Coffee House

Damian McBride’s confessions part I

20 September 2013

9:05 AM

20 September 2013

9:05 AM

Ever since the publication date of Damian McBride’s book was set for the week of the Labour autumn conference, it was clear that the party would find itself lugging a bit of the past around as it tries to talk about what it wants to do in the future. But perhaps it wasn’t clear quite what a festival of letting skeletons wander out of closets this week would be.

There isn’t one particularly horrifying skeleton, but the effect both of McBride’s book, serialised in the Mail, and the cache of emails released by Benjamin Wegg-Prosser, former Number 10 strategic communications director, is to trawl up a row that had lain quiet. Wegg-Prosser says he did it to remind the party of the dangers of factionalism, but his actions are also clearly a pre-emptive strike against the Brownite version of events that will appear in McBride’s book.

The anger and poison in these emails will remind voters of everything they hate about politics in general, but these revelations are also a terrible weakness for the Labour party as their conference season begins. How can those who were right in the thick of it who now lead the party show that things have changed? But the bigger question is what more will emerge from the McBride book, and whether there’s anything in it that could seriously undermine the standing of members of the shadow cabinet today.

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Show comments
  • Mynydd

    Could someone explain the three Blair/Brown landslide general election victories. If they messed up so badly why didn’t Mr Cameron in turn win by a landslide.
    Now let us get up to date; for three years we have had Tory back benchers planting stories how they are out to get Mr Cameron over Europe. Now with Syria, it was not just stories, they voted in parliament against Mr Cameron’s on military action. By this act, a large number of the Conservative MPs put the knife into Mr Cameron’s back, just like they did to Mrs Thatcher. It is now open season on how to get rid of Mr Cameron before the next general election. Not just by back benchers but also by cabinet minsters, such as, Mrs May, Mr Osborne, Mr Grove, and yet again Mr Hague. For further reading, look up the stories the Conservatives, and now Mr Crosby, have planted in the media about Mr Clegg and the Lib Dem MPs. It as got so bad Mr Clegg was forced to complain about it in his speech last Wednesday.
    I return to, how come Mr Blair/Brown won three overall majorities, and why Mr Cameron failed to win an overall majority. Answers on a post card to Number 10.

    • HookesLaw

      Cameron won nearly 100 seats a post war record I think – close to an all time record – far exceeding anything Thatcher achieved. Brown lost a record number of seats.
      You can answer your question by looking at the unfair boundaries. If you want to know why we still have unfair boundaries then look no further than the thick tory backbenches.

      • Mynydd

        That is it then, it’s was not Mr Cameron’s fault that he missed an open goal.

        • Andy

          We will make all constituencies the same size as the Isle of Wight. We will also stop all Welsh, Northern Irish and Scottish MPs voting on any Bill which relates only to England.

  • Peter Stroud

    We are also told, from time to time, that Red Ed, Wee Dougie Alexander and Ed Balls hate each other. So there were even factions within the Brown camp. And they might be running the show after 2015.

    • telemachus

      Subsitute will for might

      • Colonel Mustard

        Don’t crow about it. It will be a very sad day for England if it comes about. Poisonous reptiles, all of you.

        • Mynydd

          “Poisonous reptiles, all of you” does that include Mr Cameron, or is he whiter than white

          • Colonel Mustard

            You should know my feelings on Cameron from my many comments about him. No friend of mine he. But that particular panjandrum is not in the same league as Labour when it comes to the perpetration of villainy and evil.

            Cue the S*x Pistols “I bet you don’t hate us as much as we hate you”.

      • The_greyhound

        I always understood it was crystal balls that foretold the future, not fruitcakes.

  • asalord

    Look how these Scottish unionists have ruined the once great nation of England.
    Come on England! Demand independence!

  • Noa

    The sordid insider’s tale of unscrupulous Labour in-fighting for position by the party spiders which we read and deduced as they spun their webs whilst in power.
    It is revolting that these ‘revelations’ now provide these odious nomenclatura with the opportunity to enrich themselves.
    Of course they simply follow the paths their owners, Blair and Brown, have already trodden.

