While all those Tory MPs, along with a motley convocation of the right-leaning media, give their backing to Darren Grimes in his quest to appeal against the Electoral Commission’s conclusion that he broke the law over his participation in the EU referendum, no-one seems to be asking exactly what kind of person they are backing, and what kinds of activities Grimes and his pals were engaging in at the time.
Darren Grimes - not as innocent as he wants us to think
Grimes’ video message had already attracted attention for its production, which seemed rather over the top for an impecunious young man of limited resources. But then, the Tweeter known as Edmund Wisty noted “So Darren Grimes' crowdfunding video isn't hosted under his own YouTube account. It's among the videos created by recent Guido appointee Tom Harwood”. A Fawkes production. And there was more.
“Harwood ... ran the national student wing of the Vote Leave campaign while at Durham University, where he also produced viral videos criticising the @nusuk … The 21-year-old has been taken on as a reporter ‘with a focus on video’”. Union bashing - the ideal entry to the world of The Great Guido. Paul Staines learnt his trade at the knee of David Hart, a deeply unpleasant individual who specialised in anti-trade union activities.
But that was a mere hors d’oeuvres for a much more substantial entrée, as Steve Peers from the University of Essex pointed out “Darren Grimes saying it was ‘fantastic’ and ‘great’ to resume advertising one day after Jo Cox's death. And some of her fellow MPs are crowdfunding for him?” They are indeed. So what had Grimes done?
Whistleblower Shahmir Sanni spelt it out: “It was agreed that there would be a 3 day pause on campaigning when Jo Cox was murdered. AIQ/Vote Leave pushed out ads 10pm the day after her death. Here’s the evidence which was given to the electoral commission - this evidence is now with the police”. The conversations confirmed it.
Zack Massingham talks of “once we turn everything back on”, to which Grimes initially responds “Which is looking like Sunday - right?” Shahmir Sanni was cool with that. Then Massingham corrected them. “Ads come back online @ 10pm tonight” [That meant the day after Jo Cox was murdered, in flagrant violation of the agreed three day pause].
Darren Grimes’ reaction to that news was “Oh, fantastic” and “Yeah, great”.
That is the person who the Fawkes blog is promoting as some kind of poor, wronged innocent. The person promoted by former Fawkes gofer, the odious flannelled fool Master Harry Cole, in the Murdoch Sun. The person backed by Tory MPs and the executive editor of Conservative Home. For them, Darren Grimes is also “fantastic” and “great”.
And, as one Tweeter pointed out, “Unless I'm mistaken, this demolishes Dominic Cummings's claim that ‘AIQ was putting stuff into the system during the pause, not running ads’ which he makes at [his eponymous blog]”.
The reality is that Darren Grimes is just as nasty a piece of work as those who are so eagerly promoting his defence. He lay down with dogs - now he has fleas.