Without so much as a hint of irony, the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his tame gofer, the flannelled fool Henry Cole, the Laurel and Hardy of the blogosphere, have used the Guido Fawkes blog to recount recent events in the Strangers’ Bar at the House of Commons, where Labour MP Eric Joyce, who represents Falkirk, has had more than a little local difficulty.
Any subsidised bars in there?
Joyce was involved in an alleged assault in the bar on Wednesday night, arrested, and promptly suspended by the personal order of Mil The Younger within twelve hours (compare and contrast Young Dave’s jolly decisive actions against Aidan Burley, still with the Tory whip over 80 days after he was caught partaking in a Nazi themed stag night in France).
The reportage has homed in on the supposedly cheap booze available within the Palace of Westminster and the associated drinking culture, although as I pointed out earlier this week, this is a London wide problem. It’s just that when MPs get themselves Elephants Trunk and Mozart, there is more likelihood of an equally overtired hack being in the vicinity.
But, given that the Fawkes blog considers goings-on at Westminster its speciality du jour, Staines and Cole had to have an angle: first came the rumours (suggesting Joyce had had a swing at the desk sergeant), then what was claimed to be an email from someone at the Beeb, confirming that Tory MP Stuart Andrew, who represents Pudsey, had been headbutted by Joyce.
By this point, those with a moderately sound recall of recent history will have noticed an overload coming from their bullshit and hypocrisy detectors: Staines is in no position to call anyone out for being the worse for wear, being the proud owner of a criminal record that includes two drinking and driving bans – the second for three years – and two drunk and disorderly offences.
By his own admission, when pulled over by the Met’s finest while failing to negotiate a straight, Staines had been on the sauce all evening. It was only a chance reshuffle of the arrangements at Tower Bridge Magistrates’ Court that kept him away from a judge who, it was reckoned, would have sent him to jail and seized his wife’s VW Golf. But there is one redeeming feature here.
And that it that Staines and his gofer have reportedly gone on the wagon for Lent, which began this week with Ash Wednesday. Whether the less than dynamic duo can remain in a state of abstinence for forty days and forty nights is doubtful, but then, as those cost conscious employers at Tesco might have put it, every little helps.
Another fine mess, once again.