Maybe I've become jaded in my exceedingly late twenties, but it seems like it's been a long time since there's been something genuinely, skin-tinglingly wacky enough to make me want to blog about it. Paul Dacre, Daily Mail editor and the man for whom the phrase "bilge-breathed fuckweazel" might well have been coined, can today add breaking that streak to his long list of highly questionable achievements.
For those of you who've yet to have this moonful of lunacy crash into your Saturday, let me recap: Mr. Dacre's taken time out of his busy schedule of generalised fist waiving to pen a rather spectacular missive, published within both the Guardian and his own organ, on how terribly beastly everyone's being just because he called someone's dead dad an evil traitor. The irony inherent in Dacre whining about the press treating him and his paper unfairly wafts through the piece like a pyramid of elephants in an elephant shaped room covered in elephant motif wallpaper on elephant and castle roundabout, but to dwell too heavily on that would be to miss the subtler tones present in Dacre's bullshit chardonnay. To really appreciate the heady mix of angry nonsense he's offered us it's important to savour each paragraph, swill it around our pallets and, perhaps most importantly, spit it out again.
"Out in the real world, it was a pretty serious week for news."
Begins Dacre's explanation for why he spent 6,000 news words explaining how wrong someone's dead dad was.
"In contrast, the phoney world of Twitter, the London chatterati and left-wing media was gripped 10 days ago by collective hysteria as it became obsessed round-the-clock by one story – a five-word headline on page 16 in the Daily Mail."
Dacre actually starts on quite solid ground, making an argument oft heard on Twitter but more rarely from Daily Mail editors - that Mail stories aren't real news stories and it's absurd that people devote time to this volcano of piss-ink when there are both dragons to slay and puppies to play with.
"Leading the charge, inevitably, was the Mail's bête noir, the BBC. Fair-minded readers will decide themselves whether the hundreds of hours of airtime it devoted to that headline reveal a disturbing lack of journalistic proportionality and impartiality"
Maths minded readers can also decide whether it's likely the BBC devoted hundreds of hours of airtime to a story that only broke some 240 hours ago. If it helps, I couldn't detect any overt references to the story in The Great British Bake Off.
"The genesis of [our fucking reprehensible hatchet job] lay in Ed Miliband's conference speech."
This, at least, I suspect to be true. Having spent the summer in the vanguard of a right wing press that successfully chipped Labour's poll lead down from double figures to a dead heat, only to see those numbers shoot back up faster than an electricity bill must have left Dacre and his yobs shitting out their own bollocks. That the bounce seemed to come from Miliband paying some (admittedly mealy-mouthed and unlikely) lip service to socialism must've had them varnishing those same bollocks and attempting to fashion them into morningstars.
"Nowhere did the Mail suggest that Ralph Miliband was evil"
Again, I'm happy to take Dacre at his word here. He wasn't saying Ralph Miliband was evil with the "evil legacy" headline. He was just saying the things he'd produced in his life - his books, his thoughts, his son - were evil. Totally different.
"Ralph Miliband was, as a Marxist, committed to smashing the institutions that make Britain distinctively British..."
Institutions such as, according to Dacre previously in the article, "the royal family, church and army" institutions which those of you in the advanced class will have noticed aren't distinctively anything except nasty. The royal family only makes Britain special in the same way that an oncologist might gravely tell you that yours is a special case, whilst saying you think Britain's distinctive because it has a church and army suggests you last ventured abroad when most of it was still unmapped.
"...and, with them, the liberties and democracy those institutions have fostered."
Again, not to labour a fairly obvious point - that Paul Dacre is wrong - but these institutions he claims were the standard bearers of freedom are still the same ones he referred to earlier, the ones chiefly concerned with ruling, lying to and shooting people.
"Yes, we accept that he cherished this country's traditions of tolerance and freedom – while, in a troubling paradox typical of the left, detesting the very institutions and political system that made those traditions possible."
It's probably worth noting that, at the time Ralph Miliband arrived in this country, universal suffrage had been a proud British tradition for almost 12 years.
"Despite this we acceded to Mr Miliband's demand – and by golly, he did demand – that we publish his 1,000-word article defending his father."
Paul Dacre's article is 1,864 words long.
It's at around this point that Dacre ascends from mere finger-jabbing-at-a-waiter rage to foam-mouthed-conspiracy-theorist rage, and starts spouting the kind of rhetoric you might hear from a wide-eyed woods-dwelling divorcee trying to convince you his ex-wife was behind 9/11.
"it became clear that this was no longer a story about an article on Mr Miliband's Marxist father but a full-scale war by the BBC and the left against the paper that is their most vocal critic"
He fumes, inviting the reader to take the red pill with him and find out just how deep this rabbit hole goes. Who else, beside the British Bastards Company, is out to get you pray tell?
Of course! Hasn't he been involved in some other dodgy dealings?
"[the] man who helped drive Dr David Kelly to his death, was behind the dodgy Iraq war dossier and has done more to poison the well of public discourse than anyone in Britain"
It's worth noting that, though it happily (and IMHO correctly) fingers Alastair Campbell (don't let that mental image linger) for Kelly's suicide here, the Mail has regularly published articles questioning whether Kelly was murdered. It must be frustrating that they can't blame Alastair Campbell, the BBC and Iraqi super-assassins all at once.
"my worry is that there was a more disturbing agenda to last week's events."
More disturbing than the combined armies of the left, commanded by the prince of political darkness himself, waging war on the poor little Daily Mail? Really?
"Is it fanciful to believe that his real purpose in triggering last week's row – so assiduously supported by the liberal media which sneers at the popular press – was an attempt to neutralise Associated, the Mail's publishers and one of Britain's most robustly independent and successful newspaper groups."
It might not be entirely fanciful, but when all your enemy needs to do to villify you is link to your webpage, it might be worth considering the possibility that you actually are a villain.
"Let it be said loud and clear that the Mail, unlike News International, did NOT hack people's phones or pay the police for stories. I have sworn that on oath."
Again, I trust Dacre on this. Why pay for bribes and expensive hacking equipment when you can just make stories up?