Oh dear. Another C*ck up at Number 10...

#1
You'd think that if you had a cunning master plan to reduce the Tories' popularity by some carefully aimed (and seemingly untrue) smears you'd at least try to make sure that you didn't mail them to the Guido Fawkes blog in case he tried to use it as a means of biting you (and making some money from the press). But no, apparently not....

Row as No 10 e-mails smear Tories - Torygraph
 

maguire

LE
Book Reviewer
#2
#3
#5

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#6
Damian McBride is a cnut.

Here's the story on Sky:

Brown Aide Says Sorry For 'Smear' Emails

One of Gordon Brown's most senior aides has been forced to apologise for sending "juvenile and inappropriate" emails from a Number 10 account.

No 10 to remind staff about rules after embarrassing incident

The private messages written by special adviser Damian McBride are said to feature ideas for potential smear stories about senior Conservatives.

They were apparently sent to Derek Draper, who runs a Labour-supporting political blog.

But they have now come into the possession of Paul Staines, whose Guido Fawkes blog is hostile towards the Government and the Labour Party in general.

A Downing Street spokesman said: "Neither the Prime Minister nor anybody else in Downing Street, except the author, knew anything about any of these private
emails.

"The author of these emails has apologised for their juvenile and inappropriate nature and for the embarrassment caused.

"All staff will be reminded of the appropriate use of Number 10 resources."

Mr McBride has been in charge of strategic planning at Downing Street since last October, when he was moved from his position as Mr Brown's political spokesman.

His emails have apparently been touted around newspapers, although none has yet published them.
So, Guido Fawlkes is absolutely correct in his assertion that the Telegraph piece is another bit of spin by McBride using a tame reporter at that paper to make it look like an 'unknown source', rather than the wnaker himself.

The Telegraph has just plummeted in my estimation.

Can anyone recommend a half decent paper?
 

maguire

LE
Book Reviewer
#7
The Guardian.

* runs *
 
#8
So, a series of emails involving the setting up of a "deniable site" to smear leading opposition MP's by way of accusations of sexual infidelities, medical / health issues and the involvement of family members. The Telegraph appears to have been an easy plant for the counter story.

This has the potential to run and run, as the detailed emails drip out over the next few days. As for the newsprint reporting - bear in mind that many journalists also appear to have been mentioned in the same emails - freedom of the press may make for an amusing week.

Can I be the first to predict that the miriad of back-up systems, SFT hardware and software will once again be found to fail. If the rumours of a concerted plan to smear was devised by one of Gordon Brown's trusted special advisors from within the walls of 10 Downing Street, then standby for denials from the PM himself, distancing (usual pleading of ignorance) just about everybody from Damian McBride's actions.

Can we expect Knacker of the yard to be called in to investigate?

Must be time for a crucifixion in Downing Street.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#9
ABrighter2006 said:
Can I be the first to predict that the miriad of back-up systems, SFT hardware and software will once again be found to fail. If the rumours of a concerted plan to smear was devised by one of Gordon Brown's trusted special advisors from within the walls of 10 Downing Street, then standby for denials from the PM himself, distancing (usual pleading of ignorance) just about everybody from Damian McBride's actions.

Can we expect Knacker of the yard to be called in to investigate?

Must be time for a crucifixion in Downing Street.
Funny you mentioned that:

Here's the strenuous denials in the Telegraph, with Brown's denial of all knowledge and a mention of security breaches and possible police involvement.

If the emails, which were originally sent to Derek Draper, a close friend of Lord Mandelson, who also runs an influential political blog, were obtained by a hitherto unidentified person hacking into the No 10 computer system or Mr Draper’s, the police could be called in to investigate. Mr Staines declined to tell The Daily Telegraph where they came from.

The prospect of publication alarmed ministers, who feared that they would be accused of orchestrating a smear campaign against senior Tory figures. Some of the emails made lurid claims about Mr Cameron, the Tory leader, and Mr Osborne, the shadow chancellor.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “We are not aware of any security breach in the No 10 system.

“The Prime Minister knows nothing about these emails but the individual concerned has informed colleagues and apologised for any embarrassment or offence caused.”

Last night, a source close to the Downing Street official and Mr Draper played down the content of the emails. The source said: “They were knocking round some ideas for a blog, but the whole thing never got past first base.
Notice also that the Telegraph reporter has 'no idea where the email came from'!?!??
 
#10
Quite Biped - the bipartisan observer would probably be asking questions as to just how Gordon Brown runs his inner circle? If his lck of control over internal communications / campaigns is so poor, then is it a fair assumption to consider that McBride's time as a Special Advisor is about to come to a soggy end?

