March 3rd, 2011

When is a Smear Not a Smear?

There has been an ongoing rumbling about the Audit Commission’s Jenny Watson being smeared as an incompetent who milked the taxpayer by one of Eric Pickles’ SpAds in a briefing to Sam Coates of the Times, which he then obediently reprinted.

Figures have been plucked out of thin air to suggest that the Department of Local Government had spent “thousands” on legal advice because of the case, though Guido was confident enough to bet the editor of Political Scrapbook £50 that the figure was closer to zero. Labour are pushing the story around, though it’s hardly up there with Damian McBride. What it comes down to is that Jenny Watson did milk the taxpayer. The truth cannot be a smear…

UPDATE: Paul Richards, author of Be Your Own Spin Doctor tweets piously that taxpayer funded SpAds “are not employed to slag people off in anonymous briefings to hacks.” Totally different to the time when he as a taxpayer funded SpAd ghost wrote an article in the Guardian slagging Guido off as a “vicious nihilist”…


138 Comments

  1. 1
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Thetruth and Labour is a oxymoron.

    Like

    • 7
      Tax Payer says:

      Do ministers get worried about the expenditure of every ‘a few thousand pounds’ ?

      I wish they did. Although personally I’d rather they red-penned projects around the £100+m mark first.

      Real savings – not faux outrage at pennies.

      Like

    • 10
      Savaged: Conservative MPs condemn 'bonfire of the quangos' says:

      The government’s much-trumpeted ‘bonfire of the quangos’ has been savaged by an influential committee of MPs.

      In a damning and comprehensive criticism of the measure, the public administration committee found the programme, which threatens thousands of jobs, would neither save money nor improve accountability.

      The inquiry found there was no meaningful consultation, the tests the review used were not clearly defined and the Cabinet Office failed to establish a proper procedure for departments to follow.

      MPs also raised concerns that the move did not allow for sufficient safeguards to prevent the misuse of new powers by ministers.

      “The whole process was rushed and poorly handled and should have been thought through a lot more,” said Conservative committee chairman Bernard Jenkin.

      “This was a fantastic opportunity to help build the ‘big society’ and save money at the same time, but it has been botched.

      Like

  2. 2
    the last quango in paris says:

    bloody Jackboots on Sky – now she is being paid to watch porn – she looks like ed miliband with make up on.

    Like

    • 3
      Anonymous says:

      The contrast of Smith with the previous guest Neil Ferguson is stark. And to think one of them used to be The Home Secretary and it wasnt Neil.

      Like

      • 8
        the last quango in paris says:

        our ex home sec discussing porn – using such great English as ‘no nothing’ – guido i don’t have twitter can someone tweet sky and tell her to sod off its lunchtime ffs.

        Like

        • 11
          Anonymous says:

          Hasn’t porn been done to death academically? And by much more perceptive people than Jacqui? What new insight is she offering, exactly?

          Like

          • the last quango in paris says:

            that her husband likes it and she doesnt – that its easy to access on the internet – that some women like being involved in the industry and others are exploited

            Like

          • I Remember You Hoo says:

            How to make a jelly shaped like tits?

            Like

      • 76
        Anonymous says:

        Was that Ferguson, the historian? he’s always good value for money when pitched against a lefty. Why didn’t that fucktard Gove pick him to draft the school History syllabus rather than that overcamp, labour supporting wanker, Simon Schama. Schama’s anti British schtick will run through the syllabus like ‘Blackpool’ through a stick of rock. Once more the useless fucking Tories give a lefty placeman a great big stick to beat us over the head with.

        Jeez, I wish Ghadaffi would divert one of his planes and strafe Downing Street and CCHQ.

        Like

    • 4
      Animal says:

      Jesus, it’s going to take a strong does of brainbleach to clear that image out my head.

      Like

    • 31
      BBCC says:

      Jacqueline was a fantastic politician and she has made an inciteful radio programme on an important topic.

      Like

    • 75
      Anonymous says:

      Why the hell is Brillo paying her to appear on “This Week”? Two appearances so far & they undermine the concept of “crime does not pay”. It sure does in her case.

      Like

  3. 5
    Damien says:

    I’m going to a pub quiz.

    Like

  4. 6
    Tacitus says:

    Now there’s something new – Tories and sleaze!

