In the CCBGB ('comments could be going better') stakes, I think the BBC's Diplomatic Correspondent James Landale has all won hands down today - with no need whatsoever for a second people's referendum vote to make certain of that.
Two of his tweets have gone down extraordinary badly with the twittering public, even with people who usually disagree about everything else and throw insults at each agree.
In fact he seems to have achieved the impossible, bringing the nation together, and even uniting #FBPE types with pro-Brexit types in total condemnation of his 'cheap political point-scoring':
Here's a small selection of the replies:
- May laid a wreath at Thiepval with Macron on Friday.Today she was at the Cenotaph, accompanied by the President of Germany and watched by the Queen. Find a political grievance somewhere else.
- This is a pretty shameful agenda you're pushing here, James/BBC. The Royal Family, May and others are in the right place at the Cenotaph - not abroad.
- Today is not a time for trying to score points. Mrs May was rightly in attendance at our Cenotaph. As you know she was in Europe prior for other events.
- So she's expected to snub the President of Germany then? And the British people?
- Your snarky tweets don’t serve you or the BBC very well today.
- David Liddington? Far left of picture, second row from front. You're welcome.
- What is your problem? The PM was at the cenotaph where she ought to be.
- She would have been criticised for not being at the Cenotaph if she were there. I'm no fan of May's but it's asinine to criticise her for being at the Cenotaph.
- You know full well the PM was at the Cenotaph as every PM before her on Remembrance Sunday. Your remarks are snide. I would say I expect better from the BBC but that is proving harder and harder by the day.
- James Landale and BBC should be thoroughly ashamed of this tweet!
- Stop trying to spin a line, for goodness' sake. Now is not the time.
- Has a PM ever missed the Cenotaph on the 11th of the 11th? BBC News has sunk to a new low!
Now, in fairness to James, he wasn't the only high-profile BBC reporter saying such things (surprise, surprise!): Jeremy Bowen was at it too, earlier tweeting an image of M. Macron and Mrs. Merkel together and asking a question:
Some of the public soon gave him the answer - though not as overwhelmingly, given that his followers are particularly partisan (surprise, surprise!):
- Dr Alison Statham: This was a reaffirmation of Franco-German unity at the spot where the Armistice was signed, and where Hitler chose to humiliate France 22 years later.
- Kevin McGregor: I’m glad you said it Alison as I was going to. The fact that Jeremy is such an esteemed BBC journalist I’d have thought he’d have tried to find out the historic background first before commenting.
- Celia D: UK/France/Belgium ceremony was on Friday.
- Spurs2257: Together Theresa May and Macron attended ceremonies on Friday I believe.
- Rosemary: She had to return to attend the British Legion Festival of Remembrance last night in the Royal Albert Hall. A very fitting tribute.
Star BBC reporters, eh? Worth every penny of the licence fee!
Reading those two James Landale tweets in particular makes me wonder, purely speculatively (in the manner of Norman Smith) if the snarky, sarky style favoured by the likes of Anthony Zurcher, Mike Wendling, Jon Sopel, Dominic Casciani, even John Simpson, plus sooooo many other BBC types on Twitter, has been given official BBC clearance.
Maybe it's even being officially encouraged, to attract the young and the social media crowd?
Just a thought.
Oh, and at the zenith of this phenomenon, shining brightly from his own highest point (or maybe somewhere lower), is Anthony Zurcher. His last six tweets (one's neutral) include these five impartiality-free cracks:
Are you feeling the 'BBC impartiality' there? (Can't say I am).
Maybe he's angling after a job at Saturday Night Live in his home country or The Mash Report here?
It's the way 'e tells 'em! (wink).
It's the way 'e tells 'em! (wink).