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Wednesday 20 July 2011

The Unclear Motive Of Louise Mensch

Among all the boredom yesterday afternoon as the Murdochs were interrogated before the Commons culture committee was the surprising and flagrantly dishonest intervention of one Louise Mensch. Who she? Well, Ms M is Tory MP for Corby, having won the seat from Labour incumbent Phil Hope last year. And she writes so-called “chick lit” fiction.

She is also one of the five MPs to have been quoted by the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines, who styles himself Guido Fawkes, and has falsely tried to pin phone hacking on the appalling Piers “Morgan” Moron, while the latter was editor of the Daily Mirror. But as I pointed out recently, the story that Staines homed in on, the Sven’n’Ulrika affair, was gifted to the Mirror as a spoiler.

Ms Mensch asserted during the hearings – twice, once during the Murdochs’ questioning and again during the session with Rebekah Brooks – that Moron had “boasted that using that ‘little trick’ [entering a default PIN code when a phone went to voicemail] had enabled him to win scoop of the year on a story about Sven-Goran Eriksson”. This “boast” was supposedly in Moron’s book The Insider.

There is only one problem with this assertion: Moron didn’t make it. This may be because, as I pointed out, the paper that hacked Ulrika Jonsson’s voicemail – and the one she is taking to court over hacking – was the Screws, and not the Mirror. So, for once in his life, the host of the all-new Percy Moron Show was able to claim the moral high ground.

And so it was that Louise Mensch then appeared before CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, who played the clip of her telling her newly minted whopper, but found Corby’s representative in Parliament claiming privilege and declining to repeat it outside. Blitzer then had the great Moron himself on, and Percy was clearly not pleased. And, as I’ve pointed out, despite my deep dislike of Moron, this time he is right and Louise is wrong.

So why did she do it? Already, the Mensch Twitter feed has attempted to justify the smear by showing how Moron left the Mirror, but that doesn’t cause her whopper to prove true. There are two possible explanations: either it’s a shameless abuse of Parliamentary privilege to provide a publicity stunt, or she’s taken the Staines story as fact without checking it first. If I were part of her electorate, neither would impress.

Or maybe I missed something. More on this sideshow later.


Anonymous said...

It seems to me that she is trying to take the heat off Murdoch and the Tories by implying that the practise was widespread. It could also that she is doing what the Tories are accusing everyone else of doing by playing politics with the story seeing as the Mirror is viewed as a Labour supporting paper.

Anonymous said...

The undisputable fact is,he stuck the boot into the Troops...

Cyclops10 said...

What a thoroughly unpleasant woman. Very ambitious self serving, and publicity hungry. I have complained to the Parliamentary Standards Committee. If she has abused Parliamentary Privilege or lied surely she must be forced to resign

Cyclops10 said...

I have no liking for Morgan, I am ex army but that is not the point here.

Anonymous said...

This #hacking hoo-ha is unravelling very slowly. It is not surprising she got muddled up with so much info swilling around. Perhaps we should start again, beginning with the Information Commission report from 2006 what price privacy

Cyclops10 said...

She was not muddled. She was cynically seeking attention. Also appeared on question time. This young woman is a self serving monster.

Anonymous said...

It is probable there was no sinister "motive" but that a regrettable error was made by a rushed lady trying to juggle being constituency MP, Committee Member, mother of three young children, wife, and (perhaps) writing a new novel which may in due course contribute to the UK's balance of payments via export sales around the English speaking world. I am delighted MPs enjoy Parliamentary privilege and that unintended mistakes do not attract potentially gagging legal action.

In addition, what a change it is to see the calibre of Mrs Mensch as an MP - she has led a most interesting life and earned her own money outside politics - in contrast to the "professional politician" ilk (Osborne and Clegg immediately spring to mind, as well as plenty in Labour) who have never created (unlike Mrs Mensch), or managed, anything in the private sector but been paid most of their adult lives out of funds excised from the taxpayer in taxation. Not much "value added" created for the UK by them.

Finally, it is excellent to see more ladies in Westminster at long last and a bonus if, like Mrs Mensch, they are easy on the eye.

Tim Fenton said...

@7, thanks for looking in and commenting.

Ms Mensch was not "rushed" in any way. She made the accusation quite deliberately during the questioning both of the the Murdochs and Rebekah Brooks.

Having an independent income is no excuse for a shameless attempt to get someone the sack, whatever one might think of Piers Morgan.

There was nothing "unintended" about these interventions. It was a deliberate drive-by shooting, as well as a cynical attempt to burnish her image.

The Quizzical Observer said...

Mrs Mensch was indeed out of order with her comments about Piers Morgan. He may yet be in trouble, of course, as more comes out of the woodwork, but I get the impression she's a little heady with the media attention she's getting.

I find her an intriguing character, though. Obviously bright, and more of a free thinker than the career-drones that seem to infest politics these days. If she spends a little less time on Twitter and in the media and a little more on thinking about issues and gripping the detail, I think she could be quite formidable in the future.