Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Dirty Past of Dr John Reid

Last Sunday I wrote THIS about John Reid's announcement that he wouldn't stand against Gordon Brown and would be leaving the Cabinet. I gave several reasons, and ended the piece with these words...
But even worse than that, he got to hear of a big tabloid scandal brewing, which portrayed him, shall we say, in a less than chivalrous light. It was clear that the newspaper concerned was preparing to run the story if and when he announced his candidacy.

The newspaper concerned was the Mail on Sunday, although I didn't know it at the time. Today they run the story on page 5. If Reid had still been in the running it would have been front page. Apparently Reid has been guilty of sexually harassing Dawn Primarolo. On several occasions he tried to get her to go to bed with him. The full story is HERE. Here's an extract...

The second incident, shortly before the death of then Labour leader John
Smith in 1994, when Mr Reid was Shadow Defence Secretary, was witnessed by
several people. One said: "John came lurching up and said to Dawn 'I want to
have sex with you, I want to f*** you, you want it as well." Ms Primarolo's
friend and neighbouring Bristol Labour MP Jean Corston intervened and, according
to a source, told Mr Reid: "You are a disgusting creature. Get away from her,"
adding: "That's it, I'm going to report him." Ms Corston, who is now a Baroness,
told colleagues she raised the matter with John Smith, commenting: "It won't be
happening again." One Labour insider said: "Dawn was on the verge of tears. She
said Reid had been harassing her over a period of years and had propositioned
her in the bar. It was very painful for her." When Mr Reid was summoned by the
Labour leader, he gave Mr Smith a sealed envelope containing his resignation and
told him that if he misbehaved again, Mr Smith should open it.

What a disgusting individual Reid is. British politics will be better off without him. The MoS will have had to be very sure of their facts to have published this story. There's certainly nos ign yet of a writ from Reid.

He's been a Cabinet Minister in nine different departments and left a trail of destruction behind in each of them. No wonder he's known as "Wreck it and Run". He's just done the same at the Home Office.

Good riddance to bad rubbish.


Mark Clarke said...

I think that an important perspective in the full article (which you do not mention in your piece) is that John Reid had an alcohol problem.

It's noteworthy that the harassment issues ended when he gave up the drink.

Personally, I have quite a lot of sympathy for people who develop problems with their drinking and a great deal of admiration for those with the courage and strength to give it up when it has a hold on them.

Manfarang said...

You had me all excited for a minute Iain.I thought you had something from the Stasi.What an anti-climax!

Anonymous said...

Yes, Iain I think you ought to be a bit more sympathetic. And if Red Dawn had agreed, he would have had the trauma of f**king her to live with for the rest of his life. And anyone who wants to go to bed with my MP can really not have been compos mentis at the time, and is more to be pitied than feared and we should show sorrow rather than anger.

Mind you a night with John Reid is probably the most exciting offer she has had in many a long year..

Another Ed said...

Does anybody want to hazard a guess as to why this hasn't appeared on the BBC or Sky yet?

And yes, I too think you were a little harsh, Iain. It was a very, very long time ago. Reid's made a right mess of his briefs (um, er...) but he's on the way out. Seems a bit like kicking a dead puppy to me.

Anonymous said...

I agree with all those whose have said about John Reid's alcohol problem.

As a recovering alcoholic myself, and having met many others over the last 6 1/2 years of sobriety that sort of embarrassing story is all too common. The fact that he was drunk is not an excuse. However as far as I know he has been sober for a long time now and it is quite unfair to judge him now by what happened then.

Iain, I am sure that one as politically savvy as yourself will be well aware of Reid's problem and I wonder why you failed to at least mention it which would go some way to enabling understanding of his admittedly abhorrent behaviour.

verity said...

As loathe as I am to say anything positive about the Trots, Reid did apparently have the will to take control of his problem and conquer it. As others have said, this happened a long time ago and is unlikely ever to recur.

jim said...

But Mark this was not a once off "whilst drunk" incident.

There were a number of incidents and he is clearly unfit for office..

He also should have been made to resign whether drunk or not.

The fact that Smith did nothing was appalling.

But then what about the senior cabinet member and the former mp who drank herself to death?

