In light of yesterday’s events, I suppose people must think I look rather foolish for taking the Observer to task over its reporting of the plot against Ming.
Fair enough, but my point still holds. Both of those articles suggested that MPs were plotting a coup, yet neither of them included a direct quote from an MP saying as much or gave any details as to how the journalist came by that information. I still think that is pretty unacceptable.
We appear to have gone beyond the usual practice of anonymous briefings to the press now to a system whereby journalists and their sources communicate by a complicated system of winks, nods and facial tics. The rest of us are left out in the cold, not knowing to what extent the stories we read in our papers are actually true or simply the fevered imaginings of a hack with a deadline. Even the old conventions of “sources close to X” has now gone out of the window as journalists compete to make their claims sound more sensational. And this is in the broadsheets.
I don’t ask for the identity of the knife wielders, merely more evidence that such knife wielders do indeed exist. In the case of this particular story all speculation on this is now of course moot, but it won’t be the last time.
Anyway, so much for that. I see MPs are now lining up to say nice things about Ming on the record. My favourite quote is from Mike Hancock:
“I think he was shafted by a complete shower of shits.”
What a charming mental picture, just don’t try picturing it too hard.
The thing I will find the most depressing over the next few days is that we are now to be greeted with a hagiographic account of Ming’s abilities and achievements which will be as ridiculous and overblown as the accounts immediately before which portrayed him as a dithering old dunderhead. The meeja doesn’t do things by halves. And just as we were getting resignations over many of Ming’s less than stellar performances over the months, expect another wave of them now. It just seems as if for so many people politics has become nothing more or less than a circus; they’re just waiting to be entralled and appalled.
Actually, the most depressing thing over the next few days will be seeing, hearing and reading media interviews with Ben Ramm once again claiming to be the authentic voice of Lib Dem activism. He’s going to be unbearable, isn’t he? Just thinking about it makes me want to open a vein. I bet he’s been rubbing his hands with glee all evening.
So, in an effort to pre-empt the influx of these stories, I have only this to say:
BEN RAMM ISN’T A PARTY ACTIVIST, AND VIRTUALLY NO-ONE IN THE PARTY READS THE LIBERAL, WHICH IS A LITERARY MAGAZINE ANYWAY, NOT A PARTY PUBLICATION!
Got that? No? Oh well, it was worth a try.
Oh, and true story: the guy who served me in McDonalds yesterday was called Ming. He got my order wrong. Ho hum.