Sunday, 7 April 2013

The Demonisation of Paris Brown

Blogging twice about The Mail in a single week is something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, but here we are. It's Sunday, and that means prime time for the right-wing press to hypocritically vent at an unfortunate hate figure. And for 7th April, that most unwelcome of spotlights has fallen on one Paris Brown (pictured), Youth Police and Crime Commissioner for Kent. Her crime? The Mail thunders "Is this foul-mouthed, self-obsessed Twitter teen really the future of British policing? Youth crime tsar's sex and drug rants".

With the chutzpah only The Mail could manage, they attack Paris for "foul-mouthed rants" and "disgusting outbursts", as well as tweeting about under-age drinking, "feeling horny", mucking about at work, and using playground language to describe immigrants, travellers, and gay men. Big deal. Paris Brown turned 17 three days ago and I expect is as daft and dumb as me, you, Daily Mail hacks, and everyone else was at that age. So what. Paris should have been more circumspect considering her Youth Commissioner role but luckily, her boss, Anne Barnes, has taken a measured approach. "I think that if everyone's future was determined by what they wrote on social networking sites between the ages of 14 and 16 we'd live in a very odd world", she says. Pity Keith Vaz couldn't help shoot his mouth off and give this attack some credence. Still, for Paris this is a most salutary schooling in online personality management, and I hope she can bounce back from getting mugged by one of Britain's biggest bullies.

Bullying, for that is what this Mail story is. The story is nothing more than a creepy shakedown of a young woman barely out of school. You have to ask what kind of man is prepared to scour the personal Twitter feed of a 16 year old for anything that smacks of salaciousness, and what sort of paper would employ him to do so. Let's not beat about the bush: it's sick. In fact, what makes it all the more disturbing is the tone of the tweet below sent from Paris's official account yesterday afternoon:

If that doesn't sound like someone unaware of the ambush The Mail was about to spring, I don't know what does.

It's been an appalling few weeks for Mail "journalism". First we had the tragic suicide of trans woman Lucy Meadows, apparently due to a Richard Littlejohn article. And last week the the death of six kids was turned into a moral crusade against what remains of social security. Today's attack on Paris Brown is not because the paper particularly cares about casual racism - it, after all, has done more than nearly any other publication to stoke its fires. Rather it's zeroing in on yet another favourite hate target for the tabloid press: the young.

Everything Paris is accused of ticks the core readership's panic boxes - drinking, drugs, sex, anti-social behaviour, violence, disrespect. The Mail have done their damnedest to portray her as a feral teen that could be your child (why mention the value of her parents' home?) And she even lies too. On the one hand "Miss Brown claimed that she chose to put on hold plans to do A-levels to take up the year-long post" but then "in another posting she told of her intention to work as a holiday rep on the Greek island of Kavos or the Spanish island of Ibiza, both renowned for their hedonistic, party atmosphere." If a young woman like Paris, ostensibly from a nice middle class home, can end up as some latter day Lady Libertine, then there is no need for Mail readers to extend sympathy or understanding to the million or so layabout youths drawing the dole, and the even greater numbers trapped in insecure, low paid work. How unlike them at their age, who were able to get work straight from school, work hard, raise a family and own their own home. If only the youth of today followed their example, Britain would be a much nicer place to live in.

A front page attack on a 17 year old is cowardly and despicable. But in The Mail's mad rush from scapegoat to scapegoat, and as the economy stubbornly sticks in the doldrums, it will excel itself in producing two, three, many Paris Browns. What another awful low in the history of Britain's gutter press.


Anonymous said...

A hedonistic libertine living a life of daily drug and alcohol abuse, engaging with multiple sexual partners and finally dying of a drug overdose. A life of callous indulgence followed by an ignominous end.
It's not Paris Brown, or even Paris Hilton I'm describing. No, it's 'Bubbles Rothermere,' the wife of 'Lord Rothermere' proprieter of Associated Newspapers, and owner of the Daily Mail.

Phil said...

Glad to see Daily Mail hypocrisy is nothing new.

Anonymous said...

Paris brown has displayed such common sense and maturity! I am so hopeful for the furure of our country knowing that Ms. Brown is representative of our youngsters!.

