Fantastic profile of yours truly in the Telegraph which, as hatchet jobs, go is a pretty good example of its kind. Love the way they go on repeatedly about Guido’s “criminality”, which amounts to being arrested drunk four times in forty years, a crime which most Fridays Guido usually gets away with. The criticism for having an offshore tax-haven based publisher for this blog is ironic when the Telegraph is published by the Barclay Brothers, who are of course based in the tax-haven of Sark.
So to the rebuttal:
Guido has fond recollections of his Acid House raving days. If you are not going to dress up in psychedelic pajamas, take hallucinogenic drugs and dance all night in your youth, when are you going to do it? Guido wrote two decades ago about his adventures in Acid House here.
It is true that Guido worked for David Hart and the Committee for a Free Britain in his twenties. That is not a new revelation. For those that don’t know, David Hart helped smash Scargill’s thugs, we countered Marxist subversion and exposed Soviet support for the NUM. We helped dissidents behind the Iron Curtain, tangling many, many times with the KGB, we provided support to freedom fighters in their armed struggles against Marxist tyranny from Nicaragua to Angola. We were free agents in the Cold War. David Hart did more for the cause of freedom than you can imagine. Guido is intensely proud of his small part in that struggle.
The article did some pretty comprehensive digging, the journalist seemed very pleased that he had got hold of copies of both Guido’s birth and marriage certificates.
For some reason he skips over the two years spent working for a human rights organisation and the decade slaving as an investment banker. That probably didn’t fit the poison portrait required of a louche and unsavoury character. Louche, living fast and high, running with the bulls in Pamplona – they don’t know the half of it.
As for Guido’s finances, everyone will tell you it is hard to make your first million, nobody tells you how easy it is to lose it all. Having been a millionaire and a bankrupt in the space of four years, a personal boom to bust journey if you like, Guido is now somewhere in between. Despite all their digging they found no shadowy Dr Evil character funding this blog. They reckon the blog sells £15,000 of adverts a year. A very low figure pulled presumably out of thin air. Either they don’t understand the economics of online publishing – quite possible given the Telegraph has lost millions online – or they are just trying to imply Guido must have another source of funds. They also say that Guido hawked the emails around for £20,000. Notice they don’t actually say Guido sold them, because that would be a demonstrable lie. The fact is that Guido turned down money offers and gave the emails to the BBC, News of the World and Sunday Times for free. Nada. Zilch. Zippo. Nowt. For absolutely nothing but the pleasure of seeing Damian McBride and Derek Draper removed from politics. Call it a public service.
The usual McBridesque tactic of bringing the family into it and the “we know where you live” menacing give away the real agenda here. The Telegraph has done Downing Street’s bidding all this past week from running a spoiler to this hatchet job. It is the only paper taking an aggressive anti-Guido line. Shame on them, because Guido is ashamed of nothing.
UPDATE 0930 : They are not letting reader comments through. Wonder why?
UPDATE 10.00 : Should say that there are still some great writers left on the Telegraph including Hannan, Randall (left and is now an occasional contributor after his copy was spiked after he wrote unflattering stuff about the Barclay brother’s lenders), Halligan and Heffer (who, very decently, made inquiries on Guido’s behalf yesterday).