The Tories are on the up, but surprisingly, Iain Duncan Smith is keeping his head down. As the wags have it “he knows what’s best for the party” (ha ha). As the news broke about the Conservatives’ improved rating in the polls, IDS conspicuously failed to whore around the airwaves or shove the story up the news agenda.
The Academy Awards ceremony – an emotionally fraught, “and the winner is …” edge-of-your-seats spectacular – was once a genuinely innocent, onion-juice in the eye-liner number. Superficially it still is. Performers wear unusual dresses, some reveal more breast than is considered decorous by the press and the press print close-up pictures over four pages to prove it, winners evince shock, delight and surprise, and the saintly, warm smiles of the losers fail to disguise the bitter rank jealousy that they feel inside – so no change there.
By hyping the horror of the photographs of dead heroin addict Rachel Whitear, the media has inadvertently diminished their impact. The story attached to it is cautionary and heart-breaking; the parents’ decision to publish is courageous, given that their pain becomes public property and their history becomes subject to unwelcome scrutiny.