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A very sensible and sober post. However much the print media / blogosphere keep this one going, I highly doubt that most voters will pay it too much attention. This may all be very interesting and titillating in the Westminster village, but if you have lost your job / are struggling to pay the mortgage / find your pension income obliterated, it all seems very far away and irrelevant.

I think your on-going point about how politics is (correctly) perceived to be broken is spot on. I am not sure how many people who are involved realise the dgree to which the public now hates our political class. And the divide has never been so wide, regardless of their political hue.

It is all very well to talk about the "political class" but we should all remember that any of us that engages on a day-to-day basis in debate on these blogs is a bona fide member of it - from the most loyal Cameroon to the most bitter and disaffected "plague on all your houses" advocate!
As for the winners and losers. In my view we are all losers because we are all demeaned by this kind of behaviour. The perpetrators drag all of us down with them.
The Labour Party is the biggest loser and it is interesting to see and hear the number of grass roots Labour members who are rightly furious at what has been done in their name and the damage it has caused to their Party. Having said that, we should not forget that there are a number of people inveighing that the Conservatives "are just as bad" and so the most important thing for us to do as a Party is demonstrate that we are above such things.
The winner (if there is one!) is undoubtedly the blogosphere and I must take my hat off to Mr Fawkes. I repeat my warning of yesterday that he always says "Guido is not a Tory" and when we are in Government we will also have to beware his teeth!

Oh Tim you are modest.

.....Conservative Home offers indispensable commentary on all things Tory. Come on, admit it. ;)

I worry that the control freaks in the bunker will dream up new ways of trying to shut up the great unwashed masses of bloggers and commenters.

I think this case exemplifies all that is wrong. We have Brown saying one thing but doing the opposite in trying to hang on the McBride. We have the Government saying "do as I say, not as I do" as they want all our e-mails to be stored. They are trying to build massive databases with our personal information when they are scouring for dirt on their opponents, any opponent. We have someone at the heart of government abusing the e-mail system and yet is not immediately suspended when discovered and then sacked. Hypocrisy, just sheer hypocrisy.

Please, it is one of our few successful engineering companies so get it right! It is Rolls-Royce. Oh, and they don't like their trademark name being used as an adjective.

Agree with all you have said Tim.By the way, how incisive was the article by Kavanagh of the Sun.

I have a worry though about how this scandal is dealt with by the Party from now on. People will remember that we suffered in the Polls post Greengate because at a time of economic disaster we were seen as self obsessed and putting that wretched business above the main interests of the voters. Just think we need to be very careful that we don't fall into that trap again.

Sorry Forlornehope!

"People will remember that we suffered in the Polls post Greengate because at a time of economic disaster we were seen as self obsessed and putting that wretched business above the main interests of the voters. Just think we need to be very careful that we don't fall into that trap again."

Peter Buss, I entirely agree with you! Perhaps now is the time for the Party to draw a line underneath as far as media coverage is concerned. Alan Johnson has just stated that Brown "has nothing to apologise for" so we know where he stands on the issue and as it stands we have the high ground. Any more mileage and we will be as my late mother would have said "flogging a dead horse".

@ Forlornehope: Didn't BMW buy Rolls-Royce?

Er.. how are they 'ours'? Unless you are talking as a good European of course :-)

I have not followed this story as closely as I might, but did McBride resign and if so, why was he not sacked?

Clever of Cameron to demand a personal apology from Brown: reminds people that he has not apologised for the recession, that he is incapable of either admiting mistakes or apologising.

Actually, I think people WILL respond to these stories because if the recession. This sorry affair shows GBs top man focusing his energy on smearing, and by extension in electioneering and NOT on taking this country out of recession.

That'll make folk rightly angry.

The Telegraph's behaviour and its subsequent coverage have been lamentable.

Quite what it has been playing at is puzzling, to the extent of being incomprehensible. That it should even in a small way act as Labour's catspaw will appall many long-term readers (a.k.a. revenue streams).

I have been reading the DT since school in the 1960s and this marks a real nadir in its performance. Buying it will now drop rapidly down the list of weekly priorities.

Perhaps the proprietors hope for enoblement in McBackStabber's resignation honours next year......

"It is all very well to talk about the "political class" but we should all remember that any of us that engages on a day-to-day basis in debate on these blogs is a bona fide member of it "

ROTFL! Come off it Sally!

