[Update at end of post]
Demonstrating that it is not only late in the evening that she makes ill-advised use of her social media presence, the Lady Macbeth-like figure of Sarah “Vain
” Vine, better known as the wife of Michael “Oiky
” Gove and Daily Mail
pundit of no known usefulness, has staged a Twitter intervention that could become horribly expensive. And unlike her totally forgettable Mail
columns, it will be her footing the bill if it does.
Ms Vine went after Mic Wright, on the grounds that the latter had said something about her daughter. What was said is not specifically known, but Wright has said in his defence that the substance of his remarks has already been aired both in Tatler
magazine, and also by the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog.
That suggests it has to do with Ms Vine’s daughter allegedly revealing a fondness for grass, and not the kind that one mows of a weekend. Strangely, there was no snappy comeback when The Great Guido mentioned it
, but perhaps I blinked and missed it.
Still, off the end of the pier she went. “I see that [Mic Wright] describes himself as ‘100 per cent deviant’ which perhaps explains why he likes to obsess about teenage girls with teachers like [Alom Shaha]
”. That’s rather close to the defamation line. Wright sighed “This was inevitable. I’m not obsessed with teenage girls. Nor have I written about any children in my care in a national newspaper. Also, I didn’t describe myself that way, my friend did. Libel me and I will sue you
”. And he had a follow-up to that response.
“The wife of a cabinet minister, also a columnist for a major newspaper, is now engaged in trying to cast serious aspersions about my character. I don’t have much money, but I do have self-respect and strength. I’ll raise the money to sue her if she continues to do this
Go on Sarah, let’s have a bit of the old wit, then. “At least [Mic Wright] has the balls to stand by his vitriol about my daughter. [Alom Shaha] has protected his account
”. Maybe something to do with wanting to keep his job and avoid having the moralising spite of the Daily Mail
come down on him like a tonne of bricks? Just a thought.
But, as Wright said in response, “I said nothing vitriolic. I stated facts. Something that, as an employee of DMGT, you are not terribly familiar with. Retract the implications you have made about me … I have not messed with your kids. I stated a fact. Facts that have been published not only by you, but by Tatler and Guido Fawkes. So why might I be the one you’re going after … I’d really recommend leaving this now
Sarah Vine could be batting on a very sticky track here, and for several reasons. One
, her daughter appeared to claim that she smoked what she called “Ouid
”, and talked about having a dealer. Two
, her husband has admitted to having a cocaine habit. Three
, the paper for which she writes takes a strong moral line on currently illegal drugs, although, fortunately for her, not alcohol. Four
, repeating what two other sources already published
is not “Obsessive
”. And Five
, the Mail and teenage girls
? Where does one start?
Stop digging, Sarah, you’ve reached bedrock. And I don’t mean The Flintstones
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[UPDATE 1715 hours: Mic Wright has told me "I said nothing about drugs — I know nothing about that. The conversation was about rebelliousness. Alom suggested she should rebel more against them. I said, 'She’s only 17, and still lives at home. Give her time.'
And right on cue, Tim Curtis has provided a screen shot which says exactly that. Which puts Ms Vine in one of those Very Difficult Positions. No obsession, no vitriol, nothing deviant, and indeed no defence against a future action for defamation.
I know Daily Mail
pundits don't say sorry, but in this case she would be best advised making an exception