Cast your mind back to July 10 1995. No, not a Major administration sleazefast, but the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Guest that evening: Hugh Grant. Priceless opening line from Leno: “What the hell were you thinking?”
What indeed. So what was Damian McBride thinking? Was he thinking?
All the major political parties indulge in what may politely be called questionable tactics, mainly during election campaigns, and otherwise on an ad hoc basis. Politicians themselves are, to an extent, fair game: the Rt Hon Gideon George Oliver Osborne, heir to the seventeenth Baronet, being a prime example over Tavernagate (or whatever title you give to the Rothschild and Deripaska business), and his refusal to withdraw his autism slur against Pa Broon.
And that is where it all should stay. Any idea of extending such tactics to Frances Osborne, merely because she is married to George, is out of order. Full stop, no qualification needed, no asterisks, no footnotes.
More, it appears that McBride had been communicating his, er, information using the resources of Downing Street. That is also out of order (full stop, as above).
Yet until yesterday, Pa Broon had been apparently happy to continue having this fellow inside the tent. Apart from remembering an alleged nugget of Lyndon Johnson scatology on the subject, there seems no good reason to have someone of such character – or lack of it – on board.
Once again, the judgment of Gordon Brown appears suspect. I considered this last month in this post – and, having observed events over the last few days, have had my misgivings reinforced superbly.
[Anyone disappointed at the non-appearance of Derek Draper in this post should bear in mind that making a cuppa and putting the washing out are far more important]