Tom Watson smacks down Guido Fawkes


2:06 pm - May 1st 2012

by Sunny Hundal    


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Rupert Murdoch is “not a fit person” to run a major international company, a report by the media select committee report today concluded, but descended into acrimony and accusations.

But during the press conference, an amusing exchange took place.

Tom Watson MP was accused by blogger Harry Cole (from Guido Fawkes) of contempt of Parliament by revealing details in his recently published book of the committee report.

John Whittingdale (Tory MP) interjected and said that almost all of the evidence in the select committee report was already in public domain.

Tom Watson MP then added snippets in the book that weren’t published before were cleared with the senior clerk of the committee.

Watson then said he had a question for Harry Cole in return.

He said asked why Paul Staines, aka Guido Fawkes, destroyed his computer hard drive after publishing the emails by Damian McBride a few years ago.

Keep in mind that those emails were most likely retrieved by hacking too.

Harry Cole looked sheepish and didn’t respond. We’re trying to get a screen grab of his expression.

Update:

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


Given Mr Staines physical appearance, is it not possible that he merely gently sat upon the hard drive in question by accident? Rather than undertook a callow attempt to cover up and dispose of incriminating evidence.

Funny that the video shows me laughing with my hand up for a follow up that was not allowed.

Spin for your master… spin…

I watched this live on Sky News and didn’t see a sheepish impression. Tom Watson tried to drag the attention away from himself by asking a question irrelevant to the press conference.

Not least it isn’t the usual convention at press conferences for an MP to ask a journalist questions.

Far from smacking anyone down, Tom Watson was corned and lashed-out.

OK then Harry, what were you itching to say in reply? Let’s hear it. And no referring back to Master Staines first…

Not what everyone saw and heard Harry… nice try though!

And what about an answer to Tom’s question?

(accusing me of spin is funny from the guy who’s been doing that for years for Boris)

“Spin for your master… spin…”

Indeed

“John Whittingdale (Tory MP) interjected and said that almost all of the evidence published by the select committee was already published by the committee was already in public domain a”

That’s a fairly crucial part of your blogpost – may have been a good idea to proofread it.

@2

Flannelled fool Henry Cole replies to accusation of spinning by saying “look over there at someone else who I say is spinning”.

Par for the course for someone who was so clueless that he went to the wrong station to catch his train, even though he only had a choice of one.

Oh, and on the subject of Cole and honesty, here’s something to consider:

http://t.co/UoZdAQ4k

Sunny, watch the video… then apologise for what what can only be described as scraping a very empty barrel to score lefty ‘blog’ points…

http://order-order.com/2012/05/01/watch-tom-watson-dodges-questions-on-leaking-committee-findings/

10. Shoparco

After watching the video, I can’t recognise this article as resembling accurately what actually happened.

I note you refuse to put the video up that disproves your entire description of events.

Love it when Guido Fawkes’ window lickers come here

Sunny. As someone who doesn’t much like LC or Guido: why aren’t you in any way attempting to respond to what Cole has to say?

@11

Still spinning, Master Cole? Try spinning this:

http://zelo.tv/wBVtJi

Another fine mess, indeed.

15. Suburban Tory

Calling people “window lickers” – how very progressive.

But Sunny, far from looking sheepish and not responding he clearly sticks his hand in the air, indicates that he really wants to respond, and is told by the chairman that they’re going to move on to someone else.

I guess if Harry Cole had been determined to keep speaking he could have just shouted over the chairman or something but your account of events is just plain wrong.

It’s also, I’d suggest, a mistake to claim that people who’ve noticed the clear discrepancy between what you say happened and what actually happened are “Guido Fawkes’ window lickers”. You’re giving Guido Fawkes and his gang the moral high ground, as if anyone who thinks telling the truth is important must be one of them.

Calling people “window lickers” – how very progressive.

He calls them that himself. And going by the comments, that is being charitable.

18. john riches

Sunny

Cole is a smug idiot, prone to false moralising, and has a ‘boss’ who as I’ve mentioned on here before is a hypocrite almost without moral or scruple.

However, you’ve made yourself look a fool; Cole is clearly trying to respond in the video. Just admit it, it does you no credit otherwise…

19. Chaise Guevara

Sunny, even with the bloody sound off I can see that “Harry Cole looked sheepish and didn’t respond” is extremely disingenuous. Sheepishness is in the eye of the beholder, but he obviously only didn’t respond because he wasn’t invited to. Unless the video’s been messed with – and you don’t seem to be claiming that’s the case – then Cole’s version of events is accurate, regardless of how objectionable Guido’s politics.

