This is actually quite a funny BBCOnline article; intentionally so. I could vividly put myself into James Reynolds’ shoes as he described being asked by a University tutor to write his own reference for a summer job. First of all he was hesitant, and then he settled down and got on with it enthusiastically, making his case apparently invincible.
So far, so nostalgic for oddball academics; but that’s what Reynolds chooses to compare to George Bush’s statement supporting Ariel Sharon’s plans to withdraw Israeli troops from the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank.
By now, of course, you’re thinking ‘come off it’, but then comes a punchline-
‘I have done a bit of checking. (ooh, scary…)
Ariel Sharon’s men … did help to write the president’s statement.
They are words which will now become the prime minister’s most useful reference.’
Uh oh. Reynolds has just said that the Sharon’s ‘men’ did ‘help to write’ Bush’s reference, er, statement. Unfortunately for the comparison, Reynolds wrote his own reference in its entirety, minus the approbation of his tutor and his tutor’s signature. Reynolds does not say to what degree the Israelis ‘helped’ Bush’s men craft that statement; we the readers do not know, and the suspicion is that neither does Reynolds. The er, BBC journalist, has gone and confessed his own dishonesty without proving Bush’s, or Bush’s men’s dishonesty, and he can’t know to what degree Bush and Sharon had on prior occasions agreed a common strategy (minus extra-judicial killings, naturally), let alone their staff members. Moreover, by his own account, Reynolds was completely unknown to his tutor when he fraudulently wrote his own reference.
It’s a humorous article, and when we discover that Reynolds didn’t get the job obviously he has taken a joke on himself, somewhat. But the deeper point is that Sharon is trying to pull a fast one via his puppet Bush, and that it is as unlikely to work as Reynolds’ own gambit (presumably because of the superior wisdom of the BBC in rumbling those evil Jewish conspirators in their champagne-filled private jets). Unfortunately the cap that Reynold’s wears himself- that of sneaky, unsuccessful conman- will not fit Sharon except by appealing to prejudice and unsupported hearsay, and, possibly, the merely circumstantial evidence of the controversy surrounding Sharon’s financial relationship with his son. How typical of the BBC to attack in this fashion.