Those who look in regularly on Zelo Street will need no introduction to the routinely disgusting antics of the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, no reminder that this is what passes for acceptable in today’s world of bully-boy “journalism”. For The Great Guido, there are no depths to which he will not sink in pursuit of lording it over anyone of inconvenient view.
Staines is also a shameless crawler, having spent well in excess of a decade crawling so far up the backside of the press establishment that it is unlikely even the most rigorous course of colonic irrigation would dislodge him. This shamelessness has enabled him to dispense abuse and smears without fear of significant blowback - until the waddling SOB veered over the misogyny line after Drinksh O’Clock last night.
The target of his latest fantasy was Labour MP and shadow home secretary Diane Abbott, the result of the Staines obsession being a characteristically amateurish Photoshop bodge showing he and Ms Abbott in bed.”It is OK, I have finally managed to console Diane. Sweet dreams everyone” he sneered. But this was a campaign destined to develop not necessarily to Staines’ advantage. The severely adverse comment was immediate.
Aman Thakar was unimpressed: “Legitimate criticism of an interview is fine, this just has a nasty sexist edge to it”. Staines, not always able to detect when he is batting on a sticky track, doubled down: “She begged me” (hic). Cal Stannard tried to put it more directly: “This is seriously going to come back to haunt you. Poor judgment in every way”.
Rick Burin was also less than enamoured with Staines’ attempt at humour: “I'm not a fan of hers. At all. But targeting an MP in this way is seriously weird and unpleasant”. It certainly was. Another Tweeter asked “Really? You think this is OK? How old are you? Twelve?” The Fawkes rabble does tend to give that impression sometimes. Colm Flaherty agreed: “That’s supposed to be funny, is it?” It wasn’t. And there a was more.
It was left to a Tweeter called Will to ask the question many would by now be asking themselves: “How much have you had to drink today?” It’s entirely possible that Staines would have lost count, or be otherwise unable to respond coherently. And it was left to the Tweeter known as Eminent Gentleman to tell “I saved the picture, not because I think it’s any good, but because I’ve a feeling this will not be well received and you might delete it”.
Paul Staines and his pals think they can get away with this, though - not merely because they are part of a press establishment that looks on this kind of behaviour as mere laddism and banter, but, let us not drive this one round the houses for too long, because it is Diane Abbott, and for the right-wing punditerati, when it’s Diane Abbott, it’s the equivalent of a free hit. Not that it’s sexist, misogynist or at all racist, you understand.
And if you believe that, you’ll believe anything. Paul Staines is bang out of order, but his position up the press’ posterior means he gets away with it. Another fine mess.