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Friday, 18 December 2015

Tim Montgomerie - Still Clueless

Members of the punditerati like to tell me that, in regarding Tim Montgomerie, now of the Times, as serially clueless and lightweight is to do The Great Man a disservice. He is, I am repeatedly told, a serious and respected political commentator who does rather more than rank as high as any in Rome. So what has changed since Monty’s infamous “This is about revenge, not phone tapsComment Is Free piece from 2009?
That, after all, was the article in which he told of Andy Coulson leaving the now-defunct Screws in the wake of the “Royal bugging scandal”, where there was no bugging. He claimed “It is a desperate attempt by Labour to get revenge for the ousting of Damian McBride … The Labour machine's attempt to drag others into the gutter with Team Brown is as ugly as it is transparent”. Phone hacking was nothing to do with “Team Brown”.

Monty protested that “the antagonism towards Coulson is also rooted in the hostility of the Guardian and the BBC to Rupert Murdoch's media empire”, before securing his future career by simpering “I do not wish to defend every action of the News International empire, but Rupert Murdoch has been an overwhelming force for good in this country's life and politics”. What a job application! And what a 24-carat crawler.

So how has the clueless crawler of old transformed himself into the serious, heavyweight commentator of today? Sadly, on the latest evidence, he has not: Monty has shown that he not only believes the content the Murdoch press spews out, but is prone to misinterpreting what he reads to suit his agenda, a fatal flaw for any pundit who claims to be reputable. The moment of truth has come over a Times article on Labour Party membership.

Corbyn warned as ‘30,000 quit party’asserted the headline, the piece going on to claim “Jeremy Corbyn was confronted by Lord Mandelson last night with claims that 30,000 Labour members have quit the party under his leadership … The Labour peer said that ‘two parties’ were developing under Mr Corbyn - one formed of long-term, moderate members and another made up of the leader’s personal following”.

But the “30,000” claim was just that - hence the use of quotation marks. Monty was unable to take the hint, and creatively reinterpreted it, announcing30,000 moderate members have quit Labour Party under Corbyn  http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/politics/article4643133.ece … - follow @ihaveleftlabour for more updates”. And, as Jon Stewart might have said, two things here.

One, the “30,000” number is still just a claim, and it is not possible to say from which wing of the party they may have come. And two, @ihaveleftlabour is a crank account that has only been active for a few days. Had Monty bothered to indulge in the mystical art known as “Five minutes’ Googling”, he would have found out that Labour membership has increased by more than 183,000 since the General Election.

That increase is greater than the entire membership of the Tory Party, estimated at around 150,000. All of which means the Times article is conjecture unsupported by facts - rather like Monty’s claims about phone hacking. And we know how that one panned out.

Tim Montgomerie is still clueless. His own clueless witterings demonstrate it.


Anonymous said...

Montgomerie is an arsehead.

How else to explain this: "Rupert Murdoch has been an overwhelming force for good in this country's life and politics.”

Murdoch and his employees represent everything that is wrong and evil in British culture. They are corrupt, lying, hypocritical, hate-filled, cowardly, warmongering neofascists and sociopaths. They are a cheap copy of the extreme US model.

Which is why Montgomerie slots in perfectly there. The fellow is the dregs of mainstream media. Like his bought-and-paid-for "colleagues."

pete c. said...

"Rupert Murdoch has been an overwhelming force for good in this country's life and politics.”

If I hadn't been arguing the opposite to this for 2 decades or more now, you might have given me apoplexy here.

And in the same day as those bleatings from the Sun over "violation of the Human Rights of the Sun and its journalists.

Philosophy seminars could have real fun with these. Assessing the depth of the gutter that these people have dragged us into could be on a par with angels on pinheads.

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