Whatever else you say about the Tories, you've got to give them this: they have a redoubtable ability to put a smile on our faces. I'm not thinking now about Cameron announcing he's the heir of Blair, just at the time when most of the nation are counting down the days until the PM finally shuffles off his super-mortal coil. What's amusing me is the Tories' apparent embarrassment about having drawn to their ample bosom two city councillors formerly stranded on the Independent bench.
What with the Witney Wonder himself taking the unusual step of setting foot into Oxford to find out what the two were like, you would have thought that they might have wanted to blow their trumpet. But they're obviously lost for words. And when, finally, something was posted on their website, it somehow didn't feel quite right. It was not only that the Tory party was here revealing that one of the councillors had left the Liberal Democrats because his then-colleagues had judged that he was not up to being on Oxford City Council's Executive Board. It was that all the words seemed somehow familiar -- and, indeed, they are identical to the words of the Oxford Mail originally reporting the defections.
Now, we knew the Conservatives were desperate but this takes it into a different league. What I wonder is whether Giles Sheldrick, the journalist who is been unwittingly writing the Tories' press release, is getting his royalties. Or will he demand that they remove his well-hewn prose from their website? It's hard to imagine that the Mail's Chief Reporter feels flattered by their act of piracy.