Monday, January 10, 2005

Sources fairly close to a source not so far from a middling to very senior official...

Well, another day, another Blair/Brown feud. The Observer headlined that they had gone "out of control" yesterday - my first reaction was along the lines of "Gordon was so furious with the Prime Minister that he nearly said something". And frankly, I just get bored of this stuff - "Sources close to a senior Government official indicated to a newspaper last night that they might consider briefing that Gordon Brown's buttocks were allegedly going to be painted purple and exported to Outer Mongolia after the election in what informed analysts suggested was a renewal of well-known tensions between the PM and his Chancellor.....Meanwhile, important figures in the Brownite camp said that friends of the Chancellor believed he would unleash an army of green mutant death spiders from the moon, their fangs dripping with deadly poison vomit, and begin hostile briefings against Alan Milburn unless the wording of Section 15 of the Tedium Bill was altered to remove the word "modernise" and replace it with "prudent"..." Does any of it mean anything at all? Aren't we concentrating far too much on petty intrigues when, in fact, the impersonal forces of history will determine it all? Bah.

I'm going to make one suggestion for practical action. Abolish all this sources close to crap, and instead give the distance of the source from the politician in range and bearing. For example: "A source at 230 degrees True, 79 centimetres for Gordon Brown said "there is no feud with the Prime Minister. And he started it anyway." However, an official due east of Tony Blair at around 50cms distance said "Hate! Hate! Hate!"" Much clearer, I'm sure you'll agree, with the advantage that Sunday newspaper graphics people will be able to draw nice little maps of the political class.

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