It was the New Statesman that introduced me to the word 'allegorical'. I'd heard of the Allegro, a rather boring make of car - but never heard the word used in normal speech. It cropped up after I'd accused one of the magazine's journalists of deliberately and knowingly lying. I accused the New Statesman of publishing a story about Nazi activities in Welshpool, my nearest town in mid Wales, which I described as a tissue of lies. I said on the BBC that the New Statesman should be ashamed of its contemptuous disrespect for the truth as far as this particular article was concerned.
The then editor of the New Statesman, ( his name was Peter Wilby, I think) was interviewed on the BBC (the Today programme, I think) who defended the journalist. Clearly he believed him, rather than a member of an obscure little Assembly in Wales. I stuck to my guns and repeated my comments. The temperature rose. That's how Peter Wilby and I finished up on the PM programme, where he described the article as 'allegorical'. Consequent examination of this word, on air, made clear than it was a synonym for lying. And he reassured us that the journalist would never write for the New Statesman again. I was content. Mission accomplished. The reputation of Welshpool was restored.
You really would think that this magazine would have learned its lesson. But No. Its been up to its 'allegorical' tricks again. This time it reported that my colleague, David Davies, MP had been interviewed at home for GMTV menacingly brandishing a taser gun for the cameras whilst his smiling family tucked into their corn flakes. Good story - except that it was a total lie. Well, David Davies is made of the same stuff as I am - and he took the magazine on. Another allegory, another abject apology. Perhaps the magazine should be renamed the 'Allegorical Statesman'.