Put simply, Kelvin MacKenzie is a disgraceful human being. He is a hateful, bitter, reviled has-been. His newspaper lied about Hillsborough, falsely blaming Liverpool fans for the tragedy, and reporting that they stole from, and urinated on, dead bodies, and made necrophiliac comments about dying victims. Twice he has tried to enter politics and twice he has failed.
Ross Barkley is 23 years old and earns a reported £60,000-a-week for playing the sport he loves for his hometown club. He has represented his country at six levels, including 22 senior caps and has played for England in a World Cup. Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez, widely acknowledged as one of the greatest midfielders ever, praised Barkley and commented that he has the physical and technical qualities to thrive in La Liga. Barkley is a still a very young man, who will learn from his mistakes and become a better professional and human being for it. The world is his oyster.
Kelvin MacKenzie is none of these things.
Put simply, MacKenzie is a disgraceful human being. He has no redeeming features whatsoever. Kelvin MacKenzie is almost universally accepted as vomitous, unscrupulous, poisonous and utterly vile. But of course the Sun still employ him to smear his filth over their already shit-stained pages, because that’s what they do. They’re scum too. MacKenzie has presided over some of that filthy rag’s darkest, most depraved moments, and they reward him with the grubbiest soapbox in journalism. His latest copy takes aim at Barkley, and that is where the connection is sadly made between burgeoning young talent and bloated festering mess. Kelvin on Friday mocked Barkley’s intelligence and appearance, as well as the city of Liverpool, and working class people in general.
He went on to suggest that the only affluence around Merseyside not resulting from a career in football could only ever derive from drug dealing. All this on the day before the 28th anniversary of the Hillborough anniversary – a sickening tragedy that was made so much worse by MacKenzie’s wicked coverage. Back then, as now, he was vilifying the people of Liverpool. If the Hillsborough anniversary and timing of the article seem like a coincidence, then you simply don’t know MacKenzie. He is a depraved and is always acutely aware of what he is doing and the offence and hurt he is causing. He takes great pride in causing maximum offence, and then claiming faux innocence like the amoral coward he is.
Which brings us to an especially bizarre aspect of MacKenzie – a special focus on Barkley’s appearance. He decided to have a prolonged pop at the professional athlete’s appearance.
You see, Ross Barkley is part Nigerian on his father’s side. And MacKenzie chose to characterise him as follows:
An image entitled ‘HERE’S WHY THEY GO APE AT ROSS’, showing Barkley and a silverback, is accompanied by the question: ‘Could Everton’s Ross Barkley represent the missing link between man and beast?’
‘PERHAPS unfairly, I have always judged Ross Barkley as one of our dimmest footballers. There is something about the lack of reflection in his eyes which makes me certain not only are the lights not on, there is definitely nobody at home. I get a similar feeling when seeing a gorilla at the zoo. The physique is magnificent but it’s the eyes that tell the story.’
Such words and images would be far more shocking if they were the work of anyone else but MacKenzie, in any other publication but the Sun. They fit perfectly into Kelvin’s murky corridor of uncertainty. He plants the seed of poison with expert precision, and waits for his vile inferences to seep in and the intended offence to blossom. Then he follows it up with dismissive incredulity when faced with the criticism that his sentiments deserve and that he never admits to.
I hope that Ross Barkley lives a happy and rewarding life, as I fully expect him to. I know Kelvin MacKenzie hasn’t and won’t. Ross has the world at his feet, and a prosperous life ahead of him; Kelvin on the otherhand is hateful and hated, and all he will be remembered for are his failings and poisonous nature.