Kevin Maguire fantasises that he will be the Alastair Campbell of the Brown regime. He has Campbell’s old job as political editor at the Mirror and certainly sucks up to Gordon enough to make himself a candidate to follow his predecessor’s footsteps. Guido saw Maguire at the Milburn / Clarke website launch and wondered if he was actually there reporting or spying. It is also noticeable that of late he has been putting himself about giving “media training” to Labour party candidates and is increasingly seen at regional party events.As well as practising his Brown-nosing at the Mirror, he is part of the New Statesman / Sith nexus, so it is no surprise that he was one of the few hacks to quote the recent discredited “Opinion Leader” poll. Maguire soothed Brownite nerves in the Mirror last week
the poll that really counted this week may prove to be an Opinion Leader Research survey of senior public figures. Political heavyweight Brown was judged to “believe” what he says by 87 per cent, lightweight Cameron by 59 per cent.
Maguire claims the poll that mattered wasn’t either of the two field-tested four-figure population polls from ICM and Communicate research, it was the one organised by Gordon’s pollster, Deborah Mattinson, of 100 carefully selected “opinion leaders”. Does he really believe what he writes?If Maguire gets to be Brown’s spinmeister don’t expect a highbrow moral tone from the man who this week wrote of often dreaming of Margaret Thatcher’s death and how “back home on Tyneside at the weekend, I found many a Labour voter eagerly awaiting the day [the] former premier is dead and buried.” Strangely yesterday morning on Marr’s BBC show he didn’t recount his dreams to Carol Thatcher – who was sharing the sofa with him. Now that would have really livened things up.
When not dreaming of Carol’s mother’s death he calls Cameron “Druggie Dave, the Bambi Killer”, which may be fair comment or an indication of the nature of the coming Brown onslaught on the poll favourite. If Brown appoints Maguire it will signal that he intends to fight a dirty, class-based political struggle which appeals to Labour’s activists – a style reflected in Kevin’s journalism that has helped the Mirror lose 25% of its readers since 1997. Can he do for his party what he has done for his paper?