Tuesday, April 14, 2009

EXCLUSIVE: The Guardian's Shameless Behaviour Over Its Own Journalist's Book

Why has The Guardian turn itself into the tame instrument of Arthur Scargill’s rehabilitation?

In the first week in March - the twenty fifth anniversary of the start of Scargill’s 1984-5 miners strike - it carried two pages by Arthur about how he was right and everyone else was wrong; another big piece by his tame acolyte Seumas (known to fellow Guardian journos as "Shameless") Milne, author of a nauseating hagiography of the great man, saying the same thing; and a review of Francis Beckett and David Hencke’s new history of Scargill’s strike which appeared that week , written by ....Seumas Milne, who said Beckett and Hencke’s book was ruined because it was disrespectful to the miners’ leader.

And that was it, apart from a pompous editorial which one one will read. No one else was allowed to say anything in the paper about the book, and bear in mind that David Hencke is one of the paper's star journalists. Even when Scargill wrote to the paper to accuse Beckett and Hencke of making up a story, Beckett and Hencke had to agitate for ten days before they were allowed a brief letter showing their evidence for the story. Scargill, meanwhile, was telling everyone who would listen that they had still not provided the evidence.

Here’s why it all happened. Three months earlier the publishers sent proofs of the new history of the strike – Marching to the Fault Line - to the Guardian, so the paper could decide if it wanted to serialise it. Since Hencke is a Guardian staffer, the paper had insisted on having first refusal.

It arrived on the desk of Shameless’s chum Becky Gardiner, who buys books for the paper to serialise. She gave it to her friend Shameless. He wrote to the authors demanding changes, claiming they had misrepresented his book and quoted him without checking back quotes, contrary to an agreement he claimed they had with him. Meanwhile Gardiner strung the publishers along for weeks, claiming she was busy, and (rather implausibly) that she thought they really wanted to sell it to the Mail rather than the Guardian.

Milne got a two word answer from Beckett and Hencke, and the second word was “off.” The authors added that he had the proofs on condition they should not be shown to anyone else. Milne was furious, pointedly ignoring his colleague Hencke when they met in corridors.

On the week of the anniversary, Scargill arranged a public meeting in London, at which he said that the only decent journalist in London was one Seumas Milne. Shameless.

Buy the book HERE.

32 comments:

Plato said...

Guido has just launched another salvo

Simon Gardner said...

Phew.

It’s nice to see normal service is now resumed.

no longer anonymous said...

Shameless is a joke, he's the sort of clown that tries to defend the USSR.

trevorsden said...

You beat me to it Plato - he is coming over all biblical with Tom Watson who sounds the nastiest piece of work in the cesspool.

The only redeeming thing about these people is that they are completely incompetent - which given the complete shambles that is Britain today should come as no surprise.

BTW - the' corpse in bits' is said to be 'heavy built' - so I am getting increasingly worried about the disappearance of Charlie Whelan.

Roger Thornhill said...

Queue deluded Dave Sparts talking about "destruction of manufacturing by Thatcher".



wv: eutramp - IKYN

moorlandhunter said...

Why should anyone be surprised about this? The Guardian was always a supporter of Scargill even thought he brought down the mining industry with his unofficial, unlawful and violent strike. After all he was an ultra left wing political bully, something that the Guardian is happy to support, so there is nothing new with its support.

Jimmy said...

Guido is admitting that Watson was not cc'd. Curiouser and curiouser. Assuming he is the famous "trusted source" (an admittedly odd description given his track record) then it would apear that Iain was lied to. I'm not holding my breath for an explanation. He also feels it necessary to repeat the claim (entirely false to far as I'm aware) that the Observer/BNP story about him was retracted. He seems a rattled.

Thatsnews said...

If Scargill had been clever, he could have worked the situation to ensure that everyone got what they wanted. Sadly, he was a dolt and managed to close the mining industry down.

Cato said...

@Jimmy....not as rattled as McBride, Brown, Watson etc, etc.

Uncle Bob said...

As a young boy growing up in South Wales at the time of the miner's strikes and coming from a family of miners I'm all too aware of the devastation caused by Scargill's vanity. The trouble is that both Scargill and the Labour party have been quite successful on pinning it all on Thatcher. Hopefully, history will now allow the truth to come out from it.

Martin said...

Scargill was and still is a tosser. The difference is today that like BL's Red Robbo no one gives a stuff anymore.

I'm also a little confused. If coal were still our main energy generation material today we'd have even more CO2 and global warming which the left are obsessed with.

Surely sacking 50,000 miners was good news for the Polar Bear and that is what counts to the left.

Paul Halsall said...

Scargill remains a hero, if somewhat flawed.

Mrs. Thatcher *deliberately* attacked the manufacturing base of the economy (the bit that actually makes things) in order to attack the Unions. Oddly enough, both in France (where the unions were far more bolshy) and in the BRD (where unions were given a real voice at the table), manufacturing survives.

Scargill should have gone to a ballot, but his goals were just.

Dick the Prick said...

A lot of people round my neck of the woods bloody hate Scargill.