You are confusing political geek with political class.

Now, if we were being paid hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers money to blog, including a second or third home, money to redecorate the house, to pay for porn, could pass every single expenditure through expenses without fear of the taxman, could smoke in bars despite the ban for the rest of us etc etc, then you might have a point.

You see, the term 'political class' refers to those charmed little piggies who have become detached from reality living in the bubble of their taxpayer subsidised lives, living above the rules imposed on the rest of us.

I think you'll find the most of us, when not blogging actually have to go and earn living, pay the bills, obey the law etc etc.

StevenAdams - you may be right but I do have my doubts. Put it like this, at the very least, this week, the Conservatives ned to be majoring on matters other than this to show that their minds are focussed on the economy and othe issues which are so sorely besetting most voters.I very much agree with Sally Roberts who with her usual perspicacity has identified that at the moment we occupy the high moral ground. In reality surely the damage has been done to this Govt and no more can Brown with any chance of being believed talk about his "moral compass" - he will be laughed out of court.

I agree with 'The Huntsman' post. I have been reading the DT since the 60's, also, and find it increasingly difficult to interpret over the last 2 years. Agree, also, that Trevor Kavanagh's article was excellent.

The blogs can keep this one bubbling away in the background without the Party needing to keep going on it.

Let's show we're above it by moving on. Cameron should call a press conference on the Economy, complete with Osbourne by his side. Having been out of the media for a while, the lobby are bound to turn up and start asking about the smears.

Cameron then gets to simply state: "I've said all I have to say on the matter. If Gordon Brown apologises to me and my family for his role in this, I'll consider the matter closed. I'm here today to talk about the Economy and getting Britain out of the recession."

That way, we're not the ones bringing the issue up and get to look like we're getting back to the "real" issues voters care about.

Totally agree with you Tim. A lso in the strange position of agreeing entirely with Mark Hudson and Chad Noble.As I said yesterday another terrible week for British politics. Undoubtedly a disaster for Labour but will we benefit from it? I'm not so sure.

@Aeneas: Didn't BMW buy Rolls-Royce?

No. Rolls-Royce plc is a British company listed on the London Stock Exchange. It manufactures turbines for aviation and power generation. Rolls-Royce plc owns the rights to the Rolls-Royce name. BMW is allowed to use the name under licence for the production and sale of motor cars.

At least the Telegraph ate some humble pie this morning, after their subsidiary article on Draper on Saturday morning was headlined "Ex-Labour adviser combats 'black propaganda' ", by using "The ghost of scandals past" as their introduction to a Draper article today. I still doubt that this is going to spare them a real slating in Private Eye's "Street of Shame" this week.

Loser: Daily Telegraph's circulation figures.

After the disgraceful way the DT bent over for Number 10, any Conservative worth their salt shouldn't be buying this Paper again until it starts acting like a Tory paper.

Cleethorpes Rock, all news papers have a right to their own editorial stance. Not many of us were criticising Murdoch in 92 when they skewered Kinnock at the last minute. I generally like the DT's tone and writing, the sports coverage and the crossword. Frankly, any newspaper that purely spouts a party line like a neo-Pravda will be insufferably dull.

Malcolm Dunn, I agree entirely with your post yesterday. We probably agree on very much more than either of us would care to admit, although you obviously don't share my disillusionment with Dave. I fully buy the argument of influencing from within, but having been Chairman then President of Sevenoaks at an awful time for the Association, I just had enough.

My gut tells me that the winners of the last few months and this weekend's events will be evermore ingrained political apathy and the BNP. They both profoundly depress me.

It's indeed been a bad weekend for Brown, Labour and the mainstream media. And a good one for both the Conservatives and the blogosphere.

Though I think the time has come to move on: this particular fire can be left to smoulder quietly in the minds of the electorate wothout us fanning it further.

MEantime - I recommend you all read the works of Sefton Delmer - master of black- and grey-propaganda during World War Two. He got it right!

The Truth
The British People

The media friends and enemies of Lib/Lab/Con
Lying politicians
Thieving politicians
Corrupt politicians
Incompetent politicians

The internet is sidelining the power of the media and the political establishment to dictate events. The dissemination of information is instant, all it needs is a disillusioned citizen who puts loyalty to their country above anything else (there are 55 million of them), working in a sensitive area and the information is beyond the governments control.

