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By Frank McKenna

By Frank McKenna

Prince Harry is right – but few will thank him for it

Prince Harry and his battle with the British press resurfaced this week. DIB boss Frank McKenna thinks we should be thankful to HRH for highlighting the illegal activity the UK media have all-too-often been found guilty of.
Photo of Prince Harry

We have had another week of Royal drama over the past seven days, as Prince Harry became the first from the monarchy to take to the stand in a court of law for 999 years (or thereabouts).

His claims amount to his suspicion that the Daily Mirror newspaper used illegal methods, including phone tapping and a tracker on his former girlfriend’s motor vehicle, to obtain stories about him.

Further, he suggested that international opinion of both the UK’s media, and more controversially, our government, is at an all-time low.

Custom and practice is, of course, for no member of the Windsor clan to comment on politics.

Inevitably, the Prince’s complaints have been met with little sympathy from our print media. He’s an attention seeker, who has had the audacity not to just marry an American, but to move there too. He’s a whinger, a whiner, and he’s dragging his family name through the mud, is the general narrative that we have seen in most of the tabloids, and indeed broadsheets, this week.

More surprisingly, on my Twitter feed at least (which has been infiltrated by all kinds of loonies and fruitcakes since Elon Musk took over the platform) a great number of people appear to have subscribed to the view that if you seek publicity, then you are fair game for whatever the press want to throw at you.

What a load of crap!

Nowadays, almost all of us could be accused of wanting ‘publicity’. From posting socials about our mood, our holidays, what we have had for dinner, and every semi-interesting activity we get involved in, there has been an explosion of a hunger for ‘fame’ right across the community. Does that mean that newspaper groups have a right to hack our phones, hire detectives to follow us, and rummage through the rubbish in our bins?

I will be surprised if the judge finds in favour of the duke. His evidence, though shocking, offered little in way of concrete evidence against the Mirror from what I could see. However, I would be even more surprised, given their track record, if the newspapers of this country didn’t hack his phone during the period of time to which he refers.

The News of the World folded, the Daily Mail and the defenders of this action the Mirror, have all been caught multiple times, undertaking the kind of illegal activities Harry alleges. It is a shame that the toxicity that surrounds his ‘brand’, at least partially driven by the press coverage of him, has taken people’s attention away from the genuine issues of concern we ought to have about our press.

FOOTNOTE: On the comment about the government – he shouldn’t have said it. But, again, it is hard to disagree with him.

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