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Monday 11 June 2012

Guido Fawked – Very Draughty Glasshouse

[Updates, two so far, at end of post]

Today, Pa Broon has appeared before the Leveson Inquiry, and the usual suspects in the right leaning press have been quick to find adversely on his testimony. Those such as Tim Shipman of the Mail and Benedict Brogan of the Telegraph, who spin and write slanted and selective copy for their respective editors, were particularly scathing on the veracity of some of Brown’s recollection.

Course I'm honest, nobody's sued ... well, not yet

But their interventions were as nothing compared to the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his tame gofer, the flannelled fool Henry Cole, at the Guido Fawkes blog, who have been shoutingLiar” from the comfort of a glasshouse that is rapidly losing the protection of unbroken glazing. The Laurel and Hardy of the blogosphere end their tirade by telling their readers “Guilty, m’Lord”.

Both of the less than dynamic duo have no room to call out others for acts of dishonesty. Indeed, Staines’ lack of it shone through the judgment following his being declared bankrupt in 2003. He told a string of whoppers about the value of his flat, his mortgage liability, and his other assets as his world fell apart in a bizarre welter of claim and counter claim.

And I'm honest too, 'cos I'm on telly!

Cole also has a particularly distinguished track record when it comes to being sparing with the facts. When a student at Edinburgh University, he ran for chair of the students’ association and challenged his fellow candidates to sign a “clean campaign pledge”. He was then rumbled as being behind a particularly vicious attack blog aimed at the association. His campaign was, understandably, unsuccessful.

So it should surprise no-one that when these two less than savoury individuals joined forces, the results would not always be in accordance with reality. From the fairytale about George Osborne wanting to turn his back on the north-west and stand for the next incarnation of Kensington and Chelsea, to the story on William ‘Ague and Margaret Thatcher that they had to pull, the whiff of dishonesty is inescapable.

That ripe smell extended to their appearance at a Ken Livingstone photo-op outside Waterloo station, where the video footage backing up their claims never saw the light of day. Staines appeared before a Lords committee and claimed that he did not single source “career ending” pieces, but did just that with Chris Huhne. And Cole’s smear of this blog before the Guardian and BBC is well known.

And of course Staines is also familiar with the phrase “Guilty, m’Lord”, having added four alcohol related convictions, including two for drinking and driving, to his appearances regarding the disputes that ended up with his insolvency. He is not characterised as “perpetually thirsty” by this blog for nothing, although the idea of using a factual basis for anything might be difficult for him to understand.

Is there a toughened glass installer available right now? Another fine mess.

[UPDATE1 1910 hours: those hurling the "liar" taunts at Pa Broon may care to explain away the letter from Fife NHS Board to the former PM, in which their CEO admits that it is "highly likely" that one of its staff spoke "without authorisation" about the medical condition of his son Fraser.

Think about that for a minute. The Sun went on the record asserting that the information had come from a concerned fellow parent. Brown always maintained that it didn't. Now, it seems, it was the Sun wot told the whopper and not the bloke who they tried to smear for objecting to what they did.

That doesn't mean that Brown was right about anything else. But it's interesting that, on another of those occasions where he was held to be fibbing, he wasn't. Not that this will trouble Messrs Staines and Cole, who will just ignore it. Another fine mess, once again]

[UPDATE2 12 June 0940 hours: the Sun, with characteristic shamelessness, has brought up the subject of Fraser Brown's condition in a routinely vicious attack on Pa Broon. To no surprise, they were still right on the incident and Brown was wrong, but the detail has changed over time.

Previously, it was claimed that they got the information from a fellow parent. Now, readers are told "The story came legally from a member of the public", and that "there was 'no inappropriate access' to Fraser's medical records". This should be read in conjunction with the letter linked above.

There didn't need to be access to medical records, as it is becoming clear that the "member of the public" was someone working for the NHS who let slip the story, as the Fife NHS Board CEO put it, "without authorisation". And the Sun didn't get the Browns' agreement before rushing into print]

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