To paraphase Shakespeare..
Cry 'Havoc,' and let slip the dogs of truth

Even if McBride was Brown's well trained dog, rather than his badly trained dog, I'd still want to know why I should pay for him to have this dog in the first place.

The dog was obviously not there for the public good, but purely for Labour party purposes, so why wasn't the Labour party paying for it?

On the face of it this is a clear case of "misconduct in public office", and the police should be investigating with a view to bringing charges.

The Telegraph is a disgrace.

Today's editorial tells me that NOBODY believes that Gordon Brown knew about the emails!! Well I BELIEVE that Brown knew!

But this is the same line the BBC is peddalling every broadcast - and their treatment of Ms Dorries MP, this morning, was quite disgraceful- It would be nice to read that the Tory party complained about it???

The Telegraph even suggests that it broke the story, if you read the front page!!

What depths for a once proud newspaper of strong morals.

Earlier this morning, on the blog of one Craig Murray:


"Formal Request for Criminal Investigation of McBride and Whelan"

"I have today sent the following to Tom Watson MP:

Dear Mr Watson,

This is a formal communication to you in your ministerial capacity. I write as a former senior civil servant and a life member of the FDA.

It appears to me that there is the clearest of prima facie cases that Mr Damian McBride has committed the criminal offence of misconduct in public office. There appears a strong prima facie case also against Mr Charles Whelan.

I believe that you have a ministerial duty to draw this concern to the attention of the appropriate police authorities so that an investigation may be undertaken. No doubt you will wish to consult the Cabinet Secretary, but in the case of a credibly alleged breach of the criminal law, not only of the Civil Service Code, I believe you are also under an obligation to consult the police.

Yours Faithfully,

Craig J Murray


The criminal case against McBride and Whelan is explained here:

http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2009/04/mcbride_whelan.html "

Mark Hudson, you make a fair point about the editorial line and I'd also venture that Henry Winter is the finest footy writer around, but my problem with the Dolly Telegraph is the way they've cosied up to New Labour and shown absolutely no integrity in their handling of this affair. This is why the MSM are part of the problem. Without the blogs, where would the independent voices come from?

If this episode knocks 100,000 of the Dollygraph's circulation it'll be a result in itself.

strapworld @ 11.47 Regarding the Telegraph editorial today. The Telegraph writer - who writes the editorial, is being disengenuous, in 'suggesting' that NOBODY believes that Brown KNEW about the emails. We have all been told that the office in No.10 is where the culprits worked - I believe, and No.10 is also Mr. Brown's home. No.10 is not a large offce block, and at some stage Brown must have been aware of the comings and goings of Dolly D, even if he could not see what was emerging on computer screens!

But all that aside, Mr. Brown is Prime Minister, and as PM SHOULD know what is going on between his closest 'advisors', or else he puts himself into the category of the sharp lawyer who says to his client - a rich thief/murderer/gangster - "Don't tell me, I don't want to know...., then I am not comprimised"!

The Telegraph's behaviour is a direct result of its lobby journalists getting cosily into bed with the McBride person.
McBride was noted for grooming the right-leaning media, and the shameful performance of the Telegraph is the result of this strategy.
Heads should roll at the Telegraph if it wishes to retain any semblance of credibility with its readership.

It seems that Tories are just as keen as Labourists to splash about in the shallow pools of personality politics and ad hominem puerile obloquy.It is a diversion from their moral,spiritual ideological bankruptcy.How is it a triumph of the blogosphere that it too has joined the unseemly melee?

niconoclast- the triumph of the blogosphere is that without it, these disgusting tactics and the misuse of taxpayers' money that led to it would never have seen the light of day, because lobby journalists in the MSM are in the pocket of Number 10.

Agree with all the criticism of the Daily Telegraph. There has been a steady slide away from all its bedrock values (nothing to do with Mary Riddell I suppose)and towards NULabour and a public sector ethos.

Its Advertising Section now boasts that it has a higher public sector readership than the Guardian

I stand corrected.

Can someone remind me, who owns the Daily Telegraph these days?

It is 3.00pm Monday and this story is still second up on BBC news and was front page on the Mail and Times, which also had a Leader and an OpEd piece on it as well as two news pages.

