It’s one thing to observe that the Daily Mail’s talentless and unfunny churnalist Richard Littlejohn does next to zero research for his two columns per week and their associated million pound wad. But it’s quite another to catch him actually owning up to the fact. Today, though, has finally brought forth the admission that not only does he not do prior research, but also that he doesn’t know his subject.
Dick’s first choice target is Members of Parliament, specifically female Tory ones. But there is a problem with the first one he mentions, Chloe Smith, who represents Norwich North: “I’ve never heard of her”. Really? Where has the sage of the gated Florida compound been for the past two and a half years? Too much time spent in, er, you know where, methinks.
Research, guv? Never 'eard of 'im, innit?!?
Ms Smith is well known – or should be to anyone who knows one end of politics from the other – even outside Tory Party circles. In the aftermath of Ian Gibson, a respected MP of independent mind, being barred from standing at the following General Election following the expenses controversy, he resigned and forced a by-election. Chloe Smith won the contest after Gibson refused to back his party’s man.
Given the Mail’s antipathy to Labour, and to Pa Broon in particular, one might think the news of that by-election would be disseminated to its most lavishly-paid hack. The contest was also memorable for the swine flu that laid the Labour candidate low in the last days of the campaign. Yet when the name of the winner comes up, Littlejohn says he’s “never heard of her”.
It gets worse. Hearing of Liz Truss – who represents South West Norfolk – Dick exclaims “Strewth! I thought [she] was the woman who wrote that best-selling book about punctuation”. Laugh? I thought I’d never start: that of course was Lynne Truss, of Eats Shoots And Leaves fame. And, for those who think this is mere coincidence, there’s more.
After riffing on the subject of female Tory MPs for longer than is good for his readers, Dick changes tack to discuss David Icke: “When I mentioned self-proclaimed ‘Son of God’ David Icke in my column about the Isle of Wight on Friday, I had absolutely no idea what he was up to these days”. Which means he didn’t bother with any research on that piece, either.
Can you see a pattern emerging? Two columns a week recycled from stories in your own paper, zero minutes’ Googling, and a honking million quid a year in return. Nice work if you can get it, Dinosaur Dick.