SubScribe: The morning after the night before Google+

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

The morning after the night before




Ouch, my head hurts. Let's see if I can sit up. Argh, that's even worse. Perhaps I can snooze for a few minutes more. lAh, that pillow is so cosy. Mmmmm.
Now what's that bloody noise? Oh lord, is that the time? OK Dave, this is it. Go for it.
Must say, Sam's snoring a bit, I'll give her a little prod. 
Hang on, I don't recall her wearing Wallace and Gromit boxers before. 
Jeeeeezus!  What are YOU doing in my bed? 

What happened? Why can't I remember?

My, what a hangover. 

Ah now it's coming clearer. It was a good party, there were pizzas and coffee and chocolate digestives and coffee and fruit salad and coffee and KitKats and yet more coffee. It was intimate and chummy and everyone hugged each other and agreed we'd achieved great things. Not that I know this at first hand.  I was tucked up here at home by then and Ollie was holding the fort. He had some civil service flunky to keep him company. But I do remember being there later when it was time to move on from Ed's place to the  big bash downstairs. Don't think there was much hugging there...now it's all gone hazy again.

Oh God, what have I done?

Right Dave, remember what you learnt at Eton: self-esteem, peer down your nose and talk 'frankly' and everyone will trust you. There's nothing to worry about, we only knocked a little stone out of the 300-year-old edifice that is British press freedom. Oh don't fuss. It's right down near the bottom where nobody will notice. It won't really weaken the structure.  If it looks as though it's going to wobble, a little statutory underpinning should do the trick.

Funny, now I think about it, some of the chaps at the second do weren't so keen on our little plan. There was a bit of a frisson that we'd gone to Ed's at all and some grumbling that those Hacked Off fellows had been let in. Probably was a bit strange on reflection that the press johnnies didn't have anyone there. Still, Becks has other things on her mind these days. Do hope she didn't put her eleven mil in a Cypriot bank. 
Anyway, the Hacked Off crew didn't come on to the much smarter after-party, though someone saw that cove Mosley up in the gallery and took exception. But never mind, in the end we sorted it didn't you? Oh yes, we sorted it.

On the road from democracy to oligarchy, today is a milestone...awful, awful, awful

So it may only be a toenail in the door of regulation, but it could end up the first nail in the coffin. Bland press self-censorship is on the way

The state is now licensing journalism

When both benches agree we invariably make our worst blunders...it's like the Ministry of Truth

But aren't these people supposed to be on our side?

An elegant solution

The last chance saloon is closing

There, that's better. Oh, they're the opposition, are they?  Quite so, as I said,  best to have consensus, that way it'll all be done and dusted so much more quickly. Didn't want to hang around. Needed to get the show on the road, prove that I'm  decisive  -  like Ken Baker with those dangerous dogs that time. Nothing like a bit of rushed law-making, especially if you can finalise it at 2.30am.

What's this? Some chap saying he doesn't want to discuss a document he hasn't seen? Good job little Bercow was there to find him a copy of the draft. Wonder if there's one I could look at?

Anyway, Cleggers should be happy now. What's that? He says it was chaotic and it was my fault? Oh he's not still going on about me taking my ball home on Thursday night, is he? I did NOT have a hissy fit. It was a tactical manoeuvre and it worked, didn't it. Did we get the charter through or not? And you can say it as much as you like and so can Ed and so can Cleggers, there is NO statutory underpinning (yet). You see, they'll see it my way tomorrow.

Someone says the Spectator isn't going to join my new press club. Bit spoilsporty of them. And JK Rowling's having a go, saying I've betrayed phone-hacking victims. How can that be? Her chums were at Ed's little soiree weren't they; they got what they wanted didn't they? How come everyone is so grumpy?

Maybe it's because they don't understand the stuff about who's going to play and who isn't, how we're going to keep as many people who know anything about journalism as possible away from the new club. We won't let their bosses in either - well it's only fair. If MPs can't play even after they've left the Commons, why should editors with newspapers to run? And as for the publishers? Look, do you think I've just sailed up the Thames on a water biscuit? I've got into enough trouble inviting them for a Pimms and a round of croquet at Chequers. They already have to sneak in the back door if they come to No 10, I'm not about to start giving them a seat at the most public dinner party I've ever thrown.

Strange this confusion, though, and even more about who should join our new club.  I thought we made it quite clear. We'll do all the press and Hello! magazine, but we'll leave Decanter and Angling Times to freewheel. Bloggers will have to take their chances, yes I know we said news-based websites, but we can't be more specific at this stage. You can't expect me to differentiate between them; I have secretaries to read that stuff.

Oh now the local rags are getting sniffy? Well if they want to play with the big boys...it'll be too expensive and not worth their while to join and it's not fair because Leveson said they were goodies and beyond reproach? Well they don't really matter. I'm sure the proper press will see sense and be grateful that everything is going to be put on a proper footing without any state interference. 

They don't trust it? And they don't like the money bit?  But half of them were behind us last week when we were scribbling it all down on the back of that pensions advice envelope. Can you get that phone please Sam? What's my view on the Newspaper Society,  Mail, Express, Telegraph, Sun and Times taking high-level legal advice?  That it's sour grapes because they weren't invited to Ed's party. They need to get over themselves. The Guardian said the idea seemed ok  - ish. So did the FT the other day. No I didn't hear Barber on WATO and I don't follow him on Twitter. Too much emphasis on statutory underpinning? Can you get all that in 140 characters?

Right that's it. My head hurts. If the Telegraph thinks the papers should get together to form their own club instead of joining ours, then good luck to them is all I can say. You try to help out and all people do is moan. We spent £4m staging the Leveson show and have wasted hours and hours trying to turn his script into something we can take on tour and now they throw it all back in our faces. Ungrateful sods.
Still it's Budget Day tomorrow and everyone will be so busy jeering Georgie Porgie that they'll have forgotten all about this little local difficulty.

Come on Phydeau, time for your walk...





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