It is amazing how supposed "feminist fighters" like Harman, Jowell, Hewitt and Blears actually share Govt office with these scumbags.

Also worth mentioning is the link between Primarola + Brown campaign + Dacre, it all adds up.

Iain Dale said...

If I thought that these incidents were one offs which ceased after he gave up the bottle you might have a point. But unfortunately his behaviour on occasion has continued to be inappropriate for a cabinet minister. There are enough civil servants who have been on the wrong end of a Reid temper fit or worse.

Anonymous said...

It's a bit pathetic to try and excuse someone's boorish behaviour on the fact they can't control their drinking. The man was and is a complete arsehole. And now it appears he has no taste either.

mitch said...

he wanted to shag that hahaha oh dear
ive heard of beer goggles but that would need a welding mask.his judgment drunk or sober is shit.good riddance to one more jock failure only a few left.

Manfarang said...

Stalinists, Verity, stalinists.Get the name of the faction right.

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

It was decent, well-behaved English gentlemen like Lord Halifax and Neville Chamberlain who got us into WWII. And heavy drinking bullies like Churchill who got us out of it.

Anonymous said...

Entirely acceptable behaviour amongst Trots and Lords I say.

penlan said...

If an employer behaved like that,then he would be taken apart by one of Labour's Industrial Tribunals.Usual "Do as I say not as I do" Labour mentality.And note that other Labour MPs let him get away with it.

Chris Paul said...

I agree with Mark Clarke. I would not have wanted Reid for leader and worried at the very positive reaction his 2006 conference speech got in some quarters. I thought it was a case of "be afraid, be very afraid".

But this is Way OTT Iain. The man was a drunk and now he's not. You know these things and forget to mention tham. The fact (or the allegation anyway) that he may have been abrupt with a civil servant or two since does not give you licence to infer he is still out drunkenly monstering MPs.

He is not. And so you're wrong.

You have also provided an excuse for some nasty commentary from the usual subjects.

S Jamieson said...

Now I may have said this before but the late Mrs Reid was Head Teacher of Bannockburn Primary School. The philanderings of her husband in London got to her so much that she took to drink-and was eventually put on long term sick leave and tragically died. My source was a senior teacher Bannockburn High School. The general opinion of the teaching profession in the Stirling area was that Dr.Reid was an A1 Shit

Gareth said...

In many cases like this (and I know) drinking is not a cause it's a symptom and to therefore merely cut out the booze, however strong willed that may be, does not address the underlying psychological problems. I do not, and do not wish to, know John Reid the man but I suspect his personality problems extend far beyond an historical liking for alcohol. He is clearly a classic bully (even the dead tree press acknowledge that) and I suspect this stems from youthful feelings of inadequacy that he is now taking out on his "underlings". He is a small man in every sense.

Tone made me do it - he's a bad influence said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tone made me do it - he's a bad influence said...

If this was 1997, and the subject a Tory Cabinet member I'm not sure this blog would have been full of apologists and I'm not sure the media outside The Mail would be leaving the story well alone.

This is the bias of the MSM; setting the agenda ALWAYS in favour of the soft left. The ordinary floating voter in the street will never hear this story.

forthurst said...

As far as I can tell Reid belonged to his university Communist Party having asserted his devotion to Leninism and Stalinism. He was also a de facto adherent of Marxism. So probably not a Trot, per se.
I'm not clear of the difference between Leninism and Stalinism - they both used, with the very best intentions, Mass Terror, Torture and Murder executed by a Secret Police constituted for that purpose.
(Beginning to sound like Bush and Blair - crikey).

Cameron - what a lightweight - smoked a spliff or two, dressed up and got drunk. Where is his philosophy for crissakes?

verity said...

Manfarang - Oddly enough, I wrote 'Stalinists' then thought, "Wait a minute! Someone will pull me up on that!" Oh, well.

Voyager said...

Reid has been guilty of sexually harassing Dawn Primarolo
Well at least she is female......

Anyway I thought the article about the chap at BP much funnier - and his £45 million slush fund in the XFI Department to fly in hookers to get oil deals, and how he worked with John Scarlett when he was Moscow Station Head for MI6.

It seems that Browne ran a very loose ship - even John Reid was flown by Gulfstream to indulge in an alcoholic's favourite activity in a bar and managed to get arrested in Azerbaijan for telling the police where they could stick their Kalashnikov.

