The faithful servant

Marxism, spinners and the BBC

Damian Mcbride, the one on the left Damian Mcbride, the one on the left

The life of the energy producers had been tranquil until Ed Miliband bared his teeth at the Labour party conference. They did business upon the back of barmy green energy policies that Miliband's party, spinners and MPs alike, had endorsed. But before that moment we had all been agog at the sight of Damian McBride basking in the limelight. It has suited the MSM and McBride's publisher to paint him as a bad boy. But he is not. He is a faithful servant and there is more to him than you might think.

If we go back to the dawn of Nulabour the three central characters were: Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Peter Mandelson. In time a pattern emerged with each of those three being associated with their sidekick-cum-spinner. Blair and Alastair Campbell merged to become the double act of the world's most deluded smarmy git and his Northern thug. It's hard to say that McBride is wicked but pretend that Campbell was not working the same trade, because he was then and is now.

The BBC finding that Blair is now beyond their reach uses Campbell as a stop-gap; a sort of cheap-and-cheerful elder statesman who can deliver the 'I was there' history lesson and rent a quote without blushing. Mandelson's sidekick was Benjamin Wegg-Prosser and, like Blair and Campbell, they too followed the money and still work together. Even for the super-liberal BBC these two have become, singly or as a team, just too weird and they both have sunk with barely a trace. However, Mandelson did surface recently with the impossible to refute statement that HS2 looks like a waste of money and the Miliband energy idea looks risky and just days before the Labour party conference, sensing that the McBride book might be a bit of a problem, Wegg-Prosser released a lot of hitherto private emails from the heyday of Nulabour.

So what did he hope to achieve by this? The release did not divert attention from McBride and towards another version of the truth. All it did was show that Wegg-Prosser can't do spin but McBride can! And of all the relationships between the core figure and his spinner the one between Gordon Brown and McBride is the really interesting one. In practical terms McBride has come out of his association with Brown with nothing, apart from his book. One suspects he knew this would be so a long time ago. So it's a measure of the man that, so far, there's no bitterness showing. For make no mistake both Campbell and Wegg-Prosser are far more wealthy than McBride will ever be. But then they are wealthier than Brown too!

So did McBride know he was stuck with the loser of the original Nulabour three? We must assume yes. Thus he did his job out of a sense of devotion to Brown. For many people this is very quaint. But let's not forget that a lot of people have been taken in by Brown. Chris Mullin was typical. The former Labour MP for Sunderland South was a regular on TV and radio following the the removal of Brown from office at the 2010 election. Broadcasters wanted an appraisal of Brown and Mullin had no qualms about telling us how he had 'saved the world' from further financial ruin. Which is odd as Mullin had been a regular praise singer of Tony Blair too and tradition had it then, as now, that the Blairites and Brownites did not mix. Confusing when we remember that Mullin went to great lengths with his diaries, published in three volumes, to tell us how the party of his choice turned out to be a bit of a dud. And further confusing when we recall he was an MP for 23 years! Surely he could have got another job if he thought he was wasting his time?

But then the publication of McBride's book seems to have brought out the sense of service in others too. The Daily Mail printed an article about Ralph Miliband the Marxist academic and father of Ed Miliband. Much of the Liberal/Left media took exception to the way a remark by Miliband snr was dealt with, so out came the sense of service to the Leader of the opposition and to hell with common sense. Naturally the BBC led the charge of the 'lite brigade', and either in or out of context the Miliband remark, written when a teenager, about 'hating' Britain became a big story.

From all this we learn, that despite the likes of McBride and his contemporaries quitting the spinners' trade the practice goes on. Also that a simple and perhaps even trivial remark can have a life of its own and out of all proportion to its value. Like the one from 1987 when Margaret Thatcher, “there is no such thing as society”, was interviewed for the Woman's Own magazine.

That remark without any reference to its origins and original context is still with us and still used by reporters to condemn her. To her eternal credit she let the whole episode go by, but things are different now. For like a stupid trout Ed Miliband rose to the bait and was caught. There are many people, including some from the left in politics, who think that the Leader of the Opposition hoping soon to become the PM should too have demonstrated some statesmanship and let the whole episode go by.

Writing in the Spectator, Rod Liddle says, “Sorry, Ed Miliband, your dad hated Britain"

Over 800 people have been moved to post a comment underneath the Liddle article and the best one, from Mark_Id is -

If we cannot trust the comments of a 17 year old as too young then maybe 16 year olds should not vote to decide the future of the Country?

This is very funny as votes for teenagers is one of those dim ideas beloved of the left!

Things have again moved on and writing in the Spectator, Fraser Nelson says that the Miliband story represents another opportunity for an attack upon the press. He's right and others agree. And what a surprise, the attack is being led by the BBC! To have got caught up in this shows that Ed Miliband, should he become PM, will be a disaster for the UK. And anyone looking to retain press freedom should wake up to this. So will you join me in a big thank you to Damian McBride who, it would seem, got young Ed into so much trouble and strife!

Footnote -

For another analysis, and one that takes a different direction, see HERE