Yesterday, the ever watchful Tom Pride unmasked the author of a propaganda piece in the Telegraph as a minor executive at a PR company run by one of the most rabidly Tory CEOs in captivity. The article was titled “Left-wing thinking still prevails in schools”, with the sub-heading “The educational elite is indoctrinating the young and - Education Secretary Michael Gove must be allowed to change it”.
The author was one Jago Pearson, who claimed to be “a 21-year-old graduate of History and Politics, just six months out of university”. This, as Pride noted, is not quite the whole story: Pearson is an account executive at MIP, whose head man, Nick Wood, is a staunch Tory. Moreover, as I observed back in December 2011, MIP has been in receipt of significant sums from Tory politicians.
What Pride missed is that Jago Pearson has not just joined the propagandist right-wing: over two and a half years ago, this blog picked up on his presence at Loughborough University being used as justification by the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA) for the claim that they had a Leicestershire branch (which was him). Yes, young Jago has significant previous (he was also a TPA intern).
It gets worse: MIP does not merely offer its services to the Tory Party and employ suitably right-leaning graduates, it also promotes right-wingers via its pool of so-called “talent”. The roll of dishonour has featured such names as Raheem “call me Ray” Kassam, Alex Deane, Daniel Hamilton, and last but not least, the odious flannelled fool Henry Cole of Guido Fawkes infamy.
Companies like MIP are part of the greater Conservative nexus that includes not just the TPA, but other like-minded Astroturf groups such as the ASI, IOD, CPS and IEA, together with outfits like Conservative Home, between which the pool of up-and-coming “talent” moves, all the while gaining media experience to enable it to better push the desired message to an unsuspecting public.
And what’s more, the campaigning by Wood and his young protégés is working: the revelation that his company had been bunged tens of thousands of pounds by the likes of Iain Duncan Cough (via his Centre for Social Justice) and (yes, it’s her again) Nadine Dorries was made in the Telegraph. Now, the same group has fallen into line and is running propaganda items from Wood’s junior staffers.
That’s not all: all these clever people who talk loudly in restaurants then shamelessly promote one another via social media without letting on who they really are. So Pearson is lauded as “very talented” by one Alistair Thompson on Twitter. Who he? Failed Tory Parliamentary candidate Thompson just happens to be Nick Wood’s sidekick at MIP! Self-promotion was never so easy (or so blatant).
Behold a slick, uncompromising and ruthless shower. You have been warned.