The closeness of BP to the Government and the ability to fly a Labour soak to a well-lubricated watering hole shows how easily MPs can be bought by corporate funds.

Apparently Reid went on the wagon after this incident which is no longer on the Mail Website...but the book is coming out I understand

As for sexual harassment I think Dawn was right to leverage her career rather than complain too publicly......that is how advancement comes to the talentless

New Labour-New Neighbours said...

Didn't some Labour MPs wife claim that Presscott put his hand up her skirt?No writ came from Presscott and no reprimand came to him?

sniper said...

in vino veritas?

Observer said...

See Iain, it has disappeared....

Hookers, spies, cases full of BP spent £45m to win 'Wild ...
BP executives working for Lord Browne spent millions of pounds on champagne-fuelled sex parties to help secure ... for BP's XFI unit - Exploring Frontiers ... - More from this site

The Hitch said...

Iain 3:59
The behaviour pattern is known as being a "dry drunk" in AA circles
They have stopped, drinking but the inappropriate behaviour still happens, the behaviour is caused by the condition that sets a person drinking to excess rather than the alcohol If they don't deal with that condition and merely stop consuming alcohol nothing really changes other than an improvement in their liver function.
I envy your distaste for alcohol.

The Hitch said...

Reid was a member of the UK communist party in his late 30's
hardly a youthful bit of silliness.
Im 43 an look vack in puzzlement at some of the opinions that I held in my teens and early twenties , If Reid was Communist in his late 30's he is a communist now.
"They havent gone away you know"

Colin said...

Verity (3.57) is in forgiving mood: how very singular. I'm not: it is clear that the so-called 'Dr.' Reid is a political thug: now we know that he is a personal bully giving to sexually harassing his junior colleagues. The alcohol is simply an aggravating factor - anyone who, in the booze-fuelled world of politics, can't control their addiction is in big trouble (q.v. Charles Kennedy's downfall).

'Dr' Reid is as unfit for office as his department is unfit for purpose. He should have been booted out years ago. But 'Tony' can't sack anyone, can he? Look how he clung pathetically onto mandleson (twice) and Blunkett (twice again) before sacking them.

What he want is some really juicy goss on the Son of the Manse to discredit the mendacious, deceitful lying thieving bastard before he takes over? Where is it?????

mad said...

My God , worst case of beer googles , ever!

becky said...

Mark Clarke, good point!

mitch said...

there is the ultimate insult you can now level at john reid and that is he is just like presscot.

Observer said...

If Reid was Communist in his late 30s he is a communist now.

Born 1947 so he joined AFTEr the invasion of Czechoslovakia

"He told us he was a Leninist and Stalinist. Although I was suspicious about his transition, we couldn't tell if he was acting. We let him join." On securing the support of the Communists and Labour students, Reid was able to run for president of the student's union and win the election. His political career was launched

javelin said...

There is no way Reid could be a Prime Minister if this story was true.

Thinking there is anything attractive about Dawn calls into question this man's judgement.

forthurst said...

observer said

"Born 1947 so he joined AFTEr the invasion of Czechoslovakia"

Stalin was only stopped from occupying the whole of Europe, including the UK, which had been his intention all along, by the Americans joining the war. If people want to believe that living under a Bolshevik dictatorship is a good idea, fine, but stop pretending that the ramifications of Bolshevism were only trully revealed by the Prague Spring.

Richard Havers said...

I witnessed an outburst by the Doctor on a train a couple of years ago against the Mail. It was shocking. I wonder what he's got to say today. Oh to be a fly on his wall.

Anonymous said...

Clearly you've never met Prawn Dimarolo, Iain. It's surprising that Reid should be so persistent. Most men, even with 12 pints inside them, would have run away shrieking, as I understand Ms Dimarolo's ex-husband did.

AS the late and much lamented Bron Waugh would have noted, just one more reminder of the glorious fact that sex makes fools of us all.

BOF2BS said...

The dry drunk reference is very relevant.

Having had some experience of this a therapist who had assisted such an individual summarised them by saying they entered therapy "like a lion & left like a lamb"

As with all such individuals Reid will (hopefully) be a recovering addict for the rest of his life.

