Thursday, June 26, 2008

How Labour Tried to Smear John Major over Mugabe

An interesting insight into the Labour spin operation. Yesterday, when Labour's three favoured newspapers were being briefed about the Queen stripping Mugabe of his honorary knighthood, the Labour spin team gently dropped into the conversations that John Major (who was Prime Minister at the time of the knighthood) was making an attempt to block the move. The assertion was, of course, completely without foundation and Sir John (as we must learn to call him) issued a furious denial when he was questioned later.

What is it about these Labour spinners that they feel they have to make a party political point - even when it has no substance whatsoever - on an issue which unites all politicians in Britain?

51 comments:

Unsworth said...

Name these spinners. Time for them to be held accountable for their comments.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they have a point when they say it was John Major's intervention over the shameless idea of Gordon Brown to go to Iraq during last year's Tory conference that put the kibosh on the 'Autumn Election'..

And they are now looking for 'payback'..

Hurts doesn't it ?

Nick said...

It's simple. They're scum

johnny loden-coat said...

1. Your own story shows the issue does not unite all politicians.

2. This is what spin doctors do. (Are you saying the Tories have never smeared Labour?).

3. There is no "of course" that Major did not try to influence the reversal of a decision taken by his government.

4. The Tories should never have given Mugabe the knighthood in the first place

Anonymous said...

Don't know who your sources are but I'll take it on trust, much as I find it difficult to believe. I'm fairly hard bitten and experienced with uk politics, but this just sounds so wantonly gratuitous and unnecessary, even for Labour.

If it's true and you/Guido/whoever can get any kind of traction behind it then they deserve to be excoriated. Zimbabwe is too much of a tragedy even for normal "playing politics"

As I say, if you've got this right (no reason to doubt it) then it's appalling.

Anonymous said...

The spinners might have been inaccurate but it's hardly a "smear" when the reality is far worse. For it was honest John who gave E-ba-gum his knighthood in the first place, even though he knew about his role in instigating the slaughter of thousands of Ndebele people.

Gordon Brown's Moral Compass Swinger said...

It is borne out of insecurity, self interest, malice, envy and a total lack of integrity. They have no scruples and are total hypocrites.

I suspect it may be genetic. When Ed Balls' father can campaign against grammar schools a few weeks before sending his son to the Nottm High School, is it any wonder that Balls junior does not think twice before getting into some very "complicated" expenses claims?

Would you trust any of them not to take a bung from some big corporate for assisting with the placement of a contract / introducing GM crops etc etc etc

Alan Douglas said...

What is it ? Thay are ... welll ... Guido would have a word for it ...

Alan Douglas

Lola said...

If true - how despicable.

Blue Eyes said...

People are absolutely fed up with Labour's ad hominem negativity. If they want to keep at it, the only party they will end up damaging is their own. Brown is coming across as spiteful, nasty and above all desperate.

Keep it up, Brown!

Newmania said...

I regard John Major as a terribly under-rated figure and I hope time will allow his achievements to be judged in a proper perspective. N Ireland , the NICE years , the preparation for independence of the B of E just as a start .

Furthermore I insist that in her day Edwina Currie was a fox well worth a seeing to.

Lets have some respect.

FonyBlair said...

I think it's more a case of desperation on their part.

It's not very often the spinners get to focus on a PM that many would say was the last Mr Bean!!?

Anonymous said...

Could we have a little verification on this as at the moment it looks like you spinning yourself; there seems to be no mention of this anywhere on the web except here!

Tony hannon said...

But what is the foundation of your attack on Labour spinners in this instance?

Curbishlyauto said...

Sheer desperation, that's all.

Anonymous said...

Can't get to the bottom of this. Hurd had an attack of amnesia when it was raised at QT, and according to other sources "Sir John is believed to have responded that because the knighthood was in the gift of the Queen - apparently the award did not come before Number 10 back in 1994"

"Sir John was firmly of the view that it was entirely a matter for the Queen at the time and therefore not a matter for him now"

So are we to understand that the Queen, off her own bat made the award, without any Government input or what?

Gordon said...

Makes sense - zanulab are quite happy screwing white english males (re harpic's latest moronic announcement, unfortunately supported by Theresa May)

tory boys never grow up said...

If it's true you or the journalist who told you should name the people responsible as that would be the bast way to stop such stupid behaviour in the future. Protecting your sources should not apply if they are lying.

If not - then you shouldn't make accusations that you are not prepared to substantiate.

Thankfully at long last it starting to look that the ANC are going to do something about Mugabe.

mitch said...

Its part of Gordons "strategic vision" and like the rest makes no sense at all.

Anonymous said...

Saintly Theresa May needs to get the Brasso out to polish her halo after tarnishing it by agreeing with Harman's little feminist poly.

It's simple, only the best should be employed.

Anonymous said...

God you tories can be so self-righteous!

Richard Nabavi said...

newmania: "I regard John Major as a terribly under-rated figure and I hope time will allow his achievements to be judged in a proper perspective. N Ireland , the NICE years , the preparation for independence of the B of E just as a start ."