So the OP is essentially a false report designed to be another pointless and stupid personal attack in the general mess of I-hate-you-you-hate-me politics. And as other people have noted, deriding people who point this out as “window lickers” (whatever that even means) is ridiculous. If you can’t do anything but throw insults around, perhaps you shouldn’t say anything.

20. Maggie Thatcher's Unused Brain

Is that Cole or Staines catching flies in the pic ?

Either way he’s one seriously creepy and ugly looking man.
Looks liek Jabba the Hut crossed with a toilet brush.

Feel rather sorry for him, and a right wing t*** as well.

Some people have all the bad luck don’t they ?

21. Maggie Thatcher's Unused Brain

Is that Cole or Staines catching flies in the pic ?

Either way he’s one seriously creepy and ugly looking man.
Looks like Jabba the Hut crossed with a toilet brush.

Feel rather sorry for him, and a right wing t*** as well.

Some people have all the bad luck don’t they ?

So the OP is essentially a false report designed to be another pointless and stupid personal attack in the general mess of I-hate-you-you-hate-me politics.

It’s a sidebar story CG. Sunny’s homage to the Daily Mail. It’s linkbait and twitterbait for people who won’t bother to read it, just retweet it. Whether the headline, or the story itself, is true, misleading or downright false is entirely irrelevant. You can’t be surprised surely – it’s been this way for literally years now.

“Cole is clearly trying to respond”

If only he had access to some public platform which would enable him to do so.

24. Chaise Guevara

@ 22 Tim J

Surprised? Of course not. I’m well aware of the MO: post ludicrous headline that is falsified by the article itself or by 10 seconds’ googling; tell anyone who points out that you’re lying that they’re a troll or [insult playground here]; refuse to engage honestly with any criticism.

Sunny,

I watched the exchange on Sky. I’ve heard of people tryimg to rewrite history but you really do take the biscuit.

The hairy interjector tried to make a point. It was ignored and Tom Watson brought up Damian McBride for some reason.

What about the question that was asked? Did Tom Watson publsih the information on page 312 of his book before it was in the public domain. Yes or no?

Oh look the usual tory Murdoch arse wipes are out in force again.

Funny how Labour is now accused of being partisan, yet the previous tory defence has been “labour were as bad as the tories”

Tories are Murdoch men through and through. Like him they are

27. Mallorcasaint

Sunny, I am no lover of Cole or Guido Fawkes but I watched the interjection in question and it is clear that HC put up his hand to respond and was denied the right to do so. Neither did he look “sheepish” but rather I would say he looked embarrassed. It does you no credit to tamper with the truth and allow an opening for the neo-liberals to take you to task.

“Oh look the usual tory Murdoch arse wipes are out in force again.”

Not a single one of us has said anything positive about Murdoch.

“Funny how Labour is now accused of being partisan, yet the previous tory defence has been “labour were as bad as the tories””

What does that have anything to do with this blog post or the comments under it?

“Tories are Murdoch men through and through. Like him they are”

Well, we’ll never know what they are.

Oops try again.

Tories and USA Republicans love Murdoch. They share the same far right agenda. Both nationally and globally. Murdoch’s crimes will always be tolerated and encouraged by tory politicians because they know how important his tory propaganda is to their success.

Always remember this when the usual tory scum are blabbering about morality, and law and order.

I see our in house concern troll is spinning like a top at 19.

“I see our in house concern troll is spinning like a top at 19.”

What part of his post would you describe as constituting spin?

A few points.

1. Contrary to Guido’s assertion Watson did answer the question. He make not like the answer, he may not believe it but it is clearly false to say it wasn’t answered.
2. In fairness to Cole, he was not given an opportunity to answer Watson’s question and although technically accurate to say he didn’t respond, the formulation is misleading to say the least.
3. His defenders are wrong to suggest he was about to answer. They have never been forthcoming about where they got this material and were unikely to have been on the point of spilling the beans now.
4. It is also wrong to say Watson’s question was irrelevant. Nadine Dorries has stated that News International was Guido’s source (although he claims this is untrue).

Jimmy, you are my favourite commenter on here, but since when did you lot see Nadine as believable source?

