People who are convinced that they are right and good are immensely dangerous. They believe that their virtue allows them to behave outside the rules of truth or justice.
This must be the explanation of the extraordinary misrepresentation of this newspaper, and of the British popular press in general, during the CBS interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, screened in this country by ITV.
During the broadcast, a montage of supposed British newspaper headlines was shown. Many of them were in fact from non-UK publications.
But this was not the worst of it. The headlines, some of them not even real, were dishonestly displayed to suggest open racial bigotry aimed at the Duchess of Sussex.
The Mail on Sunday today provides a full analysis of this grotesque exercise in irresponsible and dangerous falsehood. Worst of all was a doctored headline, so distorted and cut that it suggested the very opposite of the truth.
Pictured: Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, in conversation with Oprah Winfrey during last week’s controversial interview. During the broadcast, a montage of supposed British newspaper headlines was shown. Many of them were in fact from non-UK publications
This newspaper was actually attacking a series of revolting text messages, a racist assault on Ms Markle, sent by the girlfriend of the then Ukip leader (who resigned as a result of our report).
The presentation on CBS contrived to suggest that we were expressing the very thing we were condemning.
How could CBS, once the home of the greatest and most principled of all American broadcasters, Edward R. Murrow, have sunk to such depths of distortion?
How could ITV, the inheritor of decades of superb news and current affairs broadcasting, have allowed itself to be used as a conduit for such televisual effluent?
No interpretation of the principle of free speech permits such behaviour. Those responsible should be identified and held to account.
The broadcasters should swiftly admit their wrongdoing, and apologise.
Open up the skies again – and see the hopes of a nation soar
For the sake of the British people who have patiently endured unheard of restrictions on all the joys of life for almost a year, for the sake of the airline and travel industries which employ so many and contribute so much to our national wealth, it is vital that the Government draws up a plan for the reopening of foreign travel.
Families and business alike need the stimulus of real hope. Our economy and society need the regeneration that open airports will bring.
Many countries, such as Turkey, Greece, Spain and Portugal, long to welcome British holidaymakers again, as much as those holidaymakers long to revisit them. They are as keen as we are to find workable ways to open up.
Mail on Sunday comment: Families and business alike need the stimulus of real hope. Our economy and society need the regeneration that open airports will bring. Pictured: People walk through arrivals at London’s Heathrow airport
The miraculous success of the world-beating UK Covid vaccination programme means that by the time summer arrives, millions of Britons will be protected against the virus and protected against spreading it.
Those in most danger from it will also be immeasurably safer.
If new variants arise, or other countries fall back into difficulties, it will not be hard to implement measures to contain this.
Total safety is impossible – but by any measure, the danger once presented by Covid-19 is hugely diminished and regulations which were once easily defended are becoming irksome and hard to justify. This will accelerate as the weather warms and more weeks of lockdown drag by.
We need clarity and decision to allow everyone to plan their liberations, a firm position so well-designed that there is no danger of it being rescinded later.
There should be no more muddled thinking and no more internal battles, but a Government united in a wise and well-crafted policy.
What we need above all is for Ministers to decide, and stick to what they have decided.