View Full Version : Michael Howard's new supporter has a bad day

22nd Apr 2004, 21:15
The Express group, owned by Richard Desmond of Asian Babes fame, has switched its support from T. Blair to M. Howard.

This was reported today:

Desmond taunts Telegraph in 'Nazi' tirade
Chris Tryhorn, Lisa O'Carroll and Owen Gibson
Thursday April 22, 2004
The Guardian

Express owner Richard Desmond today launched an extraordinary tirade against Telegraph bosses at a meeting of their joint venture print works, hurling a string of abuse and goosestepping around a boardroom in mockery of a German newspaper group's bid for the paper.

In scenes that will shock the Conservative party he has just pledged to support, Mr Desmond branded the Telegraph chief executive, Jeremy Deedes, a "miserable little piece of shit" and said Germans were "all Nazis".

The Telegraph executives were so outraged by Mr Desmond's four-letter outburst that they walked out of the meeting in disgust. As they left the meeting of the jointly owned West Ferry printing company, Mr Desmond told other Express executives to sing "Deutschland uber Alles" and made Nazi-style "Sieg Heil" salutes, according to witnesses.

People present at the meeting said Mr Desmond - who dropped out of the race to buy the Telegraph after balking at the asking price - had at one point strutted up and down the room holding his fingers to his lips and giving stiff-armed salutes, in emulation of the famous goosestepping scene in TV sitcom Fawlty Towers.

The outburst will also come as a shock to the Frankfurt-based bank Commerzbank, which bankrolled Mr Desmond's acquisition of the Express titles more than three years ago.

Mr Deedes said: "It was the most grotesque outburst of a mix of slander and racism that I have ever been subjected to. If it had been in a public place he would have been arrested."

According to witnesses the outburst went on for three or four minutes.

The Express directors began the meeting by greeting the arrival of Mr Deedes and the Telegraph finance director, Niamh O'Donnell-Keenan, with a chorus of "guten morgen" and "sehr gut".

Mr Deedes replied by congratulating Mr Desmond on "seeing the light", a reference to the Express's decision today to switch its allegiance to the Tories.

Following exchanges about Conrad Black, the Telegraph's outgoing owner who is battling allegations of pocketing unauthorised executive payments, conversation reverted to the German theme.

In a faux-German accent, Mr Desmond asked if the Telegraph bosses - who also included managing director Hugo Drayton and printing director Bill Ellerd-Styles - were looking forward to being run by Nazis.

"That's not very helpful," Mr Deedes said, pointing out that Axel Springer - the German newspaper group currently bidding to buy the Telegraph titles - had a commitment to the state of Israel as part of its publishing philosophy.

When Mr Desmond said: "They're all Nazis", Mr Deedes replied: "That is thoroughly offensive. Could you please sit down so we can start the meeting?"

"Don't you tell me to sit down, you miserable little piece of shit," Mr Desmond said, before he launched what witnesses described as "a stream of foul-mouthed abuse, both personal and general".

"After three years dealing with a bunch of crooks I'm starting to enjoy this," Mr Desmond said, adding, "You sat down with that ****ing fat crook and did nothing," in an apparent reference to Lord Black. He also called the Telegraph directors "****ing ****s" and "****ing ******s" among other names in an expletive-ridden tirade.

When Mr Deedes said he didn't think the discussion - a monthly meeting of West Ferry's finance committee - was going to be productive, Mr Desmond paused before launching a fresh assault.

It was then he mimicked the Basil Fawlty walk, only for Mr Deedes to argue that it was unacceptable to refer to people as Nazis.

"Do you want to come outside and sort it out, then?" Mr Desmond sneered, before the Telegraph executives decided to abandon the meeting, scheduled to start at 9am.

At this point the Express directors - managing director Martin Ellice, finance director Rob Sanderson and publishing manager Chris Haslum - were told to sing Deutschland uber Alles.

It is understood the Telegraph will refuse to reconvene the meeting unless there are third parties present.

The two publishers co-own the printing works and have been at loggerheads ever since Mr Desmond acquired the Express in November 2000.

