Jezza played role of gnarly gumshoe Loo­tenant Columbo

Scottish Daily Mail - - The Brexmas Election -

West­min­ster blog­ger Guido Fawkes says they’ve been pub­licly avail­able on the web for some time.)

Cor­byn claimed th­ese doc­u­ments were ir­refutable proof the Tories are pre­pared to ne­go­ti­ate away the fu­ture of the NHS in post-Brexit trade talks with the

Trump gov­ern­ment. That in­cluded drug­pric­ing, ac­cess to the UK mar­ket, the whole works.

Jezza played the role of gnarly gumshoe, Loo­tenant Columbo of US TV fame. ‘I’ll leave you jour­nal­ists to comb through it,’ he said, giv­ing a sat­is­fied smirk. A group of NHS doc­tors in sur­gi­cal scrubs then handed the doc­u­ments around for re­porters to in­spect.

Ques­tions fol­lowed. Nat­u­rally, ev­ery­one wanted to dis­cuss anti-Semitism – caus­ing Barry Gar­diner to flip his lid.

Had he and Cor­byn re­ally ex­pected us to sift through 451 pages of this sup­pos­edly bombshell doc­u­ment in dou­ble quick time and ask de­tailed ques­tions on it?

OF the ques­tions which did re­late to the NHS talks, the heavy-lift­ing was done by Gar­diner, pos­si­bly be­cause his boss didn’t un­der­stand much of it. In any case, by now, Cor­byn had largely zoned out.

At one point, as Barry droned on, Cor­byn pawed ad­mir­ingly at that vel­vet pouch he had car­ried the doc­u­ments in, weigh­ing it up, per­haps, as a po­ten­tial Christ­mas prezzie for his wife.

More im­por­tantly, who had sup­plied the leaked doc­u­ments? A Water­gat­estyle Deep Throat in­for­mant?

Again, such info was pre­sum­ably highly clas­si­fied.

If th­ese doc­u­ments re­ally were the elec­tion game-changer that Cor­byn billed them as, he cer­tainly had a funny way of show­ing it.

He seemed bored and dis­tracted, of­ten bounc­ing his ball­point up and down on the ta­ble for amuse­ment.

I’m no Bob Wood­ward but the whole busi­ness reeked of what the Tories’ Aussie elec­tion guru Sir Lyn­ton Crosby calls the po­lit­i­cal ‘dead cat’ de­vice.

A hyped-up de­coy, in other words, to dis­tract from Cor­byn’s dis­as­trous Tues­day night maul­ing by An­drew Neil.

If so, that’s an aw­ful waste of pa­per, though at least it’ll make handy fire­lighter ma­te­rial as the win­ter weather sets in.

Ex­hibit B: NHS doc­tors hand out unredacted pa­pers to the me­dia

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