Alex Massie

When Cabinet Ministers Attack Bloggers...

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Fraser's most recent post is one of the funniest things I've read this week. Regardless of the detail lurking in the government's numbers, this is the sort of thing that proves that this is a decrepit, exhausted government. Who would have thought that it would all end with cabinet ministers haranguing people about blog posts? And not just once, neither, but five times? Shouldn't a minister of the Crown have better, more important* ways of filling their days?

Ed Balls has just called me up about my post from this morning, hopping mad. He instructed me to "take that post down now". I thought he was joking: has there been some change to the constitution where ministers now have power over the media? But he was deadly serious. "You should not call me a liar," said Balls. I told him that if he doesn't want to be called a liar, “he shouldn't tell lies”...

Balls told me if I keep the post up, it will "expose" the sort of publication that we are - and our "political" bias. A curious point. McBride used to make pathetic little "threats" like this - now he's gone, Balls has to do the dirty work himself.  You'd think Balls has perhaps by now worked out that The Spectator is rather pleased to consider itself a thorn in the side of this tawdry, mendacious government. "So you will take the post down?" Balls said. I just laughed. He hung up. Matt d'Ancona was later surprised to find out that he had four missed calls from Balls on his mobile. And to think that these are the people notionally running the country?

*Granted, every minute spent complaining to bloggers and journalists is a minute spent not ballsing-up their respective departments but, still, you know...

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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