Kim Philby was a traitor. He betrayed his country, many who served his country, and others who wanted to assist this country during the Cold War. His exploits, and his betrayal, inspired Dennis Potter’s BBC1 play Traitor, starring John le Mesurier in an uncharacteristic dramatic role, and the modus operandi for one of his most infamous betrayals was used by John le Carré in the BBC adaptation of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.
You, yes you over there, the Daily Mail hack in the pink shirt
Philby was the textbook definition of a traitor. A member of Parliament who expresses dissent is something different. Very different. This, sadly, has not been allowed to enter the weird and not wonderful world of the Northcliffe House bunker, where the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre has ordered the deeply unsavoury Andrew Pierce over the top in no style at all to attack Tory MP Anna Soubry for the heinous crime of expressing her opinion.
So it is that Daily Mail readers have been told of “Tory traitor Anna Soubry’s venomous comments about Jacob Rees Mogg and the Remainer’s addiction to the limelight”. This singularly unfortunate choice of language is not an isolated incident: “Ever since the referendum, many of her colleagues have regarded the Nottinghamshire MP as a traitor”.
It’s That Word Again. Also deployed is the alcohol smear. Citing Ms Soubry’s attendance at a rally soon after the referendum vote, Pierce tells of “Tory backbencher Nadine Dorries who said: ‘I saw Anna Soubry leave the bar before she went outside. She was inebriated, not emotional’”. This is a pack of lies. Even Ms Dorries has withdrawn the comment.
We know this as the Mail’s own account of the rally to which the fragrant Nadine referred now has at the end “Since the article was published Nadine Dorries has withdrawn her tweet about having passed Anna Soubry leaving the bar before she went out and spoke to the rally. Miss Soubry has confirmed that she had not drunk any alcohol before attending the rally”. But she was seen drinking wine once. Sarah Vine was unavailable for comment.
Who, me? Yes, you Andrew. You're busted
Still, there is also “This self-appointed Tory Remainer-in-Chief made herself available to the BBC (ever eager to give a platform to any anti-Brexit Tory)” from a hack who was all too keen to fetch up on The Andy Marr Show (tm) paper review recently. Oh, and “While she was canvassing in last year’s general election, the word ‘Conservative’ was consigned to the bottom corner of ‘Vote Soubry’ posters in her Broxtowe constituency. This spoke volumes of the 61-year-old’s sense of loyalty”. Just like scores of other Tories, then.
Also featuring in this lamest of hatchet jobs is “On Monday, she claimed the only way the Tories could avoid a mass exodus of members was by becoming what it once was – ‘One Nation, centrist, and socially liberal’ … Her memory must be playing tricks. The Tory Party that Ms Soubry rejoined in 2002 was led by Iain Duncan Smith, whose policies were fiercely Right-wing and anti-Europe”. Yes Andrew, and we all know what the Tory Party did with Duncan Cough the following year - they sacked the useless SOB.
Meanwhile, the HuffPost - but NOT the Daily Mail - has told “Anna Soubry has revealed she and her constituency manager received a death threat after she said ‘hard ideological Brexiteers’ such as Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson should be ‘slung’ out of the Conservative Party”. It’s not the first death threat she’s received.
Why should that be? You might wish to ask that. I couldn’t possibly comment.