The Victim of Plots, Becomes the Plotter…

Ed Balls told Monday’s meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party that there was a plot against their leader. A plot coordinated by the Tories. But this just doesn’t make any sense.  How did the Tories get hold of Balls’s papers when his desk would have been cleared at the Department of Education before the transition of power? How did the Tories get hold of the draft of David Miliband’s un-delivered victory speech? No doubt they relished Ed Miliband’s discomfort, but they can’t have been pulling the strings. 

Rumour has it in Labour circles that Balls is making noises about bringing Damian McBride back into the fold. McPoison was spotted last night on the Commons Terrace and is creeping back on to the political scene, lobbying for international aid at a meeting with DfID shadow Harriet Harman last week. Damian’s girlfriend Balshan is already working for Team BallsThat doesn’t sit very well with one high-level shadow cabinet member.

The former Brown bunker-boy, turned Blairite-convert, Douglas Alexander felt the brutal sharp end of McBride’s briefings after the cancellation of Brown’s election in 2007. The blame for Brown’s dithering was thrown at his feet by Damian and Balls. He was still a relatively close insider during the Blair-plot days though, with access to the plans that ended up in the Daily Telegraph’s hands. Significant, however, was his Damascene conversion and subsequent appointment as David Miliband’s campaign manager. He would have seen every single draft of that victory speech.

Dougie has the motive and ability, does he have an alibi? The leaks were a non-fatal shot across the bow of Balls, reminding everyone of how ghastly and vicious Labour once was, as well as providing an incentive for Ed to up his game. Is it any surprise that suspicious fingers are being pointed at Wee Dougie…

UPDATE: Damian has been in touch, via text message, to dispute him being on the terrace last night. Must have been a look-a-like.

UPDATE II: Damian texts again to say he hasn’t seen Harriet for years. She was at the conference part-organised by Cafod, his new employer, but he missed her. Presumably when he fled Guido

UPDATE III: 20 June 2011: Source now says, having seen a photo of Derek Draper, that it was Dolly not Damian. Guido apologises for the confusion.

Balls Brings Back Mrs McBride

Mrs McBride, Balshan IzzetWhen Damian McBride had to hide out from the cameras during Smeargate, he holed up with long-suffering girlfriend and former Treasury civil servant Balshan Izzet. When Balls had to deny the disgraced spinner was advising him about his leadership bid last summer, it turns out it was “Mrs McBride” that was on the campaign trail. And now Balls is beefing up his Shadow Treasury team and has bought her back into the fold as an advisor.  The talk in Labour circles is that the pair are still smearing the sheets together…

McBride Rallies the Boys

Right about now the boys of Finchley Catholic High School are preparing to march through the streets of Finchley and end up at Thatcher’s old constituency office to oppose the rise in student fees. Otherwise known as “bunking off school”. Funny how the pupils of this normally civilised and rather middle-class school have been radicalised recently.

Has their Business Liaison Officer, and chief litter-picker-upper, Damian McBride taken to the soap-box in the playground?

Balls to McBride : No Thanks, Mate

Poor old Damian McBride, Lord Mandelson shakes his head in his Third Man book and says that McPoison was trouble waiting to happen – as he had warned Gordon.

Damian has told people that he will do two years of penance (in a Catholic school) and then come back. Guido understands that he offered his services to the struggling Ed Balls campaign. Ed Balls told him “thanks, but no thanks”, he didn’t want him anywhere near the campaign. Labour sources say the realisation that he is too toxic even for Ed Balls has driven home to him that he is finished in politics for ever.

Should have written those memoirs when they had some value Damian…

Not So Silly

dannat_v_jonesKevan Jones is spinning rather weakly that “It is obviously the ‘silly season’ in the blogosphere” as broadcasters and the dead tree press today follow Guido in naming him as being at the centre of the smearing and briefing against General Dannatt.

If it was just sillyness, why did his boss the defence secretary, Bob Ainsworth, issue a formal warning to him not to brief against Dannatt?  Was he being silly?

+++ Gordon Says Sorry +++

He says he “takes full responsibility”Still no sign of a letter of apology to Iain Dale or Guido yet…



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