Accounts of Dominic LawsonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s appearance at a House of Lords committee last week have not captured the full flavour of what he said, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m reliably informed by my man in the buckled shoes and tights.
Ex-Sunday Telegraph editor Lawson was speaking to the Lords Communications Committee, which is looking into the influence of press proprietors.
Lawson, who said complimentary things about Conrad Black, timed his remarks to do his old boss a good turn. With Black about to face sentencing in Chicago, Lawson used an evidence session in front of the committee to say what a model newspaper proprietor Black had been.
LawsonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s high opinion for the hands-off Black was in marked contrast to what he thought of the regime of the Barclay family, which bought the Telegraph after BlackÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fall.
Others have reported LawsonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s attack on Murdoch MacLennan, the Telegraph chief executive who fired him, but it is worth reporting LawsonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s words in full to appreciate quite how skilfully rude he was.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“You have a man called Murdoch MacLennan,Ã¢â‚¬ Lawson said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“He acts as a barrier. You are not dealing with the press baron. You are dealing with another employee. Murdoch MacLennan is a genius at paintworks, but he has no journalistic intelligence at all.Ã¢â‚¬ Ouch.