Manchester? What's one of those?
Newton Dunn, like so many of the Westminster-centric hacks, will have been deeply affronted to find he had to travel to the ghastly north-west of England to attend the launch of the Labour Party’s election manifesto. I mean, having to travel on one of those train thingies for all of 2 hours 9 minutes, only being able to choose from one running every 20 minutes, and the bar open on departure from Euston - what’s the world coming to?
By contrast, the Tories unveiled their manifesto in Swindon, which, although still involving a train journey, was less than half the travelling time out of town. So any and every means possible had to be deployed in order to kick Labour, including who got to ask questions of the respective leaders. Newton Dunn didn’t get asked. So it wasn’t fair.
“A free press is ‘incredibly important’ says Ed Miliband, but he only took one question from a national newspaper. Even ignored Mirror” he sulked, not telling that Miliband had given the media pack a full half hour to quiz him. But this was not sufficient snark: the New Labour control freakery had to be exhumed, whether real or not. “Labour's war on media: manifesto officials' microphone wrestle with @BBCJLandale” he asserted.
Nor was there any mention of this “war on journalists” from Faisal Islam, formerly of Channel 4 News, and now at Sky News (“first for breaking wind”), although he did have something to say about the Tories’ manifesto launch and their refusal to let any of the media have hold of the mic. “Not allowed to hold the microphone!!” he exclaimed, following up with “Strange microphone handling in the PM's Q&a session... Reporters aren't allowed to hold them! I tried”, showing what looked like, er, James Landale of the BBC.
So the Beeb man didn’t get his hands on the mic at all at the Tory launch, which must have been worse than what happened with Labour, right? Er, wrong: Newton Dunn, remember, has his instructions. So Rupe’s obedient servant observed “Tories' answer to Labour's war of the microphone yesterday: have an apparatchik hold it for us”. Treating the press like unruly children is a solution to a problem, says obedient Sun hack.