Damian McBride: press regulation ‘disgusts me’

10 October 2013

2:57 PM

10 October 2013

2:57 PM

It was one of those parties where it was more interesting to see who wasn’t there, than who was. Last night, Damian McBride raised a glass at the Intercontinental in Westminster to his book Power Trip, which its publisher says is now on the third print run. After it dominated the Labour conference, it was no surprise that barely a single Labour MP turned up (save for Tom Watson, who free from the constraints of Shadow Cabinet, made his considerable presence felt).

More interesting though were McBride’s views on press regulation:

‘The journalists in this room do a fantastically important job, including the bloggers, who expose wrongdoing and hold people to account. And it doesn’t matter which paper you work for, they all come down to the basic thing of trying to tell the truth and expose the truth and tell good stories that will sell papers and entertain the readers, and that includes bloggers wanting to get hits on their websites.

‘Any time you get this cavalcade of people saying “lets curb the press”, it disgusts me, because that was always the exact opposite of what I wanted to do when I was in government, and right or wrong I regarded myself as being on the side of the press inside government. Some people might think that is a bad thing, but I never did.’

Given the circumstances of his downfall, McBride is hardly the poster boy for those fighting regulation of the press — but it’s a notably robust defence nonetheless. One that will sadly fall on deaf ears with his old friend Mr Miliband.

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.

Show comments
  • Aaron D Highside

    “…when I was in government…” Why do feeble ‘leaders’ subcontract their ‘leadership’ to people like McBride, Cambell and Mandy?

  • Joej

    Milliband was not his friend but work colleague
    I hate the right wing press time to kill it of under the flag of leveso

  • telemachus

    We should heed Damian
    In his way he is as effective at reading the media as Alistair Campbell and Bernard Ingham

    • telemackus

      Damien McBride, Alistair (blood on my hands) Campbell, Peter (cash in my hands) Mandelson, Charlie (beer in my hand) Whelan and Tom (fat lying toad) Watson are the yardsticks by which we national socialists are proud to be measured.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Yes he would be considered an asset indeed for a party of liars that puts lies and lying at the very epicentre of its ethos. As you demonstrate here most effectively on a daily basis.

  • exRN

    Leopards can’t or won’t change their spots, so that makes me a sceptic.

  • David Booth.

    Perhaps McBride working for CAFOD has improved his morals (or not) what I do know is that I trust the Press more than I trust politicians.

  • Colonel Mustard

    What does one have to do nowadays for rustication to be permanent? Can we expect The Thoughts of Chairman Huhne next? Come on. There must be decent people whose opinions you can mine.

  • keith

    maybe its a warped sense of humour, perhaps he’s thinking of all the mirror journalists who took all those stories of his and did his dirty work, Maguire must have been busy last night as I thought he would have been raising a toast to his old friend

  • mikewaller

    I should not be at all surprised if Dr. Crippen were opposed to hanging.

  • Peter Stroud

    Well at least he is not all bad.

  • The Laughing Cavalier

    There’s nothing like a reformed sinner.