There is great news for Michael Parkinson in today’s soaraway Sunday Sun: Emu was a paedophile, and Rod Hull was a groper. We don’t need ‘allegedly’ in this observation, because poor old Rod fell off his roof adjusting the TV aerial years ago…and you can’t be done for defaming a dead person. Such as Jimmie McAlpine, for example.
The cast-iron source for the yarn is darts legend Eric Bristow, who says he “nearly decked” Hull for using his unlikeable bird to abuse members of a kiddie audience. Parky nearly decked him too. Lots of people are ‘nearly decked’ in life. Rarely, it seems, are they arrested. Lord Alistair McAlpine and his loveable lawyer Andrew Reid would like to deck some 270,000 people for casting aspersions on the McAlpine family name. They want to deal this, they tell us, because the overwhelming public mood is in favour of much stricter media news regulation. Are they?
‘Almost three quarters of those polled (71 per cent) said that the main focus in stopping bad practice in the media should be tougher application of existing laws, with only 24 per cent saying new legislation and regulations were necessary’ records the Daily Telegraph this morning. People should tweet this as much as possible, as it gives the lie to McAlpine’s humbug about ‘public pressure’ forcing his damages feeding-frenzy – as if he was doing us all a favour. MPs should also take note: the 150 or so of our embezzling MP cheats trying to muzzle investigative hacks (because they want to reinstate the expenses scam without the media finding out) should now quietly slither back under the damp stone from which they so unwisely emerged.
The Independent also carries the report, noting that under 10% of respondents thought press regulation was a Top Ten issue. But it leads with the Gaza escalation, which is probably right. All the usual signs are there: cynical wind-ups from the Arabs followed by over-reaction by the Israelis. But as The Slog opined in July, US foreign policy in the region is the real culprit here: Washington and the State Department are playing with fire in the entire East Mediterranean sphere: encouraging the Greeks, supporting the Israelis, keeping Erdogan happy, pushing the Muslim Brotherhood’s Syrian takeover, and destroying the Iranian economy. There are fuses heading for at least three powder kegs now, but apparently I’m being ‘a little hysterical’ so I’ll shut up about it. I seem to be irritatingly right about the Middle East, when what we need to more Foreign Office bollocks and Islamic drivel. Fair play.
The Mail meanwhile – which came the closest it’s ever been to Defender of the State Right or Wrong last week – is still very much in favour of zero press regulation (good thing) especially its own right to print half-truths that try to bend minds but wind up merely boggling them (probably also a good thing). David Rose declares himself “very close to suing” some bloggers this morning (by which he means The Slog) because he has “an irrefutable case” against people who accuse him of being ‘a secret paedophile in the pay of MI5’. He then focuses on David ‘Nutter’ Icke as typical of bloggers, and rubbishes Twitter, before once again gratuitously referring to the source of paedophiliac exposures as ‘dubious’.
In short, it’s standard MoS fare: (1) I’ve not accused him of being a paedophile (2) I said he was a former MI5 operative (3) if he’s never cooperated with MI5, then let him say so, and I will apologise (4) He did give hopelessly inaccurate evidence to the Waterhouse Enquiry – evidence that unwittingly worked in favour of perverts (5) His piece last Sunday about Steve Messham was inaccurate in almost every respect (6) he still will not address the McAlpine omissions in relation to family history (7) better authorities than him find much of Messham’s evidence compelling (8) his mate Bob Woffinden has been proved wrong about endless cases from Hanratty onwards, and (9) his view appears to be that there is no paedophile history of widespread abuse in North Wales. Move over David Icke, there’s a new kid on the block.
Anyway, as Cameron would say, let me be clear about this: David Rose is an Establishment toady. It’s an opinion I could back up ad nauseam in any Court of his choosing. As such, it isn’t actionable. He no doubt thinks I’m a harebrained troublemaker. Fine.
The Opinium/Observer survey finds that 56% of people would probably or definitely vote for the UK to leave the EU if they were offered the choice in a referendum. Full marks to the Obby ‘orse for splashing this as opposed to burying it on P37 – which is what it would’ve done, along with immigration surveys, a decade ago. It points out the growing popularity of UKip, but like James Delingpole in yesterday’s Torygraph blogs, totally fails to press the point about UKip’s failure to turn that advantage into seats. Very significant for me is that, while 56% of us would like to get out of the EU, four out of five of us don’t fancy voting UKip. Words like Farage, omnishambles and cavalry twill trousers spring to mind. Cue shoal of thread insults from his disciples.
The Mirror sticks with its winning formula of Celebrity Paedo Challenge, spilling yet another story trying to reach further into the barrel of Jimmy Savile’s depravity. The Sport had him shagging dead bodies. Now the Mirror has him “shifty and grinning” as he lay in wait for pupils every week in a cathedral. Is nothing sacred? No, it isn’t. That much is certain after the last two years of UK ‘élite’ behaviour.
But while everyone wrings their hands asking how Savile got away with it, Harold Fascist of Surrey still thinks innuendo should be punishable by death. Poor Harry is a bear of little brain, and cannot join the dots up between fear . threats . having power . being able to afford gagging orders . having access to the media that victims don’t get . paedophiles getting away with it. It is a sloping playing field, Harry: police don’t have bells on their cars any more, Dixon is dead, hacks are lazy and frightened, citizens are TV-fixated and/or drunk, and Superman never existed outside comics. Really. He doesn’t exist, Harry. Nor do Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy.
Finally we look in briefly on the Wapping Liars. Paywalls being what they are, all visits there for me these days are mercifully brief, but today’s issue actually looks quite good. What the paper should be called, of course, is the Sun Day Times, because it’s news stories are really Sun piffle with better art direction and equally awful puns. ‘Roger and out’ is the headline to the General Petraeus story. But ‘Top comic faces Twitter revenge of McAlpine’ is a good piece, showing how Alan Davies faces a McAlpine suit for one of his less careful Tweets. McAlpine’s focus so far has been upon the BBC, George Monbiot, Sally Bercow and now Alan Davies. And we’ll have no innuendo here about settling old political scores, thank you very much. ‘Cameron nabs Boris guru’ is however an old story, featured in a Slog Smoke Signals post ages ago.
Murdoch is in something of a pickle now. Having thumped the tub for press freedom to help with decisions about illegal Iraqi Wars and TV station takeovers, Roop now finds himself up against the very controlling Toffs he dislikes so much. It couldn’t happen to a nicer bloke, but as both the Digger and the Builder are huge fans of Australia, surely they can come up with some mutually profitable compromise. I’d love to speculate about what it might be, but on balance I’ll resist the temptation for a week or two.
Enjoy the Roast.