Spin is back

Nuspin Nulabour

Bouncing ball Bouncing ball
What is going on? Rather like a bouncing ball Damian McBride is back with us. This week there have been articles about McPoison in the: Guardian, Daily Mail, Spectator and on the BBC website. Why should this be?

When it comes to bouncing this is supposed to be the sole province of our PM, Mr McEyebags. He is the one, according to the spinners, who is always just on the verge of being hailed, yet again, by a grateful nation as their saviour. This theory is flawed in that is does not explain, but admits to, the fact that the fortunes of the PM go down as well as up.

In that respect it's like the claim of the PM, ridding the nation of boom and bust, not one but both banished forever. However, all too painfully plain to see, is not only the ex-iron Chancellor, now rusty PM, still with us and flaking away merrily in the mother of all busts, but his nasty little sidekick too.

At the time of the original scandal that cost McPoison his job and damaged the PM, much was revealed about the relationship between government and the press. Both came out of the mess looking mucky, the PM, as usual, went on to make all sorts of noises which when added together was assumed to be 'drawing a line in the sand'. However, no such luck.

Also remember that part of the original spin on this was the notion that McPoison was a minion in Team Brown acting alone. But weeks later the little man gets a second go in four substantial parts of the media; perhaps not so little after all? And perhaps far from kicking a habit we see that the media is still hooked on a heady mix of substance with not much style.

Rather like you can get versions of the same tune the four media reports all have the same sheet music, it's in the arrangement that the original work shows. The Daily Mail has a plain version with the suggestion that McPoison - was duty bound to respond to 'attacks' on his boss. The attacks mentioned come from Charles Clarke, Frank Field and Alan Milburn with 'friends' like these, heavyweight Nulabour members, who are the PM's enemies?

A line in the sand A line in the sand
Himself it would seem, as the Daily Mail has contacted Tony Blair's former press aide Lance Price who said - Mr McBride's conduct was driven by Mr Brown himself and went on to suggest that Brown should have developed a “thick skin” instead of getting back at critics.

The Spectator (online), as might be imagined, goes for a more in depth take on matters. They highlight that what ever McPoison was doing, or is is doing now, Andy Coulson is on the same track for David Cameron, or so says McPoison. Also they say - McBride delivers precisely what his former master needs from him. First hand, on-the-record, penitent testimony that Gordon was – as Billy Connolly might say – shocked and stunned, rather than the Svengali behind the dirty tricks department. But what this really reminds me of is the Mafia. Having been "pinched", McBride hasn’t ratted on his friends, or revealed that he was a caporegime in an elaborate Corleone-style syndicate – or even acknowledged the existence of that syndicate.

The BBC report is disappointing, failed Nulabour folk can always get a free ride with the beeb but the report on BBC online is dull but for one point. We are told this is - “his first broadcast interview since he resigned.” Did he make them before? You never know with the beeb.

Last the Guardian and it is they who get the Pravda Memorial Prize. The opening lines have it all - Three months after resigning as a Downing Street special adviser in the wake of "Smeargate",Damian McBride is contemplating the fate of his old rival Andy Coulson, the Conservative party's communications chief who could yet meet a similar end.

No waffle, just go straight to it, the Guardian is so happy and it shows - Coulson finds himself under pressure after the Guardian's revelations about phone hacking at the News of the World, of which he was previously the editor. He will be questioned by MPs this week. McBride says he "likes Andy" - but when pushed he adds: "What this comes down to is whether he genuinely didn't know what [Glenn] Mulcaire [the private investigator who was on the News of the World's payroll] was being paid this money for, which is what he told David Cameron at the time.

This upcoming 'questioning' is not on the same scale of the events surrounding the resignation of McPoison. Also the Guardian takes for granted the oft spun line that the PM did not know what McPoison was up to. This is hard to grasp as there are umpteen pictures of them together and there is the well known fact of the PM's mania for micro management; McPoison worked for the No10 office. Also ignored is that problems at the News of the World pre-date Coulson's employment by Cameron, you are also hard pushed to find a photo of Coulson and Cameron together. Never mind, some people think the world is flat.
Pravda, read by caring folkPravda, read by caring folk
After Smeargate the PM as good as promised it would never happen again; but then, you can never be sure with the PM and by way of a litmus test, along came Sir Richard Dannatt. Nulabour failed this test, badly. The spin against Dannatt started in the mid-ranks of Nulabour but was stopped by non other than the un-elected Deputy Prime Minister Lord Peter Mandelson. Yes that's right, spin stopped, not started by Lord Peter Longtitle, what next!

As Chief of the General Staff Dannatt has opinions on, for example, Iraq and Afghanistan. The press love him, he has a row of medals that seem to go from his shoulder to the buttons on his tunic. He is good at his 'job', being a soldier, but should be more careful. Yes he is free to 'speak out' but is, according to Dr Richard North vulnerable because of his love affair with FRES, read more HERE. Dannatt has spoken out on the subject of equipment shortages just weeks before retiring, this has aroused anger hence the briefing against him, now stopped by Lord Peter.

No doubt the spin against Dannatt will return in time, it will be interesting to follow as he is a difficult target. Many journalists have learnt nothing from the McPoison era and still take all that comes their way from Nulabour, so are in a quandary. The General is bad, say the government voices, but as far as the readers of newspapers are concerned he has a title and an impressive uniform, so the General is good! It was this sort of muddle that helped Sir Ian Blair stay in office in the Metropolitan Police for so long.

So the age of spin is over? Only in the mind of the PM!