Monday, 5 November 2007


I had meant to write about the cringing coverage of the Bottler's new book on Courage in the Sunday Telegraph yesterday. But the more I thought about it, the angrier I became. So I gave up and merely brooded. Until now, that is.

If the Guardian had come up with something this sycophantic, it would have been bad enough, though hardly a surprise. For the Telegraph in effect to have allowed itself to become an outpost of the Downing Street press-office is simply astounding.

Those with strong stomachs can read the offending piece here.

For the bottler to have written another book on courage is laughable. For him to use it as an excuse to proclaim both his Britishness and respect for those who fought in the Second World War is worse (note, too, the very-much-less than subtle way the piece attempts to identify him not just with Thatcher but, more grotesquely still, with Churchill).

But for the Telegraph to have fallen for this shameless trick and expect anyone to believe rather than scoff at him and it is inexplicable.

I can only assume that the paper's new editor, Ian McGregor, has been nobbled just as surely as his counter-part on the Daily Telegraph, Will Lewis.

I presume it required no more than an invitation or two to Downing Street, an intimate chat with the Bottler, hints of future enoblement, maybe even a job in the government, like the formerly formidable Paul Dacre at the Daily Mail, and presto! How heady, how intoxicating proximity to real power. And how utterly shameful.

If there is any consolation it is that the comments on the piece are uniformly hostile. As they should be.

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