The Maily Telegraph’s Matt Holehouse yesterday leapt to the defence of the loathsome Toby Young, after I had revealed that Tobes was no longer on the list of Governors at the West London Free School (WLFS), which he had helped found. In doing so, he made a number of assertions about Zelo Street, none of which he came close to proving true. But the nature of his intervention is instructive.
Someone thinks running down a once great newspaper is funny
I had asserted that Tobes was shown as being a Governor of WLFS in May this year, and that this was no longer the case. The post also queried the lack of visibility he now enjoyed on the school’s website, and observed that recent changes suggested a change of priorities under Sally Coates and Hywel Jones. A number of questions were posed as to what might be happening at WLFS.
Holehouse – and note that he does not tag me on the Tweet, which suggests he does not want me to see it – then replied to the Guardian’s Polly Curtis in support of Tobes, telling “no idea about Toby but that blog routinely just makes stuff up. It’s very weird”. So I am now in exulted company, being smeared in the same way as Mil The Younger. Perhaps Holehouse would elaborate?
“Well you’ve included me in three ‘stories’ on your site and all three were wrong” he blubbered. Really? Well, I can find just two – but then, I’m not keeping score. And one of those two was the lame – and failed – attempt by the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog to query a pass given to John Bercow’s wife’s pal Farah Sassoon.
“Yes but your claims are factually wrong too” whines Holehouse. Fine, so show me where the wrong claim is in the Fawkes post. Then he loses it completely: “You just read it and go, eh? Mad, weird [again] conspiracy stuff”. At which point we arrive at the second Zelo Street post where Holehouse got a mention, the idea that Young Dave was going to use the Parliament Act on an EU Referendum Bill.
The point made was that it was futile to threaten railroading a bill through the Lords when there was no Tory majority in the Commons. Moreover, all the Tel’s piece showed was the Tories obsessing over Europe once more – which would not hurt UKIP, the supposed target, at all. On top of that, this allegedly imminent bill has since vanished from view. And Holehouse accuses me of being factually wrong.
Making stuff up? Facts wrong? Weird? You got it
One only has to look at his more recent Twitter excursions to see just how draughty the Holehouse glasshouse has become. He is trying to talk up the credibility of Iain Duncan Cough, whose propensity to recycle dodgy statistics and slip the odd whopper into discussions is the stuff of legend. Matthew Holehouse is in no position to call anyone out for “Mad, weird conspiracy stuff”.
But he is full value for yet more unintentional hilarity. No change there, then.