Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

You Go Away For A Few Days, And...

My, my…it’s all kicked off on the blogosphere since I’ve been away, hasn’t it ?

In a way it’s quite pleasing that the highly tedious spat between Guido and Derek Draper has actually led to something semi-exciting at last; I don’t know about you but they were driving me to distraction before last Friday. Like a couple of playground kids, they were.

I’ve only been bringing myself up-to-speed with this over the past 24 hours or so (I was away over Easter, with little access to news). A HUGE amount has been written, and everyone’s been getting VERY emotional about it, so I’m not going to detain you long. But I thought I’d ask myself a few questions in a dispassionate way as possible.

The Womble’s general thoughts ?

The sad fact is that no one comes out of this with a lot of credit. Yes, it says a lot about New Labour and how they operate but it says a great deal about politics generally too. When it comes to mudslinging Draper, McBride, Fawkes and a few others besides have shown them to be as capable as each other. The only exception I’d make is Iain Dale, who has, throughout it all, kept a level of circumspection and dignity. As he said himself last week, he’s far too nice for this politics business.

The first thing you have to say is that it is quite disgraceful that taxpayers’ money should be spent paying people (I’m sure McBride isn’t the one who’s at it – he’s just the only one who’s been caught - so far) to engage in blatant party politics. It reveals an utter contempt for the public purse. To try and generate unfounded rumour / lies, and to kick a politician’s wife (whether she’s down or not) is one thing. To do it at our expense is just taking the Mickey.

Did Brown Know About The Emails ?

To me the idea that Brown knew exactly what McBride was up to is just laughable. I appreciate that when Nadine Dorries went on Five Live yesterday she might have been feeling a little fragile but she only just stopped short of saying that Brown sanctioned the whole thing. She’s completely lost the plot, I reckon. It might have been wiser for her to have avoided the media for a couple of days until she could get her head straight.

If you (sorry, we) pay someone to do something completely underhand on your behalf, you also pay them to make sure that you’re completely ignorant of what they’re doing. McBride, out of loyalty to Brown, will have made quite sure that Brown knew nothing of the details of what he was up to.

Who’s To Blame ?

Well, Damian McBride, obviously, for a start. I just cannot understand how the bloke lives with himself, abusing public finances in that way. But the fact is that he’s just the symptom. The cause is politicians’ (especially Labour’s) growing disregard for our money.

Whilst Brown may not have been directly involved in what McBride and Draper were up to, he, and Blair before him, have created the culture in which this kind of behaviour is commonplace. They have surrounded themselves with all sorts of political hacks funded by the taxpayer. So obsessed have they been about their own image, they have created an entire industry out of news management, and that industry is utterly out of control. It’s poetic justice when, once in a while, they themselves get bitten by the monster they have sired.

How much of this goes on ?

My guess is lots. And lots. Politics is a horrible, tough business. The Tories are carrying on as if they’ve never tried to dish the dirt on anyone. Yeah, right. They must think we’re barking mad. Labour have been caught this time….next time, who knows ?

What Of Derek Draper ?

I’m going to try and keep my promise not to swear, here….

Draper is a thoroughly nasty piece of work and clearly a complete idiot into the bargain. I can’t for the life of me work out why the Tory bloggers have been wasting so much disk space on him, or on his ludicrous creation Labour List. Right now they should shut up completely. There are calls for Draper to “go” from his self-appointed role as Labour Blogger-In-Chief. I’d have thought that getting rid of Draper was the last thing anyone who hates Labour wanted them to do; if he goes he might be replaced by someone who knows what they’re doing – someone who could actually make the Left a force on the internet.

There, managed it (just).

Will Anything Improve As A Result Of All This ?

I doubt it. Labour are so immersed in the sea of spin they don’t know there’s an alternative to it. Brown’s request to Gus O’Donnell to tighten up the role of Special Advisors (SPADs) is itself an exercise in news management; a desperate attempt to look as if he’s being decisive and doing something when in fact he couldn’t give a monkey’s what happens anyway. We saw the same behaviour from him last week over parliamentary expenses and I daresay we’ll see the same behaviour next week over something else. Whether you expect the Tories do be any better if and when they come to power depends on your point of view. Personally I won’t be holding my breath.

What Are The Lessons ?

1. Don’t expect politicians to police their own appointees.

2. Don’t expect politicians to behave like normal, level-headed people. Because they’re not, and they don’t.

3. Don’t talk to the media when you’re feely highly emotional about something (Nadine Dorries take note).

4. Don’t, when you're leading 2-1 in the dying minutes of a crucial game and you're standing on the very threshold of promotion, kick the ball out of play because you’ve got a player injured and expect the opposition to give you it you back. (Sorry, wandered off topic – yesterday was a bit emotional for me, too. Don't, on any account, mention "Bromley" to me. No, really....don't).

1 comment:

Dick Puddlecote said...

LMAO @ number 4 - very astute advice I'd say.