Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Bully that is Paul Dacre

Agreement with Polly Toynbee is something I seldom have, but her article on Paul Dacre, the Daily Mail editor is something I am in complete agreement with.

This paragraph should give you a flavour

Dacre, the nation's bully-in-chief is, like all bullies, a coward: he refused to go on the Today programme yesterday to argue his case. He never dares face his critics, happy to fry alive all and sundry, never apologising, never explaining. There is a good reason for this: the stance his paper takes on just about everything is so internally contradictory and inconsistent that he could never survive even minimal scrutiny. The Mail's mishmash of lurid scandal, bitching about women and random moralising zigzags all over the place, dishing out pain and praise often according to who it has succeeded in buying with its limitless chequebook, or who has infuriated it by selling their wares to another bidder.
Now I'm sure the Guardian has no liking for Dacre but this is a bit more than the Guardian having a go. It exposes the strange link between the two little bullies Dacre and Brown and their even stranger friendship. Polly has this to say
One reason why it's easy to despair of Gordon Brown is his incomprehensible and grovelling friendship with Dacre, Labour's worst enemy. Where was Brown on the eve of his party's disastrous Glasgow East byelection? He was far away at Stratford-upon-Avon, watching Hamlet with his good friend Dacre. The Mail plays a curious cat and mouse game with Brown, sometimes praising his moral qualities on inside pages while assaulting Labour on its front page. Dacre is said to be very close to the Browns - which makes you wonder about the spinning of the PM's much-vaunted moral compass.
The Guradian also has a potted history of Dacre here. An interesting point is the final paragraph

One of Brown's first acts in office was to abandon proposals for supercasinos, a plan which had been the target of a fierce campaign in the Mail.

This maybe shows how deep the relationship is between the two.

Polly Toynbee: Judge Dacre dispenses little justice from his bully pulpit | Comment is free | The Guardian

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