cover about how reading the DM gives you ulcers as one of the many health scares they gleefully try to terrorise their readership with. On page 14 there is a Quentin Letts rant about the “loonie” “left-wing” quango the Equality & Human Rights Commission. It’s awful.  Here’s a quote

Oh, and they happily spend millions of pounds of public money — your money, taken from your wages — on propaganda officers specialising in race relations, militant secularism and transgender rights outreach.

It’s like I’m on a boat. On the Congo river. Descending into some malarial right-wing feverishness.

Thank fuck then for pages 20 and 21. THANK FUCK. Because we get to a part of the paper called “life” which I think is targeted at women. Why? Why would they call a section “life” and target women with it? How Do I know it targets women? Well. You see. It features 2 pages of photos. 13 pairs of photos of male celebrities. 26 pictures. 13 of them are with beard and 13 without. And the reader gets to decide which is sexier. Beard.Or.No.Beard.  Does this seem strange? Well yes… a bit- but compared to reading the spew of Quentin Letts and the DM Comment column it’s like someone’s injected helium into my cranium and I’m floating away gently. More vapid pictures of men in beards PLEASE.

You get the idea

Shit. On page 21 it’s back to Letts. SOMEONE KILL ME. He’s reviewing the day in parliament. How very proper. Not the place where you’d expect a columnist to throw around personal insults eh? Hold it – how does he describe Ed Milliband?

For once, it was possible to watch Ed’s snorky, honking, spit-sploshy, gawky-geek style – arms lashing around like spaghetti in a tornado, teeth forcing themselves past those lips like the rocks off Land’s End breaking through the foaming briny – and admire young dobbin Miliband for his sheer persistence and stamina.

A good day for Parliament’s leading trainspotter! Triumph for the man in the flapping trousers! He glowed as he may not have done since his days as a Rubik’s Cube prodigy at primary school.

When Mr Miliband sat down he was sweetly pleased with himself. His tongue licked itself all over after making such an effort. His nostrils flared, two open drainpipes. His pigeony chesty heaved and he gave a sealion bark of laughter, so caught up was he by the excitement of the hour. He took on water like Thomas the Tank Engine or a camel at the last oasis before the M4.

So basically it’s not a review of what happened at parliament – it’s a right-wing columnist throwing a series of personal insults at the leader of the opposition. Well done to the NEWSPAPER OF THE YEAR.

Jeepers. Letts has given me a brane haemorrhage. I didn’t realise that simply reading the NEWSPAPER OF THE YEAR would be so stressful. I actually need a break before I pass out.

To be continued – after all – I’m only up to page 21

Know your enemy Part 1

Ok so….. STOP THE PRESS.

No I mean it. Like bring an end to it all. Smash up those apparatus of media propaganda with massive fuck-off hammers and start again with etchings and hand scrawled pamphlets.

Johannes Gutenberg, Elijah Lovejoy and other printing pioneers must be spinning their graves into muddy sludge right now!

Why? Well the Daily Mail won newspaper of the year last night. That’s right – a rag filled with little more than fear, hate and celebrity gossip was the standout British paper last year!

Maybe the award was partly for Dacre's contemptuous performance for Leveson

But that’s just a symptom isn’t it?

What I’m really saying is that the printing press, originally an apparatus to free people from oppression has now been transformed into a tool of oppression in itself. Where once the printing press was used to smash injustice and spread the truth, it has become a means of social control shower us with cancer scares and shiny pictures of bikinis as a means of distracting the day-to-day drudgery that we’re burdened with.

But I digress. That would be too depressing to dig myself into on such a beautiful spring day… and look – there’s a picture of a bikini and some cancer scare to occupy my five second attention span.

The Daily Mail eh?!

Who would have thought it? In a year where we’ve seen the Guardian break the phone hacking story which brought down our largest Sunday tabloid and transformed the media landscape forever we see the spiritual and actual home of Richard Littlejohn running away with the plaudits. Let’s get this straight, I’m not venting sour grapes like some Guardian loving leftie (well, maybe I am). There are plenty of worthy stories that have been broken by different parts of the media, the Paul Foot awards are evidence of that (ahem although the phone hacking story did win it).

Isn't this a bit more like it?

But the DAILY MAIL? To me it seems incomprehensible.