Yes, and he'd sorted out the poll-tax fiasco, and his Chancellor (whom I shall not name for fear of reprisals) did an excellent job.

John Major is often derided as a 'weak' prime minister, but this has seemed to me to be most unfair, given his tiny majority and a party which was deeply divided. After all, any fool can be a 'strong' prime minister when he has a majority of 179, as Blair had in 1997.

Alex said...

They (the Labour spinners) simple know their time is up. Dirty tactics are typical tactics of an outgoing Government.

Unfortunately our partisan media (Brown Broadcasting Corp., et al) will not publish the truth on things like this.

Anonymous said...

newmania - yes it is unfair to think of him as 'weak' just because he was rather dull - what do want as Prime Minister, someone who would look 'at home' on Big Brother ?

p.s. What odds that Judith 'no knickers' Chalmers will soon be putting in an appearance on the next series of 'I'm a Celebrity..' ?

Anonymous said...

Iain, where does this appear in the media please? I can't find it and am a good-ish Googler.

I find the line that the Queen somehow was inspired to do this off her own bat risible. There is no way the Palace would have taken such a step without a decision from Major. Therefore he by definition approved.

Possibly there were some discussions internally in the cabinet about the value of it - you can often spin the "usual discussions" into "opposition" if you want, as do all parties.

Oxymoron said...

"God you tories can be so self-righteous!"

Yeah, baby, you'd better believe it.

Anonymous said...

More on this on Benedinct Brogan's blog

Anonymous said...

Ben Brogan in the Mail
"As a postscript to the Mugabe knighthood saga, it is worth reporting that David Cameron's office contacted Sir John Major recently to discuss the part he played in awarding the honour in the first place....

The suggestion is that Mr Cameron hoped Sir John might go public and call for the honour to be revoked ..."

Not entirely without foundation then.

john miller said...

Hallelujah! Some people with some good things to say about Sir John!

I'm with Matthew Parris who says he was one of the most decent men on politics of that generation.

Everyone in Westminster Village despised him because he was a working class boy who went to Grammar then university. For all the working class and all the public schoolboys, there lies a common foe. Someone who had the brains and motivation to be socially mobile. Brown and Cameron both deeply resent such people now, and such was the case way back then.

Anonymous said...

Because they are scum?

"Mugabe! God's on the line..." said...

Spin criticizing spin - you couldn't make it up!!!

julwhite said...

Sir John Major was a formidable politician. Unlike Heath, Thatcher and Duncan Smith, all of whom were purged by their MPs for unpopularity, Major remained in office when he contested his own leadership election in 1995.

Fiercely under-rated, Major's team of Heseltine, Rifkind and Clarke significantly out-performed any Conservative or Labour front-bench leadership team since.

His statesmanlike performance since 1997 should be contrasted with Thatcher's rather sordid attempts to damage the Conservative Party in the 1990s with her chats urging young Tory backbench MPs to damage their Government.

Major and Churchill stand alone as the two most effective leaders the Conservative Party have seen.

Anonymous said...

John Major has a lot to answer for. He smeared himself a long time ago.

Anonymous said...

I'm doubtful about this. A google search leads to Iain's blog.

I don't need to know names, just what papers Dale is quoting. This strikes me as unverified rumor monging, come on Iain, provide links if you have them.

Newmania said...

Major `s decline was good value too . Whereas it cost him £9.3 million to bribe the Ulster Unionists to back him on the BSE thing it cost Squander-man £1.2 billion to bribe the DUP on 42days.
Both deny it ..ah bless...I expect Gordon was explaining to Iain Paisley how dangerous terrorism is for 68 hours." Tharts Turribul Oi Hard No Idea Gordon... Bombs you say ..."
I feel the Scottish Sulk he has detained us more than enough already myself .

trevorsden said...

"Major and Churchill stand alone as the two most effective leaders the Conservative Party have seen."

Rarely have I read a bigger load of rubbish.

Cometh the hour cometh the man - we owe Churchill a lot when it come to WW2. But as leader of the conservative party - he lost the 1945 election by a landslide and was old ill and correspondingly ineffective as a lader aster that.

At other times he was a Liberal and at others 'in the wilderness'. He led a coalition in the war.

After 1992 Major did very little 'leading' he was at the mercy of events. He did set in train the conditions for the Northern Ireland settlement which Blair likes to take credit for.
Mugabe's knighthood is just typical Foreign office 'realpolitik' . The FO should be shut down.

New labour spinners are showing their pathetic desperation.

Trixy said...

It's endemic in politics.

Anonymous said...

The peace process in NI would not have got off the ground without John Major.
I met him (on another matter)towards the end of his tenure and I was charmed. He was delightful company, very engaging and not at all the sort of wooden persona he came across on television.
He got a bad press, not least because of people like Portillo who have continued to brief against him at every opportunity ever since.

Man in a Shed said...

I'm with 4:45 PM Nick said...

They're scum.

And before all Gordon's little helpers try to say everyone's the same, they aren't.

