Sometimes a column gets written that tells you just a little more about its author than he or she wanted you to know, lets you know something that they had rather hoped you wouldn’t figure out. And today, the Sun On Sunday’s pet misery guts Tony Parsons has done just that. What he has let slip is that he is not writing to put forward his views, but writing to order and putting forward the views of His Master’s Voice.
What told us this was the lead item in Parsons’ column today, titled “Hillary Clinton’s hatred for ordinary American voters is the only thing that’s kept Donald Trump in the running … Everyone seems to have a reason to dislike the outspoken Republican candidate, yet the polls are still too close to call”. This is, let us not drive this one round the houses for too long, bullshit, as anyone who saw the first TV debate and its aftermath will know.
So what is Parsons’ schtick? “Despite his flaws - and they are manifold - there is still a very good chance that Obama will be replaced by Trump and Hillary Clinton will get left out for history’s bin men … How has this happened? Clinton has kept Trump in this race with her sneering comments about anyone who supports him”. Very good Tony. Anyone ever see Hill sneer at anyone? No? Funny, neither did I.
But Parsons claims “she speaks in the voice of an out-of-touch political elite who are far too quick to dismiss the concerns of millions of ordinary men and women … having concerns about immigration doesn’t make you a racist … And believing that your country’s national identity is worth preserving does not make you a loony … And distrusting a politician who seems out of touch with your world does not make you a fruitcake”.
Sadly, Hill isn’t making those allegations, either. But let me put Parsons straight: every reputable poll conducted after that first TV debate called it for Secretary Clinton, and by a significant margin. Opinion polls conducted in the days since have shown her to have re-established a lead over The Donald, especially in the all-important swing states. And today we hear that Trump may have managed to dodge Federal Income Tax for 18 years. Just how “in touch” will all those millions of ordinary Americans think he is after that?
Donald Trump has just embarked on a four day rant against a former Miss Universe - which, bizarrely, kicked off in the middle of the night on Twitter - instead of actually campaigning. His debate performance was marred by rambling self-justification and the ease with which his opponent could goad him into losing his cool. Secretary Clinton is not “keeping him in the race”, she’s coolly and calculatingly burying the SOB.
But Rupert Murdoch still has some time for Trump. And he doesn’t like Hill. So his papers are full of the tired old pap about “out of touch elites” who “don’t listen to ordinary people”. Tony Parsons must know what he has written is total drivel. But he clearly has no choice but to ask “how high” when the order comes down from the 13th floor of the Baby Shard bunker telling him to jump. He has been reduced to a media prostitute.
But he can carry on scoring More And Bigger Paycheques For Himself Personally Now, so that’s all right, then.
Tony Parsons...is he the Rod Liddle one or the Brendan O'Neill one? I get them confused.
And yet he would turn this argument on its head if he were writing about Corbyn (listening to the ordinary working people) and May (out of touch political elite etc).
He's the one whose column was parodied by Viz as "Tony Parsole". I wonder why.
From 'hip young gunslinger' (NME 1977) to 'Murdoch's bitch', eh?
Never trust a punk.
Dear me. From anti-establishment punk journo to mainstream media Murdoch sock-puppet - "Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?"
if the "out of touch elite" "listened to ordinary people" then the Murdoch Mafia would piss off and leave the UK alone.
Tony Parsons, while always a bore, for me lost any remaining credibility in the 2010 election campaign. The issue was televised leadership debates.
While nothing new (there was one in 1997, although Major refused to take part and sent Michael Heseltine for the mugging), they were treated as such by the media. The morning after the first debate, Mirror readers were treated to a full page of Parsehole waxing lyrical - real great in the dawn was it to be alive stuff - about how this transformed democracy, brought it kicking and screaming into the modern age and so on. Obviously written in advance.
Fast forward 24 hours, and as reaction to the debate shows how the winner was perceived as Nick Clegg, with Brown and Cameron just about holding steady, Parsehole is back. Another full page screed, this time lambasting the debates as a tawdry Americanism and a gimmick that had no place in the hallowed realm of British politics.
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