Coffee House

Damian McBride shatters the Labour peace

22 September 2013

12:40 PM

22 September 2013

12:40 PM

If you want to know just how much anger Damian McBride’s book has created in the Labour party—and particularly its Blairite wing, just watch Alastair Campbell’s interview with Andrew Neil on The Sunday Politics. Campbell doesn’t scream or shout but the anger in his voice as he discusses McBride’s antics is palpable. He did not sound like a man inclined to forgive and forget.

This whole row is, obviously, a massive conference distraction. Those close to Ed Miliband had hoped that this year, the Labour leader would get a free run at conference now that his brother has quite politics. But as one of his colleagues said to me late last week, ‘it used to be all about David, now it’ll be all about Damian.’

What makes this particularly problematic for Miliband is that this isn’t a purely historic argument. Half the cast of the Blair Brown dramas remain on the stage and the old wounds are still raw. Miliband will have to hope that in Brighton this week, the past is not prologue.

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  • splotchy

    Campbell – the man whose lies gave us the dodgy dossier and an immoral war – protests the dishonesty of McBride.

    Campbell who claims above to having *never* briefed against Labour people presumably forgets about calling Brown ‘psychologically flawed’, and his viciousness about Clare Short. Plus let’s not forget he had no compunction about briefing (dishonestly) about non-labour people. Let’s not forget what he did to David Kelly either.

  • David Lindsay

    He’s dead, isn’t he? Not that anyone had heard of him when he was alive.

    He was no one important, and he was it a long time ago. This is the book of the week, is it? Reminisces of an Edwardian Teaboy?

    What is to be the media’s next startling revelation? The death of Queen Anne?

    A world as vanished as the Aztecs, yet you people are still living in it, because it was the only one that could ever have made sense to you, mostly due to your having created it.

    • Fergus Pickering

      Who’s dead, old fruit? Tony Blair? Chance would be a fine thing. Alas, the scumbag thrives..

      • David Lindsay

        But not in Britain, so we need hardly worry about him.

        Damian McBride? Such is the media’s continued obsession with New Labour, that they give this level of attention to anyone who ever met Tony Blair or Gordon Brown.

        A truer indication was given by the fact that after McBride’s sacking, Brown on camera could not even remember his first name, if he had ever known it. A bit busy being Prime Minister, you see.

        • itdoesntaddup

          I thought you were going to blame it on his eyesight.

          • David Lindsay

            Oh, no, they really did barely know each other. Why would they have done?

            What with Dan Hodges answering for the Blairites in the Mail and on Telegraph Blogs, today is clearly Walter Mitty’s Big Day Out.

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          It is called distancing yourself from your own follies. He was part of Brown’s office, travelled regularly with Brown etc etc and were on first name terms. To suggest Brown did not know McBride’s first name is either naive or idiotic.

          • David Lindsay

            Well, he couldn’t remember.

            Any number of people work in a Prime Minister’s office and travel with him.

            I have no doubt that the Prime Minister called Damian “Damian” if he ever spoke to him directly.

            I have no doubt that Damian called the Prime Minister “Prime Minister” if he ever spoke to him directly.

    • Colonel Mustard

      No “you people” about it. Blair’s regime was a creation of the Labour party itself. And the same people now sitting on the opposition front bench were part of it. Re-inventing the party was what Blair did, aided and abetted by that same gang. “New” Labour, remember that? “Thiiiings can only get better” etc. Now the same charlatans and deceivers want to re-invent themselves again by airbrushing Blair from the record and pretending the current gang had nothing to do with his regime.

      What’s the “New” party going to be called this time? ‘New Labour’ has been used. How about the “Nothing to do wiv me, guv, it woz Blair wot done it Party”? Has a nice catchy ring to it.

      • David Lindsay

        Blair’s regime was a creation of the Labour party itself.

        No, the people who did that came out of the anti-Labour sectarian Left as it had transformed itself, which part of it had done, into a lifestyle position in the 1980s. They had only joined Labour a few years before, once they had nowhere else left to go. They always hated it.

        Re-inventing the party was what Blair did, aided and abetted by that same gang.

        No, they were too young. It was that long ago.

        “Thiiiings can only get better”

        Labour has at least one sitting County Councillor, to my certain knowledge, who was born in the year that that was at Number One, the same year that Blair became Leader. (He won the seat, too. It wasn’t and isn’t safe Labour.) It will be MPs soon enough.

        Ancient history.

