Today there is celebration in a small part of the right-leaning media as the flannelled fool Henry Cole, tame gofer to the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines at the Guido Fawkes blog, gets his first credible hold on the greasy pole by being appointed a contributing editor at the Spectator. But this may not be the dream match at first believed, as a look at both parties’ recent form reveals.
Yeah, of course I knew ... er, what was the question?
The Speccy, under current editor Fraser Nelson, has cultivated a contrarian audience: climate change is often held not to be really happening, the link between HIV and AIDS is questioned, the EU is routinely and selectively demonised, and everything would be so much better if the UK could enjoy the benefits of a proper Conservative Government that slashed public spending by, well, lots.
In pursuit of this agenda, pundits capable of producing rants to satisfy the most discerning connoisseur have been welcomed with open arms. This has proved most lucrative to the likes of James “saviour of Western civilisation” Delingpole, but the magazine’s limited resources also need writers to keep on the right side of the defamation line, which has not always been the case.
Look everyone! I'm on telly!! I'm a player!!!
Indeed, this straying into the forthrightly libellous is what caused the Spectator to dispense with the services of Melanie “not just Barking but halfway to Upminster” Phillips after she landed them with a five figure legal bill. And it is in this area where Nelson will have to keep an eye on Master Cole. As Zelo Street regulars will know, the flannelled fool has a problem with telling whoppers.
That problem is not only that he tells them, and regularly, but also that he is not able to stop himself, probably because he cannot distinguish between actual reality and his preferred version of it. Moreover, Cole’s malicious and vindictive attitude towards those who have the temerity to show him up for the fraud he is – his failed attack on me can be seen HERE – betrays a thin skin and a vulnerability complex.
Why should that be, for someone who has enjoyed the privilege of an expensive private education and a sojourn at one of Scotland’s top universities? Ah well. What Cole never bothered to do was to train as a journalist. So he just calls himself one, even though he couldn’t differentiate between shorthand and a hole in the ground. To have discovered words like “file” and “copy” is for him sufficient training.
And he shares Staines’ routine cluelessness, which means he gets the piss taken out of him twice over. On top of that, his spelling and grammar is shockingly bad for someone who has had so much lavished on his schooling. But far better not to bother with putting his house in order when he can use his prematurely elevated status to just lash out instead.
So congratulations to Cole and Nelson. Meanwhile, I’ll break out the popcorn.