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June 21, 2017

I FOUND myself in the bizarre position of relying for information about today’s Queen’s Speech on a newspaper edited by a man who specialises in denying other people jobs – George Osborne at the Evening Standard, a man who is to journalism what Dr Goebbels was to public relations.
Osborne – the man who really brought scoundrel super-soaraway former Sun editor Andy Coulson to Number 10 by rationalising that only an archetypal Essex man could connect the party to the masses – found himself relishing and glorying in Theresa May’s dreadful predicament so went to town in the comment section of his newspaper “this government is one of the weakest in our history”, he wrote (there’s nothing like journalistic impartiality and this, Gideon, really was nothing like journalistic impartiality).
Osborne has denied a real journalist a job at the Standard – where standards appear to be lower than Katie Hopkins’ labia if journalists (I wonder if they even think of themselves as journalists any more) are now taking orders from him – and he probably denied a real politician a job in his constituency of Tatton in Cheshire for many years, where entranced rich constituents were unlikely to rain on his parade.
A leader or opinion column in a newspaper was once considered to be a sacred, highly prized vessel containing precious, well polished gems of reasoned, deeply expert and impartial weighty assertions from trusted, authoritative, heavyweight writers who sensed which way the wind was blowing and could be relied upon to accurately predict the direction.
Now we read leaders in the Western Mail, based in Cardiff, and it feels as if they have been written by Welsh Labour wonks slavishly salivating over Carwyn Jones’s “superior” strategy.
The London Evening Standard, which has a former Tory would-be prime minister at the helm, appears to be settling his old scores histrionically rather than polishing any gems or offering anything constructive to move us forward.
“Don’t follow leaders, they’re walking parking meters” was what Bob Dylan once wrote. Especially if you want to know which way the wind is really blowing, Bob.

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