Thursday, 18 September 2008

Worth every penny!

Stumped for something to write about in your Sun column? Why not recycle emails that have been going around the internet now for almost a year? Here's Kelvin MacKenzie, showing the sure touch which has been his calling card since the sinking of the Belgrano:

"ONE of the curious aspects of modern life is how the police are no longer revered by those who used to be their staunchest supporters.

This brilliantly-written email to Devon and Cornwall police starkly illustrates the frustrations felt by people who, 20 years ago, would have backed the police without question.

You must read it all the way through. Next week I’ll bring you the reply the writer got from the community beat officer, and what he then said to the bobby.

Dear Sir/Madam/Automated Telephone Answering Service,

Having spent the past 20 minutes waiting for someone at Bodmin Police Station to pick up a telephone, I have decided to abandon the idea and try emailing you instead."

We'll snip it there. Just the one problem with this: like with Chinese whispers, when such emails get shared online, some of the details often end up getting changed. A quick search confirms that the version that MacKenzie's picked up has been similarly altered, in this instance with the location changing to Bodmin from Leith. As the Daily Record reported back in November of last year when the email first emerged on the worries of the person responsible:

"THE EMAIL was never meant to be seen in public.

But its outpouring of frustration to police has struck a chord with thousands after it fell into the hands of someone who posted it on the internet.

The letter, which refers to local youths in Leith, Edinburgh, as "walking abortions" and "failed medical experiments", has proved a sensation."

So said youths in Bodmin didn't exist, unless someone with the exact same problem used the email as their own, which seems unlikely. But hey, little things like that don't matter when you're writing for the Sun and are also Kelvin MacKenzie.

Recently when Polly Toynbee shared a panel with MacKenzie someone asked how much they all earned. Toynbee, who had previously refused to say how much she took home for her Grauniad column, admitted that she earned over six figures a year. MacKenzie however didn't deign to answer, probably out of embarrassment. If David Blunkett earns in the region of £150,000 for his piss-poor Sun column, you can guarantee that MacKenzie is paid far in advance of that. Not bad work for copy and pasting year-old chain-mails.

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