UnNews:John Littlerichard: Spare us the "People's Paparazzi" routine

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22 December 2006






Some call me a "gobshite." I say, at least I'm not a journalist.

Let's get the caveat out of the way from the off. The five journalists murdered in Canary Wharf were tragic, lost souls who met a grisly end. I sincerely hope whoever killed them is caught, charged and convicted.

No one with a shred of humanity would wish upon them their ghastly lives and horrible deaths. But Mother Teresa, they weren't.

And I know this might sound frightfully callous in the current hysterical, emotional climate, but we're not all guilty. We do not share in the responsibility for either their grubby little existences or their murders. Society isn't to blame.

It might not be fashionable, or even acceptable in some quarters, to say so, but in their chosen field of "work", death by a much overdue and well-deserved kicking is an occupational hazard.

That doesn't make it justifiable homicide, but in the scheme of things the deaths of these five hacks is no great loss.

They weren't going to discover a cure for cancer or embark on missionary work in Darfur. The only kind of missionary position they undertook was under the politics of their employer.

Of course their friends and families are grieving. That's what friends and families do. But they should also be asking themselves if there was anything they could have done to prevent what happened.

If you discovered your daughter had started working for Associated Newspapers to feed her eating and paying rent habit, wouldn't you move heaven and earth to get her off it?

Frankly, I'm tired of the lame excuses about how they all fell victim to ruthless editors who plied them with cash and fame. These scrawlers were on the streets because they wanted to be.

We are all capable of free will. At any time, one or all of them could have sought help from the police, or the church, or a charity, or a government agency specifically established to deal with publicity addicts. They chose not to.

The tortuous twistings of the mediahood over the past week have been a joy to behold. The 30-year-old Press Gazette T-shirts have been brought out of mothballs and we've been treated to the All Readers Are Bastards/Rapists/Murderers mantra from assorted Littlejohns who ought to be old enough to know better.

We've heard the well-rehearsed arguments for legalised and regulated tabloidism, as if we were living under the rule of Murdoch. The fact is, we've already got de facto legal newpapers on every Fleet Street.

They're called the Evening Standard or the Daily Mail.

As I remarked when the Labour MP David Blunkett was once caught in a "column" in The Sun, he must have been the only man in Britain ever to go to a newspaper for news. It doesn't get much more glamorous than that.

These five men were on the byline because even the filthiest, most disreputable back-alley "publisher" above a kebab shop wouldn't give them house room

The editors who used them were either too mean to fork out whatever a newspaper charges, or simply weren't fussy. Some editors are actually turned on by disgusting, fame-addled street hacks. Where there's demand, there'll always be supply.

This wasn't a case of men going on the writing game to put bread on the table, or to look after their "babies". That's what the welfare state is for. They did it for fame.

The gormless Mailinistas simply refuse to confront this blindingly obvious reality. They would rather deify celebrity fame-junkies such as Richard Littlejohn than face the truth that celebrity wrecks lives.

What I find most objectionable about all this is the attempt to make us all feel responsible for the murders. There is a nasty whiff of Lady Di about the enforced mood of mourning, with even the Old Bill coming across like hand-wringing archbishops.

At Millwall's home game on Saturday, there was a minute's silence. We were supposed to believe that this was a true reflection of the community's sympathy.

I don't buy it. Most people went along with it in the spirit of emotional correctness and through fear of getting their heads kicked in if they didn't.

There was only one thing missing, but don't bet against it.

When Blair gets back from saving the Middle East, don't be surprised if he turns up at the funeral of one of these unfortunate men to deliver a lip-trembling, tear-stained eulogy: "He was the People's Paparazzo".


John Littlerichard is a cock-gobbling semen-gargling street catamite working the back alleys of Canary Wharf for fiddy pee a blow. Most people unanimously agree that we have had quite enough of his unsavoury cuntmongering for one year. He says, "At least I actually perform a useful service to society, rather than being a vile hatemongering fuckhead from the Daily Mail."

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