The Spectator’s ostensibly credible but in reality serially dishonest editor Fraser Nelson took to Twitter today to plug what he must have thought would be a sure-fire way to boost traffic to his paywalled yet sadly overrated website, another of those end-of-year lists. But this one would be different - it was written by the Daily Mail’s alleged Parliamentary sketch writer, the odious and even more overrated Quentin Letts (let’s not).
Harry Potter and the Gobshite of Arslikhan
Quent has taken for the subject of his list “The most annoying people of 2016”. And here he has assembled 75 names which have incurred the displeasure not merely of Himself Personally Now, but most likely also the Mail’s legendarily foul mouthed editor Paul Dacre. But one name was missing - and Nelson’s fellow Tweeters were swift to pitch it.
Sir Guy of Guisborne led the charge: “@FraserNelson Fraser, I'm disappointed Quentin doesn't appear in his own list”. Jacob Hatton concurred, and even added a hashtag to register his concern: “@FraserNelson @spectator despite spending literally 100% of his time with him, Quentin has omitted Quentin Letts again #justiceforquentin”. Why was Quent not featuring as one of the year’s 75 most annoying people?
Frank Stirling spelt out the problem facing Nelson and Letts, and the reason this piece will not be causing many punters to pay to view this particular content: “@FraserNelson Quentin Letts? Glasshouses? Stones?” Quite. Tony McCormack was in agreement that Quent should have been included in his list. “@FraserNelson c'mon Quentin: you know you should be top of this list. Be brave. Admit it”.
Daily Mail pundit admitting anything? There are limits to some forms of honesty, and that is certainly one of them. Meanwhile, Labour peer Lewis Moonie added his name to those wanting Letts to appear, asking “@FraserNelson Does he include himself?” Derek Lucas brought a variation to the theme by echoing Zelo Street: “@FraserNelson Does modesty forbid the right-wing Harry Potter from heading that list?”
That won’t go down too well at the Speccy. Never mind, though, Ed Hammond had figured out what the problem was: “@FraserNelson @spectator can only assume it's his natural sense of self-deprecation that prevents him putting himself at the top of the list”. If he had one, that is. Which he doesn’t. Meanwhile, Bill Deakin chimed his agreement: “@FraserNelson @spectator Strangely, he hasn't included himself”.
Chris Silver then upped the ante to suggest another name. Oh, and Quent himself: “@FraserNelson @spectator well only 73 to find we have Quentin Letts and Fraser Nelson already down”. This campaign was progressing not necessarily to Nelson’s advantage, and all that was now needed was for Kennedy Connolly to put the lid on it, with “@FraserNelson @spectator Letts proving himself to be quite the ass recently”.
There’s understatement for you. That’s the problem with pretentiousness - it can come back and bite you on the arse. Which Quentin Letts most certainly is. Never mind, eh?