Wednesday, 14 July 2010


According to Mandy's latest missive from behind the firewall:

“Mad, bad, dangerous and beyond hope of redemption… flawed, lacking perspective and having a paranoia about him… He’s like something out of the mafiosi… He’s aggressive, brutal…there’s no one to match Gordon for someone who articulates high principles while practising the lowest skulduggery.”

Now I'll leave it up to Guido to ask why Blair didn't remove him but it is clear that the Lobby as some serious questions to answer.

If you don't know, the Lobby is that group of journalists who hang around Parliament with their passes and the subsequent privileges - including the subsidised bars.

Westminster is known as the village and if you're in it - even just drinking in one of the pubs regularly - you become part of that village. Two-shags affair for instance was talked about in the bars and pubs for at least a month before the papers reported on it. And there are still things I heard ten years ago that are still verboten to the wider world.

Now couple this with patronage.

The Lobby is dependent on patronage. They all go as a huddle to the various government briefings, get asides from SPaDs and "insiders" - usually the minister themselves or his head of press - and generally get their copy from inside the Palace and the deparments.

Think about it - when was the last time there was a genuine exclusive from the Lobby?

There hasn't been one, because of patronage.

Patronage allows the politicians to control the Lobby. Once patronage is gone, it isn't long before you would be shunted to the local government desk by the editor.

So it needs to be reformed.

After all the Clegarons whitter on about transparency then surely this should also apply to the Lobby.

Now there are genuine cases where anonymity should be protected - hell there were a couple of stories I got which were dependent on hiding the leaker - but at the end of the day you have to ask...

Everyone knew that Gordo was a loon - why did it take Guido and the bloggers to push it fully into the public's eye? And why did the Lobby not examine this as it happened rather than allow the likes of Mandy to come out with comments like above unchallenged?

No comments:

Post a Comment