Monday, December 13, 2010

Ed Picks His Gamekeeper

I have to say I am gobsmacked at Ed Miliband's choice of Director of Communications, Tom Baldwin. It seems I am not alone. Three seasoned lobby journalists have rung me with their not wholly complimentary views. They've used phrases like "accident waiting to happen", "what on earth were they thinking?" and "you can't say Ed Miliband isn't a risk taker." Indeed not.

There's no doubt, Baldwin is a very talented writer and has been a very good story getter. But as I wrote back in February 2006...

... he was considered to be Alastair Campbell's chief missionary on earth. If he wrote a story you could be sure that Big Al had tipped him the wink. He also had another mission. To do down the Conservative Party at every opportunity. Hardly a week would go by where he didn't find, or would be given, some little snippet of information which he would sensationalise beyond all recognition... Baldwin was one political journalist I tried to make sure I avoided.

When you're the Director of Communications for the main opposition party, your key asset has to be that you're believable - that you really are "your master's voice". It will be interesting to see how he moves from poacher to gamekeeper.

UPDATE: Tim Montgomerie has had the same experience of Mr Baldwin as me.

UPDATE: How odd. Guido is now reporting the job has gone to the Mirror's Bob Roberts. No, not THAT one. UPDATE: This is a separate job.

UPDATE: The Daily Mail has got in on the act.

UPDATE: David Seymour is equally unimpressed.


Demetrius said...

What fun. Is anyone under 30 going to take any notice whatsoever of this lot and their Party games? The world has changed and nobody in Westminster seems to have noticed.

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Scary Biscuits said...

My experience of Tom Baldwin is when he falsely reported on the selection of Adam Afriyie for Windsor. Baldwin reported that there had been a huge row with clearly racist Conservatives storming out in protest. I was there and didn't recognise Tom's description of the event. Indeed the agent at the time confirmed that she had been on the door all the time and only one person had left early but he had voted for Adam. After a complaint to his editor, Baldwin eventually admitted that his report was second hand but from an unnamed but 'senior' member. I suspect, however, that he had simply made it up, based on how he believed Conservatives to be.

Tapestry said...

Baldwin was a Portillo supporter. Nuff said.