During the past year, Zelo Street has passed adverse comment on the dealings of the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his tame gofer Henry Cole, the Laurel and Hardy of the blogosphere, at the Guido Fawkes blog, to the occasional clear distress of the petulant and thin-skinned Cole, and more general pleasure of many others, some of whom believe I should be kicking the less than dynamic duo far harder.
In May it was the lack of success that the Fawkes blog was having, from talking up Andy Coulson to doing down William ‘Ague, that caught my eye. Added to the list of non-scalps a few days later was Chris Huhne (on whose fall we are still waiting). It did not help their case that all concerned at Stansted Airport declined to answer their questions (sensible folks they are at Stansted).
But there was always the platform of the Fawkes blog to use for breaking stories. Or maybe not: Private Eye revealed that Staines was of less than perfect courage over publishing the Damian McBride emails, ultimately leaving the risk to Rupe’s troops at the Screws. And Staines and Cole should have thought twice before cheering for the utterly batshit Andrew Breitbart a few days later.
Things appeared to be looking up for the Fawkes blog when Staines theatrically gatecrashed a Cafod meeting in a protest over aid to India, but his victory speech was premature as that aid was not ended, as he had assumed. Nor was the Fawkes crowing over the affairs of Shadow Chancellor “Auguste” Balls all that the duo cracked it up to be. And they were late on Mad Mel’s departure from the Spectator.
What d'you mean, "it's mineral water"?
But it was July that brought the most telling revelations, kicking off with my first real sighting of Staines and Cole at the Huffington Post UK launch party and followed by a further reminder of how they kept calling it wrong. And then came the thus far fruitless campaign by the Fawkes blog against the appalling Piers “Morgan” Moron, where the less than dynamic duo showed off their inability to perform research.
And hard on the heels of yet another glorious failure came the rejection of the second expense complaint against Chris Huhne. An attempt to smear the Guardian over off-the-record Police briefings also failed. And attempts to talk down the Eye were proved wrong as the magazine demonstrated its resilience, but at least there was Labour MP Tom Watson to kick.
But, as Staines never tires of telling anyone critical of him, he’s number one, despite on occasion being reduced to spinning for his hero Bozza, while Cole goes all the way to Moscow and manages to miss the impending hooha over the rigged election in Russia. As always, another fine mess once again.