Warning, this is as yet unconfirmed.
Warning, this is as yet unconfirmed.
Grassroots comments on LabourHome suggest that Labour activists would be happy to see the back of Damian McBride.
Charles Clarke calls for McBride to be sacked.
Derek Draper has admitted that Mcbride told him what to write in order to contrive a smear of Iain Dale and Guido on his “independent” website – something he lied about to Iain and live on the Daily Politics when we debated. Fancy that, Derek Draper is a self-confessed liar.
Downing Street is trying to downplay this as a “blog story” knowing that journalists and the public won’t be so interested in another online spat.
That attempt to spin the story away has failed, because everyone realises that it is in reality a story from the heart of Downing Street.
Downing Street’s press office has been trying to get prominent Labour supporting bloggers into the studios to do rebuttal. So far they have been unable to find someone credible to defend the indefensible. It is also Downing Street that is quite deliberately hyping the Derek Draper angle – clearly he is disposable – but it cannot be emphasised enough that he is not the only recipent of these smears ideas. Other well known spin doctors from the Brown camp are involved.
They have two objectives – to keep Gordon out of the story and save Tom Watson MP. It is probably already too late for Damian. Where is the Minister for Digital Engagement today? What was his exact role in the smear operation? He is referred to in Damian McBride’s emails, he sits next to McPoison in Downing Street, and he of course is notorious for his use of the dark arts. He also was involved with Sion Simon in a previous cringe making online attack video on Cameron that backfired badly – he has previous.
The smears are not of the usual rough and tumble of politics – they are obscene and sexually explicit – Guido spoke to Nadine Dorries MP last night, she told Guido that she will be consulting lawyers on Tuesday. Can the Prime Minister’s official Political and Press Adviser, a civil servant, survive losing a case for defamation to an opposition MP?
If Gordon Brown keeps Damian McPoison in place, he is condoning his behaviour, again. Where have they hidden Gordon’s moral compass? It certainly isn’t anywhere to be seen in Downing Street.
Damian McBride is desperately trying to throw a smokescreen up tonight with a planted frontpage story in the Telegraph which downplays what he has been up to. Andrew Porter, the Telegraph’s lobby correspondent, is Damian McBride’s regular drinking companion and tame mouthpiece, so it is no surprise whatsoever to Guido that the Telegraph is being used by Downing Street for damage limitation.
The Telegraph implies that Guido has sold the story to the Sunday newspapers – that is completely untrue – Downing Street tried that same line against the Home Office whistleblower. They are also trying to make out that the story is just about Damian McBride sending gossipy emails to his pal Derek Draper. Utter lies.
Damian McBride did however in fact write the LabourList article for Draper to use to smear Guido and he also did the same for smears against Iain Dale. Draper merely cut and pasted them on to his “independent” site. That is just a relatively minor aspect of the bigger story, but it is how Guido came to learn more of the full story. The Telegraph doesn’t have a fraction of the facts – laughably they don’t even name McBride in their story - they really should have given him the byline.
Downing Street under Gordon Brown has been particularly vicious in smearing opponents. Other well known Labour insiders besides Damian McBride – including a government minister – are involved in the operation. Guido has hard evidence that Tory MPs have been smeared, and that a particularly vicious concerted smear operation was mounted against George Osborne, smears that Damian McBride – a civil servant – knows and admits in writing are untrue, yet he was still instrumental in spreading. Some well known lobby journalists have knowingly gone along with it. This is a lot bigger than some minor bloggers spat.
Downing Street are deliberately trying to make out that this is just another round in the Draper v Guido battle – that is why the Telegraph have slanted their story in the way they have. It isn’t. It is about a poisonous long term smear operation based in the heart of Downing Street and run by the prime minister’s press and political adviser, Damian McBride. Names will be named and shamed…
+++ Developing +++
UPDATE : The BBC have an anonymous Downing Street source claiming that no-one else in Downing Street besides Damian knew about all this – simply not true and contradicted by the evidence.
Tom Watson is the MP who led the plotters putsch that was the prelude to getting rid of Blair – his reward is to now be ensconced in Downing Street. There he spends his time briefing, with a breathtaking level of mendacity, against any who dare to threaten Brown. He is intensely proud of his reputation as a loyalist enforcer. If only he knew that Tory strategists cheerfully toast Watson’s name in thanks for his part in getting rid of the thrice-election-winning Blair and replacing him with the voter repelling Brown.
