"I met a man in my constituency the other day", he would say, "in MacDonalds, you know, and he said to me 'Ed, obviously you're the best leader the Labour Party has ever had, and a really clever bloke - but somehow people get the wrong end of the stick when you're trying to you get your message across and so it makes you look as though you're useless, even though we all know your policies are really brilliant, particularly that energy price freeze'."
That sort of thing. Really, really credible.
Well. At the weekend in our BTL discussion on freedom of the press, the name of IMPRESS came up in a comment from our good friend Radders. As it happens I'd just been reading a particularly self-serving piece about IMPRESS by one Jonathan Heawood, its chief exec. Here's an extract**.
It's a pity that the only thing some people know about Impress is that we are linked to Max Mosley. I got talking recently to someone who asked me what I did for a living. "Press regulation," I said. "Oh yes?" he said, brightly. "There are two regulators these days, aren't there? Which one are you with — the one that's run by the motor-racing chap?" "You mean Max Mosley?" "That's the fellow. " "Well, yes, I'm with Impress. And yes, it's supported by a charity that's funded by Max Mosley's family trust, but actually I run it." "Oh. Not Mosley?" "No. He doesn't have anything to do with it." He was surprised. Not particularly bothered (he had nothing against Mosley; in fact, he admired him for the stand he had taken against newspaper intrusion), but surprised. He was familiar enough with the issue to know that there were two press regulators in the UK, but innocent enough to believe that one of those regulators was run by Mosley. He is not alone. Most news about Impress is published by newspapers whose owners have a vested interest in our failure. As a result, we move through a fog of misinformation.Don't you just love "in fact, he admired him"? What a nice touch.
I think I can safely say, I don't believe a word of that. Just my opinion, mind. And I've probably been befuddled by all that, errr, fog.
** British Journalism Review, June 2018