End of a Chapter

Power Trip
Guido has taken a week to read and review Damian McBride’s book for the Spectator and taking the opportunity to clarify for the record:

“On a personal note, as McBride’s nemesis, allow me to correct at least one of his claims. He spins that I was ‘playing with a stacked deck’, running ‘a mysterious dark-arts operation’ against him. The truth is that when Derek Draper tried to portray Iain Dale (now McBride’s publisher) and myself as racists, it pricked the conscience of a fair-minded Labour party source. I got a phone call out of the blue telling me that there were emails that could prove that Downing Street, in the form of the PM’s press adviser himself, was behind those smears. Ironically, McBride’s confession in Power Trip that he would — in breach of the Official Secrets Act — surreptitiously log in to Brown’s secure government email system and retrieve information to repackage and leak to the lobby, means that, of the two of us, he is the one likely to be in trouble for email hacking.”

Reading the details of the book reminded Guido just how hard a whack McBride got given. The full review is here

Mad Dog V Mad Al

McBride couldn’t let Alastair Campbell moralising go without comment. He’s given him a kicking  in tomorrow’s Speccie:

“Alastair Campbell is saving Biteback Publishing a fortune in advertising. He was on the front of the papers calling for me to be prosecuted for leaking information. Over the course of the week, he sent me tweets about my book. I thought about replying that he hadn’t lost any of his old hounding skills, but decided it would be in bad taste.What I find strange about Alastair’s obsession is that we never worked in government at the same time, and don’t know each other at all. I met him at a quiz night last year: he was the answer to several of his own questions, played the music round on his bagpipes and gave out copies of his book as prizes. Before then, our only encounter was when I politely asked if he could use the back door of Downing Street to attend a No. 10 strategy meeting with Gordon Brown, so as to avoid drawing the media’s attention. Of course, he refused.”

Guido suggests they go discuss it in the street like gentlemen…

Want to Work With Damian McBride? Apply Here!

McPoison is a reformed man, so Guido is sure whoever fills the vacant Head of Campaigns position at CAFOD, advertised during conference, has nothing to worry about. If it doesn’t work out you can always just take full responsibility and say you had no idea what he was up to…

Balls in Bed With McBride

Perhaps the most awkward anecdote yet from McBride’s book. Passed out drunk and naked on his bed at Labour conference, McBride had to be woken by Ed Balls. With mentally scarring consequences:

“When I felt Ed grasping me by the shoulders, shouting quite loudly and giving me a shake I became about a quarter awake but unfortunately – in my addled and still drunk state – my mind interpreted what was happening as some amorous play-wrestling from a female bedmate. I started to roll over and try to pull ‘her’ onto me with a winsome “C’mere”, at which point Ed sharply lurched away from the bed with a “Good grief!” As I fully woke up, it was difficult to work out what was happening. I could see my bedroom door was open. apparently with several people whispering outside. I could hear bath water running with lots of irritated swearing coming from the bathroom – and I was stark naked with my clothes in front of the bed. As I sat up, Ed emerged from the bathroom with a face like thunder and hurled a binful of cold water over me, shouted: “Now for f***s sake get up” and stormed out.”

Probably one story Balls is less keen on telling about his old pal “Mr McBride”…

Gordon Confronted About McBride

Gordon’s alive!

And he’s been spotted on the fringe…

…of the United Nations General Assembly:

Telling…

VIDEO: McBride Mobbed by Fans as He Arrives at Conference

McBride is holed up in a Travel Lodge with Newsnight minders. In case anyone was looking for him…

McBride Complains About Anonymous Briefings

mcbride-shag
The irony is exquisite, Damian McBride is hurt that supposed friends are briefing about his private life:

A brilliant story from the Mail that, no doubt because of the lawyers, is missing the basic who, when and where? The other question that arises, in the party from which Ed Miliband told us this morning he has banned anonymous briefing, is who briefed the story to the MailCui bono?