Sometimes I see the Daily Mail lying around on the train.

 I always pick it up, for two reasons. First is to take it out of circulation. I mean. Every Mail I pick up and bin is surely a service to humanity if it prevents some other poor soul having their mind warped into a vortex of immigrant-blaming, health-scare-mithering, crime-fearing paranoia. Second. Oh go on. It’s a bit of a laugh isn’t it. Let’s delve into the brane of the enemy and see what makes Dacre et al tick. Anyone who opposes something should know what they oppose and we can all laugh at the stupids while we do it. The problem is that after a few pages I feel ill from all the bile I’m ingesting and I have to put the paper down. I’ve got one in my bag from weeks ago that I’ve not had the courage to read properly yet for precisely that reason.

But this is the newspaper of the YEAR. Now I suddenly feel honour bound now to see what has made it so great. So in the interest of amateur curiosity lets take a look into the Daily Mail I picked up on March 6th and see what it is that makes such a national treasure so great!

To be continued

Sinking ships

Gah. Just saw that James Murdoch’s resigned from News International

Had a brief moment of “whoop” before the stilted reality of it hit me,

I mean… So what?

So fucking what?!

The king is dead eh! Long live the king.

Those of us hoping that scratching the Murdoch name from the taint of the NI stable would herald some new utopian era of reporting, where journalists stop going through bins and making up saucy kiss and tell fantasies are likely to be sorely disappointed.

With all the Leveson revelations gushing out of the enquiry like a burst sewage pipe you’d think that there would be a news revolution taking place! You’d think that James Murdoch wouldn’t just be quitting – but that he’s be committing ritual suicide along with all the unscrupulous hacks that he gave a voice to. You’d think his dad, Ruprecht, would be willing to appear on the telly draped in a costume made from the skin and hair of a sacrificial Rebekah Brooks offering to give his power and fortune to charity while he ekes out the rest of his days as a hermit in a cave with just lizards for company (step up Cameron and Clegg).

Yeah. We’re finding out what we knew already. That NoTW was like the tip of an iceberg –  but an iceberg made of frozen shitstorm drifting perilously close to the good ship newscorp. That power grabbing Fox-news-toting, king-making, phone-tapping vessel is already springing a few leaks – lets watch it go!

Problem is that Ruprecht and his son can see this. They’re like puppet lizard masters aren’t they. NoTW scandal? Easy… close the fucker down. Relaunch the Sun on Sunday! And guess what – you’ve just got streamlined your editorial staff – made huge cost-savings and are still tapping into exactly the same market. Man – nothing gets past these guys does it.

That’s what’s so dispiriting about the news of James being jettisoned. The stink that Leveson is releasing into the atmosphere is fetid… far too fetid for ickle James, who doesn’t want his name mixed up in that. Much easier to jetpack him out of there. Then what? Simples… sell the lot.

News Corp has bigger fish to fry and they know print media is dying a slow death. Why not just end the family link to it all and let the world laugh at Rebeckah and her police horse while you quietly get the fuck out and laugh all the way to the bank.

Meanwhile the knee jerker will still go out and buy their daily fix of tits and brainwashing – just like they all queued up to do for the Sun on Sunday – as if hacking a dead girls phone for a story had never happened in the first place!

Mrs Leveson’s Enquiry

OK SO! I finally buckled yesterday.

Well buckled isn’t the right word is it. I mean I was hardly under a stream of unrelenting pressure. I just … well … did what I wanted to I suppose.

What am I talking about?

The Leveson enquiry of course. The words on the tip of the tongue of every media blogger and commentator out there for as long as my junk smashed brane can remember.

By rights I should have been tuning into the live feed daily like a stupid salmon migrating home to spawn and die. It’s a chance to finally hold the press that I deride to account for all the godawful shit they make the public put up with. It’s covering everything: phone hacking, privacy invasion, celebrity stings, churnalism and all the other gutter spewing tactics the media resort to in order to bolster circulation and propogate their murky political agendas.

Yeah. I should be all over Leveson like bark on a tree. But it was only yesterday, after months of ‘meh’ that I actually took an interest.

