Kit Malthouse was on LBC this morning blaming Simon Fletcher and the "Labour attack unit" for recent criticism of Boris Johnson's police cuts.
It was all pretty desperate stuff, much like his latest piece of "occasional journalism" in the Standard:
"If you ask Labour or the Liberals how many police officers there are in the capital, they can only answer with a guess. “But Horrid Boris is cutting police numbers” they splutter, trying to imply that he doesn't take crime seriously. What's clear is that the number is actually meaningless to them other than as a political weapon...Don't let politicians fool you with bogus arguments about numbers. Trust your own eyes and feelings. If you see more cops on the street and you feel safer, then we are getting it right."
Yes don't let those nasty politicians fool you with "bogus arguments" about numbers. Just like these bogus ones unearthed by Dave Hill
500 extra police officers? Funny how Boris's own budget admits there will be 455 fewer police officers.
Still let's not get bogged down in numbers eh? Like these in Boris's policing manifesto:
Currently the [Metropolitan Police Service] employs 73 press staff with salary costs of £3.6 million, and is budgeted to spend £4 million on non-recruitment publicity in 2008/09.40 By reducing the number of press staff to 50, and halving the publicity spend, we will redirect £3.1 million from marketing and spin to frontline policing.
Now by "press staff" the Tories were actually referring to the total staff of the Directorate of Public Affairs.
Some of these were press officers and some not. But at any rate, Boris promised to reduce the number to just 50.
So how's he doing with that?
Hmm. So the total "press staff" has actually gone up to 76. Is that going to change?
It seems not.
Still, let's not get distracted by these "stale" numbers London.
Just put down your newspapers, put your fingers in your ears, and "Trust your own eyes and feelings."