There is one serious problem with talking up events and losing a sense of perspective, and that is that events some way down the track will cause the person sounding off to be called out and thereby look foolish. When Margaret Thatcher died earlier this year, one former Tory MP went so OTT that it was inevitable she would be regretting the moment, or backpedalling furiously, before long.
Has she got news for us? Er, not as such
Yes, now representing the distant constituency of Manhattan Upmarket, Louise Mensch was so eager to eulogise Mrs T and mix her tribute with another of her partisan tirades against all those rotten lefties that she either forgot about Nelson Mandela, mistakenly believed him to be either apolitical, or of sufficiently centrist belief that she could bat off criticism.
I do believe you didn't mean to say that
“Pygmies of the left so predictably embarrassing yourselves, know this: not a [sic] one of your leaders will ever be globally mourned like her” she announced. Hostage to fortune, much? It took just 24 minutes for the response that reminded her that she had just dropped one almighty clanger.
Someone on call-out duty
“Nelson Mandela?” enquired Rufus Hound, a response that was picked up by the routinely mischievous Sunny Hundal at Liberal Conspiracy, someone with whom Ms Mensch has crossed swords several times. That she may have missed either of these callings out is therefore inconceivable.
Ah, the whiff of purely spun bullshit
And, as Mandela was even then in poor health, she must have known that, unless the Tweet was deleted (it wasn’t) it would come back to haunt her. This it did. So damage limitation was in order: “Nelson Mandela was neither left nor right, but a humanitarian hero – and we all mourn him tonight” she asserted.
Look over there? No chance
Well, that may not be an easy one to stand up, and going on to try and gloss over the left-right question with “It was Mandela’s moderation and forgiveness after he assumed the Presidency that was the hallmark of the man” is not going to cut it. Mandela’s statement from the dock in 1964 is key here.
And this is what he said: “We all accept the need for some form of socialism to enable our people to catch up with the advanced countries of this world and to overcome their legacy of extreme poverty ... I should tie myself to no particular system of society other than of socialism”.
“Neither left nor right”? Who is Ms Mensch trying to kid? What other meaning can be ascribed to the term “socialism”? Louise Mensch has once again failed to take on board what is known as Healey’s Dictum.
When you’re in a hole, stop digging. Unless, of course, you’re Louise Mensch.