11 OCTOBER 1997, Page 71

High life

Dirtiest hour of our time


hate to say, I told you so, but I did. It took less than a month for those lunch- bucket pilferers that constitute the British Fourth Estate to revert to type. What the Poor little Greek boy finds amazing is that ,smtle people actually believed that the uacks had changed their spots for good and would try to behave. Talk about pigs that I find most journalists — the world over ----. look as if they were conceived by men with a dose of the clap. Their malice _amounts to a deformity, as do their looks. vs.that I am not so sure about is what comes first. Does the deformity of looks and char- acter turn them towards journalism, or does the profession deform them? What I am sure about is that it is the tri- 11.111ph of rottenness, the dirtiest hour of our Me. Take, for example, the grotesque .TittY Kelley. She's been called a female cl-arzan, but she smells like Cheetah. Her °°Ics are one long libel of the innocent while she smirks all the way to the bank. I do not believe a single word that appears in them, and that includes my quotes — which she has lifted from various tongue- in-cheek articles of mine.

But, I ask you, what is the difference between the foul-smelling Kelley and Jon Snow, the Channel 4 anchorman? In my not so humble opinion, nothing whatsoev- er. Both Snow and smelly Kitty stuck to stories and 'unnamed but highly placed sources' when it suited them to embarrass the royal family. This was three weeks ago. Now we have Andrew Morton, a man whose idea of being forced to commit an unnatural act is to act decently. The ex- sainted one, Dominic Lawson, got it right in the Sunday Telegraph when he nailed the body-snatcher and his hypocrisy. When Diana, Princess of Wales first confronted me and asked me why I was against her, I answered it was because of the harm she had done to the monarchy. Later on she told me, in front of two witnesses, that she deeply regretted having done the Panora- ma interview and, she hinted, having helped the body-snatcher.

Morton was lucky he got her at a demon- ic stage of her life, when she was lashing out left and right from deep hurt, frustra- tion and disillusionment. But who among us has not committed great mistakes when feeling the way she did? And while I'm at it, Peter Stothard is no better. He ran Mor- ton's drivel in the Times and then tried to keep himself out of the dirt. When Andrew Neil ran the original in the Sunday Times he at least had the courage of his convic- tions and has defended the publication to this day. Stothard should turn to politics.

What it all comes down to is being a gen- tleman. Had Princess Diana turned to, say, Charles Moore, there would be no question of any body-snatching, as happens to be the case today. Incidentally, a couple of weeks ago the Daily Mail's editor asserted that Princess Diana disliked the Daily Telegraph. Is that so? Well, I've got news for you. Not only did she tell me it was her favourite newspaper 'because my heart doesn't stop every time I open it', but at one of my din- ners for her she and Charles Moore were buddy-buddy throughout.

The biggest outrage, of course, is when the jumped-up gossip columnist now pos- ing as editor, Alan Rusbridger of the Guardian, writes in the sainted Daily Tele- graph's pages that now is the time to tough- en up the Press Complaints Commission. Rusbridger is a reptile which is trying to hide its tracks. Rusbridger's predecessor did not hesitate to use a fake document to ruin someone's career. The Guardian has tolerated one of its top journalists taking KGB gold and now its deputy foreign edi- tor being involved in Libyan munificence. In the meantime, Rusbridger has ruined the lives of Neil Hamilton and Jonathan Aitken and popped champagne for having done it.

Morton, Rusbridger, Kelley, the paparazzi and the tabloids: all unspeakable body-snatchers who deserve to drown in their own filth.