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Saturday 19 January 2013

Gilligan And The C-Word

[Update at end of post]

Even before he strides into City Hall for his first day as Bozza’s new cycling commissioner, Andrew “transcription error” Gilligan is being dogged by two inconveniences he is not going to merely wish away. One of these is the amount of public money he will trouser for the honour, which will probably be around £20k per annum per day of that “part time” week he’ll be on.

C for Crikey as well, chaps! And Cripes!!

And the other is C for Cronyism. There is no getting away from it: from the moment that The Scoop broke the story the other day, pointing out that this would be the second time that Bozza had given his trusted media hatchet man a job, the previous occasion being after the BBC had decided they could get along without him after he dropped them in the mire over his note-taking on the Iraq dossier.

Johnson biographer Sonia Purnell did not go as far as using the C-Word, but she did pitch the phrase “Boris’s Buddies. As she points out, Gilligan’s “cycling CV may not be as impressive, say, as some of the experts and professionals at the London Cycling Campaign and elsewhere”. That doesn’t mean he couldn’t do the job, but that there are others apparently better qualified.

Alex Hern at the Staggers was not so circumspect: cronyism it was. Gilligan’s coverage of London’s politics “has been characterised by partisan spin”. I do like Alex’s tendency to understatement. There was none of that sort of thing, though, at Political Scrapbook, with Gilligan confirmed as Johnson’s “media hatchet man, with his pursuit of Ken Livingstone “bordering on the obsessive”. Amen.

Gilligan did no better with the deeply subversive Guardian either, with talk of “fresh cronyism claims”, and references to the earlier appointments of Ray Lewis and Veronica Wadley. The routinely mischievous Sunny Hundal at Liberal Conspiracy was equally unimpressed, noting that Gilligan has previously been less than totally enthusiastic about the cycling lobby.

And before the protests start along the lines of “they’re all left-wing”, well, there has been very little comment from the right-leaning part of the media and blogosphere, apart from Ross Lydall’s almost discreetly promoted blog for the Standard, and Gilligan’s own excuse notes for the Maily Telegraph. Perhaps that has something to do with Gilligan’s reputation for dodgy journalism.

Exactly what this means you can see in full and graphic detail HERE as The Blog That Peter Wrote forensically takes apart Gilligan’s shoddy work over the investigation into a candidate for the Police and Crime Commissioner post in Lincolnshire. The impression is given that Gilligan is less than thorough in his own work, and unwilling or unable to acknowledge the fact when called out for it.

Is he worth £40k a year for two days’ work? I’m glad I’m not a London taxpayer.

[UPDATE 1915 hours: Beaubodor has produced two photo edits (see them HERE and HERE) which explore the parallel between Bozza (and his pals) and Silvio "Duce" Berlusconi.

I think this may have something to do with the perceived level of less than totally principled behaviour surrounding the London mayoralty right now. Further than that, I couldn't possibly comment]

1 comment:

sigil said...

Tim, keen follower (also on teh Facebook) but can't you code so your links open in new window/tab, please?