Anywho - is Camo right to bleat on about 'changing leadership' stuff and not just let them eat themselves up (medja included as well as Labour)?

There ain't no grace in booting them in the head if they're scoring own goals. Just a thought - could be missing something!

Paul Halsall said...

And Iain, you did seem convinced Tom Watson (of whom I am no fan) was in the loop.

Did Staines lie to you?

Conand said...

Like a good Iain fan I read this post. About half way through I wanted to die but stuck it out to the end.
Anything about Guardian journos or Scargill makes me want to stick pins in my eyes; both together is a particular treat.
Needless to say, I won't be buying the book.

Chris Paul said...

Shameless ... and tedious. Such a good job that no right wing hacks ever try to influence their press.

Conand said...

Mining isn't manufacturing. The Unions were indeed killing manufacturing, and everything else. Huge numbers of trade union members voted for Thatcher because they could see the damage that was being done in their name.
Scargill is a hero in the way that Beria is.

Dick the Prick said...

Eddie Mair's actually kicking a Milliband in the head - assume Ed, fantastic sport.

Iain Dale said...

Paul at 5.10. Rolls eyes. If you go back to the original post you will see the email I have sent Tom Watson in which I make clear it was Paul Staines who actually alerted me to the mistake. Doh.

Jimmy said...

It appears someone lied to you. How is that a mistake?

Chris Paul said...

Shameless ... and not a little tedious. Seamus at times, and this story. Such a good job that no right wing hacks ever try to influence their press. If they did you'd be here to out them no doubt.

Jonny Mac said...

Milne is a VERY nasty piece of work, who loves totalitarianism as long as it's 'anti-US' - whether it's the USSR or radical Islamists. The comment moderation is far more precious at Comment is Free whenever one of his vicious little pieces is published; in particular, he hates it being mentioned that he went to public school and that his daddy was DG of the BBC, giving his Stalinist son a big leg up into journalism.

His book 'The Enemy Within', on the miners' strike, is hilarious in its pandering to the disastrous Scargill - and in its cold-war paranoia about MI5. Worth a read if you fancy a laugh.

The real shame is the Guardian's, though, for being in thrall to someone who so clearly despises liberal democracy.

rosie said...

Regardless of the pros and cons of Arthur Scargill the idiots who closed our coal mines should all be hung for economic treason.

Martin said...

Paul Halsall: What garbage. Scargill wanted to bring the government down. That's the job of the people in an election not some jumped up retarded Communist.

maria said...

The '80s... the fount of all evil!

I've just been reading Philip Glenister, a very PC actor who plays Gene Hunt in Life On Mars and Ashes To Ashes, slagging off the 1980s in this week's Radio Times. The '80s were all hessian and brown, he reckons ('70s colours, surely? I always thought the '80s were nauseating neons and putrid pastels - and, of course, according to Mr Glenister, the decade was absolutely horrid.

The RT writer also seems incredulous that the '80s can be seen as anywhere near as "fertile" culturally as a serial setting alongside the '70s. Which, considering Life On Mars stole '60s pop culture and vibe wholesale, makes me laugh.

There's a big problem with seeing the 1980s as they really were - apparently nothing happened, they were dull and vapid, but they are also the cause of our undoing now, miners' strike and all.

But the '70s have been rewritten to a 1960s image.

Weird.

Alex said...

"rosie said...
Regardless of the pros and cons of Arthur Scargill the idiots who closed our coal mines should all be hung for economic treason."

If you want to pay for all the losses go ahead. Nobody is stopping you.

davidtbreaker said...

I personally don't believe people are still going on about the Miners' Strike, it was 25 years ago but people like Scargil still seem to be living it! Did you read the review of Maggie's End on the Mirror blog, the hatred is just vile!

David T Breaker
www.newsjunction.co.uk

PhilC said...

Interesting that you should bring up Scargill in the week that Smeargate has taken over the media agenda.
After all, McBride & Draper only talked about smearing some elected officials, were found out and hung out to dry.
Scargill was linked with Libyan cash and Moscow gold on the front pages of the Daily Mirror and TV's Cook Report; it was found to be tosh and . . . nothing happened except the ex Mirror editor apologised ten years later.
(Or what about the Sun trying to print a doctored picture of Scargill making a Hitler salute as one of a number of smears run during the strike).
Do different rules apply to smears against lefties or just that they should expect rough treatment?

HarveyProcter said...

"I personally don't believe people are still going on about the Miners' Strike"

you obviously don't live in a former mining area then...

HarveyProcter said...

Yes, it will be rather delicous when Iain,with all his opinions a matter of public record, eventually finds himself trying to defend a Tory government once the stories start flooding in...I bet he won't be starting posts with "Nadine has just been on the phone"...

Unsworth said...

@ HarveyProcter

For stories to 'flood in' there have to be stories. No doubt Watson, McBride et all are working on them right now.

Of course how much will be fiction remains to be seen, but on present evidence it'll be better than Hans Christian Andersen.

wild said...

Roger Windsor was despatched to Libya by Arthur Scargill & Peter Heathfield (NUM General Secretary) in order make a direct appeal for funds from President Gaddafi.