Henceforth the Telegraph will confine its attendance to the wider board meetings that also involve other publishers who use the plant.

A spokesman for Mr Desmond declined to comment.

Mr Desmond's mention of the Nazis today is not the first time he has shown an interest in the Third Reich.

The Express boss has repeatedly criticised the support shown to Hitler in the 1930s by the Daily Mail, the paper he has said represents "everything I hate".

Last year he raised the hackles of Daily Mail owner Viscount Rothermere by wrongly accusing his grandfather of supporting Hitler's anti-Semitism.

Even today, as the Daily Express announced its support for the Conservatives, the paper mentioned Hitler, saying only the German dictator could have dreamed of the monster Europe has become in the 21st century.

Send Clowns
22nd Apr 2004, 23:21
And the relevance to Michael Howard is ... oh, nothing at all, in any way!

Oh dear, it is quite plain that U_R in naming this tread (and in fact in posting this dull story at all) was simply straining to make up a connection between an unpleasant story and someone with whom he disagrees politically. Shows the typical sneer of the centre left. Especially the sneer of someone who fears his favoured party is steadily losing support from all sides ...

22nd Apr 2004, 23:35
I have a feeling that Mr. Howard is Jewish?

If that is the case then the story is in bad taste.

If not what was the point other than to try to smear the Conservative Party.

As Send Clowns says the sneer of someone who fears his favoured party is steadily losing support from all sides ...

Clearly the Luvvies and Socialists know that this is the beginning of the end...thank God

Send Clowns
22nd Apr 2004, 23:47
He is a Jew, second generation immigrant, family from an area of central Europe not far from transylvania. Hence all the "vampire" comments in the left-wing media. Of course racism isn't unacceptible to the luvvies if it is against a Jew, especially a Jewish Conservative.

22nd Apr 2004, 23:48
1) The Express has changed its alliegance in the last couple of days. It has trumpeted its new attitude.

2) Desmond (who gave a lot of money to New Labour) has decided to put that behind him, and support Howard

3) On the evidence of the report that I quote above, Mr. Desmond's support is likely to embarrass Mr. Howard.

Yes, I support the Blair Government (not without reservations) just as many posters here oppose them. Strangely, loathing of Blair very much exceeds support for Howard.

There is something odd about Desmond and his new found support for the Tories. I think that Mr. Howard will come to regret the day that he met the quondam publisher of Asian Babes and Readers Wives.

Send Clowns
22nd Apr 2004, 23:50
And what control or responsibility does this give Howard over Desmond's temper? How can the behaviour of a supporter who has received no endorsement from the Tory party as far as I am aware (who has received endorsement from the Labour party however) be connected with Howard in any way? It is a sneer.

22nd Apr 2004, 23:56

The report of Desmond's behaviour is either true or likely to result in a huge libel payment if untrue. I make no comment either way, as I was not there.

If the report is accurate, then the Tories have gained a supporter who may well prove to be more trouble than he is worth.

If the report is untrue then the Tories stand to gain a socking great cheque from the Guardian. They need the money, so let's see how things go.

By the way, what has Howard's being a jew got to do with anything? Why mention it? He has a British passport like me, and is an MP , unlike me.

Why mention his jewish origin?

Send Clowns
23rd Apr 2004, 00:04
I didn't say it was untrue. I said it was a dull story, and the only reason you repeated it and manufactured the absurd connection between this story and Michael Howard was to manufacture a way of sneering at Mr Howard.

You suggested a significant connection between a story full of references to Nazism and Hitler with a prominant Jew. I assume that is what Bletchley is refering to.

23rd Apr 2004, 00:08
Send Clowns, you said "And what control or responsibility does this give Howard over Desmond's temper?"

Who said or implied that Howard has control over Desmond? Nobody. Unwell Raptor makes a simple observation and he may or may not be right. No need to get all excited. Calm yourself.

By the way, vampires don't actually exist, even in Transylvania, so I think you will find that making fun about Howard being a vampire is not actually racist.