    Like

  5. 13
    "an incompetent and for milking the taxpayer" says:

    Like

    • 22
      An incompetent laughing at the taxpayer says:

      Like

      • 120
        Smig says:

        Very appropriate that Hezza is loosing his marbles, Cable has lost his marbles, Yvette is Ma Balls and it was all hosted by a bunch of Looney Lefties with No Balls in Barking. Mad.

        Like

    • 79
      tatspotting says:

      Ain’t seen that Eric Pickles vid before…

      Like

      • 104
        ichabod says:

        Who is on QT tonight –haven’t seen a listing yet. Next week it’s from Edinburgh, so one of the panellists is bound to be that sour faced midget Nicola Sturgeon.

        Like

  6. 15
    Tony Blair says:

    I’m a pretty straight sort of guy. Isn’t that right, Colonel?

    Like

    • 65
      Dave's Imaginary Air Force says:

      Meanwhile in Washington Robert Gates criticises “some political leaders” for their “loose talk” about no-fly zones…whoever can he mean ???

      Like

      • 71
        Anonymous says:

        It’s alright, the international criminal court are investigating Gadaffi. So he’d better watch out!

        Take your time, lads. He’s only been there 40 years.

        Like

      • 93
        I Remember You Hoo says:

        Dave’s explained, he meant ‘we no fly zones’.

        Like

      • 96
        Shock and not a lot of awe says:

        The yanks feel that a no-fly zone over Lee-bee-aah is a bit premature …..and if they were to get involved they would have to strategically bomb all of the country’s air defence installations;airfields;communications,roads and major arms dumps to ensure that their forces were not attacked…..which rather defeats the object of protecting the population but then again it worked in Eye-rack…didn’t it ??

        Like

      • 113
        SuperDave says:

        I have been misquoted. I was actually talking about the overseas aid budget and how we are targetting it at those most in need. We are going to spend a few billion on eradicating flies which are a real problem in the hot Libyan climate.

        Like

  7. 17
    A doctor writes says:

    Perhaps these Labour types should be forced to have a ‘smear test’ to ascertain that what they are saying isn’t fatuous.

    Like

  8. 19
    Lord Le vy, circa 2005 says:

    Anyone want a peerage? Just a cool million.

    Like

  9. 21
    bandersnatch says:

    You heard it there second, section…. My Private Eye has just arrived and… guess what, Guido!… It has your story about the Grauniad’s hypocrisy in lambasting Barclays for tax evasion, but siting its own Guardian Media Group firmly in the Cayman Islands for tax purposes on p7.

    Like

    • 42
      bandersnatch says:

      Deja vue… again… I’m up to p13 and we have Marr’s £600,000 salary cited…

      Like

      • 63
        The spinning ghost of Cooky says:

        Private Eye is a lamb under the Thai bride.

        Time was when it had teeth and claws. And a temper.

        Like

        • 82
          Non believer says:

          Private eye has been on the Guardians case for it’s tax arrangements for a good while now, longer than Guido I’d wager.

          Like

          • The spinning ghost of Cooky says:

            Not saying it hasn’t. But where’s the bite….the meat? The juicy bits of the story that they won’t (daren’t?) publish?

            I remember the Eye calling these kind of people for what they were – liars and thieves.

            Sad. Very sad.

            Like

          • Anonymous says:

            Private Eye is still well worth it’s subscription.

            Like

  10. 23
    Anonymous says:

    More Guido bollocks. Everyone knows the Commission was axed because fatty Pickles had a row with Watson.

    Like

    • 130
      Grumpy Old Man says:

      Everybody knows that the Audit Commission was just another cabel of rent-seeking Lefties. Cleaning out that septic blackhead on the body politic was a damn good move.

      Like

  11. 24
    Cadman says:

    I have made 3d solidworks model of Prescott and have established he has more than average difficult wiping his arse

    Like

  12. 25
    Desperate Dan says:

    Sarah Brown on Radio 5. She’s got the most boring voice I’ve heard for a long time.

    Like

    • 29
      My hero says:

      Like

    • 60
      Fa Kin Su Pah says:

      Found it most unsettling listening to her.
      Horrible reminder of Loony Gordon.
      Something about the speech patterns I expect.
      Had to stop the car and buy some jelly babies

      Like

    • 107
      Gordon Brown MP says:

      Today I have mostly been listening to the radio.

      Like

    • 126
      genghiz the kahn says:

      Did they ask her if her husband was really doing his job at Westminster, cos his voting record might suggest that he is not keeping the government to account.

