Six of the best
Reader’s Comment of the Week
In response to Laura Keynes: Only bigots oppose gay marriage. But in BBC land they must be Christian not Muslim, Jill wrote:
“Hilariously, The Guardian’s initial headline on the news of Trevor Phillips’s volte face and the new poll was ‘Most British Muslims feel strong sense of belonging – poll.’ (Talk about spin!) Mid-morning, that headline had changed to ‘Half of all British Muslims think homosexuality should be illegal, poll finds’.
Poor dears at The Guardian, they really couldn’t decide which of their preferred minorities to throw under a bus.”
TCW Hero of the Week
Journalist Isabel Oakeshott elegantly waded into the tottygate storm caused by fellow journalist Isabel Hardman this week. Hardman, who made a very public song and dance about an MP who had called her totty, was impressively taken to task by Oakeshott – a sister in the Parliamentary lobby.
Oakeshott wrote in the Mail that Hardman should not have complained to the whips over what seems to have been a trivial incident and in doing so and not-so-subtly recounting the incident on Twitter, “she did the equivalent of running to teacher to tell tales” – hardly doing the reputation of women in the lobby much good.
Oakeshott added that “the sadness is that male MPs will be a little more guarded next time they talk to her and, no doubt, to the rest of us. That’s the last thing we journalists want.”
TCW can guess for sure that many will now give Hardman a wide berth in the corridors of Westminster. All credit to Oakeshott for approaching a difficult subject and standing up for female journalists with a firm but fair hand.
TCW Villain of the Week
Failed former Lib Dem MP and now Hacked Off hypocrite Evan Harris has made a spectacle of himself this week in responding to the John Whittingdale affair. Whittingdale, who is a single man, admitted to having a relationship with a consenting woman who turned out to be a sex worker. As soon as Whitto found out, he called it off. End of story, right? Wrong.
According to Harris, who toured broadcast studios with an oily smirk, saying that the press’s decision not to print the story was “was not because of a new-found interest in ethics”, with the papers maintaining an “influence” over Whittingdale.
Harris has effectively said – not just through his actions this week but over the past five years – that everyone is entitled to a private life unless you are a Conservative minister.
The good news is that Hacked Off and its dreary advocates like Harris are a fast-fading force after this cheap little episode.
Best of the rest