14 April 2009

Spinning Into Oblivion

Gordon Brown and Damian McBride's published reactions to Smeargate sum up their regime. I've thrown in Tom Watson's resignation letter for good measure.

Damian McBride's Resignation Letter

I am shocked and appalled that, however they were obtained, these e-mails have been put into the public domain by Paul Staines. When Derek Draper originally suggested using a website to compete with the kind of material seen regularly on the Guido Fawkes blog, he asked me in a personal capacity to write up some of the stories doing the rounds in Westminster. Derek and I decided in the end that this website was the wrong thing to do, and that Derek should not take his online efforts down to the level of Guido Fawkes and his Tory backers.

Guido has frequently asserted his independence - which is a key element of his online reputation. Astonishing that a resignation letter for smearing would contain an apparently actionable smear.

I have already apologised for the inappropriate and juvenile content of my e-mails, and the offence they have caused, but I did not want these stories in the public domain - it is because Paul Staines has put them there, and I am sickened that he has done so.

Only because you lost your job over it.

However, we all know that when a backroom adviser becomes the story, their position becomes untenable, so I have willingly offered my resignation. It has been an absolute privilege ...

Game over.

Gordon Brown Apologises For Getting Caught

I enclose a letter sent to Gus O'Donnell to revise rules for political advisers. The political adviser concerned has apologised unreservedly and left his post. He sent these prank emails without the knowledge of anyone in Downing Street. I understand the embarassment caused, and any activity such as this that affects the reputation of our politics is a matter of great regret to me. As you can see, I have taken action to do all I can to avoid this happening again.

Firstly, is that supposed to be a personal apology? Secondly, McBride's e-mails were palpably not a prank - even his resignation letter makes that clear. Misrepresenting them in this way is brazen dishonesty. Rather than an apologising, Brown's letter adds insult to injury.

Tom Watson's Resignation Letter

Dear Tony,

The Labour Party has been my life since I was 15 years old... So it is with the greatest sadness that I have to say that I no longer believe that your remaining in office is in the interest of either the party or the country. How and why this situation has arisen no longer matters.

At least have the guts/decency to explain your resignation. What a coward.

I share the view of the overwhelming majority of the party and the country that the only way the Party and the Government can renew itself in office is urgently to renew its leadership. For the sake of the legacy you have long said is the only one that matters - a renewed Labour party re-elected at the next general election - I urge you to reconsider your determination to remain in office. As you know, I had a conversation with the Chief Whip last night... with the greatest regret, therefore, that I must leave the Government. Yours ever,

Tom Watson MP

The greatest regret! Ha.


Mark Wadsworth said...

Good stuff. I personally have no doubt that GF is perfectly straight, but we'll see as and when the Tories are in government and start doing this sort of stuff. I guess he will lay into them with the same gusto.

Blue Eyes said...

Love it. Welcome back to blogland!