        And I say again, the people now running the Labour Party were far too young to have been of any importance in it. There are Shadow Cabinet members who were at university or younger when Blair became Prime Minister. Not because they are still only 21 now. They are not. But because it was a generation ago, pretty much.

        • Colonel Mustard

          It’s good, but it’s not Carling.

          Harmon – Labour MP since 1982
          Balls – joined the Labour party in 1983
          Burnham – joined the Labour party in 1984
          Miliband E – recruited by Harmon in 1993
          Cooper – recruited by the Labour shadow chancellor in 1990
          Flint – Women’s Officer of the National Organisation of Labour Students from 1982. Slight hiccup when her ambition clashed with Brown’s misogyny.
          Benn – seconded to the Labour Party in 1980 and member of a Labour party dynasty
          Alexander – worked for Brown since 1990
          Byrne – Between 1996 and 1997 he advised the Labour Party on the re-organisation of its Millbank headquarters, and helped lead Labour’s business campaign under the ‘New Labour’ scheme


          • David Lindsay

            You don’t give their ages on joining. In their teens in every case, I expect. Similarly, “recruited” to do what? They will have been straight out of university, which pretty much answers that question.

            Harman, I admit, goes back a long way. But she is no longer a major player. Deputy Leader is what the occupant makes of it, and she is now John Prescott.

            He is retired. So is John Reid. So is Charles Clarke (involuntarily). So is Blair himself. Brown will go next time, as we already know that Darling and Straw will be doing.

            It is the past. The fairly distant past, involving in any significant way no one who is still important, and involving Ed Mililband in no way at all.

            • Colonel Mustard

              Immaterial. All those names were active participants in the Blair and Brown regime and still operate within the shadow cabinet. They cannot, with a any credibility, be distanced from it or distance themselves from it.

              • David Lindsay

                Yes, they can. Of course they can. They were youthful gophers, most of them, while Harman was laughed at by Blair (he sacked her at least once, possibly more often than that) and despised by Brown. The rest, as I say, were there to put the kettle on. It was that long ago.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Well, yes, because most of the media are either too stupid or too complicit to drag Labour’s skeletons from the closet kicking and screaming into sunlight. But with credibility? No, afraid not. Those charlatans on the opposition front bench were thick as thieves with Blair and Brown as well you know.

                  Harmon has been much more influential than you suggest. Goodness, even Stupid Boy Cameron went ahead with her ghastly equality bill.

                  And it wasn’t that long ago but the collective stupidity and short memory of the British compensate for that.

  • dalai guevara

    Who is this McBride? Who is this man?
    Coulson out of jail yet?

  • HookesLaw

    Campbell is Blair’s proxy and McBride is Brown’s.
    What does Mcbride knopw about Dr Kelly? I doubt he will tell us.

    • Tim Reed

      Campbell is Blair’s proxy and McBride is Brown’s.

      Charming lot, aren’t they.

      When the people are this degenerate, is it any wonder the government they formed was so damn dysfunctional.

      These people are borderline sociopaths.

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        Exactly. It was not a government it was a 13 year civil war.

  • George_Arseborne

    I fail to see any distraction from this McBride thing. No one cares . All we need is to know about our living standard not rubbish back stabbing from a scum like Damien the poison.

    • alabenn

      Actually if you knew anything the living standards of the poor? has risen more in percentage terms than the living standards of the rich has fallen, that people like Miliband and co say otherwise does not make their and your misrepresenting of things any more valid especially as the new poor with 60000 thousand a year are put into the mix.

    • Shazza

      Oh we care all right. And you can bet your life the Conservative Party cares as well. What a gift for them. I cannot wait to see what they are going to do with this. Labour – treasonous backstabbers.

    • Colonel Mustard

      “No one cares”. You hope.

    • Tim Reed

      The stench of New Labour still lingers strongly over the midden that is the opposition front bench, and this filth wishes to be back in charge of the cesspit of Westminster.

      It matters very much.

  • Abhay

    The biggest shame ought to be that low-lifes were in-charge of the political destiny of those who (creatures of no shame) were entrusted to lead this nation of great heritage.

    • CharlietheChump

      Which low lifes – Blair and Brown?

  • DavidL

    It was with a frisson that I read Ed Balls’ St Peter impression in yesterday’s Times (for those who didn’t see it let me paraphrase: “Damian McBride? Who? Hardly knew the man”). What a snake pit the last Labour Government was.

  • Barakzai

    And all because of McBride’s late discovery of his Catholic sense of guilt? Hmm. It’ll be interesting to see if Guido can tell us more. (And it would be instructive if Watson’s activities in support of his master could become public knowledge.)