Bertie Wooster was once fined £5 at Bosher St magistrates for stealing a policeman's helmet on boat race day. However, nobody, except for the Fascist sympathiser Sir Watkyn Bassett, regarded this as a reason to rebuke him.
However, when a Millwall fan did the same at the weekend, we got media outrage and an apology from him - I hope in bad faith - claiming to be "disgusted" at his actions.
It would be tempting to attribute this contrast to the traditional class bias which sees upper class antics as high jinks but similar working class behaviour as thuggish hooliganism.
But I suspect there's more going on. We should interpret the headlines about Millwall fans' scuffling alongside the furore over Paris Brown's tweets and (some) Tories' outrage over the effort to get "Ding Dong the Witch is dead" to the top of the charts. In all three cases we have a moral panic. I reckon there are at least two motives behind this.
The other is an ahistorical managerialism. Peter Ryley rightly notes that a "raucous irreverance" is a long English tradition. Rather than recognise disorder as normal and inevitable, however, the ruling class seems to aspire to some fictitious ideal in which it is eliminated. But this is pure managerialism - a belief that conflict and disharmony can somehow be managed away. (There is, of course, nothing uniquely Conservative in this; a feature of Blairism was its tendency to moral panics.)
One aspect of this managerialism is a belief in what Richard Sennett called the "myth of a purified community". We want to believe that other people are like us, that there is greater social solidarity than there really is. Disorder challenges this fiction, and we respond by exaggerating the deviance of its perpetrators; football hooligans are always a "tiny minority" and not "real fans." Such deviants then become a threat to society rather than a part of it:
Having so little tolerance for disorder in their own lives, and having shut themselves off so that they have little experience of disorder as well, the eruption of social tension becomes a situation in which the ultimate methods of aggression, violent force and reprisal, seem to become not only justified, but life-preserving. (The Uses of Disorder, p44-45)
And herein lies the danger with moral panics. They are a sign of intolerance, of a lack of the culture of liberty. In this sense, the trash newspapers - and those who share their worldview - are a threat to freedom.