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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
News
i100
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

    Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

    £65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

    Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

    £15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

    Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

    £50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

    The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

    £27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas