There we were, thinking he was a heroic fighter for all he thought was right, not to mention a formidable enterpreneur, and a man confident in the backing of the deadliest nonkinetic weapon system on the planet. After all, heroism works so much better with adequate air support. But, apparently, he can't find the commitment to stump Haltemprice & Howden himself, or the £100,000 he claims his campaign needed. Excuse me - aren't you meant to be rich?
More seriously, the real story here is that he has never been very popular outside his own propaganda, just as his supposed business genius includes triumphs like L!ve TV and his supposed journalistic courage tended to take a lot of long lunches. Who now remembers that "GOTCHA!" was only actually printed in a tiny early edition for northern Scotland, because he wasn't in the office early enough to stop it? When he finally rocked up, he freaked and spiked the lot, replacing it with a far weaker (and factually incorrect) fillerfest about "gunboats". It was the original reverse ferret.
The phrase you're looking for is "paper tiger", but no-one in politics would want to admit that. After all, there's this:
News International executives are understood to be wary of fielding a candidate against the Conservative party, which could interfere with the Sun's policy to always back the winner of election campaigns.Hence last week's string of "Bridge, engine room - MAKE SMOKE!" stories that the FRENCH ARE STEALING OUR NAVY!!!
Oh yes: this is brilliant.