Friday, April 10, 2009

Guido Fawkes, Me & the Number Ten Smears Against Top Tories

The Telegraph is running a front page story tomorrow detailing a smear campaign by Number Ten against various Tory politicians. The story revolves around emails obtained by Guido Fawkes which show how the dirty tricks department of Number Ten have been running a Nixonian smear campaign designed to damage the reputation of senior Tory MPs and other figures on the right - your humble servant being one of them.

I was given to understand that the story was going to break in the Sunday papers, but it seems the Telegraph have stolen a march on their competitors and gone with what they knew - or thought they knew. One error - and it's a big one - comes in this paragraph...
The emails were sent by the unnamed adviser in January from a high-security Downing Street account and have been touted to newspapers, including this newspaper.

The Daily Telegraph decided against purchasing the emails. However, it was understood that at least one Sunday newspaper was poised to publish the embarrassing details. If the emails, which were originally sent to Derek Draper, a close friend of Lord Mandelson, who also runs an influential political blog, were obtained by a hitherto unidentified person hacking into the No 10 computer system or Mr Draper’s, the police could be called in to investigate. Mr Staines declined to tell The Daily Telegraph where they came from.
I know for a fact that no money has changed hands. Indeed, I just called Paul to verify that fact. He confirmed that no money is changing hands with regard to this story. He said: "Not a penny is changing hands. This is for pleasure, not profit."

Two weeks ago, on 27 March, I wrote THIS post in which I outlined my suspicions that Damian McBride, Gordon Brown's chief political, advisor had sent emails to Derek Draper in early February encouraging a smear campaign against me. I then submitted a Freedom of Information and DPA request to the Cabinet Office asking for details of any information they held on me and for details of any emails sent by Mr McBride relating to me. That FOI Request has been acknowledged by the Cabinet Office and is being processed.

This week, Derek Draper's Twitter Feed and any mention of him have been removed from the front page of Labour List. I wonder if that is in preparation for him being dropped altogether.

I await the details of the Sunday papers, but I would be very surprised if either Damian McBride or Derek Draper still had the same job titles on Monday.

UPDATE 00:15: Guido has the full story and accuses the Telegraph of mounting a Downing Street inspired spin operation. It looks like names will be named in the Sundays.

UPDATE 09.15: Dizzy uncovers the Red Rag website which Downing Street says doesn't exist.

48 comments:

AD627 said...

The REAL mistake is the assertion that "Derek Draper, a close friend of Lord Mandelson, who also runs an influential political blog".....

Gordon said...

Great - sorry, I know many of your readers (and Guido's) get bored of Draper. I personally can't wait to watch this unfolding in the blogosphere. It's going to be fun. (I thought the error in the Telegraph story was calling labourlost "influential")

Gordon said...

sorry, got beaten to the "influential" comment

Dick Puddlecote said...

Delicious. Although I hope they don't sweep Dolly under the carpet, he's too much of an asset in getting Labour out.

thecopydude said...

It is simply too pathetic. Labour is Caligula and the last days of Rome . . they're so confused and paranoid they're stabbing each other in the front.

In passing, note how the peaceful protests in Georgia passed off peacefully, without riot police or kettling like G20.

The UK is the third world country now, in civil liberties and the economy.

They should be so ashamed . . . but we know they're just shameless.

Simon Gardner said...

Yep - bored of the whole Iain/Dolly thing And it’s now been discussed even on Sky newspapers. Streuth.

Ted Foan said...

Methinks they must be "frit" if this is the type of attack they think will work. Let's hope you are right about Dolly and Damien - would be good material for another "Hitler Bunker" genius spoof.

Chris Burley aka unemployed tory said...

I wonder if you go outside number 10 you can hear the nokias being smashed.

anonaLon said...

Iain,

The Sunday Torygraph doesn't reveal what my mother thought all along - that you are a Gayer?

Personally, I had always assumed that Dolly was the only Gay in the Westminster Village.....

Magical_Mist said...

Good news. Wipe away some of the s**t from the shoe of government...

Scott said...

This story now leads on the BBC website.

Mirtha Tidville said...

Shall look forward, especially, to my Torygraph and a very enjoyable breakfast......do hope the paperboy isnt late!!!!!

Rab C. Nesbitt said...

I wonder when the Rapid Rebuttal Squad will be mobilised.

DC said...

Looks like the Beeb and Labour are trying to bury it as a 'rogue agent / only having a laugh' story.

subrosa said...

