Saturday, April 11, 2009

Tom Watson's Bid For Infamy



Tom Watson sits next to Damian McBride in Number Ten. He orchestrates the whole Number Ten political strategy. He was the one behind the coup against Tony Blair in the autumn of 2006. I'm sure readers will remember his touching visit to Gordon Brown's home in Fife to deliver a present for Brown's son. It was only 400 miles out of his way.

The very idea that McBride is acting alone in his spiteful little games is for the birds. Watson was idiotic enough to post yesterday that one of the books which has influenced him most is called THE TWENTY FIVE DIRTIEST CAMPAIGNS OF ALL TIME. Clearly Tom Watson is bidding to be in the second edition of the book.

49 comments:

Oldrightie said...

I suspect Watson and Co. are just doing their master's bidding. Hateful crowd.

King Athelstan said...

Crewe and Naantwich on a national scale, bring it on!

golden_balls said...

obviosuly you are hurt and upset that someone allegedly tried to smear you.

but can you at least post one thing today that isn't related to it.c

if your like this today god knows what your going to be like tomorrow if/when the full story does come out.

Iain Dale said...

Only one subject in town today I'm afraid.

JuliaM said...

You know, golden_balls, if you want to read a particular topic on a blog, and no-one's covering it, why don't you go start one of your own?

Paul Halsall said...

Iain, Do you think he was reading to learn what to do?

Twig said...

THE TWENTY FIVE DIRTIEST CAMPAIGNS OF ALL TIME
Sounds like this book may need updating pretty soon.

jailhouselawyer said...

Iain: What is idiotic about being truthful? Politics is a dirty game. If you really want to see an example of someone being idiotic, look no further than Oliver Rowlinson - The voice of a young Tory is a plagiarist

Clive said...

Like the spin Iain. Tom's list is of 25 books that have amused, interested or influenced him. Yet your default assumption is that the book in question influenced him. Faulty logic there, or perhaps a reverse smear?

I'd place "The Path to Power" on such a list myself, but while it interested me and, in places, amused me, it certainly wouldn't fall in to the influence category.

What I was hoping to see from political blogging, and politics in general, was a new more open and honest approach; a departure from decades of partisan dogma. What we are presented with instead is a broad-spectrum race to the bottom. In the current contest there are very few indeed who's hands are clean.

Graham said...

As a neutral observer I am struggling to decide whether Messrs Draper, Watson & McBride are indulging in dirty tricks, or if the publicity about their activities is the product of a Tory dirty trick. Or both.

JuliaM said...

"As a neutral observer I am struggling to decide whether Messrs Draper, Watson & McBride are indulging in dirty tricks, or if the publicity about their activities is the product of a Tory dirty trick. Or both."

'A plague on both their houses', eh...?

Does that include their second (or third) homes? :)

Clive said...

As a neutral observer I am struggling to decide whether Messrs Draper, Watson & McBride are indulging in dirty tricks, or if the publicity about their activities is the product of a Tory dirty trick. Or both.

And therein lies the tragedy for all of us outside of the Westminster Village. Political debate in this country has not merely reached a new low, it is effectively dead and buried. From Labour's spin to the Tory's lack of coherent policies; from the foul-smelling swamp of comments that drowns almost anything of quality on Paul's blog to the slow-motion road crash that is Labour List.

Is it any wonder that most people are switched off from the political process.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

I can't decide whether Paul Staines is a rank amateur when it comes to breaking stories or that he is merely the victim of cyber-space communication speeds.
His outings on the MSM appear to confirm the former, being a combination of his inability to invoke a snappy answer and the high degree of editorial control exercised by the broadcaster. He comes across as a patsy and a puffball.

Woodward and Bernstein he is not, but then again their fastest communications tool was a payphone and and Underwood.

The problem with this story is that he has lost control of it, something a news organisation would anticipate and be able to redress.

Instead of a carefully orchestrated drip-drip of facts, subsequently rebutted, then proven to be true by further revelations, he has shot his bolt in one and allowed the opposition to get ahead and determine a robust rebuttal strategy.

What makes Guido/Staines interesting is his occasional good luck with sources who use him as a conduit. There is nothing clever about this; he is just lucky and it requires no skill to appear like a grand wizard of the cult of the black virgin. His application of this power is dismally inept.

Not a sheep said...

With the BBC covering up for Brown, Watson, McBride, Campbell, Mandelson etc. this will be spun into another damp squib. Although Derek Draper might be sacrificed as the most expendable of the team.