Harry,

You’re too kind. You make a fair point about la Dorries, however whereas normally her motives for invention are only too transparent, it is difficult to se offhand why she would make this up. Also it is, unusually for her, plausible. I’m sure you would agree it would be most unfortunate if evidence exonerating Muroch of this vile accusation had been destroyed by your employer?

Jimmy,

You state … “1. Contrary to Guido’s assertion Watson did answer the question.”

If that’s the case, I apologise but I genuinely did not hear it. For those of us a little bit Mutt, what was the answer?

I understood him to say the relevant extracts had been approved by the clerks.

37. Robin Levett

@Harry Cole:

Since you had your hand up, we can presume that you were anxious to answer the question that Watson asked?

Since that answer is in issue here, perhaps you could favour us with it? Admittedly, this isn’t the BBC, but we’ll do what we can to get the word out.

38. Robin Levett

@CD13 #13:

If that’s the case, I apologise but I genuinely did not hear it. For those of us a little bit Mutt, what was the answer?

I think you need to have been a lot Mutt if you didn’t hear the reply to the question. It’s from 1:08-1:23 of the clip that Guido has up on his website, a link to which appears upthread. You can’t miss it – it’s the quarter-minute before he says that he has a question for Cole.

“Window Licker” is a mocking name for the mentally retarded.

Nice Sunny!

38: Robin,

Thanks. I didn’t look at the Guido clip, I watched the Sky news clip which was obviously shorter. So fair play to Tom Watson for answering.

I was a little surprised by the reference to the Damian McBride incident though. Apart from being off-topic, it was a nasty little reminder of what some toe-rags in government think is good politics.

PS As a good Catholic, Damian is now working for CAFOD, I believe – so he can be forgiven. But how was Tom involved?

Jimmy you’re way off the mark here.

Where is Nadine meant to have even said this?

The only person I’ve ever heard come up with that crack pot suggestion is Watson.

That’s Harry Cole? What’s going on with his hair?

He doesnt look like window licker – more of a fat, mongoloid faggot paki

When I fist saw the still pic in the OP above I could have sworn it was Matt Lucas in a fright wig…. unless can anyone confirm that they have seen “Harry Cole” and Matt Lucas together at the same time, my working hypothesis is that there is in fact no such person as “Harry Cole”.

45. Chaise Guevara

@ 42-44

Great, guys. It was hard for this thread to slip any further into childishness, but you managed it.

46. My bloody teeth hurt

why dont you guys just get a room! Still 44 you made me chuckle. He does dont he

47. Robin Levett

@Harry Cole #41:

I note that Guido states that:

…page 312 [of Dial M for Murdoch] explicitly states that the Committee would find that News International had misled Parliament

a position you repeated in the press conference.

Would you please do us the favour of quoting the precise words you and Guido rely upon to make that claim? Having read page 312 of the book I can’t find any such explicit claim. I can find a repetition of common knowledge – that the Committee was preparing a report on “the extent to which” News Corp had misled parliament – and, quite frankly, you’d have to live on the Moon not to have known that – but surely that’s rather too thin a twig to hang a contempt of Parliament charge on? After all, AIUI that is precisely what this particular enquiry was intended to do.

Perhaps you could also answer Tom Watson’s question – the question that all Mr Fawkes’s friends here are sure you you had your hand up to answer?

@45 Chaise

I used to think your were alright…. when did you have your sense of humour removed? You aren’t American by any chance are you?

@46

Uh hu, thank you very much; I’m here all week. Please remember to tip your waitress.

Harry,

Surprised that an interweb whizz such as yourself missed this one.

http://blog.dorries.org/id-1898-2011_7_Damian_McBride_and_Smeargate.aspx

50. Chaise Guevara

@ 48 Galen

“I used to think your were alright…. when did you have your sense of humour removed? You aren’t American by any chance are you?”

Oh, cheers. I just think that the OP’s false claims are bad enough without adding this sort of thing to it. And when the person in question *is actually on the thread*, personal abuse becomes a bullying tactic. Who gives a fuck about the man’s hair?

@45 – It was a lost cause anyway, but your right I should have stayed out of it. I think I’ve had enough of masturbating Sunny’s ego anyway and Ive come to realise this site is not about liberal matters but just an extension of Sunnys penis.

Stop stroking it and it wont grow any bigger.

52. Chaise Guevara

@ 51

Fairly good analysis, that.

@50 Who cares about his hair? The exact same people who cared about David Milliband holding a banana.

