Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tory Layer Cake: They're Boosting a Lame Non-Story

@TimMontgomerie of Conservative Home tweets attention to @samuelcoates of Cameron's speech writing team, as reported by Tim at CH, tweeting attention to the Indy blog of @johnrentoul drawing attention to Andy Coulson writing as "Mail on Sunday Reporter". This layered provenance is of interest in itself.

Guido is at lunch and Iain on the Cornish Riviera watching rivulets on window panes or they'd be in on the great game too.

The story? The Mail's "shy" reporter, possibly one of Coul's or Cam's crews, or Rentoul recycling something spiked, or who knows? some staffer scared of whatever pussycat has replaced McBride, reports that Gordon Brown's team have known Cameron, D. was planning a trip to Afghanistan. They've known since July says the article. Which might mean four weeks. And which might mean eight weeks.

They, MoS Mysterions and Rentoul, respectively allege and think it looks like Gordon Brown may have picked the date for his own fourth or fifth Afghan theatre visit of the past year simply to stymie or pre-empt his rival. This speculation-as-journalism begs some questions:

  • 1. When did Gordon Brown first make plans to visit British troops at this juncture? Shortly after a General Election in the country? One which has so far passed reasonably well? Not a bad time to go you might think.
  • 2. As Gordon Brown has made three or four previous key moment visits as PM why do the gentlemen of the press and Cameron's cheerleaders believe this one is timed specifically to spike Cameron's guns?
  • 3. And if they are projecting this behaviour and considering it devious to boot what was the rationale for Cameron's own choice of dates? Were these psychological projectionists planning a political coup of their own? Knowing Brown was likely to go, again. Hoping to pre-empt that?
  • 4. Post departure of the McBridivist/Drapery tendancy are the leaks towards the Tory machine at the nerve centre of the ship of state now caulked?
  • 5. Is Brown expected to change his diary to avoid embarrassing Cameron? Or not change it, also to avoid embarrassing Cameron? Is it "not cricket"? An expression which seems to have been turned on its head as it goes.

  • This unsigned story is pretty lame I'd say. Hyper-criticism in the absence of anything much to say. Last week @shanegreer had a poke at Gordon for writing a tribute to Senator Edward Kennedy. What was wrong with that? Supposedly he should have kept to the affairs of his own government. Possibly by commenting more on a Scottish judicial decision.

    The use of serial twitter references and a "liberal" blog to build up its authority is the most interesting thing about it.

    YEARS AFTER "REJOICE!" AND "GOTCHA!", the latter celebrating the deaths of far more Argentinians in one action than British troops in fighting in both Afghanistan and Iraq in eight and a half years, Maggie Thatcher was still at it (1986). And no that is not a Marigold doing the bird front and centre.

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