The general public have certainly been interested and I believe it will be a defining moment much like Mellor's Chelsea shirt in the Major years. It was that moment that the general public "got" what was going on in a way which rooted itself in their psyche for a decade.

In the public eye, Labour is now the "dirty tricks" party, the "nasty" party, the "sleazy" party. They will take long time to recover from this!


That sullen, fake working class hatred monger Kevin Maguire. The man who was mentally broken by Mrs Thatcher fronting the miners 25 years ago. McFake is revealed today as the Third Man in the unholy unalliance with Dolly and McBoozer.

K.M's justification for the e mails on his blog today is a masterpiece of the whole, narrow Brown world view of Labour and Britain...

' up here in Newcastle [hint, I am working class, despite 300k salary] people are talking not about silly e mails but about real issues affecting real hard working families, like that nasty Tory toff closing down their schools and hospitals'.

No mention at any stage from Maguire that his drinking buddy, the florid McBoozer, was being paid for with public money to peddle his hate.

The proportion of the House of Commons which may be in the pay of the Crown is limited by statute. It would seem we need some analogous legislation in relation to journalists.

I am delighted, London Tory, if Maguire IS "The Other Loser".

His rag, The Daily Mirror, is only fit to be used as lavatory paper in an emergency.

The Brown perspective on success and some advice from an likely source. These two quotes followed one another on something else I was looking at:

It is not enough that I succeed. Others must fail.

You know what I think about success? It sucks too much cess.
— Eminem (1972- ). (Particularly true for GB as he practicese the above too hard)

I have always had great sympathy for Craig Murray and the way he was treated.

From his blog as highlighted by Denis Cooper:
""The elements of misconduct in public office are:

a) A public officer acting as such.

b) Wilfully neglects to perform his duty and/or wilfully misconducts himself.

c) To such a degree as to amount to an abuse of the public's trust in the office holder.

d) Without reasonable excuse or justification""

On Point (c) , did not the appointment of Alan Milburn as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, paid at Cabinet Level out of the public purse, but openly directed to run a Party as opposed to Govt Campaign, constitute a breach? If not , why not? What am I missing?

Not a loser, but not a winner either: Cameron

The conservative front bench doesn't looked particularly impressive over the weekend. Why has Guido been better at taking scalps over the last year and a half than HM Loyal Opposition?

I completely agree with the Nuts/Economist dichotomy, too. One is a must-read on politics, technology and the arts. The other endorsed Obama and Kerry.

Amongst the losers must be counted the membership of Unite. Being realistic, I don't expect to find many Conservative supporters amongst their members, but I doubt if any are happy with their funds being used to back the RedRag and LabourList, particularly when they see what these websites are used for. Quite a few members are losing their jobs; they expect their union to represent their interests, not fritter away their subs. on cyber versions of the yellow press.
As a matter of interest, who actually gave the nod to the union's finances being hived off for these purposes?

If Blair can apologise for the potato famine 160 years ago and express "deep sorrow" for Britain's role in slavery, then it really should not be beyond Brown to apologise for trying to smear some Tories.

I think there are more conservative trade-unionists than you'd think. They're just ordinary Joes and Janes who do a day's work and don't mind paying an extra £2 a month in case they get fired and need to sue their boss, or want to benefit from wage-bargaining, or want to use the Union's social club or get the freebies on offer. I'm sure Richard Balfe will testify to this effect following his work to union members.

I reckon most union members would be horrified at the thought of their subs being used to set up RedRag and Labourlist. This is clearly what has happened as Charlie Whelan siphoned off union money for this purpose. We now know that some plonker called Andrew Dodgshon, another Unite official and a lackey of Whelan's is the editor of...you guessed it, RedRag.

If our party wanted to sort this kind of thing out, it would propose an OPT-IN system for the political levy and for unions to account for every penny of the levy's use. Most union members would not opt in and Labour would lose millions of pounds of funding.

A bit of muckraking into the cheque stubbs at Unite HQ might be a good start though.

You're quite right, Cleethorpes Rock, to mention the good work done by Richard Balfe bridge-building between the Conservatives and the Unions. Interestingly UNITE is one of the few Unions that will not talk to Balfe.


Ahhhhhh, the pieces of the puzzle start to fall into place.

