Fact or Fiction?

The recent The Thick of It special had a sub-plot involving Malcolm Tucker, the Scottish headcase spinmeister for the PM, getting caught posting propaganda comments on blogs. It is called astro-turfing in the spin-business.

It does actually happen – Mike Smithson’s PoliticalBetting.com gets astro-turfed by one very senior Labour minister’s team he tells Guido. When Guido has a particularly stinging story the astro-turfing comes out, usually to say it is old hat, boring etc. This is designed to put off journos from taking it up. It was particularly noticeable recently when Guido first started on the Sith that this happened. (More on them is coming.)

So it is with some amusement that Guido reads a comment from John McTernan, Downing Street’s Director of Political Operations, complaining about his write-up on this blog. They really don’t like it up ’em do they?

Tip offs: 0709 284 0531

Quote of the Day

Andrea Leadsom told BBC Radio 4’s Today

“He’s made his views on Brexit on the record, and the problem with that of course is that the chair’s impartiality is absolutely essential. … He’s made his views known on Brexit… it’s a matter for him but nevertheless it’s a challenge and all colleagues need to form their own view of that.”


Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.