As the smelly brown stuff interfaced violently with the rotating ventilation device yesterday and the true scale of the Carillion mess became clear, it was also noticed that some of those involved had been close to the Tories, and in some cases rather too close: chairman Philip Green (no relation to the BHS one) had been an advisor to the Prime Minister, although that role ceased in December 2016.
Behold the righteous and upstanding judge of what is right and proper
LBC host and occasional Newsnight presenter James O’Brien noted this, but got it wrong when he claimed Green was still advising Theresa May. So he later Tweeted out a correction. This was deemed insufficient by the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, who today proclaimed “James O’Brien’s Carillion Fake News Goes Viral”, denouncing O’Brien as a mere “leftie”.
So this is Very Bad ...
The Great Guido told his adoring readers, whomsoever they be, that O’Brien was “Keen to find a damaging line”, and gasped disbelievingly that “His original tweet was retweeted more than 8,000 times. The correction has been retweeted 170 times. And James still hasn’t deleted his fake news”. It wasn’t “his news”, whatever its nature, but hey ho.
This was most emphatic: anything later found to be untrue would have to be deleted, and of course a correction would be mandatory. However, and here we encounter a significantly sized however, news then arrived that puts the Fawkes massive in what Spike Milligan might have called A Very Difficult Position.
... while this, er, don't ask
As the people at Left Foot Forward have told, “The Electoral Commission have kicked out a complaint against Britain Stronger in Europe, after Tory politician Priti Patel MP claimed she had evidence of ‘joint spending’ between Remain groups … the Commission have conducted their assessment - showing there is no evidence of any joint spending against Britain Stronger in Europe”. So how are the Fawkes folks involved?
So, listeners, what's first time caller Paul from Ireland telling us? Is it ...
Well, this is what they said at the time: “Priti Patel has written to the Electoral Commission asking them to launch an investigation following Guido’s stories on how the Remain campaign flouted spending rules during the referendum. As we revealed last week, Remainers shared data, suppliers and campaign materials, coordinated spending, funnelled £1 million to new campaigns set up in the month before the vote, and potentially spent double the legal limit”. Flouted spending rules. No ifs, no buts.
... a load of this? Or are his ...
So confident was The Great Guido that the post ended with this triumphant declaration: “The Electoral Commission have told the BBC they are looking into Guido’s stories, but have yet to launch a formal probe. A lot of evidence landing on their desk this morning”.
... pants once again well alight?
Those claims were fake. Total crap. Not worth the Electoral Commission wasting their time over. So has any humble pie been consumed chez Fawkes over this dreadful mistake? Has a correction been issued? Has the original series of allegations been deleted? As if you need to ask: one rule for the Fawkes rabble, another for its targets.
The Fawkes massive once again finds itself standing in an awfully draughty glasshouse. Another fine mess, once again.