If you’re going to sell out to the establishment, you might as well do so on an industrial scale. As the PM told the Guido Fawkes blog’s ten -ear anniversary party at the Institute of Directors last night, via video link, ‘what better way’ to celebrate ‘rejecting’ the cosy political classes than a posh dinner of caviar and champagne in the heart of Westminster. Guy Fawkes would have been turning in his grave, as cabinet ministers including Francis Maude and Liz Truss, and mysterious billionaires such as Michael Hintze and Lord Ashcroft, along with 200 of Westminster’s finest, came to pay homage to a decade of sniping from waspish troublemakers.
The Mayor of London, the star turn, was in usual form, conceding that eventually all politicians end up talking to terrorists. And obviously there were some fireworks, with the Tories’ top strategist Lynton Crosby unable to resist having a pop at defecting Ukipper Douglas Carswell. Conveniently they just happened to be sitting at the same table.
Collecting the top award, the ‘Golden Crosshairs’, on behalf of Damian Bride, was his old Brownite colleague and best buddy Lord Wood, who did not look too happy to share the honours for the Smeargate scandal. Maude, too, probably have done without collecting his award for ‘implementing a Guido blog post in government policy’. Not for the prize, but for the fact that the event was sponsored by Gatwick Airport, in its attempt to build a second runway. Maude, the MP for Horsham, happens to have his green and pleasant constituency right where the airport expansion is planned.
The bar is set high for next year’s Westminster correspondents’ dinner. The old media better up their game.