From the BBC website...
"Mr McBride also told BBC Radio 5 Live the allegations were untrue, saying: "The idea of Gordon instructing us to brief against Alistair Darling is totally wrong. The idea of me briefing against Alistair Darling is totally wrong."
Amazing. What he has done I effectively call various lobby journalists liars. Is there any reason why journalists shouldn't now go on the record and open up their notebooks? If I were one of them I would want to defend my honour.
Interesting that Charlie Whelan has been silent on the subject....
Come now, we can't ask all of Brown's evil little helpers to deny that they did it; it'd take all day!
Most journalists are still scared of the Number 10 machine and for good reason.
I understand , but have not seen the direct quote' that Sir Gus, "spoke to the PM about how to get the best out of his staff but never about bullying"
Well Brown has never been accused of 'bullying' ...
If this quote is true then its game set and match to Rawnsley.
They of course won't because of the Lobby code of silence, but it's a damn shame at times like this I agree.
Glad you picked up on my suggestion though Iain...
There is a moment in Casablanca (the well known film) when Captain Renault kicks over a bottle of Vichy water, in order to emphasise his hithterto position which is "I blow with the wind, and the prevailing wind happens to be from Vichy."
The Lobby is presumably in fear of losing the free ride bloggers do not get, which is being spoon fed. They are only intent upon saving their own skins.
However, as it becomes clearer which way the wind is blowing, perhaps, and don't hold your breath, one may just open his notebook.
And by the way, full marks for not aspiring to their ranks. You do very will without that.
He's right of course - the 'idea' of him briefing is indeed totally wrong. That's a totally different sentence to 'I didn't brief' or 'that is not true'. Classic non-denial denial. Phil Webster at The Times can clarify if either he or McBride is lying.
Well I should think this has given that Hong Kong news channel some headaches. Just how do you do a CG graphic of the "forces of Hell"? Something Omen-esque perhaps? With a couple of horsemen of the Apocalypse thrown in?
Serves them right for setting the bar so high last time round.
It's a hard job being a satirist when the reality is so jaw-droppingly awful.
Is it too much to ask for us all to move on to a discussion of issues and policies and away from the utterly shallow personality based posturing that has been the norm for the past week or so – ever since, it would seem, that the gap between the two major parties started to narrow conclusively!
I’m not naïve enough to think that the coming election won’t in part be Brand Cameron versus Brand Brown. Nor do I expect that either of the brands will eschew ambush marketing and character assassination. But could we try and get policies more to the fore please?
My vote is not in doubt. I live in the Twickenham constituency and it would be utterly perverse to vote for anyone other than the sainted Vince Cable. But if we had the STV system my second choice would be up for grabs and it would go to the Party that made the most credible policy pitch.
Too much to ask?
Well Nick Cohen appears to have outed Whelan on this one at http://standpointmag.co.uk/node/2774
Amazingly Nick Robinson agreed, on the Daily Politics show, that the Permanant Secretary "spoke" to Gordon Brown about his behaviour towards civil servants. He also fingured Damien Green and Charlie wheelan for spinning against Alastair Darling. And raised the question, "who ordered the operation? To suggest their boss and control freak Gordon didn't know what was going on shows the prime minister to be an outright liar.
Talking of liars:
I heard Yvette Cooper boasting about NHS targets, telling us that you can now get to see a cancer specialist within two weeks.
FACT: Last March it took SEVEN weeks to get to a specialist bladder nurse. My radiotherapy didn't start till September.
FACT: A friend of mine went to his GP a month ago with the same symptoms. He was told it would take SEVERN (!) yes SEVEN weeks to see a specialist.
Luckily my friend lives part of the year in France. He got a plane ticket straight away, explaining that in France he could get to a non-private specialist in three or four days.
The lobby strikes me as a cause rather than symptom of the poison that currently flows through politics.
I suggest that Westminster would be a much healthier place if all quotes are attributed before being published.
How will Brown deal with these revelations? He can hardly unlease anything else against Darling, or is this all too turning a bit too recursive ?
Nick Cohen. Standpoint Online. 24-02-10
"I was waiting with a crowd of guests at the Pillars of Hercules pub in Soho for the start of a party being thrown by Kevin Maguire, the Mirror's amiable political editor, to celebrate his wife's launch of a chick-lit novel. Political journalists and rom-com novelists are not the most promising mixture for a convivial evening, but we were all rubbing along until for no reason Charlie Whelan, Brown's point man in the unions, turned to the journalists and started laying into the Chancellor of the Exchequer. As he was speaking in a public place and did not ask to go off the record, the etiquette of journalism allows me to say that I was astonished. Darling had been a loyal friend of Brown's, but that did not stop Whelan from denigrating him."
I commend the following website - identified by Dizzy
My thoughts exactly: if the makers of hell poured their poison, they did it into the willing ears of those who were happy to be their agents.
So the question is whether those agents are happy to be fingered now -or whether Wheelan, McBride, Campbell et all all have dossiers on them big enough to perform instant gonadectomies, thus ensuring their silence. (Or they just threaten never to give them anything again, which would have much the same effect)
Macbeth Denies "Rift" With Banquo
Castle spin doctors were last night scrabbling to quell reports of a rift between the King and his Chief Adviser Banquo after the latter's ghost told Sky News that Macbeth had "unleashed the forces of Hell" on him. In a move that stunned the Casstle lobby, the Ghost confirmed that sources close to the King had, following his murder, engaged in an operation to blacken his name. Mr Banquo said: "I did make it clear to the King that despite the fact that he had murdered me I wouldn't be going anywhere. Needless to say and in fairness to Macbeth, the Tories were -as ever- quick to jump on the bandwagon."
King Macbeth, who denies recent claims that he could be a bully, was quick to respond: "Yes it's true that Banquo and I had some pretty frank discussions -that's normal in government. But to suggest that my killing him in any way amounts to a rift is ridiculous. That's just not me. Ask my wife if you don't believe me."
The lobby fodder have long lost all credibility (possibly with the exception of Tom Bradby on ITV) especially the BBC lot and the likes of toilets MaGuire and Sir Michael Shite.
I really can't believe the BBC have been taking McBride's statement seriously AND even after Darling all but gave the game away that he was attacked by the one eyed idiots henchmen the BBC still spun the Brown line that "there is no evidence".
Even John Pinhead on Radio 5 was spinning for Labour, when talking about how it's bad when Chancellors fall out with PM's he ONLY quoted Mrs Thatcher (as any beeboid does).
So did I dream the lobby fodder regurgitating the spin from Downing Street (especially Toenails) that Darling was to be sacked and replaced by Balls then? So that wasn't a falling out BBC? That whole incident has been wiped by the BBC from history.
Could it be the BBC are hiding something on this story? Could it be the BBC are embarrassed because THEY outed David Kelly who then died under rather odd circumstances?
Could it be the BBC under bullying from the nutter Campbell fired Andrew Gilligan?
The BBC know that over the last 13 years the Liebour party has bullied and destroyed anyone who dare oppose them?
Wasn't Walter Wolfgang bullied when dragged from his chair at the Liebour Party Conference then BBC?
Where does it end? More dead bodies in woods?
Darling released this trivia to avoid having to tell the real story - which is that his revenues are down by £50 billion on his 2009 Budget forecast.
If he can keep you all busy on this trivia, he could slide a £100 billion increase in his borrowing requirement past your noses, pretending normal annual spending was funding for 'interventions'.
Blair and Brown used their feuding narrative to hide inconvenient truths. Darling has learned the same technique.
Cameron might ask Brown about his revenues and borrowing figures occasionally.
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