One of the most memorable moments of the New Labour years was when a Channel 4 team fetched up at one of Tone’s meet and greets and was about to be ushered away by security, only for Blair to recognise Peter Oborne and invite him in. Commentators like Oborne are a rare commodity: a trenchant critic of all across the political spectrum, but fair and respected too.
That realisation has yet to dawn on puerile clown Craig Oliver, who has, for reasons best known to Young Dave, been employed as his Director of Communications. Rather than counter Oborne’s argument, that “English Votes for English Laws”, or EVEL, is an opportunistic way of manipulating the constitutional arrangements for the benefit of one party (the Tories), he has deployed the smear instead.
What Oliver cannot get his head round is that political parties stitching up countries’ constitutions for their own advantage brings very bad memories not only in this country, but all across Europe, and indeed in the United States. The US Constitution, with its checks and balances to prevent any branch of Government overstepping its power, was created precisely because of its creators’ experiences in Europe.
Sadly, such is the infantile political climate fostered by Oliver, and encouraged by the Rt Hon Gideon George Oliver Osborne, heir to the Seventeenth Baronet, that Camereon, easily swayed by talk of miracle knockout ideas that will see him back in Downing Street next May, has gone along with it, and turned a blind eye when his communications chief leaked his response to Oborne.
Yes, not only did Oliver leak his message to Oborne, he leaked it to Peter McKay, alias The World’s Worst Columnist, and author of the Mail’s Ephraim Hardcastle column, one of the least appealing parts of an already unappealing paper. The message? “Dear Peter – I just wanted to check you are OK. Some BBC people have been on to me worried you were a bit tired and emotional last night”.
When you deploy the same smear used by the likes of (yes, it’s her again) Nadine Dorries, you’ve not only run out of credibility, but exhausted your overdraft facility, especially when the chosen messenger, McKay, is no stranger to the falling-over water. And all this has got Oliver is another broadside from Oborne, which asks the question Oliver and his boss have so far been unable or unwilling to answer.
“The Downing Street Director of Communications has resorted to fabrication in order to distract attention from the substance of the Newsnight discussion. This concerned Labour claims that Downing Street has exploited the Scottish referendum result for partisan advantage. Crucial evidence for this is to be found in the crudely cynical Downing Street spin operation which followed the referendum victory”.
Answer the question, Oliver. Then piss off and leave it to the grown-ups.