I almost did a double take: the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog have taken up the cause of a Labour councillor, and one in the city of Liverpool, too – despite one of their number, the odious flannelled fool Henry Cole, being persona non grata on Merseyside. It seemed that The Great Guido had turned over a new leaf, except of course that he hadn’t.
Luciana Berger MP
Nor has the Fawkes rabble bothered to figure out how political parties function, such was the headlong rush to kick Wavertree MP Luciana Berger, a favourite target for their smear campaigns. When the post titled “Berger Boots Out Arnie Graf Rebel” was published, it would not surprise anyone to know that Ms Berger cannot “boot out” serving councillors. So the usual standard of veracity, then.
Ms Berger had written to Jake Morrison, who had become the youngest of Labour’s Liverpool councillors when he beat Lib Dem and former council leader Mike Storey in 2010, in apparent frustration that he was not working as part of the Wavertree team, unlike his thirteen fellow councillors. The letter got leaked. So did a letter from Morrison to Mil The Younger. A pattern is emerging here.
At this point – although the Fawkes blog, demonstrating a combination of selective fact selection and plain old-fashioned ignorance, fails to mention his presence – Mayor Joe Anderson, as the senior party pro in Liverpool, stepped in and suggested to Morrison that he “take a break”. Joe gave the councillor assurances that the dispute would be investigated, and asked both sides not to comment further.
Morrison then did a round of broadcast interviews and duly carried on the row on Facebook and Twitter. Anderson then moved to suspend him – not for the dispute with Ms Berger, but because he had broken his promise to keep schtum while investigations proceeded. All this information is readily available online. “Labour Suspend Dissident Councillor” proclaimed the Fawkes rabble in mock horror.
The Fawkes folks do not stop to think what the result would be if their emails and letters were to be regularly leaked to the press. Instead, we get “It does seem particularly unfair that a young councillor just beginning his career in politics, who has given his life to the party, should be knifed merely because he had the temerity to stand up for himself rather than toe the party line”.
It does seem particularly unfortunate that The Great Guido could not have been arsed to indulge in the mysterious art of “five minutes’ Googling”, which would have revealed that Jake Morrison had let it be known in April this year that he would not be seeking re-election in 2014. So much for “beginning his career in politics” and “giving his life to the party” (something the Fawkes rabble wouldn’t know about).
So this is just another crude smear on Luciana Berger. Another fine mess.