Are Q Kidd-ing me? The Daily Mail, the model's malcontent brother and a case of selective disgust

Imagine having a byline in The Daily Mail and thinking you're morally superior to conspiracy theorists.

Lady Mosley, who started life as Diana Mitford, died in 2003. She was 93 and one obituary reported that a diamond swastika was among her jewels. In the 60 years since she emerged from wartime internment in Holloway prison (she spent the rest of the war under house arrest), she wasn’t exiled from British society or even considered mildly beyond the pale.

Not for Lady Mosley the deserved ignominy of the fascist street thug, a resource so exploited by her husband Sir Oswald Mosley. Instead, she was invited to contribute diaries to Tatler, edited The European magazine, and published three books — the laughably-named autobiography A Life of Contrasts, The Loved Ones (pen portraits of remarkable people she had met, though curiously not her beloved A. Hitler), and a biography of Wallace Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor.

Lady Mosley was interviewed by Thames Television’s Good Afternoon in 1977 and Desert Island Discs in 1989, causing a ripple of controversy both times by refusing to even pantomime any regret at her friendship with Hitler. Still, she retained her gigs as a book reviewer for Books & Bookmen and later The Evening Standard.

A Life of Contrasts was granted a revision in 2002, just a year before Lady Mosley’s death, and received good reviews when it was first published in 1977. If her press appearances were striking for her lack of contrition, A Life of Contrasts finds her antisemitic views undiluted and undimmed — warning, the following quotes are abjectly disgusting — as she argued that Jews could simply have left Germany in the 1930s saving poor old Hitler from having to ‘deal’ with them:

“World Jewry with its immense wealth could find the money, and England and France with the resources of their vast empires could find the living space… world Jewry did not make a greater effort in the 30s to accommodate its co-racialists from central Europe elsewhere in the world… Their virulent attacks on all things German… hardened the hearts of the many Germans who were well-disposed towards them.”

Andrew Roberts opened his indulgent Telegraph obituary of Lady Mosely with this:

The death of Diana Mosley brings to an end one of the most curious questions of British upper-class etiquette: how does one deal socially with an unrepentant Nazi?

One of the funny, charming, intelligent and glamorous Mitford sisters; a denizen of the "Hons' cupboard''; a dedicatee of Vile Bodies; a beautiful woman whom Churchill called "Dinamite''; an inspired interior decorator; a steadfast friend to a wide galère (including some Jews); a fine autobiographer and loving mother; yet Diana Mosley was also a woman who could - when she was inadvisedly invited to appear on Desert Island Discs - describe Adolf Hitler in almost wholly positive terms.

How perverse and sickening to frame dealing with “an unrepentant Nazi” as a “curious question of British upper-class etiquette”. It got worse as Roberts stacked up the qualities in her favour — motherhood and friendship, including the cheap observation that she could be friendly to some Jewish people — before quickly noting that she continued to describe Hitler in positive terms throughout her life.

I dig over the sordid entrails of Diana Mosley’s life for one reason — it’s precedent. I thought of her, her odious husband, and her even nastier sister Unity when I read a Daily Mail piece yesterday about the “well-connected and rich brother” of Jodie Kidd who has become a loud and proud supporter of the QAnon conspiracy, a vicious and proud antisemite and racist, whose ‘good breeding’ the journalist feels honour bound to mention regardless.

Look at how Guy Adams describes Jack Kidd:

Jack Kidd is a supremely well-connected businessman, former professional polo player and socialite who found minor celebrity in the 2000s as the dashing older brother of fashion model Jodie.

A great-grandson of publishing tycoon Lord Beaverbrook, and son of a high-profile showjumper, the jet-setting 47-year-old’s immediate family also includes sister Jemma, a high-profile make-up artist presently divorcing the Duke of Wellington’s son and heir, Arthur Mornington.

Thanks to his impeccable breeding and sometimes rackety social life, Kidd’s high-octane lifestyle has for years enlivened gossip columns.

Impeccable breeding. He’s a man, not a prize sow, for fuck’s sake. Imagine now that Jack Kidd was not the scion of a rich family, nor the sibling of a celebrity, but instead a compatriot of Luton’s most famous racist lout Stephen Yaxley-Lennon aka Tommy Robinson. Do you think for one moment that the writer would justify painting a pretty picture of his family and his interests? No, he wouldn’t and he would be right not to because the content of his actions would matter more.

Kidd is lifted up as a shocking example of someone who swallowed the QAnon pill and promotes racist ideologies because he is rich; as one of our ‘betters’; they are creatures picked over day after day by The Daily Mail’s class-obsessed gossip columnist Sebastian Shakespeare as if their births, deaths, and marriages are somehow more interesting than those of people who work for a living.

