Surely? Surely? But surely? Once a grubby yet delicious attempt to entrap potentially grubby parliamentarians by The Sunday Times/Channel 4 Dispatches team was spotted by ANY parliamentarian they really ought to have raised the alarm to ALL parliamentarians? Species consciousness trumping partisan divisions?
LOL have yet to watch the programme. Even when we do we realise that it can be nothing other than a very partial account of proceedings. Twenty parliamentarians were gamed it seems. Drawn from only the two main parties we hear.
What did each say early doors I wonder? Through my work as an interviewer and indeed as a sometime journalist I am only too aware where some people will take conversations with strangers given enough rope.
Only recently one interviewee told me about a £300,000 tax bill, an unfortunate office fire, a very substantial beating administered on an unlucky burglar, and how they were caught over this latter. None of which were subjects of the interview might I add.
It's hubris is all. Being in love with the sound of one's own voice. Being boastful. Trying to cleverly secure the new post you're targeting with a bit of truth flexing.
We are now of course aware of where three Labour ex-Ministers - the usual suspects it must be said - allowed their bragging and the stinger's leading questions to lead.
A Labour backbencher - Moran, who else? - as well. And Sir Bufton Tufton, confident of elevation to the Lords.
Even now - as of 4:25pm today - it is emerging via the Guardian that David Cameron's predecessor as Tory leader Michael Howard did enter into dialogue. As did Ian Taylor, the Tory MP for Esher and Walton, and David Wilshire, the Conservative MP for Spelthorne.
It seems that by pure good fortune Julie Kirkbride was quicker out of the traps and had the media smarts or nous to smell a rat. This was in reports over the weekend.
Howard, Taylor and Wilshire were it seems beneficiaries of Ms Julie's prescience and despite having sent emails, CVs or whatever, and in Howard's case suggested a breakfast meeting and indicated he had another expression of interest, the lucky trio therefore withdrew their interest.
Who among the Tories decided not to share the warning with other parties or the parliamentary authorities? Was it David Cameron himself? Or Eric Pickles? Or the Conservative Chief Whip? And did none of the ten Labour MPs who smelt a rat or otherwise declined the stingsters blandishments consider warning colleagues?
Kirkbride (below) cannot be the sharpest knife in the box? Though perhaps there'd be a collective will to let Hoon-Hewitt-Byers-Moran dangle? I think we should be told.