And as a third party, reading what has been posted, I would say that the relevance of this to Howard is that Howard is the leader of the Tory party. No?

23rd Apr 2004, 00:12

As I raised the subject I ought to reply.

It was the German Hitler thing that I was referring to. I wonder why that was necessary if it happened.

Hopefully Mr. Howard will take note of fair weather friends like Desmond.

No doubt the Murdoch rags will soon find it opportune to support Mr. Howard.

It is so sad that the Political future of a Country is decided by people who are only able to base their opinions on the latest views of the rag that they buy.

It is unfortunate that a few people in the Media can almost dictate what Party leads the Government.

I remember in the 80's people in pubs moaning about the Council Tax and being up in arms about it. The interesting fact was that when you questioned them more closely they almost universally were exempt from paying it anyway as a result of being unemployed, on benefits, etc.

Is it me or does it seem that people who can be largely unaffected by a Political party's particular thrust are able to vote without any impact upon their own circumstances?

Maybe there is a need to consider whether the ability to vote should either be tied to an understanding of the subject or by virtue of being a taxpayer?

Contraversial or what ?

23rd Apr 2004, 00:12
"You suggested a significant connection between a story full of references to Nazism and Hitler with a prominant Jew."

Did I?


I quoted a report that a newspaper owner is reported to have behaved strangely and said some odd things about Germans, and I remarked, correctly, that the man concerned has revcently shifted his ailing newspaper's support to the Conservative Party, whose latest leader is Michael Howard.

What's inaccurate about that?

23rd Apr 2004, 02:51
Of course racism isn't unacceptible to the luvvies if it is against a Jew, especially a Jewish Conservative.

Would you care to make at least an attempt to justify this comment SC? I know that you don't like to make a habit of supporting sweeping assertions with any evidence, but if you are going to make odious claims of anti-Semitism like that it might help to offer at least something in support. What about Jewish 'luvvies' like Gerald Kaufmann? Is he anti-Semitic too?

Define what you consider 'a luvvie' to be while you are at it. Am I the only one who finds the consistent use of this epithet deeply boring and moreover, meaningless? Or on JB does it just mean 'anyone left of Michael Howard', in which case I admit to being a 'luvvie' and proudly so.

Quite what specious reasoning Bletchley is using in his attempt to smear the thread starter with the stench of anti-Semitic overtones I don't know. WTF has Howard's ethnicity got to do with this? FTR, Mr Desmond is also Jewish, and he might like to think twice next time before making such references to Nazis.

If the Tory boys are hoping that the Express's support for Howard will win him the election, think again. Next year belongs to Blair - hardly a 'luvvie' or a 'Socialist' himself!

You suggested a significant connection between a story full of references to Nazism and Hitler with a prominant Jew. I assume that is what Bletchley is refering to.

Where did U_R do that? For some reason you and Bletchley have inferred that U_R was drawing a reference to Howard's ethnicity, when in fact he was drawing a reference (quite clearly) to the Daily Express's swing back to the Conservatives.

Not to mention the fact that Mr Desmond is a 'prominent Jew' himself.

23rd Apr 2004, 05:52
"It is unfortunate that a few people in the Media can almost dictate what Party leads the Government."

Why almost Bletchley ?

The media thought they had got rid of John Major only to find he had been re elected for what turned out to be his final term, so the next time they made absolutely certain and Tony Bliar got in.

The media aren't likely to bother themselves with minor facts like the current state of the UK balance of payments, compared to eight years ago or that Gordon Brown has squandered all the money he took over and is having to consider going to the IMF for more!

23rd Apr 2004, 09:40
Very naughty U_R, you've just gone and upset the Mosley Mob, that's a big no-no here on PPRuNe!

Send Clowns
23rd Apr 2004, 10:44

You did suggest a connection between this story and Michael Howard, in choosing your title. If you are not trying to imply a significant connection then why choose that title? Why post the story at all - it goes against the convention of not cutting and pasting entire posts, and it is a rather boring story. Hence, the only possible motive I can see for you putting it here is to sneer at Michael Howard. You seem now to be desperately backpedalling.


