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Friday 15 June 2012

Reverse That Spin Machine!

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

Before the Leveson Inquiry this week, Pa Broon denied that he had called Rupe and “declared war” on him. His testimony was derided by a variety of hacks and pundits, partly because Murdoch had already testified that Brown had done just that. Then “Shagger” Major testified that he, too, disputed Rupe’s recollection, but strangely there was little reaction and not much more reporting of that moment.

This morning, though, all hell has broken loose in the right leaning part of the commentariat as news has broken that the Cabinet Office has confirmed that there was only one call from Brown to Murdoch in the year ended March 2010, and that was the one in November 2009. The call allegedly made at the end of September that year is not there. So it didn’t happen.

What if my boss is a Wonderful Human Being?

But the accusations of dishonesty levelled at Brown had already been made. There were only two ways to play it: retract and apologise, or dig a yet deeper hole. In the obedient service of Rupe, Sun political editor Tom Newton Dunn nobly chose the path of pointless sacrifice and went over the top with a range of “what if” scenarios, all of them equally implausible.

What if I just make up something else?

What if Pa Broon had called Rupe during the Labour conference? What if he’d used someone else’s phone? What if someone else had put the call through? What if he’d got a point-ed stick (OK I’m drifting into Python territory there)? Newton Dunn is apparently oblivious to the fact that only hacks on the same side of the fence, like “Lunchtime” O’Flynn of the Express, are of like mind.

Yeah of course Brown did it, er, cos we're #1

But, as a paid servant of the Murdochs, his rush to defend Rupe is understandable. No such requirement drives the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his tame gofer, the flannelled fool Henry Cole, at the Guido Fawkes blog, but the Laurel and Hardy of the blogosphere have nevertheless summarily discarded Healey’s Dictum and begun to dig themselves one heck of a hole.

Master Cole having trouble smelling his worms

Chill out people screaming purjury [sic]” bleated Cole, after having spent rather a lot of the past week screaming just that. He then penned a Pyongyang style retelling asserting “Cabinet Office Statement Does Not Clear Brown”, going on “Before people start crowing that Murdoch has committed perjury”, though of course the ones with their pants well and truly alight are him and his boss.

I can't be perjuring myself, cos I'm on telly!

But they come back for another try, this time citing Baron Mandelson of Indeterminate Guacamole in support. But he is only assuming the call took place, and as to its content, Mandelson admitted “I cannot remember being told by Mr Brown what he said, and I have no way of knowing”. The less than dynamic duo are spinning so much that the hole really is getting deep.

If they’re not careful, it’ll cave in on them. Another fine mess, once again.

[UPDATE1 16 June 1110 hours: Tom Newton Dunn, in an act of craven desperation, has posted a "gossip" item on the Sun website in which he once again backs up his proprietor - whether voluntarily or not would be interesting to know - and suggests that if someone is lying they could be in "big legal trouble if any phone record of the call emerges".

And what does he cite in support of his contention? Yes, the Guido Fawkes blog - thus spraying his credibility up the wall in one go. Anyone citing the Laurel and Hardy of the blogosphere as an authoritative source is not dealing from a full deck. I do hope Newton Dunn is being amply rewarded by Rupe. On this form, he might have trouble finding another paper willing to take him seriously]

[UPDATE2 18 June 1315 hours: returning to the fray on this story has come the Guido Fawkes blog, with a slice of linguistic ineptitude probably the work of the flannelled fool Henry Cole, in which he tells "Last week Gordon and a tiny number of loyalists took umbrage in this statement from the Cabinet Office".
There then follows the dishonest attempt to assert that Baron Mandelson of Indeterminate Guacamole swore on oath that the "war" call was made, which to no surprise he did not. It's entirely possible that Pa Broon called Rupe and didn't go through the 10 Downing Street switchboard - nobody is denying this. But thus far the Fawkes blog, like the politcal editor of the Sun, has no evidence he did.

And, until and unless they can lay their hands on something rather better than what has been advanced so far, they will continue to look even more like clowns than usual. Another fine mess, once again]

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