The Guardian used to be called 'The Grauniad' because its feeble-minded correspondents seemed to lack the ability to spell. Since the advent of the spell-check the situation has not necessarilly improved. Today's coverage of Simon Weston's withdrawal from the race for South Wales PCC manages to garble not individual words or sentences but a whole article, and the law to boot, though this may be more the fault of Ministers than journalists.
The article goes on about how it wasn't really his juvenile conviction that got in the way, and focusses on him being the latest Independent to withdraw. Yet even Michael Crick, who has been popularising the idea that Independents are both needed and disappearing, opted for the line of 'wasn't he barred anyway', and seems to imply that an undue reticence last week to agree to an interview with Channel 4 was a precursor of today's events.
Strange though that everyone seems to think the Home Secretary and the Attorney General have expressed views of the law favourable to Weston. That's strange not just because it displays a peculiar view of the law, but because it reveals that such individuals are bothered about one PCC candidate. A few people have noted in the last week about Nick Herbert's tendency to slip into 'angry mode' when defending the PCC reform. I must confess I thought I saw a flash of this at the CREST event when I asked an inconvenient question about 'big candidates'.
Are Minister's genuinely stressed about Weston's case? Does their own evaluation of the scheme rest on Independents standing, both those with no known association with the Tories (like Weston), and those who can be grafted in as recent members? Why is he disappointed at their lack of support – why would he expect them to support an independent in the first place? Something is very odd. If you know what, the comments section is yours.