Rather like the flip side of cuckoos in Spring, the first post-holiday column by the Daily Mail’s unfunny and tedious churnalist Richard Littlejohn lets us know that Autumn is upon us. Today has brought that news, along with confirmation that Dicky Windbag is a leading practitioner of the school of “Do as I say, not as I do” when it comes to matters of basic honesty.
Lying, guv? Someone else, innit?!?
“Huhne do you think you are kidding?” he scoffs, at the news that former Lib Dem MP and Minister Chris Huhne has been writing in the deeply subversive Guardian and appearing on the hated BBC, which, in Littlejohn land, means that the two organisations are somehow joined at the hip. Dicky is clearly affronted at the idea of a disgraced politician making a living.
So out comes the false equivalence: “Obviously, there was never any prospect of a politician possessing Huhne’s inexhaustible reserves of self-regard doing a Profumo and disappearing quietly to devote the rest of his life to good works”. Ah yes, telling porkies about who was driving, versus telling the Commons porkies about sharing a mistress with an attaché at the Russian embassy. During the Cold War.
Huhne believes that his urging investigation of Phonehackgate may have hastened his downfall, and this is quite possible, but if there hadn’t been those fiddled speeding points ... you figure it out. Dick is scathing: “For a start, back in 2009 no one would have paid the slightest attention to a Lib Dem backbencher’s demand for the reopening of the phone hacking inquiry”. Ho yus.
What he means is that nobody at his paper would have paid attention. In fact, the Mail paid next to no attention to Phonehackgate at all, hoping the Omerta of the press would prevail and it would all blow over. “Huhne claims that Pryce was ‘groomed’ by the Sunday Times” gasps Littlejohn, and he has a point. The correct expression is “shat on from a great height”.
But there’s no calming Littlejohn: “As for the notion that it was all tied in with Murdoch’s bid to buy 100 per cent of Sky: that doesn’t add up, either. Murdoch needed political support to push through the deal, so why would he go out of his way to destroy a prominent Cabinet member?” I believe the expression is “pour encourager les autres”, Dicky boy. It’s French. That’s foreign, you know.
But the worst aspect of this rant is that Littlejohn is looking to call out someone who got caught lying: Dicky Windbag gets caught lying almost every time he writes one of his columns. If it’s not claiming that Afghans getting out of the back of the lorry in Dover go to the top of the housing list, it’s making up an estate in south London where all the residents get free Nissan Qashqais to “swan around” in.
Still, must be hard work finding an honest pundit at the Mail. No change there, then.