Portrait of the pornographer as a young man

Independent leads with prediction of ‘jaw-dropping Leveson testimony’

….and all human insincerity is present in the new Soaraway SOS

Independent on Sunday deputy editor James Hanning probably doubled the ratings of this coming week’s Leveson hearings when he wrote, in today’s edition, that ‘Dramatic new evidence to the Leveson inquiry is expected to unleash a “bloodbath” of bitter recriminations between police and prosecution officials arguing over failings in a series of investigations into allegations of phone hacking, computer hacking and bribery by journalists.’

Hanning –  a chap as well clued into the Hackgate saga as anyone – has used an army of News International moles to piece together an entirely convincing story about the Sun on Sunday launch being brought forward….to avoid being spoiled (or even ruined) by some of the evidence of Newscorp criminality about to spill out into the media. I am now well behind the music on this area – police and judiciary – of Hackgate, but given Mr Hanning is one of the more scrupulous and careful professionals around in the business today, I suspect a rearrangement of the furniture around our telly might be called for, starting tomorrow.

The Sino-American Digger may well have brought forward the launch of  The Pun on Sunday, but he might as well not have bothered. The Sun On Sunday – or as the Slog will henceforth refer to it, the SOS – turned out to be….um, The Sun, but on a Sunday. About as much imagination seems to have gone into producing the first edition as I spent cleaning my teeth this morning. Page 3 girl Kelly Rowland is ‘a Rowl Model but does she have the seX-Factor?’, ‘Nelson [Mandela] tum Op’, Katie Price with her own column (‘I would love to have met the war reporter Marie Colvin’), ‘Tanks but no thanks [petrol prices]’, ‘Piggy Beck Ride’ (Beckham’s new daughter), ‘Agony of Murdered Nikita’s Parents’…..onandonandonandon it goes, one lifeless pun after another, coupled with all that false intimacy the Murdoch tabloids assume they have with celebs. “‘ow’s yer tum Nels – awroight? Good on yer!” An entirely timely reminder why The Slog and millions of others would do anything to bury Newscorp and all who sail in her forever.

But there is one huge irony in the new Soaraway SOS leading with the gripping news that Amanda Holden’s heart stopped for forty seconds while having new baby Hollie. Over a 5-page spread, we learn that she lost ‘gallons of blood’ (the human body only has one to start with), docs – they’re never doctors in The Sun – used ‘special skills learned treating soldiers in Helmand’, ‘the NHS care was incredible’ (‘Aaaaarrrg), and Amanda ‘backs a charity set up in 1992 to help pregnant women over their problems’. Well she would, wouldn’t she?

Is this a newspaper in the spirit of The News of the World. No, it is not: all human insincerity is there, along with every inhuman asperity.

Meanwhile, the huge  irony is this: former Sun graduate, Mirror editor and all-round plank Piers Morgan poked his unpleasant nose into Holden’s marital business so much back in 2002, she became extremely wary of him…as the Romping Arse admits in his ‘book’ The Insider. What the Romper probably doesn’t know (but The Slog does) is that Holden* was tipped off about being phone-hacked on Moron’s watch as Blind Pugh Editor on the Mirror….and it was one of his employees who tipped her off. So if you’re feeling litigious Pierzipoo, bring it on: it’ll make for good fun in Court.

But talking of litigation, there is a profoundly nasty sign-off to the Holden spread:


This is the first Currant Bun I’ve ever actually handed over personal funds to read – and the first issue I’ve read at all since the late 1980s when I was pitching for The Mirror business. So I suppose this shit-ridden little  threat appears in all their fiction. These folks have worse antennae than Maria Callas, but while we’re here, I have three questions for Big Lawyer:

1. Was anyone else watching in Newscorp over the last twenty years, as your shower systematically corrupted every valued institution in the country I love?

2. Will you be watching the Leveson Enquiry next week when the profundity of your collaboration in this understain on British history comes to light?

3. Will you be watching over progeny James as his life disintegrates in the coming months? Or will your focus now turn to protecting  prodigal returnee Liz and her brother, Lacklustre Murdoch, as they’re put in charge of new products and Newscorp salvation respectively?

‘Our lawyers are watching’. Give me strength.

* Those pointing out that – despite that traumatic marital experience with the tabloids – Amanda Holden is still happy to take their publicity have a very good point. I don’t think it’s any defence of what Newscorp and other papers have done; but I do believe publicity junkies are their own worst enemies.