Sometimes, the desire to rubbish opponents far outstrips the intellectual capacity of the attacker, and the process descends into incoherent and unpleasant name-calling, devoid of reason, other to show the nastiness of the attacker for what it is. For the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, the moment of descent has come as they find themselves unable to effectively counter older politicians.
Taking the moral high ground once again
When putting the boot into inconveniently minded politicos of A Certain Age, The Great Guido shows the world one of his greatest fears: losing the ability to think clearly, to reason, to speak. This is, of course, something Staines himself has been doing on a regular basis over the years, typified by the recent occasion he was ejected from the IoD for turning up at an event in a heavily intoxicated state.
For those he and his pals attack, though, it means hurling unfounded accusations of dementia. Zelo Street regulars will recall the Fawkes blog’s attack on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, where they claimed “Time and time again he doesn’t know the party line and has had to be saved by a member of his team … Corbyn didn’t know his numbers this morning … Jezza is a 68 year-old man who is not on top of his brief”.
That much was bad enough, but now The Great Guido has revisited this attack line in order to kick Lib Dem leader-to-be Vince Cable. Here, the ageist smears have been infinitely more unpleasant. Yesterday, Cable’s aside in an interview on The Andy Marr Show (tm) that Brexit may never happen, given splits in the two main parties and the complexity of the negotiations, particularly irked the Fawkes folks.
So Cable was smeared as a “Fringe party leader, who got the job because no one else wants it, indulges in senile fantasy”. The Great Guido then showed his tenuous connection to the real world by pitching the laughable “Meanwhile on planet earth the US president promises comprehensive free trade deal ‘very, very quickly’ with the world’s most dynamic economy”. Combover Crybaby Donald Trump a reliable witness? Come off it.
Some in the right-leaning part of the press might believe Trump’s faux-salesman pitch, but as Zelo Street has already told, the only way a UK-US trade deal will happen “very, very quickly” is if the UK rolls over and lets the US tell it what to do. And the Fawkes “Senile” smear is potentially actionable. Moreover, it’s not the only such attack.
Today, while claiming dishonestly that his fellow Lib Dem MP Jo Swinson had “slapped down” Cable - she hadn’t - the Fawkes blog called him “doddery Vince”. Another day, another ageist smear, another dead giveaway of Staines’ worst demons.
Meanwhile, he and his rabble might think for a moment what their great heroine Margaret Thatcher said about the kind of tactics in which the Fawkes blog is engaging: “I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left”.
The Great Guido is once again out of arguments. Another fine mess.