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Tuesday 3 July 2012

Littlejohn And A Rolling News Collision

[Update at end of post]

The 24-hour news cycle has a tendency to catch the old guard of the Fourth Estate flat footed at times, and the departure of Bob Diamond from his post as CEO of Barclays was a superb example. The Daily Mail’s legendarily foul mouthed editor had clearly ordered a why-oh-why piece from his unfunny and tedious churnalist Richard Littlejohn, but it came too late.

Bankers, Guv? They're all merchants, innit?!?

And it gets worse: not only is Dick talking as if Diamond is still there, he also fails completely to understand LIBOR. “He will be asked to explain why he failed to root out a culture of corruption, which lined the pockets of traders and jacked up the cost of mortgages and credit card repayments for its customers” he tells readers, seemingly unaware that if LIBOR was fiddled lower, so were those costs.

But Dick moves on with the nimbleness of a pub bore who has not yet had his full gallon of Extra Smooth MegaBland NitroFroth CreamyKeg Rate Of Return Satisfying Coincidentally Alcoholic Heavily Advertised Alleged Bitter (tm). He now agrees with previously demonised Ian Blair and even Vince Cable. There has to be a trial. Yeah, cuff ‘em and stuff ‘em, eh? Send them all down for a long stretch!

And then the Littlejohn optimism evaporates: nah, the only ones to do a handful down the Scrubs will be some junior traders. How so? Well, this is because of all those MPs and their expenses. It is? Ho yus. Dick’s identified three culprits here, and to no surprise at all they all represent the Labour Party. Isn’t that not a surprise at all? Just what the editor ordered.

So Dick concludes that when Bob Diamond appears before the Commons tomorrow, nobody in “the Westminster glasshouse” will be able to challenge him. This will be news to four of the Treasury Committee members, who only entered the Commons in 2010 and so had nothing to do with the expenses business. None of the other members registered on the expenses radar, either.

Never mind, though, Littlejohn has a new Citizenship Test send-up to finish off: “Out go Labour’s trite questions on multiculturalism, yuman rites and claiming benefits. In comes a quiz on British history, politics, arts and literature ... here are a few sample, multiple-choice questions under consideration”. Go on then, let’s see what kind of routinely tedious drivel comes next.

First question: “Who was Britain’s Prime Minister during World War 2?”. And the answer has to be one person. Y’know, Dick, I hate to be the bringer of bad news, but there were three Prime Ministers during World War 2. You’ve remembered Winshton, but forgotten Neville Chamberlain, and he was the one who declared war on Germany to kick it all off. And Clem Attlee, who arrived at 10 Downing Street before the Japanese surrender.

Dick, you’re still a dick. Go and do some proper research for a change.

[UPDATE 1840 hours: following a prompt from a commenter, I've amended the last paragraph from two wartime Prime Ministers to three, as of course Winshton was out of office when Japan surrendered, following the Labour landslide in July 1945.

Littlejohn, though, won't be making any amendment to his un-researched rubbish. Trousering a million notes a year for two columns a week of churnalist drivel means never having to say you're sorry]


Anonymous said...

Surely 3 Prime Ministers in WW2? Wasn't Attlee elected before Japan surrendered? Stand corrected if wrong...

Tim Fenton said...

You're right, Attlee was elected in July 1945 and Japan did not announce its surrender until August.

I'll update the post accordingly. Unlike Littlejohn.

DK said...

"Dick, you're still a dick."