Simon Carr:

Simon Carr: Day that The Sun disappeared behind a politically correct cloud

Sketch: Odd sort of way for Kelvin to address the Inquiry. Didn't he say that either? Lob it in, it'll be all right

Share
Related Topics

Something awful happened at Leveson yesterday. The editor of The Sun – the fifth most senior commoner in the land – abased himself before the Inquiry. He's supposed to be a Chaucerian figure from the belly of British culture but we got something lamentably modernised.

Dominic Mohan sounded like something out of the end of 1984. This perky gossip columnist had been through Room 101 and lived his worst nightmare (not starving rats chewing through his face): a course in responsible journalism. All the tabloid life had been dashed out of him. He told the committee in a robotic voice that he had been criticised for describing "a teacher's assistant as a teacher". He wasn't going to do that again. The editor of The Sun! Worried what teachers' assistants think! It was all "Freddie Starr didn't eat my hamster".

He had attended a language sensitivity course helping him not to refer to Broadmoor patients and Travellers as "Banged-up Pikies Going Bonkers". It's political correctness suffering from a personality disorder.

But what about Sun headlines like Moron Terror, mocking the 21/7 bombers? You can't say "moron" any more without the relevant pressure group gathering round your house with pitchforks. They are People of Increased Negative Intelligence.

He didn't call them "private detectives" either, he called them "search agents". That might have been for a different reason – you can use search agents to do things that private detectives do but you can't use private detectives to do them any more. He'd been preceded by Kelvin MacKenzie, surely the grandfather of Sun editors, certainly old enough to be Mohan's grandfather. He was responsible for that greatest of Sun headlines during the Falklands, "Kill an Argie, win a Metro". Didn't he? That was the Sun wasn't it? "It feels right, lob it in" as he himself told the Inquiry. He was asked about getting facts right – "the ascertainable facts" as Lord Leveson phrased it, referring to a judgment he'd had a hand in, later misrepresented by MacKenzie.

"Lay off all this winky-wonky high-table drivel," MacKenzie said. "I've got prostate cancer and my love rat won't stand up even though he hasn't had a piece of cheese for over two years." Odd sort of way to address the Inquiry. Didn't he say that either? Lob it in, it'll be all right.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Recruitment Genius: General Factory Operatives

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

If I were Prime Minister: Every privatised corner of the NHS would be taken back into public ownership

Philip Pullman
 

Errors & Omissions: Magna Carta, sexing bishops and ministerial aides

John Rentoul
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links