54. Chaise Guevara

@ 53 Cylux

So you also care about a banana. What of it?

@ Sunny

“‘Calling people “window lickers” – how very progressive.’

He calls them that himself. And going by the comments, that is being charitable.”

Ha ha! Yes, they’re actually *even more* ugly and stupid than people with learning difficulties! Oh, my aching sides.

I think an apology is in order. I’m not sure why you think it’s OK to toss ableist insults around so long as Guido Fawkes did it first, but it really isn’t.

@55 – You dont get it

Sunny has a website called liberal conspiracy
Sunny is a liberal
Therefore anything sunny says is the liberal thing to say
If you disagree with anything Sunny says you are not a liberal

57. Chaise Guevara

@ 56 dave

Indeed! I was recently told by Sunny that I wasn’t a proper progressive, because apparently all true progressives throw hysterical insults at anyone who disagrees with them. Obviously I had foolishly forgotten that “progressive” is defined as “whatever Sunny thinks”, possibly to the point that there’s an official progressive line on whether Coke tastes better than Pepsi.

@57 – I followed it but didn’t comment, Sunny’s stance was quite amusing and as arrogant ever.

You should have a look at the page Harry quotes from Dial M for Murdoch. The idea that it ‘leaks’ the hacking report’s findings is spectacularly dumb.

The book basically says the committee was going to report on how it was misled by News International and…err…. that’s it. Given that the report was looking into whether Parliament was misled, that various News Intl people agreed that previous testimony was misleading (though they blamed each other) and that the company had acknowledged that its July 2009 statement was cobblers, the committee was obviously going to find it was misled – the killer questions being about what and by who. Anyone reading a few paras of the coverage in any newspaper in the last few months could have picked this up and you really have to be a cretin to believe anything was ‘leaked’ in the book.

It was a really dumb question to ask, even if your sole aim was to try and embarrass Tom Watson rather than focus on, you know, phone hacking and stuff.

60. John Fossey

How does that qualify as a smack down? All I’m seeing is a journalist asking a perfectly legitimate question and a politician refusing to answer it.

Excuse me, but is Tom Watson one of the MP’s we are foolishly PAYING to Govern this Country according to its long standing Common law Constitution? Is he doing that in full? We pay their expenses too, yet all THEY can do is obey the same EU orders as the rest of us. So exactly what kind of people are THEY to call a business man, “not a fit person’ to run an international company”?

Rather than watch our Wonderful Houses of Parliament that a once truly Great Man inspired the ordinary people of this land to go out and fight for the freedom to Govern this Country, I am sorry Guy Fawkes was prevented from succeeding in his task.

@54

So you also care about a banana. What of it?

Well, in the world of politics, image matters. If David Milliband were elected leader of the Labour party, as the labour right still wants, do you think this goldmine wouldn’t be exploited for all it’s worth? Not to mention Gordon Brown’s appearance was a good contributor to the strong dislike of the man, unfair or not.

Also, how you style your hair gives an indication as to your faculties of judgement, a comb over suggests that the man is both vain and insecure and very good at convincing himself of things that are not true, the best example being Donald Trump whose tri-layer comb-over is what’s largely responsible (after his own foot-in-mouth disease outbursts – they’re linked after all) for the general regard that he’s a complete buffoon. Most politicians will be very aware of this, which is why Westminster is a house of short, smart haircuts that give away very little.
Now what conclusion am I supposed to reach about Harry Cole’s political nous when he stumps up to a press conference with that ridiculous bouffant?

63. Robin Levett

@John Fossey #60:

All I’m seeing is a journalist asking a perfectly legitimate question…

…based on a false premise…

…and a politician refusing to answer it.

Have you actually seen the clip that Guido has up? Thought not.

64. Chaise Guevara

@ 62 Cylux

“Well, in the world of politics, image matters. If David Milliband were elected leader of the Labour party, as the labour right still wants, do you think this goldmine wouldn’t be exploited for all it’s worth? Not to mention Gordon Brown’s appearance was a good contributor to the strong dislike of the man, unfair or not.”

I’m well aware of this. But I don’t like the fact that image matters, and I certainly don’t encourage people to make judgements based on style over substance.

“Now what conclusion am I supposed to reach about Harry Cole’s political nous when he stumps up to a press conference with that ridiculous bouffant?”

A discussion on how attention to personal appearance reflects political nous would be fascinating. Unfortunately you didn’t attempt one; you went with MAN HAVE FUNNY HAIR LOLZ!!!

