Some hacks live a charmed life: being able to continue trousering unfeasibly large wads of money for the enrichment of Themselves Personally Now while being utterly devoid of the ability to source stories decently, and having to resort to plagiarism in order to do their job. One example of this genre is Andrew Pierce of the Daily Mail, whose hatchet job on Sayeeda Warsi is laughably incompetent.
Pierce has clearly compiled his copy to order, the order being to show Warsi in the worst possible light. But he goes laughably wrong at the start: “Working class, educated at a comprehensive, and with a broad Yorkshire accent” he asserts. “Broad Yorkshire accent”? That’s a straight-A f*** off. Warsi has a trace of West Yorkshire in her speech, and no more. Pierce is part of that metropolitan elite his paper despises.
Then comes the plagiarism: “Fiercely ambitious, Warsi was incensed when she was overlooked for promotion in last month’s botched Government reshuffle, while a string of women saw advancement ... Yet promotion was never a possibility. David Cameron actually resisted pressure from senior colleagues to sack Warsi who, with an extraordinarily inflated view of her own abilities, had vain hopes of succeeding William Hague as Foreign Secretary”. Really?
This slice of pure invention has been lifted from a Spectator blog – as I noted yesterday afternoon – and has not become factually correct in the recycling. What has changed over time is that the post’s author, the odious flannelled fool Henry Cole, has ceased to protest at Pierce’s magpie-like behaviour.
On top of that is the inadequate standard of Pierce’s research: he tells that “She stood as a candidate in her native Dewsbury, Yorkshire, in 2005, a winnable seat. But while the Tory share of the national vote increased, it fell in Dewsbury and Labour won”. Quite apart from knowing that no hack would use the word “native” had they been referring to a white person, Pierce is being highly selective.
The Tories’ vote share in Dewsbury did indeed fall in 2005, by 1.2%. However, and in this case there is a significantly sized however, in neighbouring Batley and Spen it fell by 5.6%, in Huddersfield it fell by 3.2%, in Bradford South by 4.3%, and in Morley and Rothwell by 6.2%. What Andrew Pierce hasn’t bothered to tell his readers is that the Iraq war effect hit the Tories as well – especially in West Yorkshire.
But on ploughs Pierce, concluding with “Westminster was thick with rumour last night that she might defect to Labour and that she has kept a detailed diary. If either report is true, then Baroness Warsi’s capacity for embarrassing Cameron still further will increase dramatically”. Defect to Labour? That’s two straight-A f*** offs. Capacity for embarrassment? Dead right – but for Pierce to embarrass his editor.
Andrew Pierce – he’s even useless at making up stories. What a complete clown.