One from the Eye

by Hannah

The latest issue of Private Eye contains a lengthy expose of profiteering at the CDC which I am working up the energy to plough through and I may even blog about at some point.  In the meantime here’s one little gem from the Street of Shame section.

 It appears that there was a major spat at the Sunday Express offices between columnist Julia Hartley-Brewer and political editor Kirsty Buchanan.  Hartley-Brewer is, perhaps, most famous for having appeared many times as a panellist on Have I Got News For You, but for her day job she fulfils the usual function of the tabloid columnist churning out deliberately inane analysis dumbed down to the imagined level of comprehension of their readers. 

Kirsty Buchanan’s husband, apparently, comes from Benin, and she has recently written about his naturalisation as a British citizen.  It seems that, while Buchanan was writing the piece, Hartley- Brewer chipped in spitefully (and inaccurately) asking, “Will you be including the fact that he was an illegal immigrant?”  Buchanan didn’t take this slight lying down as a full-scale row broke out, culminating in both journalists lodging complaints against the other with the Express’s human resources department, with Buchanan accusing Hartley-Brewer of racism.

Besides giving an insight into the mindset of one of the Express’s star journalists, this raises some interesting questions.  The Express newspapers, along with proprietor, Richard Desmond’s other publication, The Star, are intensely and relentlessly relentlessly racist in the material that they publish, with notorious, recent, headlines declaring that: “One in 5[sic] Britons Will Be Ethnics” and “Now Asylum If You’re Gay: They must be free to go to Kylie concerts and drink multi-coloured cocktails, says judge.”  The latter headline provoked protests outside the Express and Star offices by the NUJ.  If Kirsty Buchanan succeeds in her complaint, then the Express then Hartley-Brewer may well be disciplined for her words directed at a colleague while her employer regularly puts much more offensive rhetoric in print, and the Express will demonstrated that people have less right to be free from a hostile environment in newsagents and in public, than at work. 

It will be interesting to see how this one turns out, or as Private Eye would put it “I think we should be told”.

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