    • telemachus

      What can be more revolting than a leader who openly advertises smoking and drinking to respectively send our children to early graves and subject our womenfolk to domestic violence and worse
      And to cap it all show a dreadful example to the rest of us by squirrelling his money in tax havens

      • Colonel Mustard

        Now you are getting desperate. OTT damage control attempts by you on this blog article. Are they panicking in Labour HQ?

        • Mynydd

          No it’s you that’s getting desperate by your refusal to admit what Thatcher did.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Which has absolutely nothing to do with the current story which is about McBride who has confessed.

            Why should I admit what Thatcher did to your satisfaction? I am not the keeper of her conscience.

            Silly relativism. Silly Labour damage control people bleating about the Great Witch Thatcher to try and get Gonk-Boy off the hook.

      • James Strong

        Too obscure for me.
        WTF are you talking about and what has it got to do with this thread?

      • Noa

        There’s no point it trying to ape your hero Damian here.

        And as you can’t explain them yurself you’d best ask Labour’s succession of pathetic immigration ministers to provide us all with their explanation of why they failed to address the various issues of female cultural domestic oppression, widespread sexual exploitation, mass cliterodectomies and honour killings with their incoming, vibrant and diverse migrant hordes.

  • The Laughing Cavalier

    Lest we forget … if nothing else, these memoirs will remind us how utterly unfit for high office the Blair, Brown and their respective droogies were – and remain – so that we are not tempted to vote again for people of such low moral character.

  • Colonel Mustard

    There should be no surprises to anyone who has other than an occluded or rose-tinted view of Labour, New and Old. The surprising aspect is the way that those in the “thick of it” and now sitting brazenly on the opposition front bench have managed to distance themselves from that regime and avoid being held to account for it, not properly anyway, not damagingly.

    I watched Labour’s “Lurch” on the Daily Politics yesterday and his evasions in trying to whitewash New Labour’s thirteen years and “condem” the Coalition’s three years whilst at the same time plugging the soundbite of the day from the TUC script was quite remarkable.

    • rtj1211

      There shouldn’t be any surprises as to what the conservatives do either.

      Trust me, very senior corporate figures in ICT companies in the UK organise wire tapping on a wide scale for shady figures to peer into every aspect of a wide variety of people’s lives.

      I know it goes on because I am one of those they have wire tapped.

      They have international links and consider this part of doing business.

      • Colonel Mustard

        But this blog article is not about what conservatives do.

        • Mynydd

          That’s right cover up what the conservatives and the blessed Margaret did.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Who is covering up? You are the one pointing the primary school finger and bleating “They did it too Miss” as though that excuses anything.

            I see that the damage control exercise has brought all the Labour trolls out, frantic to divert attention from the actual story.

            • Mynydd

              I have said it before but I will say it again, I am not a member of any political party.

              • Colonel Mustard

                And yet you defend Labour and attack Tories with some degree of regularity.

      • HookesLaw

        Trust you!? Pardon me whilst I vomit.

    • telemachus

      Listen
      Damian performed a useful function
      Warmonger Blair did not get the message that he voters were allergic to their compatriots being slaughtered to no purpose in Afghanistan but more particularly in Iraq
      He and his acolytes needed shock therapy
      It was a mistake to let him go when he turned his guns on the Tories

      • Colonel Mustard

        No, you listen.

        What was done and proposed was simply disgusting. It was not “reasonable” to make up lies to smear people and makes you and your cause stand out as the bogus hypocrisy that it is. Let’s never forget that the coterie McBride was busy for is the same nasty gang now on the opposition front bench, sans the puppet master Broon.

        Poisonous reptiles, all of them, but especially you. Your mask has slipped many times here so no more of your “reasonable” “caring” guff.

        • telemachus

          He did for Blair
          He could have done for Cameron
          Reading most of your recent posts I would have thought you would have welcomed that

          • Colonel Mustard

            I don’t subscribe to your Stalinist notion of the end justifying any means which is FAR from “reasonable” or “caring”.

            • telemachus

              We should applaud anything that shortens the system of Keith Joseph unfettered selfishness

              • Colonel Mustard

                You do what you want in your half-witted, parrot-like way. Just don’t shove it down my throat, comrade.

                • telemachus

                  You do not have to agree
                  However I am gratified that the will of the majority will prevail very soon

                • Colonel Mustard

                  We’ll see.

