Is there any reputation so putrid, so tarnished, that it cannot be further damaged? Gordon Brown excepted, I suspect not.
A boulder has been pushed away from the cave into which the poor old News of the World retired, along with some 300 decent men and women, and the brand is once again brandishing its red top arrogance on-line. The perils of not registering all the possible domain names. newsoftheworldonline.eu
Whatever the sins of the old smudges and scribblers who toiled in its bowels, they would be hard pushed to match the reputations of their editorial replacements in this reincarnation. Believe me, I shall save the best for last…
I was so stunned at what I was looking at, that I rang some of the ‘advertisers’ that appeared to be financially supporting this enterprise. Le Caprice? The Ivy Restaurant? The Cambridge Union Society? These are respectable outfits with faultless reputations, what on earth were they doing putting money into this shambles?
Needless to say, they were as shocked as I was. They are not paying for any advertising, had no idea that they were advertising and thus lending a veneer of respectability to the rag. A spokesman for Caprice Holdings said: “I can confirm that Caprice Holdings’ restaurants do not advertise on this site.” No doubt they will be taking their own course of action.
“We deliver news to our readers we do not create news!” says the banner heading. Not quite true, my lovelies. A quick glance at some of the ‘contributing editors’ reveals a catalogue of names that could have come from the pages of Slipper of the Yard’s autobiography. Let’s see, there’s…
Chris Christodoulides – could that be this Chris Christodoulides, there is a certain similarity about the face…..jailed for nine years for organising a £1m illegal Romanian immigration scam.
Or Jim Connor, ‘sports editor’ – surely no relation to the paedophile Jim Connor languishing in a Romanian jail, couldn’t be! There are a lot of ‘faces’ that look like that in Scotland, all those deep fried Mars bars I guess.
Or Ian Strachan, ‘royal correspondent’ who looks remarkably like the Ian Strachan best remembered for trying to blackmail the royal family.
Even the legal advisers find it difficult to stay out of Jail. Simon Jowett – ‘contributing editor legal affairs’ hit the headlines when he was locked up after a minor altercation at Brixton Prison. Simon Jowett? Of course, part of Ronnie Bigg’s defence team, that will explain another trusted reporter on the paper….
Michael Biggs. Son of Ronnie. No more need be said.
Surely the ‘contributing editor security and diplomatic affairs’ will not turn out to be involved in curious goings on? *Sighs* Step forward Robert Eringer. Sheesh!
Or Tricia Walsh-Smith, memorably described by her divorce judge as having conducted “a calculated and callous campaign to embarrass and humiliate her husband” – that was her embarrassing YouTube efforts, not writing for ‘The News of the World Online’ by the way. That embarrassment occurred some years later.
All busily scribbling away in support of CEO – one Giovanni di Stefano. Name ring a bell? Yes, that Giovanni di Stefano, one of Saddam Hussein’s legal team – and Slobodan Milosevic; shall I throw in Harold Shipman and Gary Glitter’s legal adviser for good measure? I quite forgot, Ronnie Biggs too. Despite apparently claiming that he was a qualified Italian lawyer and thus defrauding Paula Gregory-Dade out of £120,000, and (I haven’t anywhere near finished!) ‘abusing his position as a legal advisor to Stafford William Gillies Freeborn and Alberto and Linda Sgoluppi’.
Then there is the small matter of Prosecutors alleging that he stole a convertible BMW 325i from BMW Financial Services and dishonestly acquired £83,000. It is also claimed he had access to criminal proceeds of more than £70,000 in a Lloyds TSB account.
Then there are the ten counts of obtaining money transfers by deception, one count of attempting to obtain a money transfer by deception and one count of theft; and three counts of acquiring criminal property, one count of using criminal property and two counts of fraud that he has recently been arrested in Spain on a European Arrest Warrant for – due to stand trial in 2013.
And I still haven’t mentioned that he is also charged with pocketing £10,000 from Christine Smith to represent her husband Michael at a sentencing hearing in December 2005 and during his subsequent appeal against conviction nor that he is said to have attempted to pocket €10,000 from a Laurent Penchef in the same way.
Naturally they have a book serialisation, as every paper should have, and what do they chose? The tome by discredited and convicted perjurer and ex-policeman, Gonçalo Amaral, ‘The Forbidden Investigation’ – his account of the shambolic investigation he headed for a brief five months into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. What else?
‘We don’t make the news’ – this shower are rarely out of the news – the old News of the World must be spinning in its grave. Not so much ‘Screws of the World’ more ‘Old Lags of the World’!