Magical_Mist said...

Wrinkled Weasel, you sound a little sour. Guido does a brilliant job, nothing more to say.

Clive,
"Like the spin Iain. Tom's list is of 25 books that have amused, interested or influenced him. Yet your default assumption is that the book in question influenced him. Faulty logic there, or perhaps a reverse smear?"

Don't assume it's faulty logic. Chances are Iain is spot on. If as Iain asserts Tom Watson is in charge of electoral strategy, it's worrying that he's reading a book of this nature. We all know Labour are frantic for a strategy, dirty tricks is the last resort.

Conand said...

From BBC:

'A spokesman for Downing Street said: Neither the prime minister nor anybody else in Downing Street, except the author, knew anything about any of these private emails.'

Hahahaha really??? Oh dearie me. So the guy at the desk next to McDirt (who obviously has an interest in smear campaigns) didn't know? They never discussed it. Hahahahaha

Conand said...

@ Weasel @11:32

My dear chap. Guido has the emails. He can therefore control the story. He doesn't have to make any money from it. While he has the emails the Number 10 spinning on this story just makes it worse for them.
Information is power. This is why Blogs are so powerful. You say this yourself in the introduction to your blog.

jon dee said...

Internal communications in the Cabinet Office have improved considerably since the introduction of open-plan.

I'll bet they have.

jailhouselawyer said...

conand: And you believe what Guido states? Newsnight and Brillo!

Simon Gardner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simon Gardner said...

Umm. Any actual real politics around? Oh, I thought not.

It must be Easter/the equinox or something...

Andrew Cooper said...

I first came across the appalling Watson when he threw numerous rattles out of his pram after a run in with Richard Dawkins, no less.

At the time Watson was screeching on his blog about the fact that Dawkins had criticised the vomit inducing language which I see he till proudly displays on his awful 'teens' page: http://www.tom-watson.co.uk/teens/

Anyone who can write stuff like that (I think he claimed it was intended to be funny, which makes it even worse) could stoop to anything.

Paul Halsall said...

I don't see this how plays out badly for Draper or the government. People think Draper is a dirty-fighting tribalist in any case.

But there is a dilemma for Guido. If the content of the supposed smears doesn't come out, he looks like the nutty kid just seen on Sky News. If there are really juicy smears that also happen to be accurate, well then those stories may hurt the Tories for a short time.

What I find really odd and depressing is that treatment for mental health issues should even be regarded as a "smear."

I'll just have go and take my escitalopram.

Plato said...

I really do find it most peculiar that those who wish to knock Mr Fawkes efforts are still doing so today.

He has a massive story, of great public interest to those interested in politics and he got Draper to confirm that McBride had no hand in writing smears/content/editorial stance on Labourlist.

He hasn't lost control of the story - he just isn't a media luvvy. If he'd lost control then it wouldn't be gaining a hit spike like the Empire State Building.

Mr Weasel - he hasn't published any of the material details of the emails - what are you talking about??

That sounds like a drip-drip strategy to me.

PS Mr Halsall - you are bein ironic, aren't you? This isn't about Draper - it's about the man who has advised our Prime Minister about strategy and press managment for YEARS.

Conand said...

@ jailhouselawyer @12:19

If the Emails weren't explosive Guido wouldn't have made a fuss. I think you can safely assume that they aren't just a basic internal Labour conversation saying: 'Oooh aren't the Tories/LibDems/SNP horrid. Not like us! We're so nice aren't we? Don't put this rubbish on the website Derek!'

Conand said...

@ Paul & Plato

It's not about Dolly, everybody knows he's a sick joke. It's about McDirt & Brown.

jailhouselawyer said...

Conand: Guido has a reputation for making claims which he later fails to substantiate. Before I took his word for anything, I would need to see 100% proof.

Plato said...

Conand - read my post - I say it is not about Draper.

*rolleyes*

Cynic said...

I think all those defamed in these emails should immediately consult m'Learned friends. This will cost Labour millions and expose the entire corrupt cancer at the heart of No 10 including those who have directed this dirty nasty little plan

Cynic said...

"What I find really odd and depressing is that treatment for mental health issues should even be regarded as a "smear."

You obviously haven't read Labourlist.org where Draper used to criticise anyone who challenged his views as a 'windowlicker'

Conand said...

@ Plato

Sorry, I was (somewhat clumsily) backing you up :)

Clive said...

You obviously haven't read Labourlist.org where Draper used to criticise anyone who challenged his views as a 'windowlicker'

A phrase which came to blogging prominence on Paul's blog long before Draper stuck his oar in.

