Today was the turn of the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines, who styles himself Guido Fawkes, to appear before the Leveson Inquiry. His testimony, given either side of the lunch break, was bullish, flippant, self-aggrandising, occasionally thoughtful, equally flagrantly dishonest, and of little use to overall proceedings – but it was unintentionally revealing.
Kicking off with claims on the Fawkes blog’s readership – something on which I suspect Tim Ireland at Bloggerheads may have something to say – and pausing to smirk that he was an Irish citizen, Staines arrived at a defence that, happily, chimes with his pals at the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA), that he’s interested in exposing misuse of taxpayers’ money (he isn’t).
He painted everyone else as dishonest – readers may usefully look HERE to see examples of the Fawkes blog making up stories on the fly – while excusing the appalling spelling and grammar (much of this being down to his tame gofer, the equally dishonest flannelled fool Henry Cole) by saying that the speed of his “operation” meant that it “isn’t always spot on”.
But it was after lunch that the real gems were to be found: Staines was for some reason fixated on Operation Motorman, as if he were the sole source of the news, although anyone having read Flat Earth News will know all about it. He seemed to think that the Leveson Inquiry should be judged on whether it brings those named to trial, but exactly how that could be done nine years later was not told.
Moreover, many of his pals in the Fourth Estate would be for the high jump were Motorman to be reopened and prosecuted (the reason the Information Commissioner did not proceed at the time was because of the potential amount of money that would have to be expended to successfully pursue all those involved). And Staines was only interested in “getting” one of them.
That, predictably, was Gordon Rayner of the Telegraph, because he found out Staines’ London address. As usual, it’s a personal – and vindictive – thing. His accusation of hacking against Tina Weaver of the Mirror was restated, but his source is hardly authoritative: step forward Max Keiser aka Dubius Maximus, accomplished exponent of the drive-by e-shooting.
Criticism of the Lobby system appeared to be because he couldn’t get a Commons pass – wise folks running the Commons – and his suggestions that the Screws had bought up photos of William ‘Ague’s assistant to shut down the story smacked of paranoia. And his “understanding” that some hacks won’t “do him over” could well be wishful thinking. If he becomes expendable, they will expend him.
Then he admitted to doing no research on Piers Morgan. Another fine mess, then.