Unite refuses dialogue with Tories. Unite run by Charlie Whelan and Andrew Dodgshon. Labourlist and RedRag funded by (amongst others) "a union". Labourlist edited by Derek Draper, who CC'd Charlie Whelan an e-mail about RedRag. RedRag edited by Andrew Dodgshon. Andrew Dodgshon works for Unite. Unite refuse dialogue with Tories!! Hey Presto!!

Are you following this, Private Eye?

I don't agree that Politics is a loser in this. Yes it might damage it in some people's minds at first, but having exposed Labour's ways, it will make it harder for Labour to continue as it has. That in the long run can only be good for politics.

I hope Unite does get some bad press over this. The scum that they are. I hope we can bring down the whole stinking left wing lot.

Folks, this stinks. At the moment it seems in part a Westminster village thing but there is surely more to it. Firstly we know that Labour has lived by spin and taken it to a new low and in so doing corroded our society and democracy.

Secondly we know that Brown's team have not only made this spin worse but have also been undermining other camps in Labour for years. We are told in the press that McBride came to light in the treasury for his ability to deal with big issues. What were those issues, what smears were deployed in those issues and what else has he and the rest of that gang been upto? There should be an inquiry and I don't think the findings will be pretty which is why he was made to resign so quickly in an attempt to close the story down.

Thirdly the Conservatives need to decide how to address all this because while they need to show the Labour culture of central control and smear for what it is, they also need to avoid being thrown off their focus of what they will do to take Britain forward.

We are beginning to hear attacks on the blogosphere from New Labour apologists.

I suggest we remind ourselves that Guido is but the latest in this country's history of scurilous press and cartoon from Gilray to Private Eye - why I half wonder why the PM does not include such a heritage within his core values of "Britishness"!

The difference between Guido on this subject and McBride is that one was peddling truth and the other a deliberate falsehood.

Has anyone taken up the point that for all its " right on" values and inclusivity, when New Labour wants to smear, its default taunt is against the gay and the mentally ill?

We will gain traction if we hold this story to the issue of values.

Politics didn't become a loser this weekend.

It became a loser when it became the home of so many disgusting individuals.

The public are winning with every revelation the see about the type of revolting person they are being forced to subsidise in 'public life'.

pp - you're wrong about us all winning.

I've read too many articles stating that smearing is commonplace and unavoidable behaviour (eg see Lance Price in Guardian - http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/apr/13/cameron-osborne-emails-mcbride-draper).

Frankly, I don't care if I'm labelled a naif but if I'm not going to be permitted by these people to believe that the vast majority of politicians and civil servants enter politics motivated to make positive contributions to public life then I (and I suspect many others) will pursue a path to anarchy.

Brown is utterly tainted by this and he is getting back his investment in spin and smear with a good deal of interest.

But I'm not prepared to believe that every government of the future is bound to follow these established tactics for controlling the media.

Please let it not be so.

"I've read too many articles stating that smearing is commonplace and unavoidable behaviour (eg see Lance Price in Guardian - http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/apr/13/cameron-osborne-emails-mcbride-draper)."

Of course the Guardian Marxist paper would say that. Spin and smears are unavoidable for a socialist government, but it isn't politics as usual, it is Labour politics as usual. This point has to be made over and over again until the idiots at the BBC get it.

At PMQs I want to see a couple of questions on this issue, then a break for other's to ask questions, before DC returns to destroying Labour's economic policies. The news coverage of this is very damaging to the PM, but we still need the economy to be the main focus.


The 'win' is not immediate - we are all 'winning' because we can all see that there is a problem, and have some idea of what the problem is.

The big win will be when the problem is solved.

The other big win is that the public can see, and parliament cannot deny, that our MPs are unable to address these problems themselves. If it were within the ability/competence of MPs to fix these problems then they would have done so long ago - they haven't, they can't.

The system is broken and needs fixing - MPs have shown (and cannot deny) that it is beyond them to fix it.

That means it is up to us, the public to fix it - with out interference from the vested interests.

He's not everyone's cup of tea"

I would like the man far more if he didn't adopt the name of a political enemy of our England and Her Parliament. Sadly his name alone is enough to grate my nerves somewhat.

"The system is broken and needs fixing - MPs have shown (and cannot deny) that it is beyond them to fix it."

The Blogs are becoming the very definition of democracy. Its is in Forum's like this that answers can be found.


With that funny beard, Staines actually LOOKS like the original Guido. Never seen a photo of the blogger "Cranmer", though ;)


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