For people representing the public perhaps steps 8 & 9 should include both a consideration of & an apology to them in addition to all the individuals harmed by them.

I do recall seeing other derogatory refeerences to the Dr with regards to his activitities in particular in Lanarkshire.

As with some MSM revealations tip of iceberg may apply.

The Dacre Brown point is also well made... after all they are politicians.

JessTheDog said...

Reid always was a nasty piece of work. He was drinking buddies with Radovan Karadicz, the Serbian war criminal. His boorish tendencies may have been exacerbated by alcohol but were certainly not caused by them. This man was the biggest potential danger to UK democracy and hopefully he has now been neutralised.

Anonymous said...

What I fail to understand is, why does employment Law passed by Parliament not apply to Members of the Parliament?

He should have been sacked, end of matter.

Anonymous said...

The Nail article leads:

The day leadership rival John Reid propositioned the young Brown ally Dawn Primarolo - and never drank again

Yep, that experience would make anyone sober up.

Anonymous said...

" Well as I see it she is beautiful and I would give her one."

D Blunkett

aardvark said...

Colin 6.42 PM

"the so-called 'Dr.' Reid"

John Reid has a PhD in Economic History from the University of Stirling. Therefore, he is perfectly entitled to use the title Doctor.

Unlike Ian Paisley who has an HONORARY doctorate from the unaccredited Bob Jones University (bestowed on him by his friend Bob Jones).

BHM said...

>> "I've been admiring your a***."
He's not all bad then. Which is a disappointment to me.

Anonymous said...

just another NuLabour scumbag getting away with criminal behaviour.........when will anyone in this shite government be held responsible for their actions?

glass house said...

Some examples of things which are true but should be reported with context:

* Iain Dale was recently involved in a live broadcast of him going to the toilet.

* Iain Dale recently wrote in a national newspaper that "Few non-political women judge a male politician purely by what he says. They judge him on the way he looks..."

makes you think...

Anonymous said...

I second that, what a horrible man he is, bl**dy good riddance.

Auntie Flo'

Big Andy said...

Why does 'Colin' call Reid a 'So-called' Doctor and 'Dr' Reid?

Of all the things you can say about John Reid; his qualifications are not in doubt.

Sure, you might not think that the sociology of a certain part of Afriac is terribly interesting (or whatever it was that he did); but he earnt a proper Doctorate from a more than reputable institution.

I for one find Reid quite interesting; and wonder what he would have been like if ever given free reign to implement his own ideas (as opposed to permanent crisis management as his career turned out to be).

no longer anonymous said...

"Manfarang - Oddly enough, I wrote 'Stalinists' then thought, "Wait a minute! Someone will pull me up on that!" Oh, well."

I think Marxist-Leninist was the term used to describe supporters of the USSR in opposition to the Trots (and a term they used themselves).

Gareth said...

For those of you shying away from shagging red dawn, you've clearly forgotten the age old maxim "a fuck's a fuck, a joke's a joke but no fuck is no joke".

Observer said...

If people want to believe that living under a Bolshevik dictatorship is a good idea, fine, but stop pretending that the ramifications of Bolshevism were only trully revealed by the Prague Spring.

What a perverted understanding. We could discuss the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact is depth should you so desire, the fact that stalin wanted The Baltic States but Hitler offered India instead.......but the simple fact is that a man born in 1947 was not legally adult until 1968 and it was then that he joined the Communist Party - not the Bolsheviks which were an offshoot from the 1903 London Conference of the RSDLP

Forthurst will find that Roosevelt did more to advance Stalin's cause in Europe than his armies did to impede it....then again both FDR and Uncle Joe were "anti-imperialists" and Churchill was not.

The Soviet Union desired large slices of Europe which it got. The USA wished the dismantling of the British Empire which it got. Poor old Churchill ended up with little when the two "anti-imperialists" finished working him over at Yalta

Johnny Norfolk said...

It just shows how weak the Labour party is in allowing its leaders to get away with this sort of thing. As for bully boy Brown they will watch and say and do nothing as he takes the country further down the road to disaster.

Manfarang said...

