So now we know the lurid details of Labour's no.10 smear operation as published in the Sunday Times. As the paper puts it 'lurid lies of sex and drugs', which Derek Draper, Labour's online campaigner described as 'brilliant'. So, Labour are now spinning that McBride was acting alone and that it was just a theoretical chat that came to nothing. Hogwash. McBride was not a junior researcher he was the Prime Minister's Head of Strategy. He sat next to Laim Byrne, Minister for the Cabinet Office and the emails went to a number of other Labour figures. The question is did Gordon Brown know? If he did know that this was going on then he is a deeply morally corrupt man whose rise to the post of Prime Minister is a debasement of that office and an accident the like of which must never be allowed to be repeated. Even if he didn't, in any organisation the boss sets the tone, sets the parameters, and we know Brown's tone. All his career he has relied on his staff to destroy opposition, including the most successful Labour Prime Minister ever. He didn't have to see the emails to be responsible for picking people who would do this as a matter of character and then creating a team dynamic where they thought that they could. He is still damned.
There is a lot of chat and comment on the web about this as you would expect. Some of it is of the 'they are all at it' type, which suggests to me either deep cynicism or attempts to blur the culpability in this case. They aren't 'all at it'. I defy anyone to find a similar example to this pre-1997. Post 1997 I could give you a list, but not supported by the email evididence that has made guilt undeniable in this case. It is right that politics be hardball, it is important that public policy affecting people's lives is well tested, but that is debased by spin and lies. Here is Basildon we have a pretty tough political environment, marginal Council, marginal parliamentary seats and so on. Things happen in the lives of local politicians and rumours do occasionally surface, but I am proud to say that none of the local political parties have ever descended into anything like this, not even the BNP. I am sure that most good Labour people will be disgusted by these events and Labourhome to their credit immediately called for McBride and Draper to go. Ordinary Labour activists can immediately see the huge damage these events have done to their party, it is a pity, but not surprising, that the government seems blind to them.