Some news stories are beyond satire. From the Press Association (or possibly from a script for The Thick of It) -
"There are three not very well-known candidates," said the BBC interviewer. "What do you know about them and can you name them?"
Mr Miliband replied: "I think we have got three great hitters. I think we have got three people who are determined to show that they can make a difference, that they can make a difference to the people of Scotland."
Interviewer: "Can you name the three of them?" Mr Miliband: "Look, what I say is, there is Tom Harris, there is Johann Lamont and a third candidate who is also putting himself forward."
Interviewer: "He is the front-runner, Ken Macintosh." Mr Miliband: "Ken Macintosh, yes."
Interviewer: "He is the front-runner but you can't name him." Mr Miliband: "No, look, Ken Macintosh is going to be an excellent candidate."
* * *
"Can you name the three of them?"
"Look, what I say is : No."
Of course, Miliband recently informed us that our elected First Minister isn't that big a figure in Westminster, and when people want to know what is really going on in Scotland, they instead turn to the obvious political colossus - Ann McKechin. Hmmm. Perhaps Mr Miliband ought to reflect on whether he might be going astray there, because I think we can safely assume that Alex Salmond is considerably better informed on the Scottish Labour leadership contest than the UK Labour leader presently appears to be.
It's also worth pointing out that Miliband's seeming reliance on the not exactly objective source of McKechin for obtaining his hazy information on this far-off land of ours is eerily reminiscent of the story of how Michael Heseltine came to vote in favour of imposing the poll tax on Scotland but not on England, as mischievously recounted by Donald Dewar in the House of Commons. A Lib Dem MP enquired whether Dewar had heard that the reason Heseltine voted the way he did was that he - amazingly - thought the Scottish people wanted the poll tax. Dewar replied : "It's worse than that. What he actually did was ask the Secretary of State [Malcolm Rifkind] whether the people of Scotland wanted it - and he believed the answer."