      Like

  13. 27
    Desperate Dan says:

    Sarah Brown: “Gordon was the most extraordinarily successful Prime Minister….”

    Like

  14. 34
    Anonymous says:

    ‘The truth cannot be a smear’

    Up to a point, Lord Copper. People can still be arrested for ‘hate crimes’ when they mention certain truths which others deem to be indusputable yet still unmentionable.

    Like

    • 43
      Desperate Dan says:

      Quite right. In some circumstances its illegal to speak the truth, but perfectly acceptable to parade eye-poppingly ludicrous PR as fact.

      Like

    • 99
      I Remember You Hoo says:

      Strange kind of democracy which locks people up for telling the truth. I thought it was only third world, despotic dictators, who indulged in such practices.

      Like

  15. 36
    streamfisher says:

    When the gynaecologist makes a cock-up of the swab inventory.

    Like

  16. 40
    Mornington Crescent says:

    Labour complaining about smears? Who’d’ve thunk it…

    Let’s have the details of this Watson bint’s exes and slash’n’burn the Audit Comission ASAP.

    Like

  17. 45
    8 Minute Eddie says:

    Keep it up Guido,it keeps me out the news.

    Like

  18. 47
    Sir William Waad says:

    There’s always an ongoing rumbling when Pickles is around.

    Like

  19. 53
    The Late Alex Harvey says:

    Pickles ? Was he The Man in The Jar ?

    Like

  20. 57
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    When it comes to spin and violent rehotic the left win hands down.

    Like

  21. 58
    Bae, sometime in the future says:

    Mr Brown, you know those aircraft carriers you ordered – well we can’t get them under the bridge

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-12635744

    Like

  22. 61
    Phwoar! says:

    But Billy ALWAYS wins with his left hand down – rehotic or no!

    Like

    • 66
      Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

      Nah , I will never win a caption contest :-)

      Like

      • 74
        streamfisher says:

        That’s what Ireland thought, couldn’t win a caption contest and look at them now, have faith.

        Like

        • 81
          Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

          Canada look like they might cause a upset today against P*kistan

          Like

          • sockpuppet #4 says:

            For a minute I thought we were talking geopolitics.
            P*kistan would indeed be rather astonished if they saw loads of canadians arriving on their beaches in landing craft.

            Like

          • Engineer says:

            “P*kistan would indeed be rather astonished if they saw loads of canadians arriving on their beaches in landing craft.”

            ….especially if they then started bowling cricket balls at them.

            Like

  23. 61
    BBC Political Correspondent says:

    I’m looking forward to Question Time tonight ….it always has a balanced political view and its audience is a byword for impartiality……………..

    Like

    • 67
      Anonymous says:

      Yeah – Brown and Blair can’t be blamed for the economy, but Thatcher can.

      Explain that one, again ??

      Like

    • 77
      The Truth says:

      Hall full of lefties ask difficult questions to Tories and boo their answers while the chairperson stays out of it.
      Hall full of lefties ask easy questions to Socialists and clap their answers while the chairperson makes sure there is no sensible right of reply

      Like

  24. 68
    David B says:

    When has the truth been a defence in the eyes of the left!!!

    Like

  25. 69
    Paul Marks says:

    The Audit Commission was a sick joke.

    It was not interested in “audits”as a private company would understand the term (i.e. trying to find corruption and false accounting), it was interested in “social audits”.

    Trying to see if local councils pushed various “progressive outcomes”.

    The Audit Commission was not just “one billion Pounds a year down the drain” it actually did HARM – seeking to push P.C. rubbish on local councils.

    Like

  26. 84
    Non believer says:

    “vicious nihilist”

    I’d call that more an accurate description than a slaggin off.

    Like

  27. 87
    Gove the Gimp says:

    Poor Guido, his apologising gets worse as each day passes.

    Porky Pie Pickles is without doubt the most loathsome and odious amongst the current crop.

    Habitual liar who feigns incredulity.

    His 2nd home excuses on QT that time sums him up.

    Like

    • 90
      Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

      How many Labour MPS convicted?

      How many Tories convicted?

      Like

    • 91
      Desperate Dan says:

      He hasn’t been charged, found guilty and sent to prison like those sleazy Labour ex-MPs. Or thrown out of office like the liar Phil Woollas. He hasn’t given way to his venal side like most of the last government. And when is Denis McShane going to come up against the full force of the law? Mind you, he has a lot of friends amongst the dodgier elements of the judiciary so he might be let off.

