The days since Margaret Thatcher died have seen some utterly desperate examples of those who cling to selective interpretation and falsehood as articles of faith, because they so dearly want to believe. There is a need out there on the right for the faithful to assure themselves that nothing, but nothing that Mrs T did was worthy of reproach. And that her successors believed that, too.
So it must have come as a shock to her devotees when former Deputy PM “Shagger” Prescott launched a tirade against the Iron Lady in his Mirror column on Sunday. A “tribute” to her? That “would be the last word that could be used to describe what I wanted to say”, confirmed Prezza. This caused clear distress to the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog.
Fortunately, help was at hand for the Fawkes folks in the shape of their new bosses at the Murdoch press, where veteran whopper-teller Trevor Kavanagh was on hand today to tell anxious readers “Blair and Brown approved Thatcher funeral details years ago”. Yes, this news “destroys claims that Tories hijacked the ceremony for political gain”. It does? How convenient is that, eh?
Kavanagh, in an unusually brief piece, manages nothing more than “a source” in support, which means it could have been whoever was within shouting range at Murdoch towers at the time he cobbled his copy together. But it was good enough for the Fawkes rabble, who declared “Prezza attacks Tony and Gordon for Thatcher Funeral” without bothering to stop and think.
We are now three years away from Pa Broon’s departure from Downing Street. In the meantime, Young Dave and his jolly good chaps have had plenty of time to stamp their own mark on the arrangements. It is significant that Kavanagh managed not to go into any detail other than to assert that Blair and Brown signed off on “a state funeral in all but name”.
Call me sceptical, but I am sceptical, and if Staines and his pals were capable of rational thought in the matter they would not be so ready to take a bunch of proven porkie peddlers at their word. Blair and Brown, for instance, had nothing to do with the wasteful and premature recall of Parliament, and nor did they have any part in details such as the silencing of Big Ben (Speaker Bercow made that call).
Nor would the numbers of armed forces’ personnel have been previously cast in stone – or, for that matter, the scale of policing (just the 4,000 officers, it seems). But the Fawkes rabble can cling on to Kavanagh’s drivel like a comfort blanket, and if it makes them happier, good for them. They just shouldn’t expect anyone outside their jerking circle to be conned by such an obvious whopper.
Even if it has been handed down by their bosses. Another fine mess, once again.