Tag Archives: damian mcbride

Opinion: Damian McBride and the next coalition

power tripThe effects of Damian McBride’s book on the next election will be negligible. The vast majority of voters simply don’t care.

And to those who do, the vicious way members of the Labour government conducted themselves, and the reckless aggression of their spin doctors and advisers, are hardly news. The general picture was well known before 2010: indeed, Armando Iannucci and Peter Capaldi had been portraying it on screen for five years by then. McBride has added details, but any vote that might have been influenced by it, already has been.

So it won’t change anything on polling day. But what about the day after?

It’s no surprise that pundits like to speculate on the choices the Liberal Democrats would make, in the event that a majority coalition is feasible with either of the larger parties. It may not be the most likely outcome, but it’s the most interesting.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 10 Comments

LDVideo: Iain Dale unilaterally disarms anti-nukes protester in front of TV cameras

Don’t mess with Dale! And definitely not when he’s in protective publisher mode and wants to ensure a hassle-free interview for his latest political author, Damian McBride. Just a still photo and the link to the video for now, but it’s bound to be on YouTube soon enough…

iain dale no nukes

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Good on Damian McBride – making the case for coalition government

damian+mcbrideI’ve met Damian McBride only once, in February this year. Two things struck me.

First, how much healthier (and happier) he looked than he did in 2008 when his role in a dirty tricks campaign against the Tories was exposed. He was only 34 when that furore flared, yet in pictures from the time he looked at least a decade older.

Secondly, he is seriously smart. A career civil servant promoted to Head of Communications at the Treasury he retains a deeply impressive knowledge of the knottiest tax policies. It makes …

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Your essential weekend reader — 8 must-read articles you may have missed

It’s Saturday morning, so here are eight thought-provoking articles to stimulate your thinking juices…

No, you’re not entitled to your opinion – Patrick Stokes at The Conversation argues that proper debate relies on contested claims based on relevant expertise: just holding to your own view ain’t enough.

Is The Economist left or right? – its digital editor Tom Standage answers the question ‘yes and no’: which can

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Your Saturday morning reader – 8 must-read articles

It’s Saturday morning, so here are eight thought-provoking articles to stimulate your thinking juices…

5 Years On: The Election That Never Was Damian McBride, Gordon Brown’s former spinner-in-chief whose must-read blog is essentially a memoir-by-instalments, recalls the week in 2007 that turned the new Prime Minister from hero to zero.

Jimmy Savile: The birth of a paedophile hoax on “Have I Got News For You” John Fleming recounts the curious tale of how some invented, ‘censored’ scenes achieved such wide currency on the internet, eerily anticipating the past week’s revelations.

A speech that, thankfully, will not be made

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PMQS: Cameron promised faster wheels amidst squeaky bums

What a relief! For a change, Prime Minister’s Questions gave more cause for Tories to be uneasy than it did for LibDems. Don’t get me wrong, LibDems care passionately about frontline policing. Of course they do. But the Tories tend to see it as more of a cojones (or should I invent the adjective “cojonal” here?) measurement issue – it’s closer to the nerve with them. So I think there must have been a lot of uncomfortable shifting around on the benches behind David Cameron today. “Squeaky bum time”, as Sir Alex might put it.

For once there was a good …

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What ‘Smeargate’ tells us about media news reporting

The last couple of days have seen a flurry of new, post-Easter weekend polls. As LDV’s regular readers will know, we don’t cover individual polls, preferring to round them up on a monthly basis rather than become over-excited by any one dire/fantastic survey which turns out to be a rogue. Brushing to one side the usual caveats for a moment, though, it does seem that the political situation has been left largely untouched by last week’s ‘Smeargate’ row over Damian McBride emails.

The Times’s Sam Coates is not alone amongst the media in expressing some bafflement: ‘broadly Smeargate has …

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Paul Staines: not the Messiah, just a very naughty boy

A week ago, Damian McBride was still the Prime Minister’s chief media advisor, and LabourList’s Derek Draper was attempting to laugh off as blokeish banter the emails which implicated Number 10 in smears against senior Tories. But, then, we know what they say about a week in politics.

