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Hypocrisy Rules Okay


12:05 pm - April 13th 2009

by Unity    


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As adverts for political blogging go, the whole Guido vs Draper thing has been somewhere on a par with promoting a cage fight between Stephen Hawking and Helen Keller as an advert for mixed martial arts, which is why I’ve got no hesitation in respond to Draper’s appeal for a fresh start…

Maybe this affair will encourage the whole blogosphere, right and left, to commit to a new start, where offensiveness and personal attacks are avoided and debate is elevated not dragged down into the gutter? Maybe this can be a turning point at which we all redouble our efforts to tap into the internet´s positive potential rather than allowing its more peurile [sic] aspects to come to the fore?

…with a clear, unquivocal and heartfelt ‘FUCK OFF, DEREK’.

Let’s be clear about one thing, here.

The day I start taking advice on tapping into teh Interweb’s ‘positive potential’ from a dilettante party hack like Draper will be the day after I get elected as the next Pope. Draper’s operating in a gutter of his own making, even if its only next door to Guido’s. As nothing more than a Johnny-Come-Lately to blogging, and an unwelcome one at that, he’s in no position to be calling on the vast majority of the UK’s established political bloggers to do anything, least of all tap into teh Interweb’s ‘positive potential’.

There is one thing I find particularly perplexing about this whole idiotic farrago – just exactly what kind of moron would think it worth trying to plant a false story about a complete liability like Nadine Dorries?

As bullshitters go, Dorries is the gift that keeps on giving. What other MP is dumb enough to use a long-debunked internet hoax to promote a political campaign and then resort to a series lame excuses and smears to try and cover her obvious gullibility? Or publish false and easily debunked allegations in a parliamentary report? Or demand that parliament impose a ban on the biologically impossible? Or try to bullshit a journalist when questioned about her parliamentary attendance record when the truth is a matter of public record?

In the circumstances, it falls to Lance Price, a former ‘spin doctor’ to provide some much needed context to this particular farrago:

It should come as little surprise that some of Gordon Brown’s closest aides have been swapping embarrassing stories about senior Conservatives, including David Cameron. It’s what political hacks do. Gossip of this kind swirls around Labour, Tory and Liberal Democrat offices constantly. The same stories are told and retold in every newsroom in London with equal enthusiasm, whether true or not. Most never reach the public because there is no evidence to support them. Journalists don’t commit them to print, and Damian McBride was playing with fire the moment he put them in an email, let alone considering for a second seeing them published on the internet.

McBride’s real offence here lies solely and exclusively in the suggestion that the various bits of salacious gossip that he was was passing on to Draper should actually be put into the public domain, not that he was actively making up untrue stories, as some seem to think – and some in the media seem keen to suggest.

So far as I’m aware, there’s nothing new or original in any of the stories that McBride was putting up to Draper – what’s in the emails are no more than a bunch of rumours and gossip that have been kicking around in parliamentary circles for month, if not years in some cases. The Dorries story, for example, has been doing the rounds of the lobby hacks and the bagcarrier’s grapevine since last August and has its origins in what would would otherwise have been a mildly amusing misunderstanding in which a Phillips Ladyshave that Dorries, allegedly, left behind after attending a Tory away-day at Latimer House, in June 2008, was misidentified as a vibrator by both hotel staff and staff at CCHQ, to whom it was sent by the hotel in order that it could be restored to its rightful owner.

Unfortunately, another MP who attended the same away-day (according to version of this story that was related to me) also turned out to have been rather forgetful, and allegedly managed to leave behind a rather distinctive pair of personally monogrammed cuff links. These were also returned to the MP in question, who happens to be male and married, via CCHQ.

Once you know those two elements of the backstory, and that the Tory MP who [allegedly] misplaced his cuff links is both male and married, then it doesn’t take a genius to figure out the rest. Office gossip being what it is, two and two inevitably adds up to five and before long a rumour began to circulate around Portcullis House which suggested that the monogrammed cuff links had been found in the same hotel room as Dorries’s personal grooming device.

The relevance of this is twofold.

First, for those currrently egging Dorries on in her threat to set her lawyers on McBride, it tells you everything you need to know about the chances of that actually happening – Dorries could sue, but only at the cost of evidence emerging that would show that the rumors about last years away-day at Latimer House originated from within CCHQ and were spread around the House of Commons by Tory bag carriers.

Second, it places some much needed context on Iain and Guido’s current efforts to spin this story into an attack on the Mirror’s Kevin Maguire. Both want to ‘know’ what Maguire knew about the rumours that McBride put to Draper for possible use in his ‘Red Guido’ website, and the answer (as I’m sure Guido knows perfectly well) is that he knew pretty much what the rest of the lobby hacks and most of the rest of parliament also knew; that these rumours, including the story about Dorries and the rumour that Cameron may have contracted a rather embarrassing personal ‘complaint’ during his student days, were circulating around the House long before McBride had his ‘brainwave’ and decided to run them up to Draper by email.

