Given that Jeremy Corbyn has been on the receiving end of a barrage of bad press this morning, he could do with the help of an expert spinner. Yet everyone who has cared about the Labour Party over the years is appalled at his triumph; no one is willing to defend him. No one, that is, except the currently ‘freelance’ former king of spin, Damian McBride.
The disgraced spin doctor appears to have been on a mission to endear himself to Corbyn ever since he won the leadership election on Saturday. He kicked things off with an editorial in the Mail on Sunday titled ‘Jeremy Corbyn may be the best thing since Clement Attlee’. Yes, seriously. Corbyn, he says, ‘comes from the right place’.
McBride followed his praise of Corbyn, with a piece for the Times, urging Corbyn to be more radical. And then to beat up his critics in the Shadow Cabinet: if there’s one thing that McBride knows about, it’s waging war against people in Labour. Look at the way he dealt with Chuka Umunna:
Chuka Umunna is the most absurdly self-obsessed politician since Caligula.
— Damian McBride (@DPMcBride) September 13, 2015
Look Jezza, he seemed to say, your enemies are being brutal to you. So you need to be just as brutal in return – or, at least, hire someone to do the dirty work for you.
Of course some Corbynistas would no doubt be dismayed if their dear leader were to employ the service of Damian McBride. After all this is the man not only accused of briefing against his colleagues, but who was outed over his plans to set up the Red Rag blogsite in order to publish made-up rumours about the private lives of Tory politicians.
However, given that Corbyn has already given the top treasury job to a man who supports the IRA — and who once joked about ‘lynching’ Esther McVey — McBride’s past starts to look rather tame. If Corbyn resists, at least McBride has found a lucrative sideline as his media champion.
Just about to do an hour of regional BBC radio as an unofficial spokesman for @JeremyCorbyn4PM – these are strange times.
— Damian McBride (@DPMcBride) September 14, 2015