The perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog have made little secret over the years of their electoral preferences: for them, it is The Blue Team they want to see in power. In pursuit of this goal, there is no depth to which The Great Guido will not sink in order to deflect attention from the Tories’ problems, usually by smearing anyone who threatens to prevent the result they are all playing for.
Their chosen strategy when it comes to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is straightforward: take all the claims of terrorist sympathy and amplify them, perhaps even beyond the limits of credibility. Hence today’s offering in this genre, titled “Corbyn Attended Terror Conference After Honouring Munich Killer”, which tells readers “Guido can reveal”, but does not include a single relevant citation to back the claims up.
It is at least a change from trying to smear Jezza over money, a pursuit which was remarkable only because it was utterly pointless. That didn’t stop the Fawkes mob, who earlier this year claimed “£40,000 ‘Missing’ From Corbyn’s Tax Return” (it wasn’t - Fawkes teaboy Alex Wickham didn’t read the tax return properly) and then asserted “Corbyn’s Numbers Don’t Tally With Government Accounts” (er, they did).
In other words, if in doubt, make it up. This should be borne in mind when The Great Guido is once again trying to push the “Corbyn means terror” meme. What should also be borne in mind is that Paul Staines is the last one to call “terrorist sympathiser” on anyone, mainly because he has significant previous when it comes to, er, sympathising with terrorists. Not only that, he’s proud of his achievements in that area.
Staines was part of Committee for a Free Britain, regarded as part of the Tories’ “lunatic fringe”, editing the organisation’s publication British Briefing, which sought to “smear Labour MPs and left-leaning lawyers and writers” (no change there, then). The CFB was fronted by one David Hart, one of the singularly most unpleasant individuals ever to become involved in politics. And here was the terrorism connection.
The CFB lionised the Nicaraguan Contras, so much so that it became involved in running guns to them. The Contras’ charge sheet included targeted killing of health care workers, kidnapping, torture, execution of civilians, rape, and a litany of other abuses. During their campaign in Nicaragua, they managed to kill well north of 500 people. The Contras were, let us not drive this one round the houses for too long, terrorists.
And there was Paul Staines helping them along. The terrorists characterised by Human Rights Watch thus: “the Contras were major and systematic violators of the most basic standards of the laws of armed conflict, including by launching indiscriminate attacks on civilians, selectively murdering non-combatants, and mistreating prisoners”. Yes, Paul Staines was up to his neck in facilitating deadly terrorism.
Yet the agenda set by The Great Guido is slavishly followed by many supposedly reputable journalists. Which gives you another insight into what is wrong with so much of our free and fearless press right now. Another fine mess, once again.