I was debating with Owen Jones on Twitter last night. He made what I thought was a rather intemperate comment about how Ed Miliband had given a nod to some of the positive things that Margaret Thatcher had done
Owen appears to have deleted the tweet from his timeline so this is from memory but it was along the lines of
"Ed Miliband praising Thatcher is the equivalent of telling Labour supporters to f**k off".
I thought this was rather odd and as I read the piece in the Telegraph Owen was referring to I could not see "praise" as such. Instead Miliband was paying tribute to how she created an era of aspiration which is surely pretty uncontroversial.
The reason for the confusion became apparent soon afterwards:
Ah, the quote I was sent re: Thatcher wasn't Ed Miliband, it was a quote wrongly attributed to him. My mistake
— Owen Jones (@OwenJones84) September 14, 2012
He was sent a quote by a source who turned out to have been wrong. Fair enough a few minutes later he corrected himself.
Almost at that very same moment, Owen was on Radio 5 laying into Kelvin MacKenzie for having published the Hillsborough piece without verifying that his sources were accurate. I totally agree with Owen that MacKenzie is a vile individual who deserves to be vilified for what he did.
But if I was Owen, I'd be a little bit more careful about checking what my own sources are sending me before flying off the handle with vituperative tweets.
He wouldn't want to get a reputation for in any way acting like the former Sun editor.