Writer fools media over PM’s ‘tangerine tantrum’


10:00 am - February 27th 2010

by Sunny Hundal    


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It all started with a phone call by writer Robert Popper.

At the height of bullygate’, he thought he’d play a prank on the media by inventing a story about Gordon Brown throwing a tantrum and chucking a tangerine at a factory machine that ends up breaking it.

Here is the phone-call to LBC Radio

That story then took a life of it’s own. The FT’s Jim Pickard blogged it.

The Telegraph then turned it into a story and the Sun also mentioned it.

And then, inevitably, came the animation by a Taiwanese station

Meanwhile, Robert Popper can’t stop laughing. Don’t believe all you read in the media.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


I must confess I do like the Taiwanese animations.

2. J Alfred Prufrock

I agree with @1. The Taiwanese cartoons are probably the best thing about Bullygate 😀

Doesn’t deal with all of Andrew Rawnsely’s well-sourced allegations though, does it?

Every footsoldier in the Forces of Hell (including Sunny), knows that Rawnsley is a serious, well-informed political editor with left-leaning sympathies and impeccable Labour contacts. He’s not a desperado who makes stuff up to sell books or keep his job. His previous book, Servants of the People, was widely praised for getting inside the New Labour project. The rage against Rawnsley from Labour loyalists is not because he’s telling lies about Gordon, it’s because he’s telling the truth at a deeply awkward time.

Bet you can’t wait for tomorrow’s instalment.

Sunny,

Following Colin’s comment, I demand to know exactly when you became a footsoldier in the Forces of Hell.

We thought you were He-Man, and now we find out you’re actually Skeletor. Whatever next? Endorsing the Green Goblin for Governor of New York??

There’s a Conspiracy alright, but it sure ain’t Liberal….

(I also loved the animations. Maybe there’s an opportunity here for Rawnsley to convert his whole book to CGI)

“Maybe there’s an opportunity here for Rawnsley to convert his whole book to CGI”

Agreed – I’d love to see the bit where crybaby Brown yells at Blair “You ruined my life!” just because Blair wasn’t vacating the top job quickly enough.

What a mentalist.

Well, until that day comes, we’ll just have to make do with Steve Bell:

Please could you make clear that my blog emphasised the fact that I didn’t believe the spoof. You seem to suggest that I took it at face value. Sincerely, Jim

You can see for yourself at http://www.ft.com/westminster

I thought the animations were from Hong Kong?

Actually, I heard that caller on LBC – I understood it to be a woman.

.. and one who had been present in the factory on the day that Mr. Brown came on an official visit. He apparently took a phone call during the visit that seriously irritated him and then allegedly threw the tangerine. I certainly took it to be a female caller.

13. Golden Gordon

Every footsoldier in the Forces of Hell (including Sunny),
Oh dear , too much medication eh
knows that Rawnsley is a serious, well-informed political editor with left-leaning sympathies and impeccable Labour contacts
No he isn’t , he is known to be supporting Cameron in the next election

Who is this known by, 13?

I’m buying the book tomorrow.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. AndyG

    Writer fools media over PM’s ‘tangerine tantrum’
    http://tinyurl.com/yc8csyf

  2. The Non-Dom-Wombat Diversion « talk normal

    […] one hand, the political machine is winning. No one has stepped out of line, in case Gordon Brown throws a tangerine at them. But the number of articles discussing the Labour party and spending cuts continues to climb. Often […]





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