[Update at end of post]
The obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre have clearly received orders to concentrate the fire of their accumulated righteousness on the unfortunate Corporal Clegg: the latest rantfest from the routinely batshit Melanie “not just Barking but halfway to Upminster” Phillips, where she describes the Lib Dem leader as “adolescent”, being typical.
In support of Mad Mel is “Daily Mail Comment” – otherwise the authentic voice of Paul Dacre – where the Deputy Prime Minister is derided as out of touch and smeared by suggesting he supports what the piece calls a “Charter for murder”. And completing this supremely sniffy troika is a column by Nick Wood. Who he? Ah well. Here we encounter the network of right leaning lobbyists and their hangers-on.
Wood claims that Clegg (whose party he describes as “puny”) is about to deliver a “hatchet job on marriage”, and cites in support of his attack “Masses of ... evidence, compiled by the Centre for Social Justice” (CSJ). He knows all about the CSJ, as this former Tory Party spinmeister had previously been identified as receiving around £11,000 of taxpayer funds from its head man Iain Duncan Smith.
Wood’s organisation, Media Intelligence Partners (MIP), has also been paid almost £20,000 by Mid Bedfordshire Tory MP (yes, it’s her again) Nadine Dorries as part of her campaign to reduce the time limit for abortions from 24 weeks to 20. His contributions to the Mail cheer for Duncan Smith, kick both Mil The Younger and Clegg (several times), and laud Young Dave unconditionally.
So MIP is led by a Conservative, yet benefits from taxpayer funds. It also manages a pool of what it calls “talent”, and here are yet more Conservative people: Jag Singh, Raheem Kassam, Sonia Purnell (she wrote a book about Bozza), Daniel Hamilton, Alex Deane (yes, the one from Big Brother Watch, part of the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA)), and flannelled fool Henry Cole.
Leaving aside the obvious thoughts that without Clegg, whose presence so distresses Wood, there would not be the Tory PM and mainly Tory cabinet that he and his pals so clearly desire, and that many ordinary hard working people wouldn’t pay Wood and his organisation in washers for the services of his dubiously titled “talent”, further questions need to be asked.
Why does the Daily Mail and its website not mention MIP and Wood’s “previous” as a Tory spinner when readers click on the piece from the RightMinds home page? Isn’t it a teensy bit hypocritical to be associated with the TPA and its cheerleaders while sucking at the teat of taxpayer funding? And just how much further does this apparently incestuous web of right leaning groups and individuals extend across politics, lobbying and the media?
As Private Eye might have said, I think we should be told.
[UPDATE 1640 hours: I'm informed by Unity at Ministry of Truth that Nick Wood served his spinmeister apprenticeship during the Tory leadership of William 'Ague, when head of spin was the appalling Amanda Platell, now one of Dacre's bevy of dubiously talented Glendas. That would explain Wood getting a berth at the Mail.
La Platell, among her other achievements, has been made a Trustee Director of Crimestoppers, under the chairmanship of Lord Ashcroft: in the Tory Party and wider Conservative movement, verily all roads lead to Ashcroft. While it's clear why Ronnie Flanagan and Peter Imbert - and even Nick Ross - sit on that board, the reason for Platell's presence is less obvious]