“WHY???” I cry back to myself (punctuating each of the three question marks with a shrill little echo). Well two reasons. First I been buzzy. Like panicking myself into a fuzzy ball of vomit buzzy. EVERY DAY. When I started this blog weekly updates was the aim but fuck me that’s hard when ‘the man’ is out there slamming you into the coal face with a cricket bat every day. Jesus!

All work and no play makes me want to kill humanity one by one

But that’s not worth going into. Second is because the whole Leveson thang has left me feeling a bit ‘meh’. Perhaps it’s just that I got Leveson fatigue really quickly. Following @hackingenquiry on twitter (who bizarrely have an avatar resembling a highwayman’s mask) meant that my feeble feed of daily mush got flooded with bone dry platitudes.

So what is this? A mask? A tape? An old school instant camera film?

Platitudes that were compounded by tonnes of analysis and commentary from other twitter feeds. Add to that the ubiquitous live blogging and streaming feeds from the Guardian and it was like being smothered under a big Leveson shaped blanket. Even without paying any attention at all I felt I knew what was going on. Like when you don’t watch a soap opera for a year, then go back and the same characters are saying the same things in the same way.

Steve's looking a bit tired these days

The enquiry quickly lapsed into groundhog day with most of the people repeating the same sentiments. Only Leveson hasn’t learned to play piano and sculpt ice like Bill Murray. On top of that the man Leveson didn’t fill me with confidence. I’m prejudiced because whenever I hear the word Leveson it reminds me of the Mrs Levinson characters in a league of gentlemen, and it’s hard to respect someone when you have that in your head.

Would you let this man run a press enquiry?

Leveson also irked me when he said that he wouldn’t be drawn into a witch hunt.

These aren’t witches you idiot they’re journalists. A much more devious enemy. If you don’t hunt them down they’ll eat your SOUL

There have been highlights sure. The wronged celebs queuing up to vent their spleen. Cannon fodder car crash hacks like Paul McMullen checking in to patter out their hasty orisons. But til yesterday it didn’t grip me like a gristle.

Stay Classy Paul

WHY? (again with the shouting). Well. Dacre of course! The warm up acts were there to soften us up for the big bout. But in all honesty the Daily Mail Editor was a big draw. Finally a chance to see the nemesis of the left-wing media squirming in a chair under a rigorous cross-examination of righteous anger. What would happen? Would he melt under scrutiny? Would he reveal himself as a shape-shifting lizard intent on controlling humanity? Would he somehow evangellically convert all his critics into fans and secure some sort of Daily Mail led fourth Reich?

MY secret hope was for a Jonny Marbles style pie incident – but a pie secretly laced with Sodium Pentothal so that Dacre would be unable to help himself and the truth would come pouring out like a lumpy tearful haemorrhage leaving the mouths of the watching world agape as Dacre confesses to crimes we didn’t even know existed.

Yeah. Grant and McMullen were fun but Dacre was serious and far more likely to be entertaining than the bland and fully lawyered up Murdoch clan.

The weird thing about tuning into Leveson is that it’s actually a bit like listening to an audio book of a tabloid newspaper. But one that’s delivered in dry legalistic tones. Listening to Dacres warm up acts of Dan Wootton and Nick Owens was almost literally a list of celebrity gossip speculation being sombrely related from a transcript . Like… you know when they read out the  name of every person who died on 911 on the tenth anniversary? Well it was like that but without the emotional heartstring pulling sobs – instead a dry soulless narrative.  Oh. And also without people’s names being read out – but instead little titbits of celebrity tittle-tattle instead. So nothing like the 911 readings then. Bizarrely that’s more diverting than it sounds. Who could fail to stifle a giggle as cross examiners danced carefully around Kerry Katona’s Kocaine (sic) hell or as they drily read sweary transcripts speculating over the imaginary cosmetic surgery stories Chris Atkins made up for Starsuckers.

It was almost as though lesser journalists were just being called up to be laughed at for a bit at the ludicrousness of their profession then sent home chastened with the knowledge that what they engaged in was pretty stupid. When NOTW showbiz gossip Dan Wootton boasted that he kept a copy of the PCC code in his wallet at all times I had to laugh out loud.  