Plebgate anyone? Minister forced to resign because of what he ALLEGEDLY said.. yet somehow this person who is being paid £15,000 of our money is not accountable in any way for the words that she wrote??

Robinopoly said...

While I normally hold a visceral level of hatred for the Daily Mail I actually disagree with the idea that they were wrong to do what they did.

Sure, the article is a hatchet job and I don't like the way that it has been done. But Brown has chosen to be a public policing official and is taking state funding for her role.

She is the public face of youth policing and so admitting to drug taking, making homophobic comments, remarks bordering on racism and support for violent acts indicating her true beliefs and are clearly relevant for her role.

Again, I don't like the way that the Mail has done this but the idea that these comments should be have been ignored simply because she is only 17 is laughable. If you are not able to stand up to public scrutiny, if you are ashamed on the wider public becoming aware of your behaviour then don't put yourself in a high profile public role.

Regardless of her age, she is clearly someone who is immature and not a suitable person for the role she has been appointed to. The disconnect between behaviour like this and an official role in policing cannot be ignored. This is not the Youth Parliament or the NUS. This is an official role with presumably some input into policing policy. She should resign immediately and was clearly the wrong person for the job in the first place.

Yakoub Islam said...

Much as I truly despise The Daily Mail, I can't say I have much sympathy for this tosspot teen. I've got two adult daughters, and though they did some shit when they were growing up, they were NEVER racist or homophobic. Perhaps because, like me and their mum, they grew up having friends who came in all colours, shapes, sizes, and religions. Such prejudices and stupidities are not the products of hormones or inexperience, but of received attitudes and a sense of entitlement that, frankly, I've had e-fucking-nough of. So how about hiring someone who actually comes from somewhere else other than white-folks-are-always-right-whatever-land? Huh?

Gary Elsby said...

I feared, quite rightly that due to Claire Balding being the only TV presenter to have done some research into the little boats going up the Thames during the Queens Jubilee, that we would have Claire on every TV show known to mankind.

The other halfwits who graced out screens that day rolled out cooking recipes, dance routines, sports garb and any other set of facts not consistent with what was actually happening.

Claire is now everywhere. She is the darling of all BBC and CH4 programming.
She does the weather and reads the news headlines.
Clair, Clair Claire. Wall to wall, Claire.

Paris (aged 15 3/4 and a bit) is a kid who was once said things they way her peers expected them to be said.
Drugs, gangbangs, shots and a few choice words I am too bashful to repeat.
For you Paris, it is OK magazine, Chat, Daily Mirror and any other Beano type child magazines.

Question Time awaits you, because we all want to hear you luv up the kidz as you tell us that not all knobheads are representative of the kidz class.
In fact, you will tell us that it is only a few that let the side down and most kidz are good.

Lefties all over the place will revel as Dialy Mail types are put in their place.

Paris should be made Queen of England and Liz should move over.

Watch this space.

Gary Elsby said...

I want to hear what Paris has to say on North Korea and the economy.

I know it's going to be sensible.

Paris, we on the left love you.

Yu should be given the 'Order of Marx'

I want to hear an audience applaud you and I want to hear it NOW!

Phil said...

Well Robin and Yakoub, one thing I wasn't party to until earlier today was that the tweets The Mail seized upon went back to when she was 14. Should she be hauled over the hot coals and reduced to tears in TV bulletins for things she said when she was a kid? I don't think so. But perhaps I'm biased because like her when I was 14, 15, I held a number of unsavoury and bigoted views on a large number of issues. By the time I was 17 they were gone, and there's no reason to believe it's any different for Ms Brown.

Anonymous said...

Not sure I care if she has done those things, it will help her communicate the teens she should be working with most.

What does annoy me is that she then starts lying about it, did her politician puppeteer tell her that the british public were that dumb? "Fags don't mean gays, it means something is silly" and "I wasn't drunk on alcohol it was water, I have only had a glass of wine with mummy" LMFAO at least be honest, if you couldn't even manage that, resign.

Anonymous said...

FFS, she's a kid.

Phil said...

No Anon, I don't think her (now ex-) boss would have advised her to fib about it. She was just a kid that got caught out and panicked. Another scalp for that vile rag.