Something Fawlty In Week Of Scandal

Nice that the nation comes together not to face down our financial problems but to celebrate Halloween with a witch hunt.

The mob is in the mood for a lynching.

You don’t need to agree with what Russell Brand and Jonathon Ross did to find something unsettling about the way this story has developed.,

They shouldn’t have done what they did. It shouldn’t have been broadcast. That’s the easy part to establish.

But, it now appears, that Andrew Sachs did not forbid the BBC from broadcasting the show. We also know that that nobody listening to the show complained and that Sachs himself had not even mentioned the incident to his agent or sought any sort of apology.

Unfortunately for Brand and Ross, or fortunately if you think those two deserve everything they have got, a Mail on Sunday journalist happened to be listening. And it was that journalist that sparked the outrage.

So 30000 complaints have flooded in on the back of a story in a newspaper not from outraged listeners whose ears were defiled after hearing the show.

Now I really can’t understand the mindset of someone who complains about something they haven’t heard. I can only surmise that they are religious fanatics or the sort of people who would vote for Sarah Palin. Or both.

And remember these people have taken time out of their lives to complain when neither the grandfather or the granddaughter at the centre of the story have complained.

And when these people get their cheap thrills over Sunday breakfast reading the Mail on Sunday’s latest expose of the sex/drugs/drink/mental illness affecting some minor celebrity do they think, aghast, at how the family of the celebrity feels?

Did the – and you’ve got to believe that it’s the vast majority – Mail readers who did not listen to the programme know that Andrew Sach’s had a granddaughter? Did they know she had shagged Russell Brand or that she was a Satanic Slut? If shame was brought on the Sachs family name then the Mail on Sunday publicised it far better than the BBC. Does any of that strike the Mail readers as odd and slightly warped?

No. Because they have bought into the shallow, hypocritical morality of Paul Dacre and his Mail cronies. This moral artifice they have created is merely a hollow shell to hide the real issue of their hatred of the BBC and their dislike of the personalities involved.

A non story – and I stress again, no complaints from listeners or the Sachs family – is blown into a media frenzy simply so the reptiles that run the Mail stable can have yet another go at the BBC and the licence fee.

The Mail could claim on Monday that it was simply following public opinion – but that opinion was a falsehood caused solely by the Mail on Sunday. And don’t try going off message in Dacre land because they won’t publish any comment that disagrees with them.

And if you don’t believe that this about personalities then it is interesting to think how this story would have played out if Brand hadn’t made his second crucial misjudgment and raked up the Mail’s Nazi supporting past.

Probably thinking the story would blow itself out the comedian used his apology on Saturday night to have a go at the Mail’s 1930’s trumpeting of Hitler.

That was a big mistake because it annoyed Paul Dacre. When your politics are as right wing and as informed by hate as Dacre’s then people, quite correctly, pointing out that your paper was once a mouthpiece for fascism can strike quite close to the bone. Dacre now had a reason to use the story to destroy Brand and Ross.

Brand was wrong. Ross was wrong. The BBC was wrong. But the aftermath of their mistakes says a lot of very unpleasant things about Britain today.

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