Obviously evil genius isn’t something that we tend to like much. Well obviously. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for an element of grudging admiration. For a case study, Nazi Germany as per usual jumps to the head of the queue. Over the last seventy years or so Evil and the Nazis have become as linked in our consciousness as Bogart and Becall. They were an abominably bad bunch of people and fifty million souls paid the ultimate price for their abominable badness.
However the complete hideousness of Nazi Germany doesn’t mean that their invasion of France in the spring of 1940 was anything but a piece of pure military genius. In the 20’s and 30’s, the Germans had little affection for the Brits and French. Thanks to the eleventh hour arrival of the American cavalry, we had won the war and imposed a brutal peace. As a punishment we had just about starved the Germans to death and unsurprisingly they yearned for payback.
However it was very much easier said than done. When Hitler summoned his two highest flying young generals and ordered them to come up with a cunning plan to beat the Brits and French, it was a mighty big ask. In 1939 the Allied forces outnumbered the Germans by four to one in every area – men, artillery pieces, tanks and planes. Hundreds of years of military wisdom dictated that an attacker always needed at least a three to one edge to successfully overcome a well dug in foe. So instead of being 3 to 1 to the good, Rommel and Guderian were 4 to 1 to the bad.
The odds stank.
Which of course makes it all the more amazing that they wiped the floor with the Brits and French in six weeks flat. It made Chelsea 2 – Bradford 4 look like an everyday run of the mill result.
The audacious genius of the plan that Ernst Rommel and Heinz Gudarian came up with was right up there with Hannibal’s trans Alpine trek with a bunch of elephants. No wonder we hastily came up with a massive propaganda smokescreen shich has pretty well stayed in place ever since. The Nazi army was a vast mechanised juggernaut which was utterly unstoppable. Utter nonsense. They had less of everything and most of their guys got from A to B either on horse drawn transport or in stolen cars. Len Deighton wrote a brilliant book on the campaign called ‘Blitzkreig’ which is absolutely worth a read if you as in to that kind of thing.
It took Hitler’s barking mad reckless evil genius to sign off on of what must have seen like the most crazily risky battleplan to have ever been drawn up. Of course the whole thing went completely to his warped head and he soon became convinced that the whole thing was his idea rather than Rommel’s and Guderian’s. He was so convinced of his own brilliance that he took control of things himself and duly proceeded to feed millions of his soldiers into the mincing machine of the Eastern Front.
What has any of this got to do with anything?
Well I reckon over the last few days we have been presented with a piece of evil genius care of our Aussie pal, Rupert Murdoch. Obviously like any self respecting Liverpool fan, I am no fan of Mr Murdoch and I never will be. Boycotting the Sun in the wake of the filth it put on its front page in the days after Hillsborough presented no problem for me. I had never bought a copy before 15 April 1989 and I have never bought a copy since.
And I never will.
Murdoch is a nasty piece of work who has amassed a fortune of hundreds of millions by pandering to the darker side of our natures. He has found how to take our desire for voyeuristic gossip and turn it into cold hard cash. Just about all of his media operations are purpose built to monetise the nastier elements of human nature. They have become the fat maggots that gorge themselves on the infected flesh of our modern society.
Rupert loves to pull all the strings. He loves to play the part of the Kingmaker. He likes being Blofeld. He is the spider at the heart of a worldwide web. His nasty band of journalistic stormtroopers root in our bins and hack our phones and bribe our public officials. Anyone with any degree of fame is deemed to be fair game.
Of course we could have put a stop it it years ago. The city of Liverpool gave us the perfect template of how to give the Murdoch Empire a proper kicking. Don’t buy his poison. Leave his nasty rags on the shelves. Starve him of cash.
But we have never managed that of course. We have never come close. And the Sun continues to be the best selling paper in the land. And the whizz kids who advise our political leaders continue to be convinced that the three million who shell out for the Sun are that kind of swing voters who hold the key to power.
So for years we have been treated to the unedifying sight of the likes of Cameron and Blair making the pilgrimage to the Court of Rupert to lick his boots just the way he likes them to be licked.
Rupert must have thought it would all last forever. Just like Hitler must have thought his thing was certain to last for a thousand years when he got his picture taken in front of the Eiffel Tower on that sunny morning in June 1940.
But it didn’t last forever.
Hitler had Stalingrad and Rupert had Milly Dowler.
All of a sudden his place on the mountaintop was less secure. All of a sudden all those puppets he had made to dance on his strings could smell the chance for some payback. The moral high ground was suddenly as crowded as the old Anfield Kop with strident voices calling him every name under the sun.
And my oh my, was it ever hard. Closing down his beloved News of the World must have made him feel the same way as Hitler felt when he watched the newsreels of General Von Paulus surrendering what was left of his equally beloved Sixth Army after a winter’s worth of butchery in Stalingrad.
Things went from bad to worse.
He was summoned to the House of Commons to answer questions where he was subjected to a shaving foam attack by a guy who called himself Johnnie Marbles. The world tuned in and had a good laugh at the sight of the supposedly mighty media mogul being defended by his young Asian wife.
