Friday, November 05, 2010

Disgraced Phil Woolas not even worthy to be called Mr

Who says The Times has lost its thunder? Within hours of Phil Woolas, the shadow immigration minister, being found guilty of deliberately making false statements about an opponent in his election literature, the following email was sent round to Times staff by the paper's Chief Revise Editor:
"He should not get an honorific as he has been found wanting in the electoral court by High Court judges under Section 106 of the Representation of the People Act 1983. We remove honorifics for those convicted in criminal cases, and indeed for doctors, teachers who are, eg, struck off the register."
So the MP for Oldham East & Saddleworth (until the by-election) can carry on drawing a parliamentary salary and claiming on expenses while he appeals against the court ruling that he accused his Lib Dem opponent of pandering to Islamic militants, but the Paper of Record has already decided that he is no longer fit to be called Mr Woolas. That must sting. It is, of course, the correct thing to do.

By doing so, not only is Woolas lumped in with crims and bent quacks, he is also treated in the same way as sportsmen. The Times has long ruled that the Rooneys and Hensons of this world are not to be styled with an honorific. It just looks silly.

Which makes me wonder: now that Ann Widdecombe has moved from Parliament to the world of light entertainment, should she also be known as just plain Widdecombe, rather than Ms W?


Rick said...

Widdecombe® All Rights Reserved

Anonymous said...

I thought she was HMS Widdecombe ...