Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Brown Was Warned About McBride

Andy McSmith writes in The Independent today that he tried to warn Gordon Brown and the Labour hierarchy about Damian McBride.
McBride is a man of parts. When I dealt with him professionally, I was always impressed by how quickly and succinctly he replied to queries. And yet, though I do not normally consider it my business to intervene in the political process, I did attempt two years ago to convey a message to Gordon Brown, through one of his trustees, that it would be unwise to move McBride from the Treasury to the highly exposed position of official spokesman for the Prime Minister.

Even then, he had too much of a reputation for enjoying drinking late into the night with journalists. People in these exposed positions can drink with journalists if they must, but should never, ever, enjoy it. Gathering and passing on political intelligence is a duty that people around the Prime Minister have to perform. It is not a game to be played for fun.

McBride, who is only 34, was too obviously hooked on the game.
McSmith wasn't the only one to express discomfort at McBride's activities.

Lord (Dale) Campbell-Savours has been running a one man campaign against McBride ever since he tried to bully Sky News over their coverage of the 2006 Pre Budget report and smeared two Labour MPs. He tabled several questions, both oral and written, in the House of Lords in early 2007 (the Hansard website isn't working for me so I can't locate them). They allege that McBride broke the civil service code by his actions. But Gordon Brown took no action against his licensed pitbull.

By ye actions, shall ye be judged.


Paul Wakeford said...

Gosh, only 34. he looks 15 years older. Too much booze.
Where is LabourLost - down out of embarrassment?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Iain Dale said...

DDTaylor, you are now banned from this site for spamming the comments with your nasty innuendo. Any comments you leave in future will be deleted.

Chris Paul said...

I think you need to look a year or two earlier perhaps Iain. Lord Dale (!!) asked six or eight questions on this. Culminating c 2005 rather than 2007 with McBride carpeted? From memory though. Not checked.

Bert Rustle said...

Ian Dale wrote ... McBride wasn't the only one to express discomfort at McBride's activities. ...Then on whose side is Mister McBride?

What percentage of the players within the Labour Government have Irish surnames?

Brian said...

Lord Campbell-Savours' questions and answers are here:
and here:
and here:

Chris Paul said...

Sorry Iain I'll have to express my profound regrets for that comment was ever uttered. The Sky matter was 06-07 and the good Lord Dale mentioned McBride by name in a Q in Dec 06. The answer by the way was a priceless non-answer. You're right. There may be some earlier relevant questions though.

Chris Paul said...

Sorry, I didn't mean to say sorry. Profound regrets once more.

Martin S said...

But, you see, Brown did not need to be warned. Why? He already knew that he was like.

It's as if someone buys a dog with the express intent of allowing it to participate in illegal dog fights.

They don't need some friend -ignorant of the real purpose as to why they bought the dog- telling them that their dog is dangerous. For that's the entire reason as to why they bought the dog...

Martin S said...

Damn. That should have been 'what he was like!' sorry!

Oscar Miller said...

Ben Brogan was one of those, however, who dissented from the usual take on McPoison. In October 2008, when Damian was 'sacked' Brogan wrote:

"When the Day of Reckoning comes and those of us who know are free to say what we know, Damian McBride will emerge with great credit from the madness of the past few years."

So has that Day arrived Ben? Maybe you will enlighten us?

Man in a Shed said...

"By ye actions, shall ye be judged."

And perhaps by the company you keep?

Have to agree with Paul Wakeford - McBride looks terrible for 34 !

Anonymous said...

"McBride wasn't the only one to express discomfort at McBride's activities."

Life in Downing Street had become so confused that people were running around stabbing each other (and themselves) in the front.

BTW, is it just my coincidental change of ISP today, or has access to this site and Guido's (for example) slowed to the speed of cold treacle? I was promised 3x the download speed, but the political sites are proving very problematical.

Guthrum said...

34 ! Liver of 84

Paul Halsall said...

Iain, I really had to dig down to find where you had retracted the charge against Tom Watson.

But now The Sun has gone after him. - http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/columnists/fergus_shanahan/article2375497.ece

Sean said...

Looks like the Sun have the necessary merchandise on Watson.


Stan said...

You mean Gordon Brown didn't realise that McBride was a vicious attack dog? Come on - even I don't believe Brown is THAT stupid!

On a more serious note, I find it deeply troubling that the taxpayer is funding party activists. People like McBride (and Campbell before him) should not be involved in government unless they have been voted there by the electorate. If government need specialists in any arena they should use the traditional and impartial civil service. I have no problem with Labour or the Tories employing people for party activism and paying them out of party funds, but nobody should be part of government unless they were elected, a member of the Lords or part of a professional and party neutral civil service.

strapworld said...

More evidence of McBride's handywork! Curtesy of Wrinkled Weasel:
Gordon Brown tries to shut down the European Parliament.

Credit for this story goes in full to Craig Murray. It is just that I had not seen it, until Daniel Hannan mentioned it in passing and I wonder how many people have. It should certainly see a wider audience.

After Hannan's momentus vivisection of Gordon Brown at the European Parliament, Brown, who, if you remember the viral video, smirked like a schoolboy throughout and doodled on a notepad, was so angry that he immediately ordered his flunkies to make sure it does not happen again.

Murray writes:

staff in the UK Mission to the European Union (UKREP Brussels) were horrified to receive an instruction from the FCO to ensure that the situation when Gordon Brown was obliged to hear a speech against him in the European Parliament from MEP Daniel Hannan, could not happen again...

