Don't believe everything you read in the papers
I've always thought one of the key measures you can judge a politician by is the way in which they treat their staff (for instance, there is a Labour deputy leadership candidate who always used to have a notorious record for high staff turnover and low pay, which is a bit of an odd reputation to have as an employer if you are seeking the number 2 job in the party set up by the trade unions).
So I was pleased that Blair stood by Ruth Turner on what must have been a ghastly day yesterday, saying:
"Ruth is a person of the highest integrity for whom I have great regard and I continue to have complete confidence in her".
This fits with my memory of her from the very limited dealings I had with her over a decade ago - as someone that stood out for their decency in the snakepit of student politics.
Which brings me to the title of this post. For David Hencke, a man with a reputation as one of Britain's top investigative journalists, writes in the Guardian today that Ruth was "was not a Labour activist at university" which is strange because my admittedly fuzzy memory is that she was the national Vice-Chair of Labour Students - and one of numerous wearers of t-shirts proclaiming "Salford Labour Club - Democratic Socialism in Our Lunchtime" who would turn up to NOLS events (usually to vote against me as this was during my very brief period as an insurgent anti-NOLS Office rebel (!)). If the papers can't get basic biographical details right should we believe most of the rest of what is being written about this case?
Labour supporters need to remember what triggered this investigation - not a journalist, ethics committee or watchdog but a partisan complaint from an SNP MP.