(c) Doc Hackenbush 2014
Yes, once again echoing what Winshton said of Austen Chamberlain - “He always played the game, and he always lost it” - (thankfully) former Tory MP Louise Mensch has gone into Twitter battle and come out on the losing side. And once again, the scrap was entirely avoidable. The innocuous start to proceedings came when Jo Abbess asked Ms Mensch to comment on the Papal Encyclical issued this week.
After all, Ms Mensch is a communicant of the Church of Rome. “So, @LouiseMensch, I'm sure you're aware that @Pontifex has published on #climate change. What's your view on the science? The politics?” asked Ms Abbess, to which came the typically snippy reply “Why should I care what he thinks on either? In these matters he has as much authority as Peter Hitchens (sod all)”. She has a problem with Hitchens.
Her target had not been tagged in that Tweet, but was alert to the situation: “You're still cross that I said you had the political grasp of a Teletubby, aren't you, Louise?” Game on! Back came Ms Mensch: “put it this way; only one of us writes articles about the other”. They do? Hitchens had a point of order on that one.
“Last time I wrote about you was nearly seven years ago” he asserted, and by this point, others were pitching in, of whom a Tweeter called Jerome was typical. “You do tweet about Peter an awful lot, even when unprompted. Does that not count for some reason?” She wasn’t going to get into that, because opening mouth and inserting foot was imminent.
And it was a truly jaw-dropping foot in mouth, too: “and I have never written about you. So the 'Steerpike' column not you?”. Wait, what? Hitchens confirmed “And no, Steerpike not me, though kind of you to suspect it”. He might not have been so kind to know with whom he had been confused: as any fule kno, most, if not all, of the Steerpike column in the Speccy is down to the odious flannelled fool Henry Cole.
Master Cole would have loved the idea that he could stand comparison with Hitchens (he can’t). Meanwhile, The Great Man put the lid on the latest Mensch idiocy as he calmly asked “Don't seem to have had any reply to this straightforward question. Are your Tweets in fact written by a Teletubby?”. And the biggest laugh? Louise Mensch was arguing with a Twitter account that she recently claimed was not Hitchens.
“FYI this pillock is just a troll, not Peter Hitchens, who's not on twitter”, she asserted - wrongly. So she lost a Twitter argument with an account that she said wasn’t Peter Hitchens in the first place. And remember, they allowed her to become an MP.