Category Archives: Press

How the Daily Mail Turned Jessica Ennis’ Bottom and Colin Murray Into a Stick to Attack the BBC

Fans of the Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy might remember the Dentrassi. These aliens were “the best cooks in the Western Galaxy”. They provided the in-flight catering on the Vogon Destructor Fleet.

When Ford Prefect and Arthur Dent escape the destruction of earth by hitching a lift on a Vogon ship, they get the chance to sample some of the Dentrassi cooking on board. After a huge build up by Ford about how wonderful it will be, Arthur bites into the Hagra Biscuit, and declares it revolting.

Ford, disbelieving, bites into his, and on finding how horrible it tastes, he declares:-

“These guys must really hate the Vogons.”

For some reason that phrase comes to mind whenever I have the good fortune to read something in the Daily Mail which refers to the BBC. The Daily Mail must really hate the BBC, and seems to go out of its way to find an angle in as many stories as possible to the detriment of Auntie Beeb.

Yesterday saw a perfect example. Continue reading


Filed under BBC, Daily Mail, Press, Uncategorized

The Daily Mail Reports on Belle De Jour and Sunday Times Apology Via a Time Warp

Every so often one gets confused reading the newspapers. Some things are reported which are undoubtedly false. Some things are mistaken. Sometimes the writer of the article seems not to understand what they are writing about.

And, with that preamble, I am confused by a story today reported in the Mail Online. Regular readers will know that the Mail Online is far from my favourite news outlet, although, as it is one of the most “popular” news websites in the world, I suspect those in charge are not bothered what I think.

Today’s story refers to the former “call girl” who went by the nom de plume of “Belle de Jour” and whose exploits were recounted in a blog and then in book form. She was then revealed to be Dr Brooke Magnanti, a research scientist. Her role was played in the TV adaptation of her writing, by Billie Piper. Continue reading


Filed under Bad Law, Civil Law, Daily Mail, Defamation, Press

Daily Mail Prints Nonsense re European Court of Human Rights – Part 1 – Max Hastings

The Daily Mail is not my favourite newspaper, even though there are many people who do like it. It has a “Little Englander” attitude which grates on the nerves and has a clear list of “villains” who it regularly castigates as representative of the evils which bedevil the United Kingdom/England today.

In the words of Dermot O’Leary, “in no particular order”, they include:-

  • Tony Blair;
  • The BBC;
  • Foreigners;
  • Politicians who are not Conservatives;
  • “Europe”;
  • The BBC;
  • Benefit claimants scroungers;
  • Female celebrities who look fat (or who, to a more rational mind, look human);
  • Lindsey Lohan;
  • Trades Unions;
  • Banks;
  • Companies which do not pay taxes;
  • Supporters of Scottish independence;
  • Cherie Blair;
  • Irish Nationalist politicians;
  • Muslims; (Whilst clearly the Mail cannot hate or fear every follower of Islam, they only seem to get mentioned in the paper in the context of terrorism and destruction of the “British way of life”).
  • Judges;
  • The BBC. (The Mail really does not like the BBC).

It was therefore not a surprise to see the Mail’s reaction to the decision of the European Court of Human Rights in relation to the application by three prisoners sentenced to “whole life” tariffs for murder. Continue reading


Filed under Daily Mail, Press

How Did “Private Eye” Get Hold of Papers about Craig Whyte’s Ban? It Went to Court and Asked for Them!

In which I praise Private Eye for its news-gathering activities; comment on the failure of other news organisations to do the same; compliment the English courts for its open-ness; and contrast this with the prevailing mood in the Scottish courts regarding “Open Justice”.


I was skimming the marvellous BAILII website, looking for interesting legal cases. As I did so, I came across one which was decided on 30th May 2012 by Mr Justice Morgan in the High Court in London. The case is titled Pressdram Limited v Craig Whyte and David Anderson. Pressdram Limited is of course the owner and publisher of Private Eye.

What happened here was that Private Eye engaged in good, honest journalism.

They wanted to see papers which related to the disqualification procedures taken against Mr Whyte and Mr Anderson under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986.  These original proceedings were filed on 20th October 1998 and resulted in an order being made by Mr Registrar Simmonds on 13th June 2000.  That order was a seven year disqualification for Mr Whyte.

Morgan J took account of guidance on “Open Justice” regarding “availability of documents to non-parties”. He also considered a very recent decision of the Court of Appeal – R (on the application of the Guardian News and Media Limited) v City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court & The Government of the United States of America and Article 19. In that case, which related to extradition, there had been, as Morgan J, in the Pressdram case, said, “a difference of view between the Divisional Court, which withheld the order sought by The Guardian newspaper and the Court of Appeal as to whether the Court had power to permit a newspaper to inspect certain documents and obtain copies of them, in relation to the extradition proceedings.” Continue reading


Filed under Courts, Press

How Headines Can Misrepresent A Story – Rangers and Pinsent Masons Edition

At the end of my post this morning about the Pinsent Masons investigation into “the connections between Craig Whyte and former and current personnel of the Company and its subsidiaries” I wondered how the mainstream media might report matters.

The answer has come quickly.

The BBC has a story, which can be found here, headlined “RANGERS CONFIRM NO LINKS BETWEEN CRAIG WHYTE AND CHARLES GREEN.”

The Scotsman’s website has a similar story here. That has the headline – “RANGERS PROBE FINDS NO GREEN-WHYTE LINKS”.

The Daily Record’s headline, on its story here, is – “RANGERS’ INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION FINDS NO LINKS BETWEEN NEW REGIME AND CRAIG WHYTE”. Continue reading


Filed under Charles Green, Press, Rangers