Just a reminder , in case you needed one, that the family of Jack Merritt, who was murdered by an islamist maniac in London last Friday, have condemned the “agenda of hate” which followed the tragedy. His father Dave told the Guardian that the political reaction reinforced the world view his son fought against. I mention this because you will only find the story on the front page of the Guardian and on the front page of no other national newspaper. Any idea why that is? Were you born yesterday?

Conveniently for our newspaper editors, yesterday’s BBC Panorama programme was a ghastly expose of the perverted life of serial paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Worse than that, or perhaps better if you are a sleazy tabloid editor, the allegations against his pal Prince Andrew were devastating. Have a guess where the tabloids went with this one?

Far be it for me to suggest that our…ahem…free and independent press saw in the ongoing scandal of Prince Andrew’s seedy sex life something to distract them from Jack Merritt’s murder and the subsequent comments of his family, but – hey ho – that’s exactly what I have done. Cheapskate politicians like Boris Johnson and Priti Patel moved quickly to lie and exploit the tragedy by blaming Labour and it simply would not do to have the victim’s family in effect challenging that agenda.

I know people who work and have worked in the judicial process and beyond and I understand more than I did before about how the parole and probation system works. The rehabilitation of prisoners is a complex process and not an exact science. Evidence suggests that in most cases, it works. It will always be the case that in some cases it never will.

In my opinion, based on over half a century of watching how the media works, the scandal of Prince Andrew is the best possible distraction for those who have more pressing desires than merely reading the heartbreaking comments of a bereaved family. Britain’s best-selling gutter sheet, the Sun, leads on a fully frontal attack on Jeremy Corbyn with the Prince Andrew story in far smaller writing. Presumably there was no room for Jack Merritt’s family’s condemnation of the “agenda of hate”. After all, such a story would not fit in with the agenda of hate for which the Sun is not just renowned but represents its entire raison d’être. It’s what they do.

It comes down, yet again, to a choice between hope and hate. The Merritt family offer hope, the likes of Johnson and his tabloid cheerleaders offer more hate. The choice is ours. And it’s a very simple choice. If on Friday 13th December 2019, the Sun is celebrating an election win by Boris Johnson hate will have won.