Six hours on the sofa and I can proudly report I'm down to 12 emails in my inbox, only one of which could conceivably be dealt with tonight. By way of light relief, here's a little something from Matthew Parris' column in today's Times:
The blow that wasn't
Brownites look away: what follows is directed only to Conservatives. Isn't it lovely, fellow Tories, after all these years, when media bias starts to work our way for a change? This month David Cameron has faced a serious and continuing sleaze row about his MEPs' expenses, dragging in both his (former) group leader and (former) group chief whip; his party chairman is under investigation by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards; and a key aide in his London mayoral team has had to resign after a (silly) “race row”. Oh - and his Shadow Home Secretary has quit not just the front bench but his parliamentary seat.
But has the headline “Cameron's worst week ever” appeared anywhere? Have those telltale journalistic clichés “fresh blow”, “new setback”, “yet another”, “plunged deeper”, “reeling” or “hapless” surfaced in the newspapers?
Don't you think that what we like to call the news is really a kind of topiary? The raw data are a shapeless wild yew bush, which we clip into peacocks, pigs or palaces, according to mood.