There’s an overpowering stench of hypocrisy hanging like a pall over this whole story, which is only to be expected as that’s pretty much what the Westminster Village smells likes most of the time and Guido, for all his anti-politics shtick, is no less a creature of that culture that Damian McBride. It’s that, plus an unhealthy dose of outright delusion, that allows Nadine Dorries to play the tearful victim on this occasion while, in almost the same breath, labelling her opponents in last year’s abortion debate as smear-merchants…

No one could have had more dirt thrown at them from the other team than I did during the abortion debate.

…when it was Dorries, herself, who did all the smearing.

Politicans are, however, only partially at fault here, and the odour of hypocrisy hangs no less heavily of Westminster than it does over the offices of News International and the Associated Press, to whose prejudices and petty class hatreds McBride’s proposed smears were ultimately directed. In the final analysis, Joseph Pulitizer was right in suggesting that…

A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will in time produce a people as base as itself.

If there’s one thing we can be certain of here, its that such a press, which is precisely what we have today, inevitably produces a political culture as debased as itself.

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About the author
'Unity' is a regular contributor to Liberal Conspiracy. He also blogs at Ministry of Truth.
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Reader comments


1. Laurie Penny

‘the whole Guido vs Draper thing has been somewhere on a par with promoting a cage fight between Stephen Hawking and Helen Keller as an advert for mixed martial arts’

Ah, I get it. Because disability is really funny.
Please do better, Unity.

Welcome to Sunny’s brave new world of the Left rising above the squalor of sleaze, gossip and smears… with this piece smearing Mad Nad.

3. Shatterface

This article starts as an attack on Draper but uses that as a launch pad for attacking the hypocrisy of the Tories, right-wing bloggers and the press.

That makes it four blogs about hypocrisy to one about the poison that Draper & McBride represent.

Okay, so these articles may not be co-ordinated but it does indicate that bashing the Tories seems to be more important than sleazy behaviour on the Left.

We should be tearing Draper and McBride apart.

Draper, McBride, Coulson and Paul Staines are all tossers.

Here concludes the lesson, can we move on?

I am so tired of all the sanctimonious bilge being spouted on various sides about this non-story. Momentary partisan gain = longer terrm corrosion of faith in politics in general. That’s been obvious for years, yet still they persist.

Laurie:

No, its the absurd implausibility of the scenario that’s funny.

Charlotte:

You seem to be a little confused as to the meaning of ‘smear’.

There’s nothing whatsoever in this article that cannot be substantiated. least of all the charge of hypocrisy against Dorries.

Shatterface:

That’s because hypocrisy is the real story here – to simply lay into Draper and McBride is to miss the broader point, which is that that this kind of thing is endemic within Westminster.

7. Silent Hunter

hahahahaha!

Is this really the best that the Labour supporters can come up with ?

Careful Unity! You might find it hard to run when you’ve been caught with your trousers around your ankles, as Labour have been.

LOL

I was going to say what Laurie said. But also, is there any need to repeat these slurs at all? People’s private lives are just that – private. I read this site, and not Staines’ or Draper’s, precisely because most of the time it deals in ideas rather than gossip.
Please don’t descend to their level when attacking them…

9. Katy Newton

As nothing more than a Johnny-Come-Lately to blogging, and an unwelcome one at that, he’s in no position to be calling on the vast majority of the UK’s established political bloggers to do anything, least of all tap into teh Interweb’s ‘positive potential’.

Ugh. I pretty much read this site for your posts, Unity, but this particular bit is seriously unattractive. Blogging isn’t a club and you don’t have to establish your right to be involved in it on the basis of longevity or acceptance from self-defined “established political bloggers”. By all means ignore Draper’s call to arms on the basis that he’s a tit, but I’d personally rather see less of the “do you know who we ARE?” attitude.

Don’t be so harsh on Unity, guys. Attacking Dorries does the right a favour. We don’t need these anti-abortion dinosaurs on either the left or the right, and I don’t think it is any coincidence that someone with particularly objectionable views also happens to be a hypocrite too.

Why are we still even talking about this? It’s a complete non-event.

When you say that staff at Latimer House and at GCHQ “misidentified” Nadine Dorries’ Ladyshave, it could be that these people are a little bit more wordly-wise than you make out.

Those clever people at Philips manufacture an extensive line of beauty products, some of which are nothing if not, ahem, versatile. For instance, this smooth, ergonomically shaped sonic massage dildo also doubles up as an epilator.
http://www.consumer.philips.com/consumer/en/gb/consumer/cc/_productid_HP6503_00_GB_CONSUMER/Epilator+HP6503-00

There probably are too many posts on this saga now on here, but I think it’s probably worthwhile explaining what’s going on here.

I have no trouble with posts castigating what Derek Draper and McBride did – in fact I’ve already loudly explained my position on the issue.

But many on the right are using the scandal to re-invent themselves as something new, which is just that bit galling. So, Paul Staines is pretending that he is just anti-smears. Iain Dale is trying to paint New Labour as the only vehicle for sleaze. Nadine Dorries is pretending she’s never smeared anyone or published any rubbish (especially on the abortion debate) and Daniell Hannan is now trying to convince everyone that the internet inherently favours the right.

