What the papers said

WILLIAM HARTSTON REVIEWS THE WEEK'S PRESS

The Mirror on Thursday had a big front page headline: "First Class Child Killer", while page two reported on her "Freebie to Freedom" and the "Outrage as BA pay half of Louise's pounds 5,600 flight home". I suppose that means we won't be reading the serialisation of Louise Woodward's life story in the Mirror. Funny how the paper's attitude to convicted killers has changed in the past few weeks. Wasn't the Mirror one of those papers that bought the memoirs of a woman convicted of murdering a nurse in Saudi Arabia?

Friday's Independent had a nice, but probably unintentional comment on the return of the nation's most notorious nanny. The main story of the day was headined "Ban for baby death doctors", while opposite it we read: "Woodward to get 'Diana treatment' in BBC interview". The Mirror had a different view of the Panorama-like prominence being planned for the interview with Martin Bashir. "Louise in TV grilling," it said.

The high-profile, no-comment flight home posed a problem for journalists. Most papers mentioned that Louise was in seat 1A, next to Sir Colin Marshall in 1B while her father was behind her in 2A. (You'd have thought that the chairman of BA would have offered to swap seats.)

The Times expressed great concern about her diet: "Her meal on board was a frugal one. Spurning the delights of the first-class menu - which included chargrilled king prawns tossed in a light cilantro vinaigrette, a Thai-style lobster curry, and grilled poussin in a tomato and chili salsa - she poked at a plate of fettucine with pesto. She only drank orange juice, although her father enjoyed the Chateau Branc-Cantenac 1990."

The Guardian, in a front-page piece headed "Woodward free - at a price" said: "Louise Woodward ... is expected to return to Britain and a potential six-figure sum from the tabloid press this week, despite a judge's recommendation that she should not profit from her story." So with the Mirror apparently out of contention, which of the tabloids are still in the running? The Mail, where Linda Lee Potter wrote a piece: "Nothing to celebrate but a lot of lessons to be learned", was the most pro-Louise and critical of the bereaved parents: "There was a strong feeling that Mrs Eappen wanted revenge, not justice. She had made up her own mind about the facts." The Express headed one article "Never trust her with babies" and had the phrase "guilty Louise" on its front page, while the Sun had "Don't Let Louise Near a Baby Again" in big letters on the front and "Louise Mustn't Cash In On Death" across pages two and three.

The most extraordinary comment on the whole affair, however, was in the Independent, where Max Clifford wrote under a headline proclaiming: "Even a child-killer should be able to sell her story". His argument is for a free market in morals, which he justifies with a splendid piece of arithmetic: "The readers of the paper which published Louise's story might number as many as five million, and they would no doubt be confirmed in their belief in her. But the readers of the other papers, who might number 20 million would get a very different impression. The tabloids that missed out on the story (either by being outbid, or deciding not to make an offer) would immediately attack and rubbish her." So that's all right, then. Sun readers voted three-to-one against letting Louise babysit their children.

The Sun headline "A Disgrace to England", was not a comment on the Woodward case, but on the other main story of the week, the behaviour of England's football fans. "Shame Old Story" ran the headline on pages two and three, above a story on "England thugs in 'worst ever riots' at the World Cup". The Guardian called them "hardcore hooligans" and interviewed "Robin, a 25-year-old clerical worker" on the art of football vandalism. "Running with a firm, it's not like committing a personal crime," Robin explained. Apparently the Chelsea firm is dominant at the moment. They're friendly with Feyenoord because Feyenoord's rivals, Ajax, have a Jewish fan base.

The Daily Star called them "Vindaloonies", the Mail called them "louts", "thugs" and "mindless" and with inspired incongruity juxtaposed a photograph of "a ringleader" with "the cross of St George tattooed on his beer belly" next to a picture of the "pounds 80,000 semi he shares with his common-law wife and three children". The Express was "so ashamed of our yob fans" while the Sun found a nice angle with "Pottery expert goes potty at the footy". Apparently one of our most prolific football hooligans is an expert on Royal Doulton and has written a book on pottery.

Nobody, other than Alan Clark, had anything complimentary to say about our yobs, though the Telegraph managed to find two photographs to support his allegation that beating up rival fans is not very different from playing the Eton Wall Game. Perhaps he had not seen the pictures in the Sun of one beer-bottle-brandishing fan burning a Tunisian flag and another hurling a chair apparently directly at the cameraman. Or maybe they do that at Eton too.

Only the Scottish Daily Record could take some pride in the events in Marseilles, expressing its views under the telling headline "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" and published contrasting photographs, one showing two smiling Scottish fans draped in a St Andrew's flag, the other showing two England fans beating up a Tunisian.

Good news was in short supply last week, but the Telegraph did have one pleasure-giving story about researchers at the Institute of Neurology in London testing volunteers on a tickling machine. "Using a brain scanner and a ticklish piece of foam, they found that one region of the brian sneaks a message to the other so that the tickling is no longer a surprise." The results explained why you cannot tickle yourself: "When someone else did the tickling there was much more activity in the part of the brain that processes tactile sensations ... An area linked to pleasure sensations also lit up - when the tickling was self-administered it did not." They should try it on football hooligans.

Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Commonwealth GamesThe actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Sport
Karen Dunbar performs
Entertainers showcase local wit, talent and irrepressible spirit
Sport
Members of the Scotland deleagtion walk past during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    BI Manager - £50,000

    £49000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...

    BI Project Manager - £48,000 - £54,000 - Midlands

    £48000 - £54000 per annum + Benefits package: Progressive Recruitment: My clie...

    VB.Net Developer

    £35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: If you're pa...

    SAP Business Consultant (SD, MM and FICO), £55,000, Wakefield

    £45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Business...

    Day In a Page

    Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

    Screwing your way to the top?

    Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
    Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

    Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

    Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

    The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

    Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
    US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

    Meet the US Army's shooting star

    Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
    Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

    Take a good look while you can

    How climate change could wipe out this seal
    Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

    Farewell, my lovely

    Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
    Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

    Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

    Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
    Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

    Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

    John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
    Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

    Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

    A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
    Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

    Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

    The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
    The 10 best pedicure products

    Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

    Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

    Commonwealth Games 2014

    Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
    Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

    Jack Pitt-Brooke

    Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
    How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

    How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

    Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game