The term 'stalinism' was coined by Lazar Kanganovich,one of Stalin's close associates but not used by Stalin himself.
The trots call members of the Communist Party of Great Britain stalinists.In the last days of the CPGB the stalinist hardliners were referred to as 'tankies'.
There are attempts to reforge the CPGB as the CPGB(Provisional Central Committee).Today it is largely critical of the Soviet Union.

mitch said...

Re: the discussion on Reid's right to call himself "Dr.".

Yes, he has a PhD. Yes, he is entitled to call himself "Dr.".

However, the un-written rule is that a non-medical title is not normally used unless you are still in academe. When this rule is broken it is almost always done by the vain. Reid confirms the rule.

mitch said...

The irony is that Brown also has a PhD but never uses the title. He observes the rule.

ChrisC said...

For those of us not completely up to speed, may I ask

(1) we know that the MSM never spill the beans on their political mates, but why has this not been out on any blogs (or has it?)

(2) what exactly is the Brown - Dacre connection?

Anonymous said...

An horrific prospect I agree, but can anyone really think of any other use for dim Dawn?
Perhaps the man was just giving her a chance to find herself.

Theo Spark said...

'John Reid is to English politics what Sir Les Patterson is to Australian diplomacy!'

aardvark said...

Mitch 8.12 AM

Re: the discussion on Reid's right to call himself "Dr.".

Yes, he has a PhD. Yes, he is entitled to call himself "Dr.".

However, the un-written rule is that a non-medical title is not normally used unless you are still in academe. When this rule is broken it is almost always done by the vain. Reid confirms the rule.


There is no such unwritten rule. Almost all (non-academic) scientist and engineers with PhDs use the title 'Dr'.

There are some professions where it is customary not to use the title. Amongst politicians, about half of them seem to use it.

What about people people like 'Dr' Liam Fox who is no longer a practising GP but continues to use the title? Like most GPs he does not have a doctorate. Their title is honorific. Shouldn't they drop it once they retire?

jailhouselawyer said...

Very interesting Iain. However, you do appear to have the fixation about other peoples past. Isn't it your present conduct which needs addressing?

Iain Dale said...

A reminder: anonymous comments making spurious allegations will be deleted.

simon said...

Maybe if Reid wants a shag, he should get in contact with that Australian female labour MP!

Ted Harvey said...

Regarding the past offences of what by many accounts seems to be a thuggish hypocrite who seems able to be long derelict in personal and political affiliations; I know that there is the legitimate argument that the guy had an alcohol problem, fought it and beat it, and anyway it was all years ago.

But what about ongoing hypocrisy, lying and the arrogant moral-high-ground 'Dr' image that he cultivated? I'd have some sort of respect for him if he had at the time 'come out' acknowleged he had a problem and sought public understanding.

Moreover, what about the party members and members of Cabinet and Government who colluded (to their personal advantage?) in the deceit all these years?

The UK political class from Major's government onwards has caused significant and long-lasting (permanent?) loss of trust and belief among the public in the entire system.

This is just another squalid, fag-end example of this process.

Voyager said...

Mind you I do wonder if DR Gordon Brown with a PhD thesis on the Labour Party in Scotland is any the wiser than Dr Helmut Kohl with a PhD thesis on the CDU Party in least Dr Merkel has hers in Physics.

Anonymous said...

it wasn't a spurious allegation, you tit. Google it. Use you brain.

Little Black Sambo said...

"the so-called 'Dr.' Reid"

I think it is bad form to use the title unless you are a medical doctor or have a real academic doctorate. PhD & D. Phil were invented for postgraduate mass-market.

aardvark said...

Little Black Sambo 5.36 PM

What do you mean by "real academic doctorate" ?

Anonymous said...

bit rich coming from someone who worked for david davis isn't it?

Anonymous said...

"what exactly is the Brown - Dacre connection?"

Nasal septum-rectum?

Only speculating, mind! - in a most metaphorical of manners!

Anonymous said...

This whole article can be summed up as:

John Reid is like John Prescott would be if he had half a brain cell.

I thought people already knew that - this Primarolo stuff is just a load of froth isn't it?

Red Dawn for Kanzler!!

Anonymous said...

"reminder: anonymous comments making spurious allegations will be deleted."

Whereas Iain Dale making spurious allegations will be referred to as 'getting retaliation in first..'