65. Robin Levett

@CD13 #40:

Thanks. I didn’t look at the Guido clip, I watched the Sky news clip which was obviously shorter. So fair play to Tom Watson for answering.

Sorry, missed this.

Interesting that it is the Sky news clip that doesn’t show him answering. I can’t imagine why that should be… Do they have any interest in misrepresenting what was said, d’you think?

Robin@65

It could just have been my lugholes, of course.

Anyway, I’ve no intention of buying the book just to read page 312.

@64 That’s pretty much how I roll in threads about Donald Trump too! 🙂

68. Robin Levett

@CD13 #66:

Anyway, I’ve no intention of buying the book just to read page 312.

See my #47 (no, I don’t own a copy either – but I have seen the page).

69. buddyhell

Harry Cole? More like Harry Troll.

But why a book now, because4 it’s hot, of course Watson is right with his battle but the book will be seen a a profit

71. Mr Fraud

How progressive of Sunny using the same expression as Dolly Draper, only Dolly had the decency to apologise and leave Labourlist to others who were not so crass.

As for the smackdown, seriously the politics of the playground.

72. john reid

71 there’s no comparison between Dolly draper and this, and I haven’t seen Harry cole or Staines apoligise for the libelous comments they’ve put over the years

@Chaise Guevara:

Of course a UKIP apologist nutter would say something like this

Can we have an answer to the question as to why Paul Staines, aka Guido Fawkes, destroyed his computer hard drive after publishing the emails by Damian McBride a few years ago?


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Peewitsunshine

    Tom Watson smacks down Guido Fawkes | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/vSgqNXTc via @libcon

  2. freiahill

    RT @sunny_hundal: When @Tom_Watson smacked down @GuidoFawkes and @MrHarryCole at the press conference http://t.co/V9YCTq26 #Leveson

  3. Foxy52

    When @Tom_Watson smacked down Guido Fawkes and Harry Cole at the press conference http://t.co/AOfJoQ0E

  4. Adrian Price

    When @Tom_Watson smacked down Guido Fawkes and Harry Cole at the press conference http://t.co/AOfJoQ0E

  5. Matt Thomas

    Tom Watson smacks down Guido Fawkes http://t.co/mtTsHIDN

  6. decn carmedy

    @tscholesfogg @GuidoFawkes you seen this? http://t.co/BDRmMCVE

  7. Alison Doig

    Tom Watson smacks down Guido Fawkes | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/YLvoVIgI via @libcon

  8. Jamie

    Brilliant ~ Tom Watson smacks down Guido Fawkes http://t.co/MuLHu7fn @GuidoFawkes @Kate_Monahan

  9. Mark Carrigan

    Is it wrong to hold Harry Cole's appearance against him? http://t.co/qw41M7tX

  10. Rory I. Sinclair

    Tom Watson smacks down Guido Fawkes http://t.co/xRbYHjnc

  11. Rosie R.

    When @Tom_Watson smacked down Guido Fawkes and Harry Cole at the press conference http://t.co/AOfJoQ0E

  12. Brown Moses

    When @Tom_Watson smacked down Guido Fawkes and Harry Cole at the press conference http://t.co/AOfJoQ0E

  13. lewis wilde

    Tom Watson smacks down Guido Fawkes | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/0h4bvWwb via @libcon

  14. Tom Watson smacks down Guido Fawkes « jerrywaggon1

    […] Source: http://liberalconspiracy.org/2012/05/01/tom-watson-smacks-down-guido-fawkes/ […]

  15. Alex Baldwin

    Liberal Conspiracy's @sunny_hundal calling people he dislikes "window lickers". Bit surprised and disappointed by that. http://t.co/IOh5PVaC

  16. Andy Buckley-Taylor

    @petergcampbell @mrharrycole @StanCollymore the perfect Mr Cole http://t.co/Oi5qKfYP

  17. Rosie R.

    @Brown_Moses Personally, I'd very much like to know more about this:- http://t.co/P9iRc5bx My curiosity was piqued several years ago….

  18. Brown Moses

    @Brown_Moses Personally, I'd very much like to know more about this:- http://t.co/P9iRc5bx My curiosity was piqued several years ago….

  19. Neil Paterson

    @Brown_Moses Personally, I'd very much like to know more about this:- http://t.co/P9iRc5bx My curiosity was piqued several years ago….





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