Sure – these people are known for their hypocrisy so why spend all our time pointing this out. It’s a good point. And I doubt that we’ll be returning to this story with as much gusto by tomorrow.

But this hypocrisy then develops into memes that are then pushed by the MSM (‘Gordon Brown is autistic’, the internet is right-wing, ‘the left-liberal blogosphere sucks’ etc etc) – which are just factually untrue.

We are part of the blogosphere conversation – so why shouldn’t we point out the hypocrisy? I fully expect Iain Dale to do the same when we make mistakes. That’s part of the whole conversation isn’t it?

Part of the reason those things are passed round the media is because blogs on all sides link to Staines and Dale and their ilk, conferring legitimacy on them. They’re only important because other bloggers say they are – “ignore them and they’ll go away” is the plain truth in this case.

And either way, that doesn’t excuse behaving exactly like Staines and repeating allegations about Tories’ private lives. This is an extremely unpleasant post for a number of reasons, and should never have been published.

This is an extremely unpleasant post for a number of reasons, and should never have been published.

*makes gun-shape with hand and shoots self*

Andrew:

There is a marked difference between making/repeating slurs and noting their origins in what would otherwise have proven to be nothing more than a mildly amusing anecdote, which is what I’ve actually done here.

Really? So “the rumour that Cameron may have contracted a rather embarrassing personal ‘complaint’ during his student days” is a ‘mildly amusing anecdote’ is it?

18. Stuart White

Those who might wish to draw a lesson from this episode along the lines of ‘the left blogosphere sucks’ seem to have very poor memories. It was only last week that the left blogosphere helped to reveal the extent of police aggression at the G20 protests at a time when most of the mainstream media weren’t looking. I think it is true that most Labour-linked blogs are pretty rubbish – including LabourList. With the exception of the Fabian Society’s Next Left (for which I write, so of course its an exception!), they are intellectually unadventurous and lack the desire to pursue an issue like aggressive policing which might reflect badly on the Labour party. But obviously the left and the Labour party don’t equate.

19. Stuart White

Correction to my post @20: not fair to say the Compass website is ‘intellectually unadventurous’.

“But many on the right are using the scandal to re-invent themselves as something new, which is just that bit galling. So, Paul Staines is pretending that he is just anti-smears. Iain Dale is trying to paint New Labour as the only vehicle for sleaze”

Well said Sunny. The hypocrisy of the Right knows no bounds. They smear and feign outrage in equal measure.

Of course they are going to say that the Liberal wing of the blogsphere is crap because they always say that about the media. Before the internet was invented they would claim that only right wing newspapers were good and Liberal ones were poor. Different media same bullshit message. But what do you expect from people who deep down believe that they have a divine right to govern, all the time.

As for the MSM, they are just showing their true bias, which is pro Conservative. Same as it always

It is interesting to see how the American MSM is just falling over themselves to give lots of good coverage to the crazies on the right. As one Liberal blogger says……

“But the degree to which the press treats Glenn Beck with kid gloves is pretty infuriating, especially given how “crazy” liberals like Michael Moore and dirty fucking hippie bloggers have been treated. It’s almost as if there’s a bit of an asymmetry here. Nah, couldn’t be…”

Same is true here, the MSM is Conservative.

Introducing the new pigs in the trough, same as the old ones….

Nice to see that mocking the disabled is seen as a valid part of posting here at Liberal Conspiracy, at least when Obama did it he had the grace to look shamefaced about it.

Above the comment box, you state
“Misogynist, racist, homophobic and xenophobic comments will be deleted.”

There is a form of widespread form of prejudice and oppression missing from this list. Coincidently, every May 1st bloggers throughout the world get together and write about it, so you may be interested in Blogging Against Disablism Day
http://tinyurl.com/disablism

Disablism is not a great word, there are other terms you could employ for the purposes of the comment policy. In the meantime, please do come have a read on May 1st. Thanks.

Well, I laughed.

Meanwhile, I think the real story is this: When you say that staff at Latimer House and at GCHQ “misidentified” Nadine Dorries’ Ladyshave, it could be that these people are a little bit more wordly-wise than you make out.

GCHQ? How did our national signals-intelligence and information security agency get involved? Did they mistake it for a bug? Is Nadine Dorris’s Ladyshave – even if it isn’t dual-use technology – suspected of being remotely controlled by Dutch intelligence (Philips, you see…)?


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    New post: Hypocrisy Rules Okay http://tinyurl.com/dhwbgc

  2. Liberal Conspiracy

    New post: Hypocrisy Rules Okay http://tinyurl.com/dhwbgc

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    […] is great, but then two stories after this one he publishes this nasty piece of crap that repeats smears against ‘Mad Nad’ Dorries on the grounds that ‘these rumours […]

  4. Nice phrase

    […] Not sure I agree but nice phrase. […]

  5. Cynical Chatter From The Underworld » Mock The Disabled At Liberal Conspiracy

    […] find it really quite unbelievable that the author of a post at Liberal Conspiracy can happily mock the […]

  6. john band

    The cage fighting analogy in this piece is class, and the eejits taking umbrage at it should be forcibly crippled: http://tinyurl.com/dhwbgc





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