Having achieved very little from this week’s PMQs after Labour suspended Sheffield Hallam MP Jared O’Mara, the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog were rather at a loose end when it came to having something with which to beat The Red Team. But soon, one of their number had the not very good idea of kicking Labour over appearances by some MPs on broadcaster RT.
Behold the enforcer of the highest principles
RT, or more prosaically Russia Today, is ultimately an arm of the gangsterist régime of Vladimir Vladimirovitch Putin and his cronies. For this reason, many politicians will not touch it with the proverbial bargepole. But some MPs have appeared on its shows, a few of them representing Labour. These the Fawkes gang have gone after in no style at all, with the misleading headline “Labour MPs Accept Thousands From Russia Today”.
The not at all earth shattering news is that “Labour MP Rosie Duffield has declared £500 ‘from Russia Today’ on 12 October” and that “Loony Chris Williamson [mental health smear: check!] accepted £1,000 from the Russians for two appearances in October”. The conclusion by The Great Guido is “Labour MPs taking Moscow gold”, rather than telling the world they have figured out how to work the They Work For You site.
But there was, as Captain Blackadder might have observed, only one thing wrong with the Fawkes rabble sitting in judgment and suggesting Labour MPs were the only beneficiaries of Russian largesse - it was bollocks. We know this, firstly, because as the good people at Political Scrapbook have pointed out, “Boris Johnson said this week that it was a ‘scandal’ that Labour MPs were willing to appear on Russia Today, accusing them of ‘continuing to validate and legitimate that kind of propaganda’”. Really? Do go on.
Hypocrisy in one screen shot ...
“He made the statement in Parliament after the Guido Fawkes website published a list of all the appearances made on the channel by Labour MPs between August 10, 2015 and October 7, 2017 … They found that 15 Labour MPs had made 31 appearances … But research by Scrapbook reveals that Tory MPs - including Brexit Secretary David Davis - have made significantly more appearances on the station over the same period … We found that 17 Tory MPs have made 54 appearances”.
And as if that were not bad enough, The Great Guido is standing in the draughtiest of glasshouses when it comes to taking the “Russian Gold”. As Zelo Street revealed back in July 2012, the Fawkes blog has been taking money from the Russian Government. Indeed, on the same page they were trying to smear Labour MP Chris Bryant for allegedly taking Russian bungs, they were running adverts from the Russian Embassy!
... followed by the clinching admission
Moreover, when Bryant protested “But you take money from the Russian state”, Staines did not dispute the assertion, merely adding “And vodka”, thus demonstrating his priorities were attending to his thirst, rather than adherence to high principles. One might expect that Staines, at least, would remember taking bungs from the Russians.
But then, there would be the effect of all that vodka. Another fine mess, once again.