A national newspaper group today admits that “some years ago voicemails left on certain people’s phones were unlawfully accessed” and that it “apologises publicly to all its victims of phone hacking”. Yet for some reason the Leader of the Opposition is not calling for a Commons debate and a judge-led inquiry, and past crusaders for press ethics turned Mirror columnists, Tom Watson and John Prescott, are silent. How can Prezza, the victim turned scourge of phone hackers, work for the very people who hacked phones? What is about his grand-a-week column that makes him turn a blind eye to the criminality of his paymasters? What about Hacked Off? There is nothing about hacking at Trinity Mirror on the front page of their website this morning. The humblest day of their lives…
UPDATE I (11.42) Hacked Off have belatedly noticed the Mirror’s front page, over an hour after we clipped their ears for their silence.
— Media Guido (@MediaGuido) February 13, 2015
From this morning’s Times:
“The problem is never really the assaults from opponents. Certainly, it’s not a problem by comparison with sniping from behind. That’s a distraction.” He said the Blairites attacking Mr Miliband wanted to go back to the “day before yesterday”
Ignoring the 16 loony left MPs who wanted Labour to turn into Syriza on Monday, Prezza has intervened in the growing Labour row with his customary tact and delicate handling of internal party matters:
Mr Milburn criticised his party’s plans for the NHS and accused Ed Miliband of sticking to his “comfort zone”.
Mr Milburn also joined forces with another former Blairite minister, John Hutton, to attack Ed Miliband and Ed Balls for failing to defend New Labour’s economic policies.
Their comments sparked a furious backlash, with ex Deputy PM Lord Prescott accusing them of being “Tory collaborators.”
Consensus seems to be that Blairite former ministers are already preparing for a post-defeat civil war.
— Jim Pickard (@PickardJE) January 29, 2015
It’s pretty telling that the only people leaping to Ed’s defence today are Kinnock and Prescott.
Ed’s former PPS Chuka Umunna is out there – but he’s done a personal profile in Red magazine – which is a little wide of his Shadow BIS brief!
Where are the Shadow Cabinet?
Where are Ed’s praetorian guard?
Where are the 2010 intake, keen to support the leadership?
Despite the fact that he had the line written on his hand, John Prescott still managed to go violently off message on his campaign stop. Prezza promised a joint English and Scottish football team, and laid into the evil Tories, echoing SNP attack lines. At least he didn’t punch anyone. It was negative and messy, and pretty much summed up the whole campaign.
Senior Labour source: 'John Prescott is a f****** moron.'#indyref
— Paul Hutcheon (@paulhutcheon) September 10, 2014
Despite today’s unprecedented flap and the cancellation of PMQs, the blame game has already begun. ConservativeHome point out that Better Together – which was meant to be Tory cash and Labour troops/faces – has failed to deliver:
“The problem came when Labour over-promised and under-delivered on Better Together. Citing their own grassroots strength, their many senior Scottish figures and their supposedly deep understanding of Scottish culture and politics, they asked for Tory funding in return for providing the strategy and the boots on the ground. The money, and the agreement to let Labour lead the charge, was forthcoming. But they haven’t really delivered their part of the bargain. YouGov polling suggests Better Together haven’t been as effective as the Yes campaign in contacting voters – be it through leaflets, letters, door-knocking, posters, stalls, email or social media. Where are the army of activists Labour promised?”
It’s Labour voters that are shifting over to Yes.
Joey Jones: "Even Labour voters here are generally hostile to Ed Miliband"
— Guido Fawkes (@GuidoFawkes) September 10, 2014
While things will be incredibly rocky for Cameron should Scotland choose freedom, Ed is hardly in a position to crow. No wonder he said resignations were beside the point…
John Prescott’s son David is running to become the Labour candidate in Greenwich and Woolwich, replacing the sitting Labour MP Nick Raynsford. With a 10,000 majority it’s a highly sought after selection. With Will Straw chosen to fight a seat last weekend and Euan Blair sniffing around for one, Prescott is weary of the charge of nepotism, telling Guido he’s ‘too old’ to be a Red Prince. He’s had a career outside of politics at least, and points out in his announcement that he’s not he’s not some Oxbridge PPE drone:
“I like to feel as a 43 year-old dad working with businesses, I have real life experience. I left school at 18 and worked my way up through the ranks as a journalist from a local press agency to an Assistant Editor at the BBC. I now work in public relations helping companies grow and become more successful. … I built my own career.”
Who could he be talking about? Guido was more worried about plans to re-nationalise the railways. A Prescott and transport. Again?
John Prescott taking time out of his busy schedule to direct traffic in Hull. How the mighty have fallen.