Paul Staines, sole author of the Guido Fawkes’ blog, has had a good week, given ample, respectable print space to repeat a central point he’s been making for years: that those political journalists who are part of the ‘lobby’ system have failed democracy:

Though the fourth estate may not have a formal

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The Lib Dems’ ‘Smeargate’ silence: well-judged or a missed opportunity?

Like it or not, there’s no doubting that the political story of the past few days has been Damian McBride’s leaked emails touting various smear stories targeting Tories. Yet visit the Lib Dem website and you will find no mention; tune into the news, you will hear no comments from party spokespersons; read the papers you will find no quotes. The party has blanked the story.

I do not believe for a moment that this is an oversight – doubtless it was a deliberate decision by the Lib Dem leadership and the new director of communications Chris Fox to steer …

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Opinion: Some legal aspects of the McBride Affair

Nadine Dorries, the Tory MP for Mid Bedfordshire, is threatening to sue for libel over what was written about her in the McBride-Draper emails. I expect she may struggle because to succeed in court she will have to prove that damage has been actually caused (rather than a mere intent to cause damage) to her reputation. Politically, her threats to sue seem naive. Threatening to sue but then not doing so invites speculation as to why not.

The criminal law is, however, likely to be relevant. There is a statutory offence of defamatory libel …

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When should a politician say sorry?

Damian McBride’s indefensibly puerile emails seeking to smear senior Tories (and Nadine Dorries) have left David Cameron understandably livid:

David Cameron is demanding a personal apology from Prime Minister Gordon Brown over e-mails sent by an adviser discussing smearing the Tories. The Tory leader is “absolutely furious” and is calling on Mr Brown to give a guarantee that such messages will not be sent again, a spokeswoman said.

Many will argue – no matter which party they support – that this is the very least Mr Brown should do. It does not matter that he is not personally …

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‘Smeargate’: That Was The Easter Weekend That Was

I know it’s the Westminster Village story de jour, but I’m finding it very hard to work up motivation to blog on what is being portentously dubbed ‘Smeargate’, Labour’s cretinous attempts to stick the boot into the Tories.

Damian McBride, the author of the emails slurring his opponents, has deservedly lost his job (hard to believe, by the way, he’s 34 – if ever there were a walking advertisement for not becoming Gordon Brown’s media-bitch, it’s Damian). Derek Draper limps on as the public face of LabourList.org, reduced to empty exhortations for “the whole blogosphere, right and left, to …

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Opinion: A new challenge for people wanting to clear up public life

What do Bob Quick, Damian McBride and Den Dover MEP all have in common? They have all been caught up in a public scandal (security lapse, smears, expense claims). They all have or are being booted out (Quick has resigned, as has McBride; Dover was expelled from the Conservatives and is stepping down as an MEP in June). But they all also may well do rather well financially after their departure.

Bob Quick is getting a generous pension (£110,000 a year according to Paul Waugh). Damian McBride, as – technically, if not in his day-to-day behaviour – a civil servant …

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Michael White on the McBride affair

Michael White writes:

The murky underworld of sleaze and gossip which permeates the backdoor politics – and most walks of life where power, money, or the lack of it, matter – existed before the internet was invented or McBride got involved.

It will continue to thrive in his absence, only much faster than generations ago. Then a prime minister of the day (Harold Macmillan) could be cuckolded by a Tory colleague for decades or another prime minister’s (Harold Wilson) political secretary could have two children (by a political journalist) without most of us knowing anything about it.

The net has changed all that.

Posted in News and Online politics | Also tagged | 3 Comments

Damian McBride, Derek Draper and the smears against Tories

The Telegraph has reported:

Row as Number 10 emails ‘smear Tories’
The emails, which made a number of unfounded, innuendo-laden suggestions about the private lives of David Cameron, George Osborne and other Conservative MPs, came into the possession of Paul Staines, who writes the Guido Fawkes political blog…

The prospect of publication alarmed ministers, who feared that they would be accused of orchestrating a smear campaign against senior Tory figures. Some of the emails made lurid claims about Mr Cameron, the Tory leader, and Mr Osborne, the shadow chancellor.

However, there appears to be a degree of trying to spike the story …

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