Antagony (and cleopatra)

October 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

Politicians are tricksy slippery creatures created from an ancient alchemy of snake-oil, stain remover and smoke machines.

Of course they aren’t to be trusted, but at least their empty-eyed smiles aren’t overly offensive or offending, and they are just so eager to please. Politicians are just narcissistic puppies – somebody love them pleease!!

So why is it their press officers feel they are allowed to be so vile and antagonistic to us poor innocent hacks?

Has nobody mentioned what we do?

Of course I get why they hate us – we ruin all the fun of parliament. Thanks to the titans of the trade there are no more John Lewis toasters or plump brown envelopes stuffed with fun-time cash.

But being defensive and shrill is not going to stop me asking questions.

I was speaking to a press officer for a rather sleek, contented Northern Irish MP today, who shall remain nameless – (which he would hate).

Bearing in mind all I was doing was asking the PR if the MP might be interested in writing a comment piece for http://www.politics.co.uk.

OK – so I did ask if he’d do the piece about racism in his constituency as a meeting he chaired recently apparently descended into racist attacks – but considering he’s currently involved in a high-profile leadershi….. oops – I’ve said too much – I thought he’d be over the moon to have a chance to defend himself against allegations that he colluded in the racism in a shameless attempt to win favour from those in his constituency who traditionally vote for ‘the other guy’.

And from the shrill reaction of his press team – I imagine that’s exactly what he was doing.

She tried to accuse the press in general of scuppering the meeting and also told me it was none of my business, adding that it was ‘out of respect to the residents’ that said MP hadn’t openly commented on the racist tone of the meeting.

Now, if she had merely said something along the lines of ‘thanks so much for thinking of us, put that in an email and I’ll get back to you.’ – I would have thought no more about it – But the fact that the reaction was so vitriolic suddenly, inexplicably makes me think there is a story there – so, apologies Mr notoriously safe seat MP – but I’m suddenly very interested in how you’re dealing with racist bullying in your own back yard.

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