UPDATE : BBC reporting Brown has written letters of regret to those smeared.
The New Statesman’s James Macintyre, a regular lunching companion of Derek Draper, has just rung up to ask some stupid questions. One line of questioning was jaw-droppingly bizarre:
JM : Do you deny having links to the intelligence services?
GF : Errrm [bemused pause]. Do you know the name of the Israeli secret intelligence service?
JM : Mossad?
GF : They are supposed to be the best in the world.
JM : Yes.
GF : Do you know the name of the Irish secret intelligence service?
JM : No.
GF : So why do you think Mossad are better?
JM : Right, but do you deny having links to intelligence services?
GF : You got me, I am agent 003 1/2 of the Irish intelligence service. You are a total hoon* Macintyre.
It ended up in a shouting match.
UPDATE : Had Macintyre on the phone again. He says this is not accurate. This bit of the conversation was only a small part of the conversation. He, to be fair, actually tried 50 ways of asking the same stupid question for the most part. He says that it was just being juvenile (really). He also wants to make it clear that it was Guido who called him a hoon* and that could I stop mentioning he is a lunching partner of Derek Draper. This clarification is to stop his whining.
Nadine Dorries MP has just told GMTV that she was called last year by journalists seeking to substantiate the smears against her. She believes that because the press would not run the stories McBride and Draper set-up the Red Rag blog.
Derek Draper’s “Red Rag” anonymous smear site was registered on November 4, 2008 according to publicly available records. Draper had lunch at Chequers with Gordon Brown on Sunday 16, November 2008.
Brown recalled Draper to aid the Labour Party, Draper boasted to many people that he was helping Gordon Brown. Did he not discuss with Brown what he was doing for him? Was Damian McBride also at the same Chequers lunch?
Are we supposed to believe that the subject of Draper’s online battle plans was never discussed with the PM?
You can just imagine the panic in Downing Street on Friday with Tom Watson having conversations exactly like those in this clip, telling Damian and Derek to undo what he doesn’t know about and wouldn’t even remember if he did. The excuse lines used by Damian and Derek come straight from episode 6 of The Thick of It – including “this email was never intended to be seen by anyone but the recipient”.
Draper of course added to the real comedy with his defining Channel 4 News soundbite yesterday – “I wasn’t lying on purpose”. Armando Iannucci’s fictional version was “I unintentionally lied. Unknowingly might have told an untruth”.
Guido particularly likes the line “Malcolm Tucker has left the building”. Damian McBride has left the building.
Questioned repeatedly he disowned Dolly, he denied Dolly headed up Labour’s online operation. Byrne denied he had any official role in Labour.
So why did they launch LabourList in Labour HQ with Peter Mandelson and Dougie Alexander in attendance? Why […]