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Tuesday 13 October 2015

Fraser Nelson - “Innocent Face”

While the right-leaning part of the Fourth Estate - which is to say, most of the press establishment - attempts to sustain its assault on Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson, who has committed the heinous crime of doing the job he was elected to do, taking with it a motley convocation of useful idiots (pace Nicholas Soames, who ought to know better), one supposedly reputable journalist has thus far escaped scrutiny over his behaviour.
Fraser Nelson

That supposedly reputable journalist has been Spectator editor Fraser Nelson, who shamelessly used his free ride on The Andy Marr Show (tm) last Sunday - fellow newspaper reviewer Tina Brown contrived to be rather more than fashionably late - to position himself as some kind of disinterested and reasonable observer, while he is anything but. Nelson is, as ever, joined at the hip to the rest of the right-wing press.

Those who have witnessed Nelson shamelessly dissembling in support of sham press regulator IPSO will already be familiar with this: sounding sincere, with a straight face, and without hesitation, deviation or repetition, telling that the PCC’s successor is the “toughest regulator in” whatever jurisdiction he chooses to select, when he has no evidence to back up that claim. There is no comparative study on press regulators in existence.
Going from straightforward spin ...

So they would not have been surprised when Nelson got his gofer Sebastian Payne to penThe hardest word: Tom Watson still won’t apologise for smearing Leon Brittan”, going on to tell “Tom Watson, Labour’s embattled deputy leader, delivered a statement to the House of Commons this afternoon on accusations about the former home secretary Leon Brittan - which proved to be baseless”. Watson is far from “embattled”, but hey ho.

At first, the argument is one of measured analysis: “No one complaints [sic] that Watson passed allegations to the police”. Then Payne cuts to the chase: “They are complaining that he used PMQs to make his accusation on live television (and, ergo, feeding the beast of social media). They are complaining that he claimed, then, to possess ‘clear intelligence suggesting a powerful paedophile network linked to parliament and No.10′ when, in fact, there was no such intelligence”. And to that I call bullshit.
... to flagrant dishonesty

Watson did not make accusations, but put on record that they had been made by others (something with which all too many self-appointed experts on this matter are having considerable difficulty). And the “paedophile network linked to No 10” has nothing to do with Leon Brittan being declared innocent of a totally unrelated matter.

Payne ends with the kind of veiled threat that, had it come from the left, would have had him and his pals in the most righteous of froths: “The pressure on Watson to apologise isn’t going away”. Got some clout with the press mafiosi, have we, Speccy people? But enough: this is a prime example, and sadly not the only one, where the likes of Fraser Nelson show themselves not to be disinterested observers, but partisan players.

Nelson’s behaviour in this matter is yet another craven dereliction of his journalistic duty. For that, it is not Tom Watson who should be ashamed, but the editor of the Spectator.


rob said...

I just wonder how "embattled" Mrs Thatcher would have been if the Savile revelations had been made known while she was still PM?

A possible reason why they, or even any allegations, weren't made known at the time?

Pure speculation obviously, but it makes you wonder when you are told by themselves that one of the especial remits of the spooks is paedophiles and their netwoks.

Anonymous said...

If you think Nelson's bad - and he IS, very - get a load of that urfascist arse hole Tom Bradby on ITV News.

You think twitchy-crooked-mouth-Look-How-Important-I-Am Kuenssberg is awful? That Hilsum is an out and out establishment liar and propagandist? That Marr would sell his own mother for more air time? That Maitlis looks and sounds like she's about to take the entrance exam for the SS or audition for Witchypoo? That Davis is...well, odd? That Snow has turned into a pensionable sell out of the worst kind? That Frei is a bought and paid for Yankified Jerry? That Neil is merely another Murdoch Nazi.

Let me tell you, you've seen NOTHING until you've seen arse hole Bradby. With him, I have seen the future and it doesn't work.

For mainstream media generally.....less and less relevant, more and more far right. There are many other sources of information much more reliable. Their days are numbered and they can't even see it. Dinosaurs the lot of them.

Sam Best said...

So I guess if I told Tom Watson I knew for a fact The Queen and several members of the Royal Family were Satanists and killed 7 ate babies (claims that swirl around social media) you would think it was OK for Watson to announce this at PMQ ?. MPs are plagued with claims from nutters every day. Most choose to err on the side of caution.

Tim Fenton said...


Watson did not "announce it". There is a difference between what he did, and making an accusation.

rob said...

@ Sam Best

If I were you, rather than inform Tom Watson who would need to check your story, I would race off to your local nick straightway and let them know.

On second thoughts you could have trouble getting out. So a better option might be to ring the Daily Star. You might even get paid for the story and even end up being a journalist. Stepping stone to The Sun perhaps? They also do sensationalist.