Is Damian McBride auditioning for a job as the saviour of the Labour Party spin operation? His re-energised blogging would certainly indicate as much. In the last few weeks the Brownite bad boy has left his job with Catholic aid charity Cafod, and returned to writing full time.
He’s also managed to make a compelling argument for why his misdemeanours cannot now be compared to those of Andy Coulson, despite the best efforts of the Prime Minister and the Chancellor:
‘So if the Tories want to keep using the ‘What about Damian McBride?’ line, then so be it, but they cannot then dodge the follow-up question: ‘Fine, if you want to make that comparison, why was Coulson not put through developed vetting for the director of communications job in No10, when McBride was for a far more junior job in the Treasury?’’
After settling a few internal scores, and giving some sarcastic advice to the PM, on Monday, McBride laid out his most obvious audition set piece yet. Dispensing some complimentary advice on Europe, he suggested that Ed Miliband ‘gave a good attacking performance’ yet ‘for me, he missed a massive trick.’ After re-writing Ed’s Europe statement, he went on to hint at how Labour could completely overhaul their European policy in the post-Blairite age.
With his extensive experience of government and obvious searing intellect, McBride could make an absolute packet in the private sector, but Mr S can’t help but feel his heart still yearns for the Westminster fight.
While the Tories would see any hint of a return as an absolute gift, the crucial question for Labour has be whether a short term knock for bringing the reformed ‘Mad Dog’ back into the fold, could be outweighed by what the disgraced spin doctor can do for them. How dire do the times have to get, before they could justify such a desperate measure?