Why does the non-existence of vampires make any difference at all? That is such a bizarre, random distinction. Making fun of someone for their family origins is considered racism, whether the fun is based on fact or fiction. It was common in the centre-left press when Howard took the party leadership. How would that have gone down if Paul Boateng, and the pictures made him look like a monkey?

WedgeOf course racism isn't unacceptible to the luvvies if it is against a Jew, especially a Jewish ConservativeNot especially difficult to justify when the left-wing EU suppresses a report on racism against Jews with no squeak of protest from the BBC or the Guardian, and when the British left-wing press and the centre-left foreign secretary clearly considers attacks on Jewish civilians as less worthy of condemnation than attacks on Palestinian terrorists.

How do you infer that I inferred racism from the original post? I simply answered Bletchley on that issue. He can defend his own interpretation of what U_R was saying.

The story had nothing to do with Desmond's "swing back to the Tories". Therefore in making reference to this in his title, the most prominent part of the thread, U_R had some other motive. I see it as a nasty, vindictive sneer.

23rd Apr 2004, 11:27
I suppose Clownsy will now go back to his Mum's house telling her how he put all those beastly liberals to flight with his cogent reasoning and persuasive manner.

"You suggested a significant connection between a story full of references to Nazism and Hitler with a prominant Jew."

If I may quote this from one of Clownsy's previous posts:

Do not put worrds (sic) in my mouth, that is a supreme arrogance

As usual you are as blind to your own faults as you are ludicrously sensitive to those of others.

If you are representative of the New Right, Clownsy, then you are a fantastic advertisement for Labour, and I hope you get a wider forum to air your views - you could do far more damage to Michael Howard with that attitude than dear Richard Desmond ever could........

Send Clowns
23rd Apr 2004, 11:31
I'm not putting any words into anyone's mouth. He did so. You have failed to provide any argument to say he did not, just arrogantly imply that I was puttin words into his mouth, and then sneer at me. That seems rather a childish way of arguing.

"you did this, and you're a nasty person and, and, and people won't want you to be their friend"

I notice that no-one has yet tries to give a good reason for (i) this dull story to be reprinted in entirety at all or (ii) the connection to be made to Michael Howard, prominently in the title of the thread. No-one has seriously tried to argue this was anything other than a sneer. In fact some simply post here to sneer themselves. A very bad habit of the centre-left, and especially of luvvies Wedge.

23rd Apr 2004, 11:43
Just when you thought the Thatcherites had all retired or moved on Mr. Howard rears his ugly head and they`re everywhere, just when the country was moving if not in the right direction at least away from the wrong one. Shit sake I`ll have to give up my studies and go back to work and get some taxes paid so I can vote with an easy mind come the election time. Come the revolution brothers.........thought we`d moved on from these depressing times

23rd Apr 2004, 11:44
(i) It's quite an entertaining story, given that newspaper editors a rarely involved in embarrassing news reports themselves

(ii) as was made MOST OBVIOUS in the original post (are you actually reading this stuff, or is the foam in your mouth obscuring your vision) Mr Desmond has given front page priority to his paper's support for the Tories, including a pull-out feature on why. The next day he is embroiled in a rather embarrassing incident which makes reference to his racist undertones. This is probably embarrassing to Mr Howard.

What is it you dont understand Clownsy?

Send Clowns
23rd Apr 2004, 11:51
If you find this entertaining, might I suggest you get out more? Perhaps you should also read more news, as it is not that uncommon, especially with this editor. Oh, sorry, you wouldn't acknowledge previous reports about him ... he supported Labour then.

The realignment of the Express was mentioned in passing twice in the original article. Hardly a prominence that suggests it is important enough to become the core of the headline U_R chose and the only comment he bothered to add himself to the cut and paste. Even the Guardian seems to agree with me on that assesment, hardly Howard's biggest fan!

23rd Apr 2004, 11:54
Nevertheless it was mentioned, and that is the connection you are whingeing about!