As Guido states, this is a long way beyond a spat between two bloggers.

Interestingly, the government's own recently introduced legislation regarding IP/Sec logging will ensure a very easy audit trail, so the Telegraph's soft target hack will also start to feel the heat.

Can't help thinking that Jackie Smith must be relieved though!
 
#11
Oh God, we are going to have to endure yet another day filled with Ashie screaming 'the Tories, the Tories" and "Thatcher politicised the civil service". Couple that with sarcastic statements along the lines of "Yeah, a civil servant sends a personal e-mail with a flippant comment on it - of course Gordon Brown would get a copy! Would all of you send some of your puerile posts about coups and burning ministers to your boss and then have them published as evidence of your true beliefs?". See, I could be Ashie - formulaic, defensive, blustering and completely lacking in anything other than empty rhetoric.

P.S We should burn a few Ministers and hold a coup.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#13
Maybe Ashie is defending himself to the PM after a furious bout of deleting emails and logs . . .
 

maguire

LE
Book Reviewer
#14
#16
I would not be at all surprised if Paul Staines has a fatal "accident" in the next 12 months. Not something I can get a tenner on at William Hill but I'd probably only get evens anyway.
 
#17
A pretty good summary of the story so far is here:

Plato Says

When more details emerge in the Sundays, I reckon that there will be more than a couple more people looking for another job on Monday.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#18
The 'Minister/Aparatchik for Digital Spin' known as Tom Watson has now also been named in the unfolding scandal.

This was no purile and childish one-off. It's rapidly coming to light that this was a determined and concerted effort by those in No. 10 to create a dedicated (but deniable) smear website called 'Red Flag' or 'Red Rag' or some other BS title, in which lots of deniable but scurrilous rumour-mongering would go on - and the articles in question (those that were emailed, hence this discussion) were FINISHED pieces, due to go on the site just after it went live (which it did until this story broke).

Some of the articles put forward by Damian McBride alleged that a senior Tory's child was mentally retarded, and that another had a sexual dysfunction.

Remember, this is not the NAAFI, these people aren't merely humorous bloggers or people sat at home with nothing better to do, the people so far involved are:

Damian McBride (No. 10 employed civil servant, using No. 10 computers/email accounts)
Tom Watson - MINISTER for Digital Engagement
Derek Draper (professional liar, corruptionist and scumbag) who is a VERY good friend of Lord Mandelson, oh, and editor of LabourList, funnily enough, a political blog site.
Lord Mandelson (professional scumbag).

So, after corrupting every other part of government and finance, and wrecking the country, they think that corrupting the internet with their lies, unpleasantness and spin will help them win another election do they?

I very much doubt that. I'm also not in the least bit surprised that Labour and Brown could sink this low, they've done it repeatedly since the early 80's, so this is nothing new.
 
#19
Biped said:
The 'Minister/Aparatchik for Digital Spin' known as Tom Watson has now also been named in the unfolding scandal.

This was no purile and childish one-off. It's rapidly coming to light that this was a determined and concerted effort by those in No. 10 to create a dedicated (but deniable) smear website called 'Red Flag' or 'Red Rag' or some other BS title, in which lots of deniable but scurrilous rumour-mongering would go on - and the articles in question (those that were emailed, hence this discussion) were FINISHED pieces, due to go on the site just after it went live (which it did until this story broke).

Some of the articles put forward by Damian McBride alleged that a senior Tory's child was mentally retarded, and that another had a sexual dysfunction.

Remember, this is not the NAAFI, these people aren't merely humorous bloggers or people sat at home with nothing better to do, the people so far involved are:

Damian McBride (No. 10 employed civil servant, using No. 10 computers/email accounts)
Tom Watson - MINISTER for Digital Engagement
Derek Draper (professional liar, corruptionist and scumbag) who is a VERY good friend of Lord Mandelson, oh, and editor of LabourList, funnily enough, a political blog site.
Lord Mandelson (professional scumbag).

So, after corrupting every other part of government and finance, and wrecking the country, they think that corrupting the internet with their lies, unpleasantness and spin will help them win another election do they?

I very much doubt that. I'm also not in the least bit surprised that Labour and Brown could sink this low, they've done it repeatedly since the early 80's, so this is nothing new.
Indeed, but up until now, they have used their extensive and well-coordinated spin machine to ensure deniability. They have really f*cked up on this one. I shall be sort of sorry to see the back of Dolly, although he is a complete c*ck, his pathetic antics are sometimes mildy entertaining.
 

maguire

LE
Book Reviewer
#20

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