Web Only: the best of the blogs

The five must-read posts from today, on Blair, Pakistan and illegal drugs.

1. Has the Telegraph been got at during the morning?

Mike Smithson at PoliticalBetting has screen grabs showing an interesting change of wording in the Telegraph's Blair coverage.

2. Don't talk to Frank

At Left Outside, otimtom blogs on the collision of politics with recreational drug use.

3. Blair, Wakefield, climate change -- beware of scapegoats

There's masses of zeal in the air this week. Michael White says he doesn't like witch-hunts, not even of people he mistrusts, because our minds are best kept open against the pressures of conformity.

4. Pakistan massacres sabotage Baloch peace deal

Peter Tatchell writes a guest blog on Pickled Politics about the scant chances for peace between Islamabad and Balochistan, following massacres of peaceful protesters by security forces.

5. Vintage Blair

Another excellent Chilcot inquiry blog from Paul Waugh, this time analysing Tony Blair's performance today.

 

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Tim Farron is being unfairly maligned for inviting us to smell his spaniel

The truth behind “smell my spaniel”.

Out on the campaign trail in Cambridge, the Lib Dem leader Tim Farron was caught inexplicably inviting voters to “smell my spaniel”.

Here is the shock footage:

“Smell my spaniel, maybe, maybe… oh, how are you? Good to see you!” he said, while the top political journalists of the nation scratched their heads. “A new Lib Dem slogan?” asked the BBC. The “catchphrase of the general election” declared the Telegraph. A new, surprisingly progressive “theological pronouncement”, was this mole’s first thought.

And he has, of course, been ridiculed online:

But no.

Look closer.

What’s going on is clear. Farron is not inviting voters to sniff his spaniel at all; he is addressing a dog. One of the activists in the huddle he is speaking to is holding a little dog wearing a Liberal Democrat rosette:

And here is said dog with Farron:

Farron is clearly being sniffed by the dog, because he is carrying the smell of his own dog, Jasper the spaniel.

Was Farron actually commenting that the little Lib Dem pooch was sniffing its party leader because he smelt like another dog? In these uncertain times of fake news and eroding trust, let’s get our spaniel sniffing story straight.

I'm a mole, innit.

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