                • Pootles

                  The ‘will of the majority’ ? Uh? When did we last get that – 1935. What we will get, yet again, is a government based on around 25% of the electorate.

                • Mynydd

                  Upset are we.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Yes, lefties like you always make me want to vomit. Xin loi!

        • Mynydd

          McBride only did what Mrs Thatcher’s official spokesman did.

          • Colonel Mustard

            That does not excuse him.

            • Mynydd

              I didn’t say it did.

              • Colonel Mustard

                Then explain the relevance of your comment.

          • Andy

            Liar.

          • http://owsblog.blogspot.com Span Ows

            …you are totally wrong.

    • Mynydd

      I would have thought someone of your age would have remembered the Thatcher days. Those were the days when Mrs Thatcher’s official media spokesman, I repeat official not an adviser, and with her knowledge, planted stories every day about her cabinet ministers. Remember, he’s one of us, he’s a wet place a story I want him out. I am sure if you cast your mind back to those days you will remember them.

      • Colonel Mustard

        All of which does not excuse McBride or Broon or New Labour or Labour or the same gang sitting on the opposition front bench.

        The current story is about what McBride did and I am commenting on it, much to your fevered and foam-flecked desperation! Prince John was evil too I understand.

      • HookesLaw

        Say that a bit louder and Sir Bernard Ingham might sue you. Or the Spectator. Preferably the Barclay brothers.

  • Andy

    It is time the truth of what Gordon Brown was like is finally revealed. And it is time the truth of what McBride did for that idiot Brown is revealed. Now we need to know what Ed Miliband knew and when. Polly Toynbee admits she knew all along and yet said nothing so who else then ?

    • rtj1211

      1. Email hacking.
      2. Phone tapping.
      3. Blackmail.
      4. Briefing the media.

      That’s what he did.

      • Noa

        Yet there is no legal sanction applicable to those who perform their duties in a manner in public or quasi public office which would and should see them arrested, prosecuted and imprisoned if the were employed in the private sector or the media.

        • telemachus

          You are naïve

          All is fair in the dog eat dog world of high politics

          What is at stake is the future of the country and fairness to the population

          The mistake was to throw him out when he was about to throw some particularly sticky mud at the Tories

          The consequence was the current shower who gave us the double dip recession, 5% pay rise for the rich and withdrawal of benefits for the disabled

          Including the bedroom tax that has brought us into disrepute at the UN

          • Colonel Mustard

            “What is at stake is the future of the country and fairness to the population”

            Which is a good enough reason to see the whole of the opposition front bench in prison for treason where they belong.

            • telemachus

              I am in fact excited
              Not just by the prospect of accession a year next May
              But the prospect of a salivating speechfest in Brighton
              I leave at 2 from the frozen North from which you home counties types wish to steel heating allowance
              Posting may be patchy as we drink in the atmosphere

              • Colonel Mustard

                I do not live in the Home Counties and I am only a “type” in your fevered, propaganda infused imagination. I am an individual with my own opinions and the right to them. Remember those? They were more common in the years before your precious New Labour gang appeared and darkened our horizon.

                Off to Brighton with you and join the other poisonous reptiles there to commune in self-deluding lies.

                • telemachus

                  Having wallowed in Glaswegian tripe amplified by Isabel and Fraser I need to keep well away from Central Hall and the 20th anniversary self glorification
                  The bracing sea air will be a joy

                • Noa

                  The lunatic ‘fringe’ will be your natural mielieu.

                • telemachus

                  They are all in Westminster today
                  I thought you might be drinking in the pollution at Central Hall
                  It is a shame that Farage can pollute the air where once the great socialist Donald Soper used to preach

                • Noa

                  You display your own hypocracy.

                  By your criteria Soper would never have had the opportunity to rise to the top echelons of the Labour party, for you would have abolished the school he attended.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Go for a swim then. A long one.

              • Noa

                It will never happen.
                You would deprive the children of Labour’s leaders the opportunities they enjoyed themselves and they would not thank you for it.
                http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/edwest/100018840/revealed-the-labour-mps-who-attended-grammar-schools/
                They were satisfied with smashing the Grammar Schools; that drawbridge that provided the able but poor with an escape route, and whose expansion would have created a truly equal and better society than the dystopian Fabian vision.

