Did Monty bother to ask any of those involved - Nick Davies, for instance - if they were part of what he claimed was a Labour Party hit job? Probably not. All he did was to take the then received wisdom among equally badly-informed right-leaning bloggers and pundits and declare it to be fact. It was a spectacularly wrong call, but it was not the only example of the genre. Nor, it seems, has this habit left him in the intervening years.
We know this because Monty was at it again the other day, approvingly Tweeting the Times front page and telling “It looks like @OwenJones84 and @pollytoynbee might just get the Labour Party of their dreams”. This alleged “Labour Party of their dreams” would, it seems, be one led by Jeremy Corbyn. There was more.
“[Would] Ed Miliband be able to save his party by urging folk not to vote Corbyn? Kinnock?Is there anyone who can stop Labour committing suicide?” tweeted a by now delirious Montgomerie, letting slip the real reason for his Twitter excursion, that of indulging in partisan leering at the Labour leadership election, on the basis of a single poll, by a pollster (YouGov) that hacks and pundits on the right had been slagging off since May’s General Election for being totally rubbish.
Leaving aside that the Times is supposed to be an upmarket title and a paper of record - although in reality it lost both labels a long time ago - the sad and rather obvious fact was that Monty had got it plain flat wrong in the case of Ms Toynbee, as she reminded him in short order: “Tim, check before you tweet. Just done BBC News channel on why Corbyn [would] be a calamity, plus columns”. Still, reality, eh?
He wasn’t doing much better with Owen Jones, either, managing to miss that the other target of his Tweet was first and foremost about debating the matter, something his column yesterday afternoon for Comment Is Free makes abundantly clear (see HERE), as does his comment on Liz Kendall today: “Liz Kendall has as much right to stand as anyone. If other campaigns are scared they won't win - maybe they should try inspiring people”.