But Rupert isn’t the sort of guy to allow bygones to be bygones. No way. He must have waited for years for the chance to enjoy some payback for the humiliation he endured.
Who would present the perfect target for this particular desire to eat a nice dish of cold revenge? Who would be just perfect?
Why those pesky feminists behind the #NoMorePage3 campaign of course! They were just super perfect.
But how, Rupert? How?
How can you engineer a situation where a squeaky clean Queen of your hated liberal elite like Caroline Lucus could be put into the same acutely uncomfortable spotlight as the one you endured in the House of Commons? No doubt you issued a standing order to your minions to leave no stone unturned in the search for something sufficiently damning for the front page.
Caroline Lucas addicted to Crack!
Caroline Lucss likes to strangle kittens!
Caroline Lucas in three in a bed romp with Polish builder and Somali asylum seeker!!
But the irksome Caroline must have come up as clean as a whistle. Her dustbins must have contained no more that empty jars of Fairtrade coffee.
Did you give up Rupert?
Of course you didn’t. Instead you waited with the homicidal patience of a cat waiting on a mouse to emerge from its hole.
And of course, good things come to those who wait. How long did it take for you to smell out the perfect opportunity when two crazed jihadis stormed into the offices of a fairly obscure Parisian magazine and executed 12 journalists? Now this event would surely have been quite enough for most newshounds. It was the story that for a while had everything as the French security forces hunted down the bad guys and duly put their lights out.
But you had bigger fish to fry.
You must have pondered deep into the night. And outside your high window, the lights of Manhattan must have twinkled in the frosty January air.
How Rupert? How?
How can you take the barking lunacy of two French jihadis and use it to coat The Right Honourable Caroline Lucas MP in batter and duly deep fry her.
Oh how you must have punched the air with a wizened, liver spotted hand when the answer came to you. It was all so perfectly logical.
How will the liberal elite react to the French executions? They will dust down their Voltaire and trot out that much treasured quote.
‘I may disagree with what you say but I would give my life to defend your right to say it.’
Would Caroline use the quote? Of course she would. All of them would. All those irksome liberal types who took such delight in your humiliation in the House of Commons.
So should a lefty French mag be allowed to offend Muslims by publishing cartoons of the Prophet?
OF COURSE THEY SHOULD!! WE LIVE IN A LAND OF FREE SPEECH!!!!
The reaction was completely predictable, wasn’t it Rupert?
And you saw that predictable reaction as a way to lure your enemies into a trap.
All it took was 2 phone calls.
Call number one – the editor of the Sun. ‘It’s Rupert here. Do me a favour mate. Don’t put any tits on page 3 tomorrow. OK? Bonza.’
Call number two. The editor of the London Times. ‘It’s Rupert here. Do me a favour mate. Put something out on the website saying the Sun will have no tits on page 3 tomorrow. OK? Bonza’.
Job done. Time to sit back and wait.
And what happened was oh so predictable. The lack of tits on page 3 caused a nice big media storm for of course the media loves nothing better than to cover stories about itself.
Was Caroline asked to do a tour of the studios to tell everyone how chuffed she was that #NoMore Page 3 had prevailed in its long campaign to remove tits from page 3? Of course she was. Dead chuffed. Just like all those hated enemies of yours from the smug moral high ground were chuffed.
Perfect. Absolutely perfect. As perfect as a glass of ice cold Fosters on a summer’s afternoon in Queensland. As perfect as seeing an English batsman getting his head knocked off by a Denis Lillee bouncer.
Time for call number three. The editor of the Sun. ‘It’s Rupert here. Do me a favour mate. Put the tits back on page 3 tomorrow. OK? Bonza.'[
So now how would the sainted Caroline react? Oh she would be fuming. Frothing at the mouth. Fit to burst with righteous liberal outrage. And would she accept all of the invitations to tour the studios to tell everyone how very outraged she really was? Of course she would. Just like you knew she would, didn’t you Rupert?
And so there she was on the sofa of the This Week studio facing Messrs Portillo, Johnson and Neil.
How do you feel about the tits reappearing on page 3, Caroline?
And what do you think should happen?
They should be taken away.
Why should they be taken away?
Because they are offensive to women.
But what about Charlie Hebdo, Caroline? I thought you said that you would defend their right to offend in the name of free speech?
I mean, this is different….
Why Caroline? Why is there an absolute right for a paper to offend Muslims in the name of free speech and yet no similar absolute right for a newspaper to offend women in the name of free speech?
But, I mean………….
And there she was. A rabbit in the headlights. Snared in an Aussie trap that had been so very carefully laid.
She walked right into it and once the steel snapped onto her ankles, there was no escape.
How you must have chuckled as you watched your enemies walk into the trap one by one. How you must have grinned at their expressions once they realised they were caught up in a nightmare. How perfectly scrummy that dish of cold revenge must have tasted!
I actually have a lot of time for Caroline Lucas. I think she is one of our better politicians. And as someone who lived through Hillsborough, I will never have anything but contempt for Murdoch and his nasty rags.
But that doesn’t mean that there isn't a part of me that grudgingly respects the way you quietly laid your traps and lured in your enemies.
You cunning old Aussie bastard!