Platell gets top marks for this job application


The breezy charm of Amanda Platell has taken her a long way, as has her ruthless streak.

She blew into Britain from her native Australia in 1986 with £100 in her pocket and a husband in tow. Her undoubted talents saw her sailing into a job on a newspaper, ditching the husband along the way and later taking the helm of two national Sunday newspapers.

When she was fired from the Sunday Express after publishing a story about Peter Mandelson’s Brazilian lover, she seemed to breeze effortlessly, if opportunistically, into a new life as a spin doctor, despite her lack of political experience.

Yet former newspaper colleagues still speak of her with affection and although she managed to make some high-powered enemies, both in Fleet Street and in Conservative Central Office, she seems to have inspired more devotion than enmity.

This will stand her in good stead now that she is once more out of a job. There is undoubtedly a place for her as a television presenter-cum-media and political pundit, as Unspun: The Secret Video Diaries of Amanda Platell was clearly designed to illustrate.

As job applications go it was a gloriously self-indulgent although nonetheless interesting 45 minutes and a pointer to the future direction of Ms Platell.

After her effective filleting of Michael Portillo and Francis Maude and her confession that she did not tell William Hague about the Channel 4 documentary, no matter how flattering it was to him, she would have a limited appeal to any future Tory Party leader.

At one point she even confesses: "In my heart I don’t believe we can win but I would never say that to William." Nor should she have said it, if she intended to continue her brief reign as Queen of Spin, on national television.

Platell is essentially a journalist and as a journalist, as she has once more proven, she couldn’t sit on a good story.

One has only to remember how she taped a conversation her former fiancŽ had with Princess Diana and, although she admitted flushing the tape down the loo in a fit of conscience, the story found its way into the newspapers.

She says that if Hague had taken Portillo’s advice and distanced himself from Lady Thatcher it would have been ‘Hasta la vista, baby" for all of them.

As far as politics and Platell is concerned, that is probably the case. But it’s unlikely to be the last we see of her. Another of the Terminator’s catch phrases is more appropriate and that’s "I’ll be back."

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