Many in and around the media have a legal team they can call on when required: yes, even Zelo Street has one. And what their politics are is none of my business, nor do I intend to make it my business. But for (thankfully) former Tory MP Louise Mensch, the idea that others may be permitted their own opinions is not allowed to enter, as she has made clear very bluntly, and all too publicly, today.
((c) Doc Hackenbush 2014)
It might have been known Stateside who was acting for the increasingly wayward chick-lit author and failed website boss, but had not been proclaimed publicly - until now. All this changed following a difference of opinion on Twitter between former fringe Presidential candidate Evan McMullin and attorney Mark S Zaid over, as so often in these circles, Russia and Combover Crybaby Donald Trump.
McMullin had asserted “This is a Kremlin talking point. The U.S. doesn't undermine liberal democracies overseas. Any examples otherwise would be from the Cold War” in response to Zaid, which is eyebrow raising in itself. Iraq 1953 wasn’t a Cold War coup d’état, and Greece in 1967 was debatable. And Chile in 1973 was the culmination of customary destabilisation of a régime politically unpalatable to the Nixon administration.
But, as Clive James might have said, I distress. Zaid shot back “Pretty pathetic Evan that you have to respond by asserting I'm offering Kremlin talking points. I'm not one of your political flunkies”. This was all too much for Ms Mensch.
Barging in to the discussion unprompted, she frothed “You're fired. Thank you and Brad Moss for your past representation, pro bono and in a good cause, but @Evan_McMullin is not ‘pathetic’”. Zaid didn’t say he was. But think about that for a minute: Louise Mensch is dispensing with the services of a lawyer who had been prepared to offer the services of his colleagues pro bono - in New York City, and to a client sitting on an obscenely large pile of money. That is, as Sir Humphrey Appleby might have put it, a vary brave decision.
Moreover, that it was not Mark Zaid who was going to suffer as a result of this fit of pique was made crystal clear from his reply: “Thank you Louise! Notice of withdrawal will be filed with court tonight. You're on your own @BradMossEsq”. Zaid and Moss are clearly not going to be losing any sleep over her rush of blood to the head.
It is also worth noting that Zaid’s specialities - national security, security clearances, Government investigations, Freedom of Information and whistleblowing - may be sorely needed by Ms Mensch, and difficult for her to replace. That may also have occurred to Lauri Love, who observed to Zaid “THAT WAS A VERY LONG TRAINWRECK YOU JUST CLIMBED OFF OF MY DUDE”. Dead right it was.
Louise Mensch has gradually exhausted her reserves of credibility. Now she’s committed a very public act of reputational self-harm which, unless her legal team is rapidly re-formed, could prove very costly, in terms of both money and influence.
And don’t forget - she was allowed to become an MP.