Desperate times bring desperate measures, and nowhere has this been better demonstrated than in the scrabble among those out there on the Europhobic right to distance themselves from the misbehaviour in the various Leave campaigns following the revelations concerning Cambridge Analytica and its dubious activities.
And while some have tried to bodyswerve the issue, others are trying their damnedest to rubbish the work of all those at the Guardian and Observer - not to mention the whistleblowers who have put their reputations on the line in order to help bring the affair to a wider audience. Sometimes, both bodyswerving and rubbishing have coincided.
This coincidence had its latest and most high-profile example earlier this week, after the Observer’s Carole Cadwalladr put a series of questions to Michael “Oiky” Gove, the minister for Murdoch. Gove, an appallingly immodest man with much to be modest about, knew that this was normal journalistic courtesy that was being extended to him.
Cummings. Or perhaps that should be Goings
After all, Gove is a journalist by profession. So to show his grasp of professionalism, he promptly leaked Ms Cadwalladr’s email, or caused it to be leaked, to the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog. Whether he did this directly, or via his former chief polecat Dominic Cummings, is immaterial.
There was only one reason to leak the email - to rubbish the next instalment of the Observer’s story, which will be hitting the streets this weekend. The problem with this course of action, though, is that what Ms Cadwalladr did not tell Gove, and what the Fawkes mob therefore have to guess, is exactly what is coming down the track.
Under the heading “Cadwalladr Sunday Scoop: Top Remainer Paid AIQ”, The Great Guido tells readers “Guido hears Carole Cadwalladr has another big scoop lined up for Sunday about money paid to the Canadian digital marketing firm AggregateIQ. Carole has emailed Michael Gove asking what AIQ did for his leadership campaign in the summer of 2016 … It turns out AIQ was paid £2,720.46 in July 2016 to set up the campaign website. The payment was put through by campaign manager Nick Boles, a prominent Remainer and Stronger In campaigner. Which slightly throws a spanner in the works for Carole’s next sinister Brexiteer flow chart”. It throws nothing into anything, sadly.
The Fawkes rabble can see the card which Ms Cadwalladr has turned face up. The rest of her hand remains hidden from view. And those Chez Fawkes have a lamentable record for guesswork. What is worse is that Cummings, the probable conduit for the leak, has in the meantime gone full conspiracy theory wacko claiming that the Fair Vote campaign is “the vehicle for Blair and Osborne to attack Vote Leave and campaign for a second referendum”. There is no Blair and/or Osborne connection to Fair Vote.
Worse for “Oiky”, Cummings and the Fawkes massive is that Gove’s latest not-at-all-accidental indiscretion has landed him with a complaint to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner. Who does not answer to Rupert Murdoch and his mafiosi.
And on top of that, none of the occupants of this clown car are any nearer to knowing what the Observer is going to hit them with this weekend - or stopping it. Another fine mess.