Anyway here is a reminder of the female ministers from that 2003 – 2009 era, Dawn Primarolo, Margaret Beckett, Patricia Scotland, Harriet Harman, Ruth Kelly, Beverly Hughes, Hazel Blears, Jacqui Smith, Yvette Cooper, Caroline Flint, Melanie Johnson, Jane Kennedy, Gisela Stuart, Rosie Winterton, Maria Eagle, Anne McGuire, Baroness Ashton, Baroness Morgan, Meg Munn, Barbara Follet, Kitty Ussher, Baroness Taylor, Baroness Glenys Kinnock and Shriti Vadera. My guess is you can rule out the Blairites…

WATCH: Former Minister Says Miliband Knew About McBride

Tessa Jowell lands Ed in it:

“I’m sure he [Miliband] knew that this was going on. He was actually away a lot of the time. One of the most important things that Ed Miliband has done is to outlaw this kind of briefing in his shadow cabinet. I have to say someone with the awful, evil influence of people like Damian McBride would be nobody were it not for the position he managed to get in the Labour party,”

It’s going to be the question that follows him around conference…

How “McPrickface” Took Out Brown’s Rivals

Damian McBride’s book has its first previews in the papers this morning. The Blairite response has been for Benjamin Wegg-Prosser, former Blair aide and now managing director at Mandy’s consultancy firm Global Counsel, to leak a load of internal Downing Street emails to the Guardian.[…]

+ READ MORE +

McBride and Shapps Bond Over Beers

As Guido revealed in his Sun on Sunday column, an unlikely alliance has been forged over beers. The gruesome twosome of Damian McBride and Grant Shapps teamed up for a Macmillian charity pub quiz night last week. McBride tells Guido how Grant “demolished a round of cryptic clues to underground stations”, with the pair finishing second overall.[…]

+ READ MORE +

McBride Coughs Fishy Poll

The news that McBride’s book will upset Labour conference has caused a flutter today. Many of his old allies have popped up to help the re-branding exercise. No doubt they will be salivating at the prospect of the serialisation rights, hence why no one has noted that the deal will earn Mad Dog far more than the royalties he has pledged to give away.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Dale Does Damian McBride Deal

Despite his involvement in Smeargate, Iain Dale’s publishing firm Biteback has secured Damian McBride’s long expected memoir. A five figure advance was paid:

“Royalties from sales of the book will be split between Damian McBride’s current employers, CAFOD (the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development), and the appeal by his former employers, Finchley Catholic High School, to build a new sixth form centre.”

Redemption and a touch of score settling.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Friends Reunited

Sounds “absolutely brilliant”…[…]

+ READ MORE +

5 Year-Old Vintage Hennessy


The Sunday Telegraph’s Patrick Hennessy has gone big today on his mate Damian McBride’s confirmation two weeks ago of the truth of a Guido story about a secret email system dating back from 2007.

Hennessy’s rival John Rentoul over at the Sunday Indy mocks the vintage of the story:

[…]

+ READ MORE +

McBride Denies Book Deal

After dipping his toe into the blogging world on key occasions this year, Damian McBride has created plenty of ripples. Speculation has been spreading that the disgraced Brown spinner was touting for a book deal by giving us a glimpse of what such a tome would be like.[…]

+ READ MORE +

WATCH: Watson Dodges Questions on Committee Leak

Fearless campaigner for transparency Tom Watson signed a commercial contract with a Allen Lane to co-write a book that will generate earnings, but he has not declared this contract to Parliament. Since the book’s subject matter relates directly to his work as a member of the Culture Select Committee, this lack of transparency is doubly odd.[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

David Cowling, the BBC’s head of political research, in an internal memo…

“It seems to me that the London bubble has to burst if there is to be any prospect of addressing the issues that have brought us to our current situation. There are many millions of people in the UK who do not enthuse about diversity and do not embrace metropolitan values yet do not consider themselves lesser human beings for all that. Until their values and opinions are acknowledged and respected, rather than ignored and despised, our present discord will persist. Because these discontents run very wide and very deep and the metropolitan political class, confronted by them, seems completely bewildered and at a loss about how to respond (“who are these ghastly people and where do they come from?” doesn’t really hack it). The 2016 EU referendum has witnessed the cashing in of some very bitter bankable grudges but I believe that, throughout this 2016 campaign, Europe has been the shadow not the substance.”

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