Watson also had a hand in the brutal briefing against Stephen Carter, who was brought in to bring some light into the bunker after the disastrous election that never was debacle. The dark arts were wielded against Carter and he was successfully turfed out of Downing Street within a year by the jealous old guard in the Brown bunker.
Watson is now the Minister for Digital Engagement – he is a Twitterer and blogger too. It is from his blog we learn that he has been reading Mudslingers: The Twenty-five Dirtiest Political Campaigns of All Time. The blurb says “the political historian who is intrigued by the down right nasty will be interested in Mudslingers” – that would be Watson alright.
If you want an indication of what kind of electoral strategy they are planning in the Brown bunker, here is clear evidence. The general election is going to make Crewe and Nantwich look like a schoolgirl’s playground fight. They are intent on a dirty, smear filled, personalised, negative, divisive political campaign that will reach a new low in British politics. Look at the people who are at the heart of the Brown bunker – brutal, malevolent, mendacious unpleasant-to-the-core people like Tom Watson, Ian Austin, Nick Brown and Damian McBride. They have no coherent positive strategy, they only have political poison to offer. It won’t work…
Mayor Boris confirms the replacement.
UPDATE : Quick has not resigned from the police service, he remains on full pay and keeps all his entitlements and pensions despite what is technically a breach of the Official Secrets Act.
UPDATE II 09.30 : Sky News reporting he has resigned from the Metropolitan Police. How un-New Labour, to do the honourable thing. Did Boris push him?
UPDATE III 10.20 : Boris Johnson said “I have this morning with great reluctance and sadness…… accepted Bob Quick’s resignation as head of counter terrorism”. Guido was unable to reach Damian Green for comment.
Nick Clegg had his constituency home renovated at our expense and claimed 100% of the maximum allowed expenses last year, so perhaps he has a guilty conscience. Nevertheless he has come up with some good reform proposals that most voters would welcome:
Clegg’s proposals would also see an end to taxpayers picking up the bill for flat screen TVs, furniture, building work and taxis. Just utility bills and council tax would be paid for by the taxpayers. Mr & Mrs Balls, Mr & Mrs Keen, Mr & Mrs Winterton and Mr & Mrs Robinson would only be able to claim half each. Guido’s heart bleeds for these millionaire troughers.
The Times reports that hair shirts would become compulsory wear:
Ministers with grace and favour accommodation, such as the Prime Minister and Chancellor, would not be allowed to claim rental on any additional property. On travel, MPs would be permitted standard open return tickets when travelling to and from their constituencies. MPs’ salaries would not be raised while the country is still in recession.
Mr Clegg told The Times: “It is easy enough for politicians to talk about how the current system for pay and expenses needs to be changed, but what people want to know is what we are actually going to do about it.”
On the whole this is a basis that many would see as fair and in line with best practice in the private sector. Guido would also like to see a “no receipt, no claim” system – as all of us in the private sector work on that basis – HMRC doesn’t believe taxpayers are honourable and the taxpayers no longer believe members of parliament are honourable. Cameron’s proposals are expected next week, they should be no less stringent if he wants to be credible. The parliamentary gravy train needs to be halted…
In case you are wondering why Guido has yet to name and shame some more scamming MPs, it is not for lack of will. They are being elusive – genuinely on holiday in some cases. Would like to hear their explanations before putting them in the stocks. Though am close to just outing without speaking to the MP who boasted he had 400,000 airmiles as a result of junkets and wouldn’t have to pay for his family holiday.
You, know who you are…
How Avoidable Scandals Destroy Stupid Politicians | Alex Wickham
UKIP Mosque Confusion | The Week
Let’s Ban the Word Internet | Padraig Reidy
Are the Broadcasters Ready For the Election? | Specccie
Moral Bankruptcy of the BBC | David Keighley
UKIP’s ‘Starsky and Hutch’ | Total Politics
Innocent Sun Journo Just Doing Her Job | Sun
Boris Sent Up North | Times
The Only Way to Mend the EU | Leo McKinstry
Northern Labour Tearing Party Apart | David Aaronovitch
Osborne is Son of Brown | Peter Oborne
Tony Blair threatens Ed:
“If you had a strong political lead that was combining the politics of aspiration with the politics of compassion, I still think that’s where you could get a substantial majority… If I ever do an interview on [the state of the Labour Party], it will have to be at length…”