                • telemachus

                  There is more to education than selecting elite brains for enhancement
                  The social aspects are paramount
                  Our society should strive to fairness

                • Noa

                  Labours leaders mean fairness for themselves, not for you and yours.

                  Time to wake from your torper and smell the Tokarov’s cordite.

                • telemachus

                  Yes the Soviets were always ahead of the West

                  “What is remarkable about this gun is the .30 caliber cartridge, which was loaded to .357 Magnum power levels a good 5 years before Smith and Wesson first offered their first Magnum revolver.”

                • Noa

                  How prescient that your leaders banned them from general use.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  You really are quite disgusting in your provocations. And then you boast about being “reasonable” and “caring”.

                  Poisonous reptiles all of you.

                • HJ777

                  What would you know about either education or ‘elite brains’?

          • Noa

            ‘Do as I say, Comrade. Not as I do. It will lighten the burden of the yoke I have placed upon your shoulders.’

            • telemachus

              I am impressed
              Every now and again I can see that the education programme works

              • Noa

                Then you will be disappointed to learn that I escaped the holocaust unleashed upon successive generations of young minds by Comrade Crosland and was educated in the sort of school and by people whom Cromwell would have recognised and understood.

                • telemachus

                  Whatever history
                  We need to begin the tax squeeze on the misallocation of resources to the 11% silver spoons who buy privilege for thei offspring
                  First Charitable Status will be removed then a progressive tax on assets

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Tax and spend again, eh? The same obstinate head pounding the same brick wall and the same note in years ahead:-

                  “The money is all gone”.

                  Only this time you’ll begin with a huge deficit, you’ll drive the wealth creators away and our ruin will be that much more rapid. If it leads to you and your kind finally being put up against a wall I’m all for it. Bring it on!

                • telemachus

                  This is not tax and spend
                  It is tax to destroy an unfair system
                  There are more painful means

                • Colonel Mustard

                  The “unfair system” of tax and spend that Broon presided over for 13 years.

                  Not very convincing.

                • Mynydd

                  If the money is all gone how come Mr Cameron/Osborne gave a tax break to the very rich, and who it was paid for?

                • Colonel Mustard

                  I didn’t say the money was all gone. Your Liam Byrne did and he worked in the Treasury so he ought to know.

                  Broon only introduced the 50% rate just before the election. Before that your mob were quite happy with his “tax break to the very rich” for almost 13 years so no lectures about that please, you ridiculous relativists!

                  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/tax/9654465/Britains-taxes-among-highest-in-world-accountants-say.html

                  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/tax/10074285/Treasury-raises-extra-1.3bn-from-income-tax-in-first-month-of-45p-rate.html

                • Mynydd

                  In your comment above, you did not say Liam Byrne said “The money is all gone”, therefore you own the comment.
                  With respect to the 50% tax rate introduced before the last election. At the time, and for that matter still today, it was deemed necessary to reduced the deficit which had ballooned as a result of the international banking crisis and the measures taken to under-right British Banks and individual savers. To this end Mr Brown/Darling drew up a plan to half the deficit during the life of the next parliament by cutting spending and adjusting taxation. I say adjusting taxation because some taxes would go up and others would go down. It was clear at the time that the 50% would last for the whole of the next parliament.
                  Think on, by your logic any tax rate below 100% is a tax break to the very rich.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  It was a quote and a well known one. The clue is in the inverted commas. I own the comment that included the quote not the quote.

                  You were the one who started wittering on about tax breaks for the very rich.

          • The Laughing Cavalier

            The allegations and rumours that McBride and his poisonous pals were about to throw at the opposition were false and scandalous. That is why he had to go.

            • telemachus

              I am sorry
              I thought we agreed that if it had prevented the current criminals getting their hands on the levers it could be excused

              • The Laughing Cavalier

                Who’s we? Not I certainly. As it happens, I know a couple of the rumours that McPoison was about to float before he got the sack. They were vile, slanderous and untrue.

          • HookesLaw

            The was no double dip and then top rarte of tax is higher now than it was in the 10 years of Brown’s Chancellorship.

    • HJ777

      But we already knew all this, didn’t we?

      Just like we knew about Lance Armstrong before his public confession.

      As for Polly Toynbee – well, who cares? She’s a fool. We all knew that too.

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