OPINION: Serious issue among all the nonsense

This isn’t the silly season - it’s just plain daft. The Blairs hold a silent three-minute photocall of ’almost sadistic iciness’, according to the Italians, from which writing journalists are banned. A child killer wins pounds 26,000 damages for a prison cricket injury, while relatives of a ’teenage tearaway burglar shot dead by a farmer defending his property’ seek compensation for loss of his earnings - presumably from crime. And the nation debates whether a teenage William Hague could have downed 14 pints as a drayman’s mate in Rotherham. This seems distinctly possible since the Mail says he sank 32 rum and cokes on his 18th birthday. The one conclusion we can draw at this stage is that it did nothing for his head of hair.

This isn’t the silly season - it’s just plain daft. The Blairs hold

a silent three-minute photocall of ’almost sadistic iciness’, according

to the Italians, from which writing journalists are banned. A child

killer wins pounds 26,000 damages for a prison cricket injury, while

relatives of a ’teenage tearaway burglar shot dead by a farmer defending

his property’ seek compensation for loss of his earnings - presumably

from crime. And the nation debates whether a teenage William Hague could

have downed 14 pints as a drayman’s mate in Rotherham. This seems

distinctly possible since the Mail says he sank 32 rum and cokes on his

18th birthday. The one conclusion we can draw at this stage is that it

did nothing for his head of hair.



There has also been a serious side to the first half of August. It’s

called paedophilia and it has done nothing for those, over and above the

paedophiles and their victims, who have become involved in it. We’ve

seen suicides, attacks on innocent men and an appalling mob on a

Portsmouth housing state hunting down and hounding real or imagined sex

offenders living in their midst. We’ve also seen the British media at

its worst in the shape of a News of the World ’name and shame’ campaign

against child molesters. The past few weeks have done nothing to make

the word ’tabloid’ smell sweeter in the nation’s nostrils, even though

some of them have distanced themselves from the old ’Screws’.



I agree that those who prey sexually on children present a serious

problem, whether or not they have been convicted and served their time

in prison.



It has no doubt always been a problem, man being what he is, but now you

dare not let your grandchildren out of your sight. This is what comes of

a society which abandons all restraints and bombards its people with

sexual stimulants.



But it is worse than that. People know that government in its widest

sense hasn’t a clue what to do about it and fear that officialdom is so

politically correct that it cares far more for the molester than the

molested.



It is in this atmosphere that vigilantes are made, if not born.



That is why Rebekah Wade, the new editor of the News of the World, was

so irresponsible, not to say utterly shallow, to launch her

campaign.



But, having done so, what has she done publicly to defend her stance

while, at the same time, feeding her readers on a weekly diet of

titillation?



In words she will understand: sweet FA. She has hidden behind a

subordinate, Stuart Kuttner and a PRO. I reckon that if editors were

expected, like politicians, to account for themselves before select

committees and on radio and TV we would have a different type of

journalism - and different editors. I offer this idea free to all PROs

who would like to level up the media playing field.



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