The perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog have made a significant error of judgment today, one that is likely to cost their already battered credibility dear in the coming days - they have tried a smear too far on someone who knows all too well where the bodies are buried. And the person they smeared, former hack James Chapman, is in no mood to let the SOBs off the hook.
This slice of excellent spectator sport kicked off when The Great Guido snarked at Chapman over an exchange with comedy Tory Jacob Rees Mogg. This was later doubled down by the release of an Instagram photo which, well, we won’t be going there, safe to say that the Fawkes massive may well have had that in reserve for the occasion when one of their punishment beatings needed to be administered.
The ensuing scrap was all that a connoisseur of such exchanges might have hoped for. First came the put-down from Chapman, taking the solid ground of arguing on the subject of alcoholic beverages, always a weakness for Staines. “Sadly many MPs go and drink his cheap wine. I hope never again”. Staines was deeply affronted.
“Cheap? Chappers glugged down the champagne and caviar at the Guido Fawkes Tenth Anniversary Party on the Mall” he retorted (you can read the Zelo Street take on that tenth anniversary bash HERE). But Chapman was ahead of Staines’ characteristically thirsty game: “It was a terrible evening and I had to have a long shower after talking to you”.
Then came the photo that the Fawkes rabble should have thought better of posting. “Apparently @guidofawkes has posted naked pic of me. Whatever turns you on Paul. The Democrats will close you down when we implement Leveson” observed Chapman, not quite getting Leveson, but probably right about Staines being somehow shut down.
And then it began to get really interesting, as he followed up with “Does Paul Staines pay any tax in UK? Does he declare his dodgy backhanders to members of the lobby?” Ooh, interesting. Do tell us more. Meanwhile, Patrick Andrews observed “You would think Guido Fawkes would be careful after the donkey porn incident”. Tell us more about that, too.
While all this was kicking off, the great Flip Chart Rick noted approvingly “That @jameschappers is pissing off a lot of thoroughly unpleasant people”. The Secret Barrister then suggested Staines may be in breach of revenge porn laws over posting that photo.
Chapman may also be interested in the most unfortunate incident when Staines and his then tame gofer, the odious flannelled fool Master Harry Cole, were denied entry to the IoD after they had been to the Rub-A-Dub, where they became Elephant’s Trunk And Mozart. Zelo Street has the video of a clearly inebriated Staines being thrown out.
On top of that was Staines’ threat to take legal action against this blog, only to fold his tent and slink off when my lawyers rebuffed his advances. And there was that interview he did with Esquire magazine, where he revealed his favourite lunchtime tipple was a bottle of Chablis - all of it. He said in that interview that “the lying at Westminster is on an industrial scale”. What he missed out was that much of the lying came from him and his rabble.
Paul Staines has more than met his match in James Chapman. Another fine mess.