After BBC Newsnight joined the investigation into the Tory Party’s bullying problems, which had been brought to light by the death of activist Elliott Johnson, the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog decided to once again pretend that they had the inside track on the whole affair, and join the ever-lengthening queue of those wanting to throw Mark Clarke under the bus.
This has apparently included ensuring that there are no references to Clarke on the Fawkes blog other than those from late September this year. But there are still several posts live where the Fawkes folks lay into Bryn Phillips over his candidature in a City of London Corporation by-election in 2012, in the ward of Farringdon Within. The winning candidate on that occasion was Mark Clarke (see HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE).
It gets worse: the Fawkes blog said nothing about the Tories’ bullying problems until after Johnson’s death, despite the clear evidence coming out of the party’s youth wing suggesting that Clarke was behaving very badly indeed. Even those not normally privy to internal Tory Party matters picked that up, as witness Zelo Street running the story (HERE, HERE and HERE) and naming Mark Clarke as the chief culprit.
The Great Guido isn't telling you about this ...
Where was The Great Guido then? Ah well,. Perhaps this was not unconnected to the continuing presence at the Fawkes blog of the odious flannelled fool Henry Cole, tame gofer to Staines until he left for the Sun in July this year, to continue his pretence that he is a Real Journalist. Master Cole may not like being reminded of the fact, but he was the one at the Fawkes blog closest to Mark Clarke.
How close? Cole can be seen in a post-cricket match snap taken at Didcot Parkway station recently along with Clarke. The one at the back with Clarke’s right hand on his shoulder is Paul Abbott, who was chief of staff to Grant “Spiv” Shapps. Even so, after Cole’s departure for the Baby Shard bunker, Staines and his rabble said nothing about all the bad behaviour - until the shit hit the fan.
... and certainly not about this
And while they’re at it, perhaps the Fawkes folks could explain why their follow-up to Newsnight’s exposé still describes Alexandra Paterson as Rob Halfon’s “lover”, despite the relationship having ended some months ago. Do they think that smearing Halfon by suggesting he got Ms Paterson the chairmanship of Conservative Future (CF) will hold up, when it’s blindingly obvious to everyone else that Clarke was driving the process?
On top of that, why list the now-suspended CF national executive without pointing out that one of them, India Brummitt, has been named as Mark Clarke’s mistress? Perhaps The Great Guido needs a reminder of the closeness of Clarke, Ms Brummitt, Shapps, and someone else they haven’t mentioned, Emma Pidding? The Fawkes rabble talk of questions that “remain unanswered”. One of those is why they kept schtum.
Unless they want their readers to believe that they really are so badly informed.
According to well informed pundits Julia Hartley Brewer and Toby Young (hah!) on Twitter it should be no big news, and no reason why it should be presented on Newsnight, that there is a bullying culture at Tory HQ resulting in a suicide of one of its staff.
Perhaps the bullies bow low enough to satisfy their masters?
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