What is it with you? If you agree with something, it's OK to snipe. If you don't like it it's sneering.

Clownsy I don't support Labour. But i can spot the rantings of a rabid conservative (little 'c') and it annoys me.

23rd Apr 2004, 11:59
Lighten up, Mr. Clowns!

i) Desmond announces that he is switching his support to the Tories leader (at least for the moment) M. Howard.

ii) Desmond makes a total prat of himself and calls his judgement into question the very next day.

That is interesting, illuminating, and to a Blairite like me, very funny indeed.

Send Clowns
23rd Apr 2004, 12:01
Where is the value in the original post being cut and paste here? There are many far more interesting stories in the papers every day. We don't fill jetblast with them; occasionally a link will be posted to one. Where is the prominent connection with Howard, you have not even tried to justify U_R's prominence given to that. I never denied that there was a vague link.

I have put up a solid argument for calling this a sneer, which you have yet to address. You then insult me with no attempt at arguing your case for .saying that I am partial in how I describe a sneer and in saying I am ranting. That I would also call a sneer.

23rd Apr 2004, 12:02
Come on lads, this is turning into a bitch slap fight. Deep breaths everyone....

Send Clowns
23rd Apr 2004, 12:06

(iii) There is absolutely no connection between the two events

(iv) The story is dull, you post it only for the connection (see (iii) above) to try to manufacture a sneer

How is this illuminating about Desmond? We always knew what he was like. Personally I don't care, I never liked the Express.

23rd Apr 2004, 12:07
Clownsy it's clear that we would have to get Michael Howard himself on this forum with his personal opinion before you will be satisfied.

This thread stands as a clear example of how the Right has no sense of humour about its icons.

We have to put up with you and your ilk talking about "luvvies", "sneering" etc whether the cap fits or not. You can't take any criticism at all. That is the point most conclusively sealed in this playground fight, and you have to accept it.

23rd Apr 2004, 12:08
I'm just off to speak at a St. George's Day lunch that is likely to linger its port-sodden way into the early evening.

To have been born an Englishman is to have won first prize in the lottery of life - I shall raise a glass to all my fellow countrymen, whoever, and however they are.

23rd Apr 2004, 12:16
Anyone want to buy a small thermo-neuclear device??? Guaranteed to win the argument??? Made by Churchill engineerings spawn and sold with the blessing of the government of the day (no come back on anyone until the press get wind of it)

23rd Apr 2004, 12:26

not as funny as Bliars performance at his press conference on Thursday and his dismall commons performance about a referendum on the EU constitution. It always strikes me as odd how the centre-left surpress news when a person supports them and then so rapidly changes its outlook in an attempt to gain a cheap political goal.

Anyone would think that an election is on the horizon with said party looking on very dangerous ground indeed on all issues, especially Europe. Oh look chaps i've suddenly found a reverse gear, oh no! out come all the skeletons, ****** there's all the money in a private account from when we sold off the gold reserves...........

If Blair had balls or the stomach for a fight, which we know he has not, he would either a) hold a referendum on the EU constitution a month or two after it is out, or b) call an election early.

23rd Apr 2004, 12:30
DD, don't take the high moral ground here the Mosleys are just as gulity of trying to score political goals as anyone else. Its politics.

23rd Apr 2004, 12:31
It always strikes me as odd how the centre-left surpress news when a person supports them and then so rapidly changes its outlook in an attempt to gain a cheap political goal

I missed the part where that was exclusively a centre-left activity?

And I must also have missed the bit where Mr D was never an odious twerp when he supported Blair?

I agree with you on the a) and b) bit - but only when there is a viable alternative party.

23rd Apr 2004, 12:38
If you find this entertaining, might I suggest you get out more?

Well, I found it highly entertaining especially as the other party concerned is my next door neighbour - hope you're not reading this Jezza ;) I'm glad it was brought to my attention.

It is quite common for the full text of a newspaper report to be reproduced on a forum - it makes it easier for people to read and refer to especially if they are on dial up. I don't think anyone should be chastised for that - they have not copied another person's argument or ideas; just reported something as it stood.

