Dear UK Tabloids – good leaders don’t spew bile

Canadian bank note – close up image by vanveenjf at

To: Editors of UK tabloids, the Daily Telegraph, Piers Morgan and other culprits

The news has broken that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex want to live their own life away from the UK so of course you’ve all exploded into a feeding frenzy of sanctimonious clap-trap.

I’d like to say that the coverage in the UK tabloids, the Daily Telegraph and, of course, the howling bubble of indignation that is Piers Morgan, has been horrendous, appalling, outrageous, hurtful, racist and unkind but of course this type of coverage – particularly of the Duchess – is business as usual.

It is no wonder the couple wants to be rid of you. I’m sure many people do. The UK would be a happier, healthier and more wholesome place without publications like The Sun, Daily Mail, Daily Express and Daily Telegraph. You’ve proved how grubby you are on many occasions. Balanced and fair reporting has seemed beyond your grasp for many years. Instead, the pictures and make-believe you produce bubbles over with nastiness and self-serving copy that seems designed to protect the interests of your owners and publishers.

We hear much about the need for the Fourth Estate and indeed a free press can play an important role in society – but only if it is a free press run by people of character, operating to a code of ethics and genuinely acting in the public interest rather than serving their own Gods of Mammon. Sadly, the UK tabloid press, Daily Telegraph – and that two-bit TV pundit Piers Morgan – operate as a circus, throwing tasteless breadcrumbs into the crowd.

So let’s clarify a few things. A leading newspaper may set the agenda of the day but it does so with balance, clarity and facts. It does not continually spew forth hysterical bile in an attempt to whip its readers into a frenzy of outrage over nothing.

There’s no reason why the Duke and Duchess of Sussex shouldn’t lead independent lives. The Duke, while in line for the throne, is not a direct heir – there’s at least three in front of him – and the ‘life of a royal’ is an anachronism with little value in today’s world. It obviously has a deeper resonance in the UK than elsewhere in the world but, as you have so spectacularly failed to research, nobody else really cares. More pressing in the real world (which one might think you’d inhabit from time to time) are the questions of war, climate, dearth of national leadership in the UK and elsewhere, famine, natural disasters and economic hardship. Whether two young people and their baby stay or remain in the UK is neither here nor there. The real issue – and the one seldom discussed – is the role you have played in bringing them to their decision. You hunted the Duke’s mother and have continued the hunt throughout his life. Frankly, you should be ashamed but shame, empathy – in fact any regulating human emotion – is not something of which you are apparently capable.

Trust in news media has eroded almost to the point of no return. That erosion is due to the tide of hogwash, racism and bias spewed from your sites and publications on a seemingly endless basis.

In the end, you’ll be hoist on your own petard.

Catherine Arrow