Labour lied and smeared its way into office with false promises, hid the waste it created with spin , destroyed the economy and education system by stealth, is literally bleeding the military dry, and is now trying to wreck the country in its fading years in power ( just like Mugabe ).

They have nothing but contempt for the public - as shown by their deceit over the EU referendum and deposing Blair when he promised to serve a full parliament.

All that's left to them is the sort of tokenism that Harriet Harman typifies, and the grabbing attitude of the likes of Ed Balls ( see Smith Inst salary he managed to get and his expenses).

Titus said...

Meanwhile, back in the real world Snotty's announced he's going to cover Britain (read England - mostly, I suspect looking at the Brown Broadcasting Corporation's maps on the news ) with 7,000 wind turbines. They have to destroy the country in order to save it - rather like a Vietnamese village.

And Dave says they should've done it years ago...

Looks like we've only got Bob Hope then.

gordos painful smile said...

once more they continue to further degrade an already defunct party

such vindictive smears serve only to remind onlookers that they will lose the next 2 elections to come

did any one else notice how the air smelt that much sweeter the day after gorgon bottled the election

Ed said...

Its how cults operate Iain, in this case the cult of nulabor.

In relation to Mugabe's honorary Knighthood, it is tradition for visiting heads of states to receive this award which is when Mugabe received his. Witness Ceausescu and a few other despots besides.

And anyway how come it has taken more than 10 years for Labour to recommend that Mugabe be stripped of his knighthood? It is not as if we only recently discovered that Mugabe is a despot.

Anonymous said...

john miller said...
"Everyone in Westminster Village despised him because he was a working class boy who went to Grammar then university."

He didn't go to university. He left school with only 3 'O' levels.

He worked for a while as a clerk in an insurance office then went into his father's garden gnome business.

He took correspondence courses in banking and eventually became a bank executive.

You are right about the Westminster village attitudes. Norma Major said that were it not for John Major's position few people in Westminster would give them the time of day.

Anonymous said...

Is it true that Caroline Spelman has offered her resignation?

Caledonian Jim said...

Maybe the Nu Labour dead men walking are bitter and twisted because Gormless Gord is a bigger lame duck than even Major was .

John Trenchard said...

iain - the reason being is because it was under John Major's government that Mugabe actually got the knighthood in the first place.

i guess the lesson here is - if you make stupid decisions, then by god with Labour come after you years, if not decades later.

i get the feeling that you Tory chaps are playing too nice. If these Labourites are playing dirty, you really need to get a grip and start playing dirty back.

Note how Red Ken is on the offensive since that "racist remark" debacle with Boris's assistant?

Yak40 said...

... he'd sorted out the poll-tax fiasco...

I always thought the poll tax was quite a good idea :)

Anonymous said...

I should think the Labour Spin Machine will have their work cut out to-day to explain the Henley result. OK -they never had a chance of winning or even coming second(beating the Lib-Dems)but they've not even come third but fifth(after the Green Party and BNP) and lost their deposit to boot.

A pretty dire result for them in anyone's book

Unsworth said...

Anon 10:40 PM

"Norma Major said that were it not for John Major's position few people in Westminster would give them the time of day."

Indeed, and precisely the same could be said of the Blairs and now, the Browns. Can anyone name one Labour Minister (and spouse) who is any different?

That contrasts elegantly with the (then) Thatchers. However, even in her dotage Lady Thatcher is viewed with some respect and liking.

Roger Thornhill said...

More Socialist mud-slinging to erase or distort history.

John Major MUST be seen as a bad guy so they can continue to blame the Tories pre-1997 for EVERYTHING bad that happens now.

The longer they are in office, the longer they will be out of it afterwards. A decade or more out right now IMHO. A generation or more if they keep this up until the end, especially that Harridan Harm-man. How Labour think that any Anglo-Saxon male still in possession of his genitalia will vote for them escapes me.

julwhite said...

Trevorsden, although Churchill became Prime Minister when he did because of his strength and ability to lead. He did that formidably during the war, and also created the circumstances for a long period of Conservative Government.

Arguably indeed Major was better. resolving the community charge fiasco was just one achievement, his beginning of the peace process in Northern Ireland, his handling of the Gulf War, his successful privatisation of the railways which has led to massive growth in passenger traffic since are others.

His legacy of economic recovery however stands tall above others. Whereas Thatcher lost control of the economy, Major delivered low interest rates and low inflation, starting the strongest period of economic growth this country has seen for decades.

He held the party together despite having no majority at times, despite Thatcher, Tebbit and assorted right-wing idiots trying to bring down his Government.

His position on the EU and the Euro proved to be precisely right, neither damaging out negotiating position, nor losing too many powers to the EU. It was a policy thought wrong by some Conservatives, but was one Blair used to great effect.

Major stood firm on everything he believed in, and his conduct since leaving Parliament remains statesmanlike.

Thatcher and Heath were displaced by their MPs as they had lost touch, whereas Major was kept in by his MPs knowing that his personal ability was the best that the Conservatives had.

His biographer Seldon rates him as in the second quartile of Prime Ministers, above average. In my view, history will correct that position and note him as the most capable Prime Minister this country has had since World War Two.