Sunday, September 17, 2006

Do the press want Alan Johnson?

On Friday, the blogger and journalist that is like a "fine wine", Paul Linford, wrote an insightful piece that used my post of last Monday about the johnson4leader domain names as a starting point. The main thrust of his point was to ask why the mainstream media seemed to be ignoring the story. After all, it's not much different to the Portillo phone lines story back in the 1990s, and David Taylor can be linked to Alan Johnson through Hull and some other websites. In his post Paul asks,

Could it possibly be that the papers have ignored the story because they hate the thought of the leadership contest turning into a foregone conclusion, and are themselves desperate to promote Johnson as a credible alternative?

At first I wasn't too sure about the idea. I find it hard to imagine all the lobby hacks and political editors conspiring in such a way, but then everyone knew Charlie Kennedy was an alcoholic, and that Prescott was playing hide the sausage with different women and they didn't report it, so perhaps it could happen.

That idea became a little less fanciful this morning when I read a feature piece in today's Sunday Times. The piece is basically a glowing profile about what a nice bloke Alan Johnson is. Working class hero, anti-intellectual, man of the people, high-flyer etc etc. Perhaps they really do want him as the credible alternative to Brown?

What I want to know is, if he does decide to stand, will he use the domains? Here's a prediction, I think he will use them, but I think we're going to see a line about cyber-squatting by David Taylor (which could yet be the truth). Rumour has it that Taylor is going to be in lots of trouble with Welsh Standards people soon anyway.


Peter Black said...
17 Sep 2006 13:58:00  

For the record I cannot see how David Taylor is subject to the Welsh Assembly's code of conduct and suspect that any reference to the standard's commissioner will get short shrift.

snowflake5 said...
17 Sep 2006 15:07:00  

The press are desperate for Alan Johnson to stand - particularly The Times. Remember that he was first puffed by Matthew Parris in The Times.

I personally think Alan Johnson is too inexperienced to be leader, and will vote for Gordon Brown.

GlassHouse said...
17 Sep 2006 21:48:00  

There's an interview and an article in today's Observer too.

Links here:

Anonymous said...
18 Sep 2006 11:45:00  

This is baffling. What is the story here? It's just some geek registering websites. How is this a conspiracy? Provide one piece of evidence on this site that taylor was acting for somebody else, and I can swear it will be in all the papers.

dizzy said...
18 Sep 2006 12:20:00  

anon - Firstly why does there need to be a "story" here? This is my personal blog. Secondly, who said there was a conspiracy?

Anonymous said...
19 Sep 2006 18:23:00  

Sorry - didn't mean to be combative. But

Perhaps they really do want him as the credible alternative to Brown?

... does sound like yr suggesting a conspiracy to me. And lack of story - that's just what stops the press being interested. As far as your personal blog goes, you can write what you like. FYI, I enjoy it enormously. is a participant in the Amazon Europe S.à.r.l. Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to