Does Sir Michael Mean Us?

Michael White does not like being teased. In a very touchy separate “Footnote” to his column today:

Some of my warmer critics in the blogsphere assume I write this sort of stuff because I fancy Tony Blair or think he’s going to give me a peerage. Two points here. I steer clear of any intimacy with politicians, it’s not healthy. Blair and I wouldn’t choose to go on holiday together, we’d annoy each other. Personally I wish the little chap read more books and spent less time in the gym. He probably feels just the opposite about me. As for the peerage, they don’t give them to people like me, which is good because we don’t accept them. That said, conventional wisdom has written Blair off as a crook or has-been. The rightwing press, in tandem with the opposition-is-more-fun (and we get lower taxes) left, says so very loudly every day. So I take the opposite view. Of course he’s been a disappointment: that’s life. But he’s still a formidable operator.

Guido never suggested a peerage, merely a knighthood for his beyond-the-call-of-duty service in excuse making for politician’s excesses. Judge for yourself; Exhibit A is an atrocious bit of White-wash making excuses for the secret loans to Labour, and Exhibit B, wherein he swallowed the demonstrably ridiculous claim that Ms Beckett’s jetting to Derbyshire was not excessive because the 110 times she used the Queen’s Flight cost only £100,000. A blatant bit of bullshit spin from New Labour that an intelligent journalist like Sir Michael should not have been taken in by. In that same article he said “That doesn’t strike me as excessive, though I am open to correction.” It is not excessive, but it isn’t true either, as a National Audit Office report makes clear. So go on, correct yourself in another footnote.

Incidentally, the “Sir Michael” line was given to Guido by one of his own colleagues.

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