      Like

    • 114
      Engineer says:

      By ‘Porky Pie Pickles’ you presumably mean that troll who turns up here with depressing frequency. “Habitual liar who feigns incredulity” fits him to a T.

      Like

  28. 92
    Cunts says:

    Labour are being utter hypocrites about Sky. Not a single one complained when Murdoch backed them for 12 years.

    Like

    • 94
      Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

      And only last week didnt Ed Miliband meet someone at the Sun newspaper to try and get them onside?

      Like

    • 103
      I Remember You Hoo says:

      It was more like 15 years, but your point is valid.

      Like

  29. 95
    Anonymous says:

    “UK construction activity at 8 month high” http://www.financemarkets.co.uk/2011/03/02/uk-construction-activity-hits-8-month-high

    “UK manufacturing activity hold at record high” http://www.financemarkets.co.uk/2011/03/01/uk-manufacturing-activity-holds-record-high-in-february

    Balls, where are you? Do you have anything to say about this? Hello, anyone there?

    Like

  30. 102
    MI5 says:

    Guido

    I have just watched Hunt’s statement on the BSkyB and Sky News agreement

    Everyone on both sides of the Commons stressing the importance of media diversity

    NO ONE stressing that the BBC has a 44% dominant position already

    That should be borken first of all…

    Are they all afraid of the BBC ?

    Like

  31. 105
    Gordon Brown says:

    i am doing the robot

    Like

  32. 106
    Gove the Gimp says:

    I find Gordon Brown sexy.

    Like

  33. 108
    ichabod says:

    Guido , where are all these sex scandals you’ve been promising us. I’m getting a bit restless, what with reading about coalition uselessness and Labour fiddling; its sex wot sells.

    Like

  34. 109
    Cunts says:

    Hunt did a pretty good job earlier of smacking down John McDonnell’s hypocritical accusations of Murdoch buying the government.

    Like

    • 112
      Jack says:

      Sure

      But it is not Murdoch that has bought the Government

      It is the BBC that seems to be unaccountable and permanently biased and above any regulation…

      This should be the real debate

      Like

      • 119
        Lord GaGa says:

        they supported the last government through the trough and oppose the coalition on the way down..their editorial remit needs expanding.

        Like

      • 129
        Biased Broadcasting Corporation. says:

        Yes I agree. The BBC should be brought to account for their biased editorial dictacts. Murdoch is not the problem, it is the liberal left that control the BBC.

        Like

    • 128
      Unsteady Eddie says:

      Hunt did a brilliant job on PM too.

      Was gobsmacked at the way Eddie Mair kept asking ever more feverish questions but would not listen to Hunts reasoned answers.

      My once good opinion of Eddie has now been tarnished, perhaps for ever.

      Like

  35. 118
    Anonymous says:

    When oh when is Blair going to demand that we invade Libya?

    Our loyal troops in Cyprus must be fearing for their very existence if Gaddafi turns his sights on them.

    Like

  36. 127
    Polly Wolly Doodle says:

    Like

  37. 132
    Dave's New BBC Spindoctor says:

    Mr Cameron stressed that he supported the BBC

    He said: “The BBC is an important national institution. I want to see it prosper and succeed and be a fantastic cultural asset.”

    He added that he was a “supporter of the licence fee”

    “I’m probably the most pro-BBC Conservative leader there’s ever been!”

    “I would never do anything to put the BBC at risk”.

    Like

  38. 136
    Sheeza Biggun says:

    Jackboots looks as if she is no stranger to a mixed grill.

    Like

  39. 137
    Anonymous says:

    “Guardian slagging Guido off as a “vicious nihilist”…” You’re not are you Guido, how could he have come to that opinion?

    Like


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Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann on Cameron’s refusal to pay the £1.7 billion EU bill by December 1st:

“Well, then he’s gonna pay on December 2nd”



Mycroft says:

Have you read the last bit of Animal Farm?

You know where the animals are looking through the Farmhouse window?

My TV screen was that window at lunch-time today.

Be careful, the sudden self-congratulatory tone, the slightly pudgy outline of indulgence and you become exactly what you should despise.

The jolly face of the Quisling Cameron poses for your camera has mesmerised and deceived you, you who were once not so deceived.

You were no firebrand, you were a damp squib in my opinion, sorry.

You need a damned good kick up the ahse!


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