..my friends in our mission in Brussels consoled themselves that Prime Ministerial pique would die down, and with the G20 summit keeping Brown frenetically busy in London, the whole thing would be forgotten. But no! As they opened their offices at 8am Brussels time this morning, there was a missive from No 10, demanding to know what progress has been made.

Read the piece in full here: http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2009/04/gordon_browns_e.html

Brown and New Labour are doing everything in their power to squash criticism at home and abroad. This is a chilling example of just what Labour are prepared to do to hang on, including shutting down debate in the European Parliament.

Brown is already contemptuous of Parliament and when he does attend PMQs he does not answer questions. My reason for posting this is simple: Brown is already an unelected leader and has no greater mandate than the one given him by the people of Fife. In is disdain for public scrutiny he has a long history of simply not being there when it is inconvenient. Now that he has to be present, as Prime Minister, he has set about making sure that all means are used to neutralise dissent, whether it be from a dirty tricks department or brazen requests to change the processes and procedures of the European Parliament.

Dungeekin said...

McBride's out, and good riddance to very bad rubbish.

The news puts a song in my heart - specifically, this one. Enjoy.

'Bye, Bye Mister Poison McBride'


HarveyProcter said...

oh no, pompous Daley is on radio 5 in his best sanctimony.I do wish the media would introduce him as "Tory Hack Iain Dale" and not "blogger Iain dale".

Unsworth said...

@ HarveyProcter

And your point is?

Wrinkled Weasel said...

I was beginning to despair that the Tories had no robust argument to proffer at this, a moment in history that will, erm..go down in history..

And yet, Francis Maude has sent a coruscating letter to Gus O'Donnell with questions that either must be answered or leave a damning question mark over Number Ten.

Read it here:


Martin S said...

And they can no longer claim that the website never existed, can they?
Red Rag website: It wasn't me, you understand! A big boy registered it, then he ran away."

Jimmy said...

"Looks like the Sun have the necessary merchandise on Watson."

I think we just have to face facts: tories are just so much better at smearing than we are. McBride and Draper were fools to think they could compete.

Anonymous said...

Ho ho ho -- desperate stuff Jimmy and harvryproctor.

I suggest you change your non de plumes.

'War on Want' perhaps, and if you do not get that Gorgeous George.

Maybe 'Where's Charlie'.

Captain Bob might be a good one or 'Walk in the Woods'.

Simon Gardner said...

HarveyProcter said... “I do wish the media would introduce him as “Tory Hack Iain Dale” and not “blogger Iain dale”.[sigh]

The correct term is Tory ├╝berblogger Iain Dale.

Tom Paine said...

"By ye actions, shall ye be judged"

Or by your inactions in this case.

Iain Dale said...

Er, excuse me? How so?

Oscar Miller said...

Wrinkled Weasel - Francis Maude was excellent on R4s WATO. So good Pravda cut him off mid-sentence.

Oscar Miller said...

Brown’s letter to Dorries:


“I enclose a letter sent to Gus O’Donnell to revise rules for political advisers. The political adviser concerned has apologised unreservedly and left his post.
He sent these prank emails without the knowledge of anyone in Downing Street.
I understand the embarassment caused, and any activity such as this that affects the reputation of our politics is a matter of great regret to me. As you can see, I have taken action to do all I can to avoid this happening again.”

Grudging or what? As someone on PB said the Inland Revenue send better letters of apology than that. The 'prank emails' is the final provocation.

I Squiggle said...

Bravo on the Mayo prog Iain. Steve Richards seems a genuine journo (heck, self confessed outsider to the McBride coterie), but illuminating stuff. Yes, Steve, so why not report what you heard?

Anyway, at one with Oscar Miller, above, on the ‘apology’:

“..prank emails..” He still doesn’t get it, does he? Who’s drafting these things for him now, because that’s an absolute classic.

Twig said...

Heard you on LBC Iain, shame Nick Ferrari didn't want to dwell over Smeargate. I suppose you have to consider that LBC do a lot of advertising for DEFRA (anti sausage smuggling campaign) they wouldn't want to jeopardise the revenue would they.
I wonder if Gordon reads the Sun ?

HarveyProcter said...

"Bravo on the Mayo prog Iain."

Especially when Iain had to quickly defend himself from being little more than a gossiper himself :)

Jimmy said...

In breaking news, in response to the accusation that that he asked for payment for the story, Guido today on his site denies receiving payment for the story.

So that's all cleared up then.

Gareth Williams said...

I think we can expect a job advert to appear soon in the usual channels: http://gawragbag.blogspot.com/2009/04/job-advert-imminent.html

Tom said...

Ed Miliband on Radio 4 has, on two seperate occasions, told Eddie Mair of how Gordon Brown "got rid of" McBride. Not resigned then?

McBride's been away for 2 days and already the media project is falling apart. Oh dear.

Brett from Chorley said...

Did I hear my ears correctly?

In a five live interview this afternoon, the Press Secretary for HArlod Wilson was asked whether he thought that the current administration resembled the decaying Tory admin of 1997.

He replied no.

He said it was much more reminiscent of the Nixon administration of the 70's!! This from a LABOUR man. He said that this was really a very serious affair, the implication being that it revealed many dark things of New Labour.

Could we have more on this Ian if you can dig it out? It may be that I heard it wrong - I did not get all of the interview.

Unsworth said...

@ Jimmy

Who are "we", then?