I would be interested to know how the Conservative Party would treat any large donation from Mr. Desmond - are they as fussy as as Labour? Just curious.



23rd Apr 2004, 12:52
Let us sum up the issue, it is the Express so who is really bothered? MH will welcome Mr D's change of position openly and have alternate thoughts privately. This will have NO bearing on future electioneering, well the 30% that actually bother, and tackling the governments poor, SEVEN YEAR record, along with Europe will be battleground.

23rd Apr 2004, 13:42
Deedes said on "Today" (R4) that he has always defended Desmond in the past, saying "He's a maverick, a bit eccentric, but he's not nearly as bad as people paint him" but that his latest stunt was quite extraordinary and rather frightening. The implication (as I heard it) was that Desmond had become totally irrational.

The last time I looked through the Express I must admit that I found much of what was printed deeply disturbing, not in its politics, with which I disagree but can accept, but in the sheer violence of the views portrayed. I have never felt that way reading other right-wing newspapers such as the Mail or Telegraph.

It strikes me as odd that Ron Atkinson makes one racist remark and is fired by both the Beeb and the Guardian, but Desmond makes a whole tirade, encouraging his board to sing "Deutschland Uber Alles" and storms round the boardroom goosestepping and calling all Germans "F***ing Nazis" and is defended here (and elsewhere), plus has the dubious benefit of SC's support.

I hope that Commerzbank express their opinions in a suitable manner.

The man is clearly unstable. Well, Michael Howard is welcome to his support.

23rd Apr 2004, 14:36
Of course there is a connection - would you want this character's support, especially if you were Jewish? Personally, I think it's howlingly funny - if nothing else, it shows his papers are a true reflection of the man. Bigoted, stupid, hooliganish - the Star's reader profile!

SC has basically decided to go off on one, trying to smear anyone who mentions this as an anti-semite in the hope the thread will die. But, of course, he's used the JB password - "luvvies" - which means the PPRuNe Gun Club types swing into action at once. I propose that the l-word be banned, as it is a meaningless all-purpose bash.

23rd Apr 2004, 14:44
sreamchicken, let "Luvvie" stand, just call them the Mosleys or some other suitable right wing term.....I guarantee you'll hear howls of protest and rants of indignation :rolleyes:

Curious Pax
23rd Apr 2004, 15:07
Supreme irony: Clowns' organ of choice, the Daily Telegraph also regards the episode as deeply embarassing to the Tories: the piece is headlined "Desmond tirade at 'Nazi' Germans embarrasses the Tories". I haven't seen the Daily Mail today (his other bible), but given the sniping that usually goes on between them and the Express I can guess that this episode is up there in lights!

Methinks Clowns is losing the plot because he's seen an advance draft of Labour's manifesto which has the following item:
"any member of the bulletin board 'pprune' who has 'clowns' in his user name will henceforth be charged super tax of 80% on any flying training that he undertakes" thereby confirming what we all knew that Blair does indeed have it in for him personally!

PS: I do actually have sympathy with the idea that that tax rule change was wrong, but the whole thing seems to have overwhelmed SC!

PPS: I'll need to go and lie down now as I've just publicly agreed with 2 Telegraph articles in quick succession!!

23rd Apr 2004, 18:46
Michael Howard's new supporter has a bad day
The Express group, owned by Richard Desmond of Asian Babes fame, has switched its support from T. Blair to M. Howard.I think this thread is getting way out of hand.

I think that SC may have grasped the wrong end of the stick. Whilst I understand where he might have thought that the 'sneer' may have been leading, I can assure him that I do not read it that way and I think I may be at least as sensitive if not more than him to that type of 'undertone'!

Perhaps this debate should centre on the dramatic change of allegiance and whether it is indeed taken at face value or is it possibly an underhand bit of disinformation, together with the ridiculous re-enactment of the Fawlty Towers classic of "don't mention the war" scene in order to embarrass the Tories. :confused: