I tuned into Newsnight for an investigation of the day's events concerning the release of a Megrahi. Who was Paxo going to to excoriate? Well, no one, as it happens.
Still Michael Crick was back. The Newsnight political editor would surely have lots of insights and revelations about Labour or the SNP in the light of the remarkable events of the last fortnight. I mean, not even Tory-basher Crick would be so blatant and shameless as to do yet another story about the Tories. Would he?
Of course he would!
As Jeremy listed the programme's menu, these ominous words were heard: "Michael Crick accompanies the Mayor of London on a pilgrimage to Brussels to intercede for hedge-fund managers." This is getting well beyond a joke.
"Johnson was off to Belgium to lobby against part of the draft EU directive which will impose tough new regulations on hedge funds, on private equity and venture capital."
A dig at the Tories' exit from the largest centre-right grouping in the European parliament was inevitable: "After seeing London MEPs, he dropped in on the Frenchman who's in charge of financial services for the EPP, the centre-right grouping in Europe which the Tories left
only a few weeks ago."
Next it was followed by the usual 'Tory splits' angle: "This trip exposes tensions in Tory ranks. Mr Johnson feels he should make a public stand for the financial services industry at a time when he knows his party front bench has chosen not to. Boris Johnson's day trip campaign here in Brussels today has adopted a very, very different tone to that set by David Cameron back in Britain over the last few months. David Cameron has attacked the government ferociously for what he sees as its failure to regulate properly."
"But Mr Johnson's campaign clearly hits home with Nigel Farage, the leader of UKIP..."Wow! Crick talking to UKIP. It could only be because he wants to get at the Tories, couldn't it? To continue Crick's sentence though, "...with Nigel Farage, the leader of UKIP, whom I encountered quite by chance." I bet he did. Says it all really. Crick would never seek out Mr Farage by design!!!
He gloated over a 'lapse of memory' by Tim Kirkhope, leader of the British Conservative MEPs:
"Later Mr Kirkhope's office contacted us to confirm that the Tories had indeed voted for the original motion which led to the contentious draft directive - though, they claim, amending it more to their liking.'"
After talking over Boris's comments after a meeting, Crick goes on "Mr Johnson's office has promised a more substantial interview on the train back to London but suddenly pulled out not long before the train did." (I don't blame them. Why should they talk to this most biased of BBC reporters?) "Which is a pity because I would have liked to ask Mr Johnson some pretty tough questions." (I bet you would, Michael!! Why don't you try asking some of the Labour Party too?")
Brace yourselves, here's Crick's climactic passage and those 'pretty tough questions':
"First, about the obvious differences between him and David Cameron on regulation. Why isn't Mr Cameron at the moment coming out in support of hedge funds?" Back to 'Tory splits!
"Second, I would have liked to have raised a point made by the Liberal Democrats" (of course you would, Michael. You like the Lib Dems, don't you?). Are we moving towards the inevitable 'Tory sleaze' angle? Oh, yes!!: "They've claimed that the Tories and Boris Johnson's campaign last year have been awash with hedge fund money. Three hedge-fund bosses gave Mr Johnson's mayoral campaign almost £50,000, including Stanley Fink, who's now co-treasurer of the Conservative Party." (He thrust his face very oddly towards the camera for the words 'Stanley Fink' then, following on from 'Fink', moved back again!!)
"Which leads to a bigger question. Would a David Cameron goverment in practise, once the election's won, end up supporting hedge funds and the alternative investments markets as boldly as Boris Johnson did today?"
Again, I ask, why is this man allowed to get away with such Tory-bashing, week after week after week? Why is he not hauled before the BBC high command and reprimanded? It would be fine if he bashed Labour in the same way. He doesn't (as I've shown). How can such relentless bias be allowed to continue?
The Crick Count:
Conservative - 2 *********Tory - 6