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

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

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Labour leader Ed Miliband unveils Labour's pledges carved into a stone plinth in Hastings  

Election 2015: Smash the two-party system! Smash the voting system!

Armando Iannucci
Tactical voting is a necessary evil of the current first-past-the-post system, where voters vote against what they do not want rather than in favour of what they do  

Election 2015: Voting tactically has become more fraught in new political order

Michael Ashcroft
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power