Some former Prime Ministers are, to the rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, places where one just does not go. The name of Margaret Thatcher is inevitably mentioned with utmost reverence. There is little said of “Shagger” Major. But – not that they’re Conservatives or anything like that, you understand – Tone and particularly Pa Broon are fair game for whatever invention and abuse can be mustered.
Nah, Alex wrote it cos I was pissed, oh shit no, talking about being pissed. In the pub, oh bollocks, I mean office. Over a cup of vodka, oh sod it, I meant tea
This lesson has rapidly been learned by new teaboy Alex Wickham, who this morning was on his usual duty, taking copy from newspaper websites and dressing it up as something original, the kind of thing that enables the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines to claim “we’re #1” whenever routine criticism of the Fawkes blog comes up, which it does with the certainty of night following day.
The Maily Telegraph – by definition a source likely to find adversely on anyone connected with the Labour Party – had asserted that Pa Broon had cancelled a press conference because only one journalist – from the Tel, natch – had turned up. This much was gleefully recycled by young Wickham, along with the customary abuse about Brown. But there was a problem with the original.
Because the Tel also concedes at the end of its report that Brown was on a panel debate with Queen Rania of Jordan and Aung San Suu Kyi “which overran”. Both debate and press conference were held at the United Nations building in New York, and it does not take much application of grey matter to figure out that the press pack would have been watching the former event.
Hence their not appearing at the press conference, because they knew Brown couldn’t be in two places at once. And if Pa Broon was at the debate, he could not have been “stood in the background” as Mark Hughes asserts. The Telegraph piece is just a routine slice of knocking copy: if Brown was so unpopular, he wouldn’t be in demand for speeches and TV appearances, which he is.
But such details are of no concern to the rabble at the Fawkes blog, so Wickham selects the parts of the Tel piece that suit the narrative – just as the obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre, another of Staines’ heroes, do on so many occasions – and there it is, an item guaranteed to slake the thirsts of sneering right-wing boo-boys all across PR and Think Tank Land.
Meanwhile, in the real world, the third member of the Fawkes triumvirate, the odious flannelled fool Henry Cole, is clearly unhappy that “no one else is finding my jokes funny this morning”. No change there, then.