British newspapers faced a crisis this weekend as they finally ran out of euphemisms for describing the racial background of “controversial businessmen” Lord Levy.
“Tony Blair’s Middle-East envoy” has barely been out of the papers over the past few months following the arrest of the “self-made millionaire”. Lord Levy, ennobled in 1997 (so not a Lord in the traditional Engish aristrocratic sense) has twice been questioned by police investigating the cash for honours scandal. Profiles and editorials have stressed his “enterpreneurial spirit” his “diverse business interests” and his “good work for various Jewish charities”.
Today’s journalists are usually able to call upon specially designed word-processing software that can summon up a wide range of euphemisms to get round the delicate issue of their subject matter’s racial origins. But following the arrest of “the millionaire schmoozer and prominent member of the British Board of Jewish Deputies who has a second home in Tel Aviv”, the software crashed, unable to cope with the endless demands for allusions to Michael ABRAHAM Levy’s “immigrant parents”. A computer malfunction led to the Daily Telegraph describing Levy as simply as “Der Jude” while early editions of the the Daily Mail called him the “hook-nosed Shylock-lookalike with the shadow of a rat” until sub-editors spotted the printing error. There were also mysteriously doctored photographs of Levy featuring him wearing a yellow star of David and a large Homburg hat and ringlets as he set fire to the Reichstag.
Newspaper editors denied that there was any covert anti-semitism at play, while Scotland Yard were keen to stress that they would never be affected by such coverage in any case.
Meanwhile detectives called Lord Levy in for further questioning about a world conspiracy to take over the banks and allegations that he and other ‘very clever people good with money’ actually organised 9/11 so that the Western world would turn against the Arabs.
‘pushy North London comic’ David Baddiel