With deerstalker and bloodhound I've been out on the trail again, tracking serial Tory-killer Michael Crick.
After last week unexpectedly finding him seemingly on Labour's case for once, but then finding out that he wasn't in fact on Labour's case at all (please click on the label Crick for all the details), on Wednesday night's Newsnight he was back out in the open again, beating up the Conservatives. His pretext? Trougher Alan Duncan, who speaks for the Tories on expenses, was caught on secret camera (by an anti-sleaze campaigner) moaning that MPs now have to live on 'rations' and are 'treated like sh*t' (how delicate of me!). Gotcha! The ever-excellent Susie Squire from the Taxpayer's Alliance rightly gave Duncan both barrels for his 'cavalier attitude', saying that people would not appreciate his tone.
Crick's tone was, as ever, gloating, calling Duncan "a millionaaaaaiiiire and shadow leader of the house" and there was all his usual make-sure-they-get-it emphasis: "He's David Cameron's lead man on Commons reform". But the full nature of Crick's bottomless bias exploded only at the very end: "And that word of his, 'rations', may now join 'moat' and 'duckhouse' in the political lexicon."
'Moat' and 'duckhouse'? And with which party are they both associated? The BBC, by endless repetition of just these two images (both, by the way, for claims rejected by the Commons fees office), has made them the twin images of the expenses scandal. Bias, bias, and more bias. And you can bet that Crick will be leading this self-launched crusade of his to make 'rations' the third word 'in the political lexicon'. My bloodhound will be trained to sniff out any further uses of it by Michael Crick.
The story was obviously one Newsnight should have covered, but that it was Crick who chose to cover it and that he usually seems to be out to embarrass the Conservative opposition rather than the Labour government can only be chalked up to Beeb bias.