Say what you mean, and mean what you say

by Daniel on October 5, 2003

Apologies for a post which will of necessity not be of interest to anyone who doesn’t follow UK politics, and will not necessarily be understood by anyone who doesn’t follow the media circus surrounding UK politics. But I’d just like to use the columns of Crooked Timber to send the following short message to people working in UK political journalism (I happen to know that at least two people in that circle read us).

If you think that you can prove that Charles Kennedy, leader of the Liberal Democrats, has an alcohol problem, you should say so and risk being sued. If you can’t prove it, you should shut up about the subject. But either way, please spare us the current round of innuendo, jokes and photographs of the man with a glass in his hand. It’s childish, it’s dishonest and it’s unfair to your readers (like me) who end up without a clue as to whether this is a piece of common knowledge within Westminster that’s being hushed up, or just a piece of fairly childish and malicious injokery. You’re the bloody British press, not popbitch.

Sorry about that. I return you to your regularly scheduled programming.