Cynic said...

By the way whoever was running this strategy had either a strange sense of humour or even wider ambitions.

The website they allegedly planned to use was recently registered to one Oliver Cromwell.

Cynic said...

Clive

So that makes it right for Draper to use it?

It shows an ignorance and attitude and personally I don't care if it is on one side or both

Clive said...

Magical_Mist,

Don't assume it's faulty logic. Chances are Iain is spot on. If as Iain asserts Tom Watson is in charge of electoral strategy, it's worrying that he's reading a book of this nature. We all know Labour are frantic for a strategy, dirty tricks is the last resort.

I wasn't assuming it is faulty logic, it is faulty logic. The list was influenced, interested or amused. The book can appear on that list because it falls into any of the categories. It may well fall into all of them or even just the influenced category. But neither you, Iain nor anyone other than Tom can state which category it falls into.

Given the political antipathy between Iain and Tom I would question any statement made by one about the other.

AProlefrom1984 said...

I'm with Simon Gardner on this one.

Clive said...

Cynic,

So that makes it right for Draper to use it?

No.

It shows an ignorance and attitude and personally I don't care if it is on one side or both

Likewise, but as someone who cries "A plague o'both your houses", I feel it only fair to point out that neither side of the debate sits in a position of moral authority. By all means criticise Draper, but when both sides are tarred with the same brush then it seems only fair to point this out. To do otherwise would smack of partisan hypocrisy.

Paul Halsall said...

Iain did OK on Sky News. He certainly does TV better than Staines. However, comparing this to Watergate? C'mon?

Tom Dexter said...

Is this a case of

You watch my back and I'll stab yours

http://img.thesun.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00706/SNN1308A-682_706642a.jpg

Simon Gardner said...

WTF is a “windowlicker”?

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Information is power. There is no denying that. Staines has information, but like electricity it needs to be tamed and directed. I just happen to think he is a bit of a prat at handling it.

He cannot handle the MSM - it always gets the better of him.

He does not appreciate the difference between information and enlightened commentary. Compare him to our host, or DK or Cranmer and he falls at the first hurdle.

He promises revelations that never see the light of day. What happened to his famous visit to Derek Draper's Alma Mater?

Given how long he's been in blogging and given his readership, which appears to consist largely of tourettes sufferers, I think some are a bit quick to elevate him to the rank of Swami and Grand Master of the Order of the Black Virgin.

This story is going to get flattened by people who know what they are doing and have the resources to do it. Sadly Guido is lacking on both counts.

Conand said...

I thought Iain did really well. The Watergate comparison is entirely valid. Maybe they'll reach into Jack Student's 1970s box of tricks too.

Conand said...

I saw the video of Guido's trip to (Not U.C.) Berkeley. Everyone knows Dolly is a farud.

Conand said...

Conand said:

'a farud'

Weird. I think I meant 'a fraud'

JGS said...

Excellent appearance on the BBC News, Mr Dale. Well done.

Oscar Miller said...

"This story is going to get flattened by people who know what they are doing and have the resources to do it. Sadly Guido is lacking on both counts."

It is a David and Goliath struggle no doubt about it. The extraordinary infiltration of New Labour into the MSM is the real story. It has been cultivated over many years and has always been Brown's primary focus. He has always been a backroom dirty tricks operator. His media control has now reached a critical mass that will be very very hard to subvert. But Guido is doing a fantastic job - aided by the other heroes of the blogosphere like Iain. No doubt the vigorous and professional cover up and spin operation now in overdrive in the broadcast and print media will do its worst to distort and lie about this story. But in the end I believe the truth about the obnoxious Brownite cabal will be exposed. Brown will not only be defeated at the ballot box but leave office in disgrace just like Nixon.

strapworld said...

Wicked Weasel has a point which is supported by the Telegraph, this morning, which describes Drapers blog as, highly respected! And then describe the fact that he studied in America...so Guido, sadly, has lost that one!

Guido should have alerted Max Clifford to take the questions and put the story of political scullduggery around. Cannot stand the man but he certainly gets results.

I do hope the story is in agood Sunday newspaper and not the Star or similar!

mr bean said...

"Simon Gardner said...

WTF is a “windowlicker”?

April 11, 2009 1:53 PM"


Look in a mirror and stick your tongue out. That's a windowlicker.

Fidothedog said...

Devoid of any morality root an branch, just like the worthless scum who vote for them.