Joining the latest bout of Guardian kicking yesterday was Mark Wallace, former stalwart of the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA), which claims to represent all taxpayers, but in reality does not speak for 99.9% of them. Wal is deeply distressed about the behaviour of the paper, and in particular, its reporter Robert Booth.
Clearly, all that time spent at the TPA has left Wallace unable to correctly identify factual reporting when he sees it: he asserts that “the Guardian ... has been making up stories about the TPA”, then cites two articles authored by Booth. Wal states that the first piece made an allegation that the TPA was in breach of charity law. It did not.
He then suggests that, although the second article didn’t make any specific allegation, it was part of a smear against the TPA. That must be different to the welter of dubiously sourced copy coming out of the TPA which smears its targets, making allegations based on dodgy figures and false assumptions (see HERE, for starters). Two cites, and no stories made up: not a good start, Wal.
So it will be no surprise Wallace’s suggestion that the Guardian should apologise for its behaviour has not enjoyed the desired result. Worse for the former TPA front man, the paper has published another article today, also under the by-line of Robert Booth, which anyone interested in the relationship between the TPA and the Politics and Economics Research Trust (PERT) would do well to read and then put alongside Wallace’s selective and clearly partisan view.
Moreover, as Booth notes, the investigations into PERT may not yet be at an end. But this has not stopped the fan club rallying in support: the blog of Iain Dale, a compliant and reliable conduit for Tory propaganda, has made the Wallace post number one in its latest “Daley Dozen” blog recommendations.
And the only conclusion that can be reached by putting Wallace’s assertions alongside the series of Guardian pieces is that his allegation that the paper has printed “lies” is not true. What that makes Mark Wallace I will leave to others to deduce.Why he, and Paul Staines, are carrying on this dubiously researched campaign, I’ll consider next.