An extraordinary row has broken out over there on the right, as two takers of the Murdoch shilling have begun fighting among themselves. And, although I would be more than happy to see both parties lose, the participants know that there will be only one of them on the losing side. Moreover, given that one party, the serially clueless Tim Montgomerie, is a Times staffer, that loser may not be him.
What's that, Guido? You'd like to resign?
Monty has, not for the first time, incurred the displeasure of his fellow right-wing cranks, and this time it is the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog who have engaged full stampy tantrum mode at the stance of the Times’ comment editor. Staines, his tame gofer, the odious flannelled fool Henry Cole, and newly anointed teaboy Alex Wickham, write for the Sunday Sun.
Last Tuesday, after the Times had gone after Nigel “Thirsty” Farage over his trousering of expenses and allowances from the European Parliament (EP), the Fawkes folks in turn rubbished the Times, although to be fair they also noted Farage’s flakiness before the interrogation of Dermot Murnaghan on Sky News (“first for breaking wind”). Then came today’s Times leader.
“We side with UKIP against [The Times], they write a leader – hiding behind Sarah Woolaston’s petticoats no less – saying we’re too aggressive” squealed the Fawkes rabble. Monty was dismissive: “Wrong: ‘As for the ‘aggressive male bloggers’ ... there is not much evidence of anything particularly ungentlemanly'” he quoted. On this occasion he is right. Staines and his pals are getting paranoid.
The Great Guido is seeing one event follow another and instantly assumes the two are connected. Now, had it been someone siding with another party against the Fawkes blog, the events would have been connected: Staines is, behind the veneer of good-humoured agreeability, one of the most viciously vindictive SOBs known to humankind. But he should not judge others by his legendarily low standards.
Back at the argument, the Fawkes rabble sniped back at Monty “Concludes after amplifying – arguably hiding behind – Sarah Woolaston’s accusations”, confirming that there is one woman MP with whom they have a woman problem. “Rubbish. Hadn’t realised BTW that you sided with UKIP. Now noted” mused Monty. “Another mark against my name in your little black book” returned the Fawkes folks.
There is all sorts at work here: jealousy at Monty getting his staff berth, paranoia in that the Fawkes rabble think the Times is picking on them (as if), and sheer petulance as The Great Guido demonstrates a flakiness, an inability to take the stick that is so readily given out to others. But under all of this is the thought that Rupe’s management may not look favourably on the unedifying spectacle.
Yes, there may be a loser from this scrap, and it ain’t going to be Montgomerie.