Richard Littlejohn is clearly trying to win back the Most Vile Columnist award from Jan Moir in 2010, and he’s decided to do it by really unleashing the fury. Not content with writing just one diatribe that might provoke action from the Press Complaints Commission (if it had bigger balls then a female eunuch, of course), Littlejohn attempted to play Double Money in this week’s column.
Not content with simply insulting a dead man – in this case, ex-Labour leader and crazy-good orator, Michael Foot – Littlejohn also managed to put in an amazingly blatant bit of racism. It really was rather bizarre, because following recent events I would have bet my house on the fact that I would never, ever feel sympathy for Ashley Cole.
And yet, reading the following made me pretty much speechless: “Frankly, I’ve no interest in Ashley Cole’s sex life, only whether he’s going to be fit – mentally and physically – to play for England in South Africa.
One observation, though.
He should lose the beard he’s grown since his troubles with Cheryl began.
It makes him look as if he’s stepped straight out of an Alky Ada martyrdom video.”
So, in summary, a black man grows a beard and is therefore compared to a terrorist. What enlightened times we live in. What year is this? Is Gene Hunt running the Daily Mail? Sadly we’re in 2010, but the intentionally controversial views of a bigoted little twat still have free reign in a national newspaper.
What’s just as terrible is that the result of the recent Jan Moir controversy seems to have de-energised those who once hoped to make a difference. The PCC, as you will no doubt recall, did nothing and dismissed the over 22,000 complaints over Moir’s infamously homophobic article about the “unnatural death” of Stephen Gately. No doubt it was entirely coincidental that Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre is also chairman of the Editors’ Code of Practice Committee, which is a bit like putting Bagpuss in charge of the British athletics team. The comparative lack of response (so far) to Littlejohn’s latest odious column is a sign of the apathy brought about by the PCC’s Moir ruling, which proved that the organisation has the teeth of Shaun Ryder. What an utterly pathetic excuse for a regulatory body, a morally vacuous flannel that makes a blancmange look firm.
Well, I for one will not stand for it, and I’m sure I’m not alone. We badly need a strong Press Complaints Commission or similar organisation to make sure that free speech doesn’t mean free licence for the kind of hateful bile that certain gutter-rag columnists produce to order. Jan Moir apparently received a bonus for her Gately column, for the amount of extra traffic it brought the Daily Mail website. What a shameful indictment of her employers. What a joke it is that the press considers itself capable of self-regulation when this sort of thing carries on.
Littlejohn’s latest column won’t be his last. But it’s a nice thought, eh? With enough justifiable protest, maybe one day we’ll finally stop this horribly vindictive tripe from infecting our mainstream media. It’s going to be a long haul, but it’s a fight that the decent majority has to win.
This post was brought to you by very few good Friday night wine deals…