The brilliant response by Louise Mensch MP to an "investigative journalist" has rightly gone viral.
I wrote last week at the New Statesman about the concerns that she was facing an intimidation campaign.
In view of this, it is perhaps interesting that the email which was sent to Louise was not from a formal newspaper email address but from "email@example.com".
It is also interesting (and I have seen the original email) that it was copied to both Patrick McLoughlin MP (the Tory Chief Whip) and the chair of the Conservative Party.
How very bizarre.
Was it really an investigatory journalist? (There is no doubt that Louise thought it was and that is why she responded the way she did, and waited until Friday afternoon to do so as this can "spoil" a weekend exclusive.)
If so, which title was he working for?
Was it instead a "friend" or former colleague?
If so, why would they want to damage her by copying in senior Tories?
Who could it be? Who exactly is this "David Jones"?
And what did they want to achieve by sending the email?
ADDENDUM (30/7/11 at 17.30)
Helen Lewis-Hasteley, assistant editor at New Statesman emailed "David Jones" about the email:
My name's Helen and I work for the New Statesman. I read Louise Mensch's post about your email to her asking for her reply to allegations of drug-taking and other misdemeanours. I was hoping to write a blog post on her unorthodox - but widely praised - response. I wondered if I could ask you a couple of questions, for publication:
- Are you a freelancer or attached to a particular publication?
- Were you writing the story for a particular publication?
- In light of Louise Mensch's response, do you still intend to publish the original story you asked for a comment on?
This is his reply:
Thank-you for your message.
The people who passed me this information about Mrs Louise Mensch were concerned that:
1. Louise Mensch supports the criminalisation of the drugs trade. They feel that Mrs Mensch may have further questions to answer with regard to the type of drugs she took. Their feeling is that the blogger jd-baker (http://jd
-baker.com/2011/07/louise-mensch-on-parliamentary-drug-use/), summed up the situation better than any other report from yesterday or today. *"**The only
gripe I have with Louise Mensch is that she still supports criminalisation of the drugs trade. As such she is saying that young people such as her former self should have their lives ruined by a criminal conviction, and possible custodial sentence. Would her life have panned out in the same way with such a tarnish on her record? If not then how can she condone this happening to other people? In supporting criminalisation she sadly defends a policy that has failed to effectively tackle addiction rates, or associated criminal behaviour."*
2. Louise Mensch is part of a committee looking into law-breaking. The taking of drugs is also serious illegal activity, one that kills and destroys millions of lives each year.
It is encouraging we live in a country with a free press, where illegal activity can be published.
Louise Mensch MP has sent me this comment on the "David Jones" reply.
This is wholly disingenuous. My comments on drug use were posted yesterday, after this expose; as a search of Hansard will confirm, I have never spoken about drugs prior to this story.
Secondly, what possible relevance does "Mr. Jones" points 2 or 3 in his email to me have to this excuse?
Thirdly, in using the name "David Jones" he is using the name of a well-known investigative journalist at the Daily Mail. He additionally copied my Chief Whip, knowing who that person was and his email address, and the Chairman of my party. Those are actions of a journalist, who would understand such things.
His defence of a "free press" is nonsense. Let him state which paper or magazine was proposing to publish this story and let him give his real name and a phone number to the rest of the press.
No purely anonymous comments will be published; always use a name for ease of reference by other commenters.