When attack is the best form of defence

Louise Mensch: "We all do idiotic things when young"

From the UK, an interesting example of a bold strategy to counter potentially damaging publicity:

Louise Mensch is a British Member of Parliament who has been asking tough questions about the Murdoch newspapers and the phone-hacking scandal.

But now she’s wondering if she’s the target of a smear campaign by journalists. She’s received a email from a group called ‘David Jones Investigative Journalists’.

The email alleges that – in the 1990s – she took drugs with violinist Nigel Kennedy and danced with him, while drunk, in a club. It also claimed she’d written a racy novel while she was supposed to be working for the EMI record company.  The email indicated the allegations were about to be published.

Mensch decided her best defence was attack.

Here’s part of what she wrote in reply to the email, with copies to leading political journalists and her party bosses:

‘Although I do not remember the specific incident, this sounds highly probable. Since I was in my twenties, I’m sure it was not the only incident of the kind; we all do idiotic things when young.

‘Writing the first few chapters of Career Girls on my EMI computer is quite correct. It was also not why I was fired by EMI. Leaving work early and missing the odd day at work, along with inappropriate dress, were the reasons quoted to me.’

Mensch says the apparent smear campaign doesn’t frighten her. ‘I have not the slightest intention of being deterred from asking how far the culture of hacking and blagging extended in Fleet Street.’


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