I've no doubt labour practiced this in the run up to the Glenrothes campaign but of course, the emphasis was on postal voting.

golden_balls said...

Yes yes both should resign draper is scum all the usual stuff.

But more importantly what were the rumours

i do hope his emails are released no smoke without fire i love a good gossip.

Tom said...

What do you mean by Derek Draper's job title, Iain? Surely he just makes them up as he goes along?

anonaLon said...

Has anyone else noticed the remarkable similarity between Dolly and Guido on the Torygraph article? I wonder if, per chance, they are related?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/conservative/5138271/Row-as-Number-10-emails-smear-Tories.html

Lord Elvis of Paisley said...

I certainly hope this doesn't affect the sales of Dolly's new book. He might actually sell one on the ack of this...

wild said...

Damian McBride is the rectum through which New Labour deposits its foetid soul.

Editor said...

who else will be dragged into this sorry mess?

Tory Bear
editor@torybear.com

WernerPatels said...

This is probably as low as any politician could possibly sink, particularly a prime minister – using tax money to defame private citizens who happen to stand up for the country they love so dearly.

In Canada, at least, malicious defamation is a criminal offence, even though most of these cases are handled through civil courts nowadays. But it doesn't change the fact that this act constitutes a criminal offence under common law, so Brown and his government are, in fact, about to commit a crime.

I hope voters in Britain will remember that come election day.

Cynic said...

Corrupt and incompetent. That about sums up Downing Street under this regime.

But Gordon didn't know what his press spokesman and chief spinner was up to. So that's aright then

And do we pay Bride et al for this? and we pay for the computer systems those sending the emails were using to spread their malicious attacks.

cassandra said...

OT I know but has Brown been having lessons on how to smile?
The obviously false lear/grin has been replaced by a scary false smile that makes him look like a very creepy mass murderer trying to entice some victims with a bag of sweeties, the sight is enough to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.
Maggie had a voice coach, McMental has a smile coach, reminds me of that yes minister episode where hacker goes on TV!

Will the Tories start fighting back now I wonder?
What will it take before the Tories stand upto the bully?

Richard Havers said...

For No.10 to have come out and said sorry so quickly tells us all we need to know...

jailhouselawyer said...

Just as earth shattering is the news that Poland has discovered that it has a gay elephant...

Sparrow said...

It will be interesting to see if this has legs. Unlike all those hints of expenses scandal details which never seem to emerge, or indeed the "email" that Mr Staines was going to publish and never did.

Guthrum said...

Both you and Paul need to stay away from the woods from now on

Oscar Miller said...

I've got news for all you Labour trolls out there - this is Gordon's Watergate. Your devious, dirty, degenerate days are numbered.

JuliaM said...

"Just as earth shattering is the news that Poland has discovered that it has a gay elephant..."

No, Poland's 'discovered' that a ten year old elephant isn't yet sexually mature.

Not a mystery to zoologists, frankly. But then, whatever sells newspapers...

JuliaM said...

"For No.10 to have come out and said sorry so quickly tells us all we need to know..."

Yes, that's rather telling, isn't it?

tory boys never grow up said...

"I know for a fact that no money has changed hands. Indeed, I just called Paul to verify that fact. He confirmed that no money is changing hands with regard to this story. He said: "Not a penny is changing hands. This is for pleasure, not profit."

Of course everything Guido says is true - on what evidence? What did Cockburn say about not believing anything until it is officially denied?

McBride/Draper are idiots and should go - they have fallen into the trap of adopting Guido's tactics. There is plenty to attack Tories/right wing bloggers on without resorting to smears.

Colin said...

Prediction:

No sackings and no resignations.

Simples...

strapworld said...

If Brown can be connected then he is finished. But not one will name him. The only hope is that he is included in the emails, directly or indirectly:

BUT, this shows that Labour will do anything to cling to power.

Was this week's terrorist story designed to be a completely different story than the one it did, due to the police chief's crass behaviour. OR was he in fact seriously worried by the way the politicians wanted that operation to go? we shall never know.

But to have an excuse to invoke those sections of the Civil Disorder Act, and put off a general election, would be a great attraction to this shower, wouldn't it?

But this story should be proof to Cameron that the time for soft shoe shuffling is over. Time, Mr cameron, to put the boot in! as they say in Labour circles.

jon dee said...

Brown's Cabinet colleagues will be furious with him and his motley crew in Downing Street.

