Media Lies

Thursday, April 28, 2005

That's the stuff to give the troops

I have received an email from something identifying itself as "John O'Farrell, Author and Broadcaster". Possibly this is the same John O'Farrell who, in his first email to eager Labour activists up and down the country, concluded his opening paragraph with a plug for his book. This is the third or fourth email I have received from a John O'Farrell during this dismal campaign. I was unable to write anything about the last couple. I am not lacking in uncharitableness, but I am old-fashioned enough to consider it unsporting to go after dairy cattle with a bazooka. Well, I used to be.

The author and broadcaster, John O'Farrell, has entitled his latest missive "Vote Labour or the hamster gets it", and commences it thus:

At this stage in the campaign I think it is very important that we avoid sinking to personal insults and name calling of the sort that we've been getting from those unprincipled scumbags in the Tory Party.

This is certainly amusing. It transpires that one of the biggest issues for John O'Farrell, author and broadcaster, is that "we can't have Michael Howard as Prime Minister." The author and broadcaster, John O'Farrell, then warns me that if anyone thinks it's "safe to abstain or vote against Labour", Michael Howard as Prime Minister is exactly what we shall get. The disadvantages of a Conservative government, according to author and broadcaster John O'Farrell, would be as follows:

1. Today's blame culture is all their fault.
2. When they abolish the Winter Fuel Allowance and free TV licences, pensioners will be expected to burn their tellies to keep warm.
3. Crime went up under the Tories (not surprising when you look at all the senior Tories like Archer and Aitken who ended up in prison).
4. When Michael Howard last faced a leadership election he came fifth. There were five candidates.

Points one and two are certainly amusing. Point three may well be true, but under the present circumstances a rather dangerous one to make. At least Archer and Aitken did end up in prison; and despite the former's substantial offences against literature, neither of them was guilty of war crimes or international aggression resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands of harmless civilians. Point four is certainly amusing.

"If it hadn't been for people who cared taking the trouble to vote," continues John O'Farrell, author and broadcaster, "we would never have had the minimum wage, would never have had the NHS and John McCririck  might have won Celebrity Big Brother." This is certainly amusing, and certainly speaks volumes about the Labour party's estimate of its activists' intelligence. Messages like those of author and broadcaster John O'Farrell must certainly be useful to activists facing awkward questions from the ignorant and backsliding:

1. Why did Tony Blair follow George Bush into Iraq?
2. Why is the Labour party dismantling civil liberties?
3. Why is the Labour party giving the country away to private corporations?
4. Why should anyone in or out of the Labour party believe a word Tony Blair says?

Having received "Vote Labour or the hamster gets it", party activists up and down the country must be rubbing their hands with glee at the thought of facing those questions so that, utilising the sophisticated technique of intellectual and moral persuasion recommended by author and broadcaster John O'Farrell ("Pick one person you know and work on them non-stop from now until 5 May"), they may steer the erring voter gently back into Blair's benevolent fold.

The email includes a picture of a red pullover, neatly arranged below a weak chin and a wrinkly forehead. A hand is holding up a hamster. The caption is "Tories would bring back hamster hunting with dogs". This is certainly amusing. Presumably the contents of the red pullover are John O'Farrell, author and broadcaster. The photograph is well lit and composed, and it has nice sharp corners, but it shows too little of the pullover.