BIG BOX LITTLE BOX BIG BOX LITTLE BOX

Dacre himself was much more of a difficult beast to cage though. Unlike the others, he gave the impression that he actually believed in what he was doing. And that all this broo-ha-ha was little more than an irritating diversion from his day job of running the world. Any difficult question he could swat away like a bug by saying he didn’t have involvement or wasn’t in the office. Funny how editors are always out of the office when all the big stuff goes down. Funny how someone like Dacre takes personal and excessive credit for the Stephen Lawrence prosecutions – but had little or no involvement with legal actions from the likes of Neil Morrissey. Also funny how he can’t remember half the things he said about Hugh Grant but is happy to launch into a full apoplectic rage when picked up on his mendacious smear comments.

There were highlights – Dacre’s slip of the tongue when he implied that he sought to prevent legislation that would have made the UK the only country in the world that imprisoned journalists (erm – that would be “world” in Daily Mail terms of Dacre’s back yard then?) and the semantics of a conversation about whether turning on the bathroom light at night could cause cancer. However, Dacre’s appearance was ultimately disappointing. It was like having your grumpy old uncle over for Christmas Dinner – the one who is secretly an alcoholic and wants to be down the pub knocking back shorts instead of telling everyone what he got for Christmas and whether he believes Santa Claus exists.

Dacre highlights the problems of the Leveson enquiry to me. While the lower minions and hacks feel the full force of national ridicule in the face time Leveson grants them, the big guns are too busy, too savvy and too “mock” disinterested to give themselves away. Unless someone does start making up a Sodium Pentathol pie quickly Dacre, Murdoch et al will represent trawlers that the gulls can’t get Sardines from.

Liddle Englander

Gah. I hate Rod Liddle

Actually. I don’t think that’s much of a claim to fame is it. I mean be honest. Hands up who likes Rod Liddle. Up and high! There. Three of you. In the whole world. Probably family or something. Hating Rod Liddle is a pretty easy thing to say. I’m not talking the hating him in the wishing a cancerous death on him and hoping people queue up to defecate on his grave hate. He’d probably take it as some sort of backhanded compliment – to have commanded such a visceral feeling in people. Besides he’s too stupid to queue up and hate. Let’s face it. In the evil empire stakes he’s no Rupert Murdoch or Paul Dacre. Probably not even a  Richard Littlejohn or Melanie Philips. More of a Liz Jones – a languid hate figure – like the little devil’s advocate who pops up when you have a good idea and bores you out of it.

But my hatred of Rod Liddle isn’t based purely on the words that come out of that self-congratulatory cakehole of his or the petty little spites that stem from his spindly fingertips (they’re probably not spindly. They’re probably fat fingers slapping the keyboard but I need to paint him with some elegant features).

I bet you a tenner he's in jeans and pointy shoes as well

You see I hate all the bits about him. I hate what he looks like. I hate all the top half media shots of him in a shirt because I know with all my heart that he’s wearing jeans and loafers with it. Like someone who aspires to be a posterboy for the middle-aged Jeremy Clarkson look. Or one of the “cool” geography teachers you might have come across if you went to school in the early 90s. I hate that dull face with the half dead eyes and the shock of irrelevant white hair. Looking for all the world like a bland goblin from lord of the rings.  A nondescript moon-faced goblin that all the other goblins would “accidentally” forget to invite to their goblin parties for fear of being caught in the corner in then kitchen listening to this goblin prattle on about how the Uruk Hai were coming to middle earth and taking all their jobs. To me Rod Liddle has a face of ubiquity tinged with the Stevel Buscemi curse of being “funny looking” It’s a type of face I see everywhere and nowhere. At one point I even thought the man was stalking me.

Flash back 6 years BANG! There I am hanging out near London Bridge. Minding my own business. Might go to Borough Market and grab a falafel or whatever it is I was eating back then (to be honest I’ve already forgotten what I ate for tea last night). Walk past a cashpoint and who’s that staring back at me looking for all the world like some sort of innocuous bland goblin that no-one invited out. I swear it was Rod Liddle. At the time my only thought was whether it counted as a celeb spot. Like that time I saw Jarvis Cocker pushing his bike round Piccadilly. I decided it wasn’t. Even I barely knew who Rod Liddle was.

