Trevor Kavanagh’s right to lie

In a typically hysterical opinion piece on the wildcat strikes over the use of foreign labour Trevor Kavanagh, associate editor of the Sun, makes a number of often silly and untrue claims; fanciful stuff like ministers wilfully tolerating drug gangs.

As you read the piece an image comes to mind of Kavanagh frothing gently at the mouth mumbling obscenities to himself as he frantically bashes at a keyboard he’s still not quite used to using. The claim that most irritated LabourList’s Derek Draper was that immigrants jump queues for social housing.

Local authorities tend to use points systems to allocate social housing. If you’re a single man in your late 20s you’ll most likely wait a very long time, while a family headed by a single mother will most likely get loads of points.

If local authorities gave points for being a recent immigrant Kavanagh’s argument would stand, but they don’t. But most do give points for waiting a long time which won’t help the recently arrived any.

It would probably be naive to suggest Trevor Kavanagh is at all interested in the truth, although he may be. It could be that having recently turned 66 he’s tired of dreary old fact checking, feels a little crotchety at times, and prefers to just bang these pieces out at a furious pace without too much effort… or thought.

Yet not so long ago one of the Sun’s sister outlets, America’s Fox News, went to court to defend the right the lie – and won.

So instead of answering Derek, Trevor Kavanagh tried to score some points of his own, recalling that Draper was once close to Peter Mandelson: ‘It’s like the good old days when the Prince himself prowled the Press Gallery, peering over our shoulders at the stories on our screens and demanding that we justify every sentence. We did not do so then and I am not clear why you think I am any more answerable point by point to you than I was to him…’

Sadly, we could do with someone looking over the shoulders of the Trevor Kavanaghs of the world, although probably not, to be fair, a party activist.

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