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Thursday 15 March 2012

Guido Fawked – Trousers Still Alight

Flush from garnering absolutely no media interest for their stunt yesterday – which may not be unconnected to the unpleasantness they caused at that Ken Livingstone photo-op at Waterloo station – the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his tame gofer, the flannelled fool Henry Cole, have once again turned the Guido Fawkes blog on the Labour Mayoral challenger.

An accountant for us? Now that's a good idea!

And at the start, they reveal their clinching argument: that the accountant who looks after the tax affairs for Livingstone’s company is in Brighton! Their nameplate is a little rusty!! And it’s dirty too!!! And it’s in a BACK STREET (oh, the shame of it)!!!! And their website has the phrase “Tax Planning” on it!!!!! Clearly, nothing gets past the Laurel and Hardy of the blogosphere.

But that, sadly, is the high water mark of this particular evidential tide: the post goes rapidly downhill as it tells “He told Marr on Sunday that he paid the economist to cost his policies for his campaign and told Nick Ferrari that the third staffer handles his media for the campaign”. He didn’t, not to Marr, nor Ferrari (the former interview is in the post I did at the time).

So when the Fawkes blog claims “These are effectively corporate donations to his Mayoral campaign that have to be declared to the Electoral Commission”, they aren’t – effectively or otherwise – and so they do not. This may be behind the dastardly lack of declaration: there is no need to make such a declaration because two witless tribalists in the blogosphere might in future invent a story about it.

But having told a significantly sized porkie, there is no stopping Staines and Cole, as they prattle on about HMRC rules for political donations which Livingstone’s company is alleged to have made, despite the man himself not saying that it has, and there being precisely zero evidence to back them up. If they think there are grounds for a complaint, then they need to look sharp and make one.

They will not: this ploy was tried twice last year against Eastleigh MP Chris Huhne, on the grounds that he was a combative Lib Dem with malice aforethought, and both complaints, so loudly trumpeted on the Fawkes blog, were equally emphatically thrown out. Any similar move against Livingstone will meet with similarly short shrift, which would be fully deserved by these two time-wasters.

Staines and Cole may persuade some of the more easily persuaded – there is, after all, one born every minute – but their uneasy relationship with reality will cause yet more to tune out their background noise. And as for their attempt to characterise Livingstone as “beyond parody”, the less than dynamic duo need to look to themselves for the obvious textbook definition of the phrase.

As usual, no research, no result. Another fine mess, once again.

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