As if she had not caused enough ridicule to rain on her parade already, former Tory MP Louise Mensch, now representing the distant constituency of Manhattan Upmarket, has taken a golden opportunity to embarrass spinmeister Alastair Campbell and instead missed an open goal – all because of her propensity to say things that happen not to be true.
Guess who's behind this story?
First up, we have to understand why Ms Mensch is going after Big Al, and a Tweet he sent more than seven months ago. This is because Campbell has just been confirmed as advising Mil The Younger and his team, a move that has provoked apoplexy among many who scrabble around the dunghill that is Grubstreet. And, as she wants to curry favour with Rupe, she has decided to join in.
Her intervention was as deliberate as it was clumsy: Campbell was described as a “would-be Labour MP who told me to get my tits out for Page 3”. Then she ruined her hashtag flourish by spelling “feminism” wrong. Now, I follow Big Al, and if he said that, I would have noticed. Perhaps I was travelling at the time. So let’s look at what he actually said. Because it isn’t what Ms Mensch asserted.
Campbell picked up on someone else’s Tweet which pondered “Wouldn’t be surprised if @louisemensch turned up on Page 3 next” to which he added “great idea @rupertmurdoch sort it out”. Now, you can say with some assurance that he made a gratuitously sexist comment, if only by inference, given the nature of the Sun’s Page 3, but he did not tell her to get her tits out.
So her demand for a retraction was close, but not close enough to get her the proverbial cigar. The resulting frustration caused her to lose her position on the moral high ground, as she decided to have a swipe at me instead. “They are a bit obsessed with me” she replied to one of her admirers who had read what I’d Tweeted and got the wrong end of it.
Yes, anyone who enjoys Ms Mensch’s unintentionally hilarious foot-in-mouth Tweets and her resorting to untrue assertions is obsessed, rather than laughing at her. As the red mist had now descended, she demanded “Retraction, Tim?” to which she received a firm refusal, as I hadn’t endorsed or even spoken up for Campbell’s Tweet from March. So it was time to change tack.
“He didn’t RT. He Tweeted. Where’s your story on that?” she demanded, showing again that she can’t be bothered getting her facts straight. I didn’t say he’d done one or the other, just that an RT is not an endorsement, which is a factual statement. This did not prevent her from adding the hashtag “#spinner”, a hilarious coda from someone paid by Murdoch to do just that, however badly.
And Louise Mensch became a Tory MP. Something seriously wrong there methinks.