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Sunday 4 July 2010

Iain, Meet Denis

A week has now passed since the Murdoch and Rothermere press splashed its erroneous “EU Bans A Dozen Eggs” stories, sparking some vigorous and often healthy debate, and unfortunately spawning a number of instances of knee jerk Europhobia.

And top of the Europhobic blog pops on day one was Iain Dale, a compliant and reliable conduit for Tory propaganda. Moreover, a week on, he is still at it, suggesting that he has forgotten Healey’s Dictum, named after the former Labour deputy leader, which states, more or less, that if you find yourself in a hole, you are best advised to stop digging.

The timeline for the actual story, which Zelo Street has laid out in an exclusive yesterday, many will know by now. That for Dale and his digging may be less clear, so I’ll shed a little light on it in this post.

On June 27, the day that the Mail On Sunday, Screws, and Sunday Times ran the story, the Dale blog included a post with the untrue title “EU Abolishes A Dozen Eggs”. The post contained the equally untrue assertion that “No longer will we be able to buy eggs by the dozen”. At the very end of the comments – few readers would have seen it – was someone asking “Now that you've been proved wrong where is the correction and humbling apology?

Others then found adversely upon the press, and Dale came in for a routine amount of ridicule. But generally, the whole thing died down - until yesterday’s Zelo Street exclusive, which identified the Grocer magazine as the source of the story, and revealed the characteristically poor behaviour of the Fourth Estate over the matter.

Only then did Iain Dale wake up to the existence of the Grocer and editor Adam Leyland, although I’m sure he would not go so far as to concede that he had read it first in this blog. Moreover, he came over all righteous and declared “I have been plagued by Europhile idiots calling on me to apologise”. But, apart from a mere suggestion from one of his own commenters, there has been no movement to demand he apologises.

You couldn’t make it up? But it looks very much as if Iain Dale has made it up. Why make the hole bigger, Iain, when you could just stop digging? And, while you’re at it, try doing a bit of proper investigation for a change (as I did), rather than just assuming that your comments are somehow special.

You’re not a sleb, and you never will be.

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