The overheated recitation of Kidd’s background and history continues before a very hard handbrake turn:

The father of six children, by three rich women, he’s clocked up two starry weddings (one of which filled 16 pages of Hello!) and one quite spectacular divorce, during which his jilted heiress wife branded him as a ‘cad and bounder’ in a round-robin email to 200 friends.

He’s also pursued a host of colourful business ventures, inside the world of polo and out, including a stint as a director of Jemma’s make-up firm, where for reasons we’ll never know, he shared the boardroom with the now-notorious Ghislaine Maxwell, who appears to be an old family friend.

“The now-notorious Ghislaine Maxwell, who appears to be an old family friend,” is an almost wonderful piece of Daily Mail understatement. Maxwell is currently on remand awaiting trial on a range of sex trafficking charges.

Even as he finally gets round to explaining the meat of Kidd’s malevolent beliefs, Adams cannot resist larding on another compliment:

This strapping old Harrovian, who once played polo with Prince Charles and Prince Harry, is — I can reveal — a leading figure in the British offshoot of QAnon, a far-Right extremist group of Donald Trump supporters who led the invasion of U.S. Congress in Washington DC this week.

My god! Someone who went to Harrow is a racist? It seems so unlikely. Certainly, I would never suggest that Laurence Fox, another Old Harrovian, would ever do or say anything racist. And you’d be wrong to suggest the same.

Adams continues:

Many of [Kidd’s] posts are riddled with vile anti-Semitism (he recently accused the ‘Rothschilds and other bloodline families’ of ‘helping cover up the paedophilia pandemic’) and he has fomented hatred against groups, including Catholics and the ‘black nobility’ who in a recent post are described as the ‘true rats of this world’…

Jack Kidd was recently banned from Instagram — where he boasted tens of thousands of followers — for sharing fake news, and was, before Christmas, suspended by Facebook for two months for the same offence.

YouTube routinely deletes his videos (only for them to pop up elsewhere) while he is now also being monitored by anti-extremist group Hope Not Hate.

What makes him uniquely dangerous, they argue, is that unlike the various wingnuts whose excesses filled the airwaves this week, Kidd cuts an outwardly normal figure. And his celebrity status adds to his allure.

One: He’s not a celebrity. He is merely a rich man who is related to a celebrity. We know so much about him now because tabloid grubbers like Adams have dedicated so much newsprint and so many pixels to telling us about him.

Two: The notion that racists and conspiracists generally look like the QAnon Shaman — arrested last night for his role in the attempted Capitol coup — dressed in furs and a horned headdress is ludicrous. Racists and conspiracists live and work among us, sometimes they’re even in our families, and the idea that being rich, ‘respectable’, and ‘well-bred’ is an inoculation against poisonous thinking is clearly bullshit.

The Daily Mail — itself addicted to all kinds of conspiracy theories (remember the ‘Enemies of the People’ front page?) — has to assert that it’s unusual for the rich to be antisemitic, racist, conspiracists because it balances its whole worldview on the notion that wealthiness is close to godliness. It’s the continuation of Oswald and Diana Mosley’s post-war lie that antisemitism afflicted the working-class Blackshirts but was not something that they dabbled in.

Oswald Mosely blamed William Joyce — who was hanged after his wartime endeavours as Lord Haw-Haw, broadcasting propaganda for the Germans — for introducing anti-semitism into his fascist movement. Mosley had made Joyce the British Union of Fascist’s Director of Propaganda and editor of his newspaper, Action. No doubt Joyce was a rabid fascist antisemite but Mosley’s own words were hardly misconstrued. During the Second Italo-Ethiopian War, it was Mosley would cried: “Greater even than the stink of oil is the stink of the Jew.” And it was Mosley who called German Jews “the sweepings of continental ghettos hired by Jewish financiers.”

Mosley, married to Diana — a cousin of Churchill’s wife Clemmie — was allowed to live in Paris and occasionally return (unsuccessfully) to the British political sphere. William Joyce, a working-class, American-born Irish man, who became a naturalised German citizen in 1940, was tried for treason after it was ruled his broadcasts from Berlin had begun while his British passport was still valid. A.J.P Taylor wrote in English History 1914 - 1945: “Technically, Joyce was hanged for making a false statement when applying for a passport, the usual penalty for which is a small fine.”

It has become a cliche to point out that The Daily Mail supported Mosley’s fascists — the notorious ‘Hurrah For The Blackshirts’ headline and article, written by the current owner’s great-grandfather the 1st Viscount Rothermere, frequently does the rounds — but that’s because it does need repeating. The Daily Mail is, on a daily basis, a writhing mass of misinformation, disinformation, prejudice and spite. While Adams is correct in his article to highlight how false Kidd’s malignant beliefs are, there’s one pointed line that could be applied to his own employer equally:

Amazingly, this kind of nonsense sells.