Flash forward a year or two from there. Rod Liddle’s been really grating me. I noticed he’d been writing about fotball. Sitting there like some smug self-appointed guru on all things football using his support of Millwall as justification. In the way that some fans of lower league teams claim to be better supporters than anyone else because they’re “grass roots” fans.Even though half of them are still as armchair lazy as your average glory hunter. Rod’s been worse than most though. Sitting there glibly demeaning a slew of fans, clubs and players and throwing in a liberal sprinkling of Millwall comments in the hope it will disguise the fact that he’s actually a complete fucking idiot when it comes to football. Or anything for that matter. Anyway. There I am one night at a concert with some friends. And then. Who is that standing at the back with the long grey horseface? God he looks bored. The gig isn’t bad but he’s bringing me down. He looks at me. SHIT! I swear to god that’s Rod fucking Liddle. At a concert. Staring at me like a hangdog. Stealing a bit of my soul because he needs it for himself.

Imagine this staring at you.FOREVER

That’s that. If I hear the words “Rod Liddle” again I swear I’m going to throw up a litre of black sludge and train it to seek home down and kill him. Problem is that he’s all over the papers. Suddenly he’s reviewing restaurants, holding court over his nothing views on football, writing opinion columns for the tabloids. Getting books published, appearing on the telly. I cannot avoid those cold, dark eyes glaring sullenly at me from the pages. I’m in a restaurant eating a meal. It’s my wedding anniversary. One of my favourite restaurants. THERE’S ROD LIDDLE EATING AT THE TABLE NEXT TO ME. No double-take this time. It’s unmistakably him. He looks like he hasn’t slept for a month and is chewing his meal expressionlessly. The only time he seems to emote is with a wan smile when the celebrity chef owner drops by his table to press the flesh in the hope of a good review. Suddenly my brevette tastes like cardboard. This is getting beyond a coincidence.

That was the last I saw or heard of Rod Liddle. I hope he’s got what he wanted from me. I don’t want to have dreams like aphex twin videos where hoards of children with Rod Liddle’s face surround me punching and kicking taking my wallet, clothes, internal organs. I almost succedded in forgetting he existed.

Until today. When I saw he’d put his foot in his mouth again with his comments about disabled people as covered here in political scrapbook. I mean. Jesus what an idiot. Joking about pretending to have M.E. Talking about how there’s a lot of money to be made from being disabled and how fashionable it’s become. The man is as much troll as goblin spouting out as many offensive platitudes as he can in the vague hope he’ll get noticed. He’s like one of those drunken tramps you see screeching filth in the street. Getting louder and more abusive. Not because he really thinks what is coming out of his mouth, but because he wants someone. Anyone. To notice him!

Slamming disabled people really is sick more like.

Did you read his Burns day comments yesterday? Awful. On a day celebrating Scottish tradition he decides to. Attack the Scotts. Lets not forget that 2 years before “The Wright Stuff” made its massive “Foxy Knoxy – Would ya?” blunder Liddle was their first by asking the same about Harriet Harman

There’s an interesting insight into Rod Liddle here in the Spectator where he describes is views.

Y’see he thinks of himself as being a left-wing member of the labour party “ I am pretty much of the left… I sign up to most of the stuff which used to be considered left – decent minimum wage, redistributive tax policy, social ownership of those things which as a society we need but which the market struggles to provide” Well Rod. That makes you a  bit of a Socialist!

But he also has views on immigration too. “My worries about immigration, meanwhile, are twofold; that as a country we have become too crowded, and that the free movement of labour has made it harder for indigenous working class people … My dislike of multiculturalism stems not simply from the belief that competing cultures undermine a sense of national identity … but that some of the cultures we have encouraged, or made allowances for, are profoundly illiberal” Hmmm interesting Rod. You see that sentiment makes you a bit of a Nationalist.

What can I say – in Rod’s own words he appears to be willing to preach nationalist socialist views. Probably no surprise then, that, not content with picking on disabled people, he also enjoys cracking jokes about Auschwitz to his Millwall chums “It’s fucking outrageous that you can’t smoke in Auschwitz. I had to sneak round the back of the gas chambers for a crafty snout. Also, I wasn’t convinced by the newish Auschwitz Burger Bar and Grill.” or making racist rants ‘There’s thousands of organisations catering exclusively to black and asian minorities. fuck ’em, close them down. Why do blacks need a forum of their own?”(warning daily mail link).

Personally I just hope he doesn’t start stalking me again.