Mail Group Obergruppenfuhrer Paul Dacre continues to hide under his stone so instead of getting his balding head above the parapet to deal with the Stephen Gately storm, he has left it to a statement from the hapless Jan Moir to try to repair the commercial damage her/his article has done.

It reveals hitherto unnoticed comic genius in the twisted Dacre world.

Note the lovely, gentle, soft tone of the statement’s opening. ‘Some people, particularly in the gay community, have been upset by my article about the sad death of Boyzone member Stephen Gately.’  Sad.. she and Paul were so so sad.

‘This was never my intention. Stephen, as I pointed out in the article was a charming and sweet man who entertained millions.’ Doesn’t the word ‘sweet’ look lovely in a Mail statement? You can feel the sadness in the sweetness.

‘However, the point of my column” – ah, here we go, I was wondering what the point was – -‘which, I wonder how many of the people complaining have fully read’ – classic Dacre psychology here, insult the people who complain –  ‘was to suggest that, in my honest opinion,’ (interesting they have to say their opinions are honestly held) ‘his death raises many unanswered questions. That was all.’ Oh I see, that was the point. His death raised unanswered questions. The Mail loves unanswered questions .. you know the kind of thing … Are teenagers having too much sex with their laptops? Are asylum seekers eating our babies? Does too much cellulite threaten the Church of England? Does Tony Blair want to be Pope?

Dacre loves question marks because they can be used to insinuate anything that his demented imagination dreams up as he is driven into work.

So let’s get back to sad, sweet Jan’s statement. ‘Yes, anyone can die at anytime of anything.’ What an insight. I didn’t realise I could be struck down by any disease any second. ‘However, it seems unlikely to me that what took place in the hours immediately preceding Gately¹s death – out all evening at a nightclub, taking illegal substances, bringing a stranger back to the flat, getting intimate with that stranger – did not have a bearing on his death. At the very least,’ – I love this bit – ‘it could have exacerbated an underlying medical condition.’ Oh, she and Paul are back to worrying about Stephen’s welfare. Sweet. Touching. And thanks for answering the unanswered questions. There was me thinking a coroner might be better qualified.

‘The entire matter of his sudden death seemed to have been handled with undue haste when lessons could have been learned.’ What on earth does that mean? And do we really want the Mail to be lecturing anyone about ‘undue haste’ when they pride themselves on being first out of the traps to get the worst possible angle on any event?

But what about the charges that her piece was anti-gay? ‘One very important point. When I wrote that “he would want to set an example to any impressionable young men who may want to emulate what they might see as his glamorous routine”, I was referring to the drugs and the casual invitation extended to a stranger. Not to the fact of his homosexuality. In writing that “it strikes another blow to the happy-ever-after myth of civil partnerships” I was suggesting that civil partnerships – the introduction of which I am on the record in supporting – have proved just to be as problematic as marriages.’ Don’t you love the way she assumes to know what example Gately would want to set to impressionable young men, about whom Dacre and his little gang care so much? And has anyone ever seen a piece in the Mail about the happy-ever-after myth of marriage between a man and a woman? No, didn’t think so.

And finally, let’s shoot the messengers who have been busy expressing disgust at Dacre’s rag. ‘In what is clearly a heavily orchestrated internet campaign ‘ – orchestrated by whom? Reds under the bed? The response to the Mail was powerful and instant, and required no such orchestration. The fact they believe such a response can only happen if orchestrated reveals not just control freakery, but incomprehension at how the web is changing news and views consumption and dissemination.. ‘I think it is mischievous in the extreme to suggest that my article has homophobic and bigoted undertones,’ she concludes. Mischevious? What a lovely sweet word. What a lovely article it was about lovely sweet Stephen, and how silly we all are to think it was anything other than a nice piece about a much missed entertainer.

Also, alles klar, mein Kapitan.

Is The Daily Mail a vicious poison running through Britain’s veins?

Oh sorry, that one was real… silly me.