Monday, April 27, 2009

Benedict Brogan and Damian McBride:

Paul Staines aka Guido Fawkes, Mister GuF to his friends has welcomed Benedict Brogan to the Telegraph, dubbing him a worthy Knight of the Round Table, but using a double-edged sword. In fact GuF's spot of Brogan's paean to his lobby pal McBride when the last straw broke the back of McBride's penultimate camel, in Autumn 2008, is so good we are going to reproduce it in full:

One Day the Truth About McBride Will Out
03 October 2008

Damian McPoisonWhen the Day of Reckoning comes and those of us who know are free to say what we know, Damian McBride will emerge with great credit from the madness of the past few years. … When the cry went up that there had to be changes in No 10, what they meant was McBride had to go. By the time we left Manchester he was being blamed for everything, including the credit crunch and the disappearance of Shergar. Such was his influence that like Macavity his prints were seen on every bit of damaging briefing. It became easy to blame him for every transgression, real or imagined. In fact, he was a victim of his own success. Damian is many things, but not an innocent. His role, by its nature, involved bad business at the crossroads.
But the McPoison of caricature is just that. There is far more to him than most realise. Few can match him for political insight, mischief making exuberance, stamina or that see-round-a-corner skill that few in politics possess. His intelligence was always Grade A, whether it was on election outcomes or how power was flowing. The Tories certainly have nothing like him, save perhaps George Osborne.
What does his departure mean for Gordon Brown? McBride remains in No 10 as an adviser on long-term strategy. The PM will continue to have him to hand. But his enemies will be on the look-out for signs that he is still speaking to the likes of me, so I don’t expect him to return phone calls for a while. Which means the PM will be without the best media handler he’s had. We’ll miss the service, not to mention the in-flight quizzes, and perhaps that’s no bad thing. He may wonder whether it was wise to give up a high-flier’s career in the Civil Service to run away with this circus. Of course, I’m an unreliable witness. But I’m certain of this: you will read a lot in the coming days about Damian McBride, and you shouldn’t believe more than a fraction of it. The true story is far better.

The most fascinating revelation of this perhaps being GOO cast as the nearest thing the Tories have to McBride! The post is no longer readily available where it was originally posted. Is that a contractual matter I wonder? Benny Brogan is Back Blogging at his new home. And this was from his very first post there:

I've returned amazed at how I managed to miss such a joy of stories, and why there's so much excitement about a hirsute Scot on YouTube (but enough about Alistair Darling). To my holiday-addled brain, the most significant development of the week is the outing of Ed Balls and his shadow spin operation. Did he really say of "Mr" Damian McBride: "I haven't been involved in his political work"? Eh? The opening post of a new blog should set the tone by avoiding sensation. It should be scrupulously fair-minded. At all cost it should avoid unedifying name-calling. So I shall merely say, in the gentlest way possible: "liar liar, pants on fire".

To which BB might possibly add: "mea culpa, mea maxima culpa", which I think would be Mister GuF's point? Though, back to that earlier paean we'd add that BB is essentially saying "It's a dirty job but somebody's got to do it" which might well provide a challenge for Cameron and his bin-diving, phone-tapping head McBridivist Coulson, should the worst happen.

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