The ability of those who scrabble around the dunghill that is Grubstreet to talk well, but lie badly, comes to the surface on the kinds of occasions where those pitching the porkies would have been best advised to keep schtum. This was illustrated in no style at all yesterday, in the wake of yet more Extinction Rebellion protests in London, by the odious flannelled fool Master Harry Cole, who still claims to be a real journalist.
Behold the fount of all, er, ignorance
Master Cole, whose knowledge of the UK’s rail system was exposed as non-existent on the occasion when, faced with the choice of one station from which to catch his train from Edinburgh back to London, he went to the wrong one. So when he saw that trains from London’s Charing Cross and London Bridge termini were being delayed yesterday afternoon, it was no surprise when he went wrong once again.
Just before the afternoon rush hour got going, Master Cole told his adoring followers “Now ‘trespassers’ shut down every train out of Charing Cross, London Bridge and Waterloo. Any vague good will from working population toward the morons evaporates ahead of rush hour. The Met need to get a grip now instead of nodding along to Kumbaya”.
This observation contained the usual Cole level of accuracy: he should have said Waterloo EAST, through which trains in and out of Charing Cross pass. There was no problem with services from the main Waterloo station. He also got “trespassers” wrong. Because it was “trespasser” singular. Moreover, his inference that this was the work of Extinction Rebellion was also wrong, because it had nothing to do with them.
We know this - and so did Master Cole - as the British Transport Police Twitter feed responded to that claim with “Hey Harry. This was a concern for the welfare of a woman who has since been taken to a place of safety. Not protest related and we're working to resume services as soon as possible”. So he was lying. Again.
Was there any kind of apology, a retraction, the merest hint of a mea culpa? You jest. Not from the Mail on Sunday’s alleged deputy political editor. “Not protesters this time according to [BTP]. But point about good will amongst crowd at Charing Cross stands. Train drivers saying they don’t know what’s going on so maybe look at Twitter went down particularly well”. That’s a particularly stupid observation. And here’s why.
One, although Master Cole did not allow the fact to enter, the Met, whom he castigated in his original outburst, do not Police railways in London. That is the BTP’s job, and the latter force has the specialist knowledge needed for that task. Two, the idea that train drivers should consult Twitter as an authoritative source of information, when idiots like him are using it to spread disinformation, takes us to a whole new level of stupid.
And Three, he doesn’t even have the spine to realise he was wrong, and to apologise. As Carole-Anne Collins put it, “This is the worst kind of journalism … He posts an inaccurate comment (lie) … It attracts thousands of likes … He posts a retraction under this, WITHOUT deleting the false tweet, it attracts a couple of dozen … The lie is disseminated around social media”. It’s almost as if that’s what Cole wanted in the first place.
The honesty of our free and fearless press demonstrated to the world. Or maybe not.
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