The determination of Richard Littlejohn to paint Phonehackgate as some minor matter not worthy of Police time has reached new heights – literally – as he tries to compare previously abandoned investigations with the so-called “Liquid Bomb Plot” of 2006, when the authorities stepped in and stopped what was alleged to have been an attempt to detonate bombs on board transatlantic flights.
This time, Fat Dick claims to have done some research, but his habit of over-dramatising what facts there are has once again got the better of him, and that’s before we get to the casual smears directed at MPs like Keith Vaz (“sleazebag ... smug little committee ... despicable”) and Chris Bryant (he’s gay, and therefore guilty of whatever Littlejohn says).
Facts and figures, guv? That'll cost you, innit?
So one should not be surprised when Dick asserts “five years ago, when hacking first came to light, terrorists were within a whisker of bringing down ten airliners over the north Atlantic”. Five years ago, eh Dicky? As I pointed out the other day, when discussing the Sven’n’Ulrika affair, Ms Jonsson’s phone had been hacked, and that hacking was well known ... in 2002.
And what Littlejohn also fails to mention is that none of the alleged plotters in the “Liquid Bomb Plot” had bought a plane ticket, many did not even have passports – not easy to get through Passport control without one of those – and none had previously made a bomb of any kind. And the number of flights targeted was confirmed at seven, not ten.
But, protests Fat Dick, “The liquid bomb plot was only intercepted at the last minute by Scotland Yard’s anti-terrorist branch”. Not according to contemporary press reports, they weren’t: the Telegraph describes the accused as “almost ready to carry out their plans ... drawn up details of specific flights to be targeted ... bought the components needed to make ... bombs”.
So, given its even more than usually tenuous relationship with reality, it’s no surprise that the Littlejohn column is having a fortnight’s break. “I’m off on holiday” tells the Great Man. But, Dick, you’re permanently on holiday – you live in that nice gated compound in Florida, remember?
And there is one final piece of touching and rare honesty in Littlejohn’s sign-off: “Frankly, I can’t keep up” he admits. We’ve known for years, Dicky boy. Why don’t you divert some of that million a year you get into hiring a personal trainer?
And mind how you go.