Bullying has become something of the mot du jour in Whitehall recently, so let's get one thing clear from the outset - there has never been any bullying of any kind during my tenure at DRIP.

Supermarkets do not bully suppliers, gangmasters do not intimidate their workforce and, most of all, senior ministers do not threaten their lowlier government colleagues. I know this is true because Gordo, Harriet Harpie and Lord Mandacity turned up in person this morning with 15 or so of their largest aides to point this out in no uncertain terms.

(Could I have my hamster back now, please? He's getting on a bit and I don't think being bound and gagged is good for him.)

Really it's rather sweet that the paragons of virtue that constitute the British press have been so hot on this story, given the semi-literate bashings they dish out as often as any Billy Bunter behind the Wapping bike sheds.

If it's bullying you're after, look no further than that sty of journalistic oafishness that is the Daily Mail. The latest manifestation of its hatred for the grocery industry comes in the revelation that supermarkets are to 'reveal for the first time' the 'real' origins of their pork products.

No less a Pulitzer candidate than consumer reporter Shorn Poultry, who one suspects spent more than his fair share of time being flicked with wet towels in the changing room, blows the lid on the 'scam' of Melton Mowbray pies being called British just because they were made in Melton Mowbray from part-foreign ingredients.

Well guess what, Shorn, the wood pulp used to produce the verbal pulp that is the Daily Mail was not produced in Surrey and yet no-one could ever mistake this cocktail of opinionated bile, prejudice and quarter-truth for anything but wholly British journalism.

I'd say exacting your revenge on a whole nation by printing such daily abuse in three million copies is the kind of psychological torture that puts No. 10 firmly in the shade. Nurse!

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