For those of us who write for the tabloids, there’s something almost poetic about the crisis currently engulfing our more respectable rivals. Ever since the Guardian “exposed” the News of the World for deleting Milly Dowler’s voicemails – a story that turned out to be wrong – we have had to endure the moral censure of the Establishment. That is, senior politicians, judges, A-list celebrities and those members of our own profession who describe themselves as “serious”, which is code for Oxbridge-educated and liberal.
There’s no great mystery as to why they look down on muck-raking journalists with such disdain. We’re common, vulgar little people who insist on pointing out their extra-marital affairs and other misdemeanours, often involving the fraudulent use of taxpayers’ money. We also have an irritating habit of reminding them that their views on immigration, capital punishment and benefits are completely at odds with public opinion. Scribblers like us have been a thorn in the side of the ruling class since the English Civil War and Parliament has made numerous attempts to control the fourth estate ever since, beginning with the Licensing Act of 1662. (To read more, click here.)