Tories Suspect Question Time Brexit Special Is a ‘Stitch Up’

Tonight the BBC airs a Brexit special edition of Question Time, which will feature an audience exclusively of Leave voters, and a panel including Bad Al Alastair Campbell. Guido hears the negotiations between the BBC and the government over this inevitable circus have been a disaster. According Guido’s sources, Downing Street submitted Treasury PPS Anthony Mangnall to appear on the panel, with the show’s team agreeing to the booking this week and Mangnall clearing his diary to make way for an evening of shouting over Alastair Campbell. Only for the producers to later turn Mangnall down in favour of John Redwood, supposedly to take the show “in a different direction”…

The feeling amongst the Tories is the whole thing will be a “stitch-up” and “not serious“. Guido’s not sure if John Redwood is brave or foolish for being prepared to do it anyway. Apparently 30% of the audience will be composed of those who voted leave and have now regret it. Maybe the other 70% still just want the pointless website cookie pop-ups removed…

mdi-timer 22 June 2023 @ 16:07 22 Jun 2023 @ 16:07 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
On This Day: Prescott Punches Protester

It’s been 22 years to the day since John Prescott sucker punched an agricultural worker in the face. Moments after the Prescott Express bus had touched down in Rhyl, the then-deputy Prime Minister was struck by a stray egg as he made his way through a demonstration against low agricultural wages and Labour’s support for a fox hunting ban. Wouldn’t happen with today’s egg shortages…

Prescott spun nimbly on his heels and unleashed a sublime left jab towards 29-year-old Craig Evan’s mouth, kicking off an almighty brawl. Refusing to apologise when urged to do so by pacifist Alastair Campbell, Prescott later told Tony Blair: 

“I was just carrying out your orders. You told us to connect with the electorate, so I did.”

Other famous egged politicians include David Cameron in Saltash in 2010, George Galloway after his Bradford West by-election victory in 2012, Ruth Kelly outside Salford Magistrates’ Court in 2006 and BNP leader Nick Griffin in 2009. More recently, Nigel Farage has been egged in Nottingham and was notoriously doused in banana and salted caramel milkshake in Newcastle on 20 May 2019. Ed Miliband has had his fair share of egg on his face, from eating breakfast sandwiches, fallout from the Ed Stone, and when egged in Southampton in 2012 and South London in 2013. All a poultry price to pay for publicity.

Current Heavyweight Champion of Westminster, Lee Anderson, has been engaged in a heated rivalry with protestor Steve Bray. In the latest round of the grudge match, the pair dealt verbal blows over showering and charity, while a notable spat came when Anderson stole Bray’s hat in round seven. Both are proving hard eggs to crack in what has become a grudge match for the ages. 

mdi-timer 16 May 2023 @ 17:31 16 May 2023 @ 17:31 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Campbell Goes Mental on Newsnight

Alastair Campbell let the mask slip on Newsnight yesterday. During a segment on the future of Brexit, Bad Al lost his rag with co-panelist Alex Phillips. In the rare moments Campbell wasn’t interrupting Phillips, he could be heard huffing and puffing off camera. One patronising exchange came towards the end of the interview:

AP: It’s very rich a man who essentially was part of telling lies to invade a country to accuse me of dishonesty…

AC: I think you may have lost the argument there, my dear. If I may patronise you even more.

Alastair wasn’t going to let it end there, as he then turned on host Victoria Derbyshire for one final tirade. Victoria calmly responded, “I am not going to take that, with respect, from you Mr Campbell”.

In the aftermath of her appearance, Phillips took to Twitter to highlight Bad Al’s behaviour. After coming off air “shaking at his rudeness” she criticised him for “outright bullying, intimidation and frankly thinly veiled misogyny”.

In a reply of his own, Campbell did accept “it was not exactly disagreeing agreeably”, though refused to apologise and instead doubled down on his argument. Raab lost his job for using “physical gestures” in an intimidating way; Campbell’s behaviour went beyond that… 

UPDATE: Campbell has now tweeted that he has apologised to Victoria Derbyshire.

mdi-timer 12 May 2023 @ 10:35 12 May 2023 @ 10:35 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
LISTEN: Alastair Campbell’s Cabinet Diversity Disinformation

Former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell popped up on the Today programme this morning to tout his new book, and in the process of plugging the dossier, the Rest is Politics host dealt a characteristic jab at the Tories: 

“One of the problems we’ve got with politics is that the gene pool for politics is getting narrower and narrower and narrower. Particularly at the top levels. Particularly, having had 13 years of this Tory government. And I think we’ve got to broaden the gene pool. That means getting more young people interested in going into politics. It means getting people from different backgrounds going into politics.”

Indeed, back in the good ol’ Blair days, under Campbell’s watch, surely Labour were leading the charge on diversity? Not quite. Credit where credit is due, in 2002 Labour brought in the first black cabinet minister, Paul Boateng. Yet, for Tony and Alastair’s first five years at the helm, the cabinet was precisely 0% ethnically diverse, and the pair soon ran out of steam on the issue. Only two Black and Ethnic Minority (BAME) individuals would ever make it to Blair’s cabinet. Quite the war room on diversity

In comparison, Sunak’s cabinet is 16% BAME, Truss’s was 30%, and Johnson’s 18%. The average age of Blair’s revolutionary 1997 cabinet was 51, whereas Johnson’s was 47.7, Truss’s 49.3, and Sunak’s has risen incrementally to 52. Of course the Labour Party has never elected a woman leader never mind Prime Minister. Thirteen years of Tory government with younger and more diverse cabinets than Blair ever had. Bad Al’s lying again…

mdi-timer 9 May 2023 @ 16:20 9 May 2023 @ 16:20 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Matthew d’Ancona Joining Bad Al at Loss-Making New European

The New European is looking to bolster its editorial output, as yesterday they announced that Matthew d’Ancona would be joining the paper as editor-at-large, alongside Alastair Campbell. Bad Al’s puff pieces on Championship football club Burnley, renowned for their ‘Brexit ball‘ image, clearly aren’t cutting it with the New European readership – as d’Ancona will provide a new weekly column and podcast output. All this change seems to be too much for employees to keep up with, neither of the New European staff Guido spoke to were any the wiser on d’Ancona’s appointment. He starts next week.

The new editor-at-large will have quite the challenge on his hands boosting revenue. As of the last set of financial statements, their profit and loss account registered net negative outflows of £617,452 – that amounts to over £50,000 per month. Word has it that the financial situation has not improved this year. During their previous investment drive they promised to become profitable, as Guido predicted the New European continues to be a loss-making publication, alongside all the other soft-left vanity publications; Prospect, Tortoise, Byline Times and New Statesman. Guido has noticed the weekly paper is being distributed free of charge in office lobbies – literally giving it away – the paper is so desperate for revenue they’ve taken to flogging merchandise

mdi-timer 13 April 2023 @ 16:19 13 Apr 2023 @ 16:19 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Alastair Campbell ‘Hire Me’ to Lobby Next Labour Government

Alastair Campbell sets out his case for hiring him by explaining…

“…how it operates, how decisions are made, above all how businesses and others who are not versed in the Party’s ways can seem to build positive and constructive relationships if-and-when it enters power. Strong Labour credentials are part of Portland’s DNA. We are continuing to help clients engage with the current government while also preparing for the likelihood of a Labour one. And we have great teams of people who stand ready to advise you on the potential next government.”
mdi-timer 10 February 2023 @ 15:10 10 Feb 2023 @ 15:10 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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