Diane Abbott and an oh-no-second

We’ve all done it, pressed “send” then, after a nanosecond of revelation known as an oh-no-second, realised that the email contained something embarrassing.

It happened with an email to the media from Diane Abbott’s office after the north Hackney Labour MP attended an Anthony Nolan campaign event in Parliament. When I opened the E, I was puzzled — and for more than a nanosecond. Well, a wee bit more.
A missing word in the first sentence, “Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP Diane Abbott showed her for people needing lifesaving transplants last week at an Anthony Nolan event in Parliament, offered ample opportunity for ribald imaginings of what it might be.

The “killer app”, however, came a few sentences later:
{Name of MP} said, “Despite having over 400,000 people on its donor register, Anthony Nolan can…”
More well-meaning blather ensued, then there it was again: {Name of MP} followed by another quotation.

It was clear that the charity organisation had given a multi-user press release to attending MPs. Loving Dalston found the same handout on the websites of two other MPs, Andrew Bingham (Conservative, High Peak) and Stephen Pound (Labour, Ealing North). Two differences: the missing word, support, was in the first sentence – and their names replaced the parentheses.
* One good thing has come out of the incident: Loving Dalston has publicised an event it would normally not cover, because such press releases are usually used by those parts of the media that mistake handouts for news.  Anthony Nolan (0303 303 0303) is a charity that helps people who need bone marrow transplants.

Picture courtesy Anthony Nolan
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