It was my hypnotherapist who told me that Ming had resigned. You couldn’t make that up, so I haven’t. After we have finished unpicking my brain in search of the little button marked “smoke yourself into an early grave” I rush home and channel-surf frantically.

This doesn’t take long as we only have terrestrial tv in the People’s Republic. We are in the mid-evening news drought! I fire up the computer. It shakes its head listlessly, and refuses to move beyond the startup screen. It says there is a system error – what it really means by this is that the webcam software has buggered it up, but it is far too polite to say so. Leaving it lying with dull, glazed eyes in the corner, I pace up and down the sitting room, newsless. Here! In the age of information! Even now little ones and zeros are flashing past me like invisible shoals of fish! I can see Ally Pally BBC mast from the sitting room window, but no matter how much I jump up and down with a wire coathanger I can detect no news.

 I Phone a Friend. It is Grammar Police.

“Hello,” he says pleasantly, “How are you?”

“What’s happened?” I bark, as if I am Leo McGarry and he is Josh Lyman.

“Well, he’s resigned, and the letter’s online. That’s about it at the moment really.”

“And is everyone blogging about it without me?”

“Well, mostly people are saying how sad and surprising it is.”

“But what about the forums? What’s the gossip? Everyone must be talking about it on LDV without me!”

“Hm, well the last post on LDV is something about English loan words in Welsh.”

“Oh,” I say, crestfallen.

“That’s partly your fault, I believe.”


We chew over what little fat there is, and I am forced to accept that the party must cope without my unique medievalist perspective for the time being. While I wait for Newsnight, I watch the docudrama about the relief of Belsen, and if you missed it through being pointlessly and lastingly glued to News 24 I can assure you it is very good and well worth catching on repeat.

But there is a happy ending (to my personal newsless trauma, you collect, not to the resignation. Or to said docudrama) as this morning I discover courtesy of Ryan that FF now stock a female blogger’s t-shirt!

So they’ll make one sale anyway…

To th’editor of the Telegraph 

Sir,I am humbled and astonished to discover from today’s article on Ming Campbell that many subtle nuances had been concealed from me on the Lib Dem Voice thread to which I contributed on 8-11th October. Not the least astonishing thing was that I have evidently been getting the name of the website wrong. And so have the site administrators. “Liberal Voice” you say? Well, I shall endeavour to remember it.

How relieved I am that you were able to point out that the entire thread was “swamped” with messages demanding the resignation of Ming, when left to my own feeble devices I would have counted seven people opining this out of a total of 28 posters. You see, I was foolishly under the impression that we were discussing the topic headlined at the top, which was: “We need to think about where we want to be in 18 months time”. Accordingly, many of us were proceeding with a separate discussion about the nature of communications in the party. How thankful we all are that you have clarified matters for us. Long live the broadsheet press. For I am sure that, had any of the people whose views were not quoted had anything useful or relevant to say, you would have adjudged them worthy of inclusion.

So imagine my surprise on discovering that I, sir, am not quoted once, not even where I (rather pithily if I do say so myself) tear into very small pieces the anonymous contributor (whom you do quote) for not being able to form a sentence properly. On this point I have one further cavil – you actually quote him/her twice in the apparent belief that he/she is two different people. If readers return to the thread they will see that two of your quotes from allegedly different sources actually come from the same anonymous post. It is odd that you did not spot this yourselves, but then after all you are only human. I am sure that is the explanation, and you would never knowingly quote one untraceable person twice to give an impression of bolstered numbers.

Touching that subject, I see that you also have tidied up his/her grammar – well done! It is very good to know that journalists are doing their job properly.

I remain, sir, etc

Am I going to send it? Of course not! Why waste valuable storage space in my Hotmail sent box when I can bung a few buzzwords into the blog title and get googled for free?


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