He was losing the argument. So what does the right do next, what does a Mail man do next? He turned personal and patronising: “Do you know, whenever I’m on with Polly I wish I could just pin her to the ground and tickle her under the armpits and make you smile my dear!” It was creepy, disgusting. In the panic of the live radio moment I cringed and simpered a bit. “I do smile!” I said, falling for the trope of the “miserable humourless Guardian old girl can’t even take a joke!” (Old girl is what he called the prime minister on the Mail’s front page last week). And then I kicked myself a thousand times for all the things I might have said. Pin me down? Tickle me? Can you imagine him saying that to Simon Jenkins or Jonathan Freedland?
There was no harm done: I’m not vulnerable.
…that’s why this entire column is ‘Waaaah! The mean man was mean to me! Waaaaah!’