Daily Telegraph has let itself down badly by being so easily used with a spoiler. It has an unhealthy McBride connection.

It will be interesting to see how the BBC play this, being much bigger than "yachtgate", which of course allowed them much delight and coverage.

Good hunting to Guido and yourself.

JuliaM said...

"It will be interesting to see how the BBC play this"

So far, it's third lead story. A cancellation of an Asian summit due to anti-gocvernment protests is deemed relevant enough to the UK to be top story.

Wonder what the Beeb are trying to tell us...? :)

Clive said...

using tax money to defame private citizens who happen to stand up for the country they love so dearly.

Well, one of those involved loves this country so dearly that he lives in a different country.

The Penguin said...

McBroon's a control freak, of course he knew what was going on. It probably brough a sick smile to his face as he played with his Farmy Farm animals.

http://therantingkingpenguin.blogspot.com/

Plato said...

I was following a thread on PB.com last night and one poster appears to also have a good idea what is going on.

I've put the screen shots on my blog

Oscar Miller said...

What is Gordon's definition of Britishness - decency and fair play? The time has come for all decent and fair-minded members of the Labour party to stand up for Britishness and break ranks against the corrupt practices of their leader. Do they really want to go down in history as 'bystanders' to criminality? What will they tell their children - "I was only following orders" - "I didn't know what was going on"?

neil craig said...

BBC Radio this morning told us that this was a silly story because McBride is so unimportant that his office is a "broom cupboard" in Downing St. Since every foot of Downing St is used this seems a particularly disingenuous excuse.

Also the BBC refused to mention Guido by name but simply refered to him as "a right wing blogger". This is a deliberate tactic to downplay somebody, for example throughout the Bosnian war they referred to Fikrit Abdic, leader of the non-fundamentalist Moslems in Bihac as a "local warlord" but NEVER giving his name. It also shows the attempt to downplay the fact that blogs are again making the stories & the MSM running after. By comparison when the Guardian got that film the BBC named it rather than saying "a leftist newspaper". The BBC do name Guido online but it would have stood out there.

Perhaps, Iain, when you next report something the BBC say you should merely refer to them as "a state owned broadcaster" :-)

Weygand said...

If Guido is correct that the Telegraph story is a McBride spoiler fed through a chum and printed as gospel, then heads should roll.

Initially, I could not understand how the focus of the article seemed to be on Guido and Draper - and the pen picture of the latter by far the more generous of the two. Now I fear that I do see why.

I now wonder at what audience the Telegraph is aimed. As for me, this has convinced me that I should go back to the Times, which I deserted due to its slavish Blairism but which seems to be on a journey back to sanity.

Minx said...

So what do we think to the name of the registrant of 'theredrag'? A Mr Ollie Cromwell!

http://www.whois-search.com/whois/theredrag.co.uk

Unsworth said...

@ Clive

"Well, one of those involved loves this country so dearly that he lives in a different country"

So that's OK, then? Maybe Guido feels that it might be safer for him to reside abroad. And, as you say, he's but one of those involved.

Now let's hear your view of McBride et al. But perhaps you believe that their activities are perfectly OK.

Clive said...

Now let's hear your view of McBride et al. But perhaps you believe that their activities are perfectly OK.

McBride, Draper, Staines, Dale, all symptomatic of the death of political debate in this country. Spins, smears and recycled press releases. Is it any wonder so many are totally f**ked off with the inhabitants of the Westminster Village.

A plague o'both your houses

Johnny Norfolk said...

Just what you would expect from labour, They are just so bad. they have ruined this country

Unsworth said...

@ Clive

If you seriously believe that they are all in the same position and have the same roles and responsibilities then you are remarkably stupid. Do you equate McBride, a paid Civil Servant working directly for the Prime Minister with Iain Dale, a blogger, publisher etc? Probably you do. What you are doing is deliberately avoiding the issues.

Clive said...

Unsworth,

If you seriously believe that they are all in the same position and have the same roles and responsibilities then you are remarkably stupid.

No I don't, but then I didn't say I did in the first place. You're the remarkably stupid one, attempting to draw false conclusions. You asked for my view of McBride et al, which I did.

If you're unable to grasp the point, then I suggest you simply sod off as any further discussion with you would be akin to teaching a horse to sing.

In fact, don't bother replying, as I can't be bothered to expend the effort correcting your deliberate misrepresentations.