After the latest attempt by chief Downing Street polecat Dominic Cummings and his henchmen to censor the media was revealed to have been one of those campaigns that turned out not necessarily to their advantage, some may have thought that those who had shamelessly shilled for them might have stopped and thought. But that thought would have been misplaced, as one voice out there decided to do neither.
What time is it, Eccles?
To no surprise at all, the voice belonged to Tom Harwood, replacement teaboy to the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines at the Guido Fawkes blog, who, despite having journalistic experience of not unadjacent to zero, has decided that all those real journos know nothing, and that he alone knows everything. Thus deluded, he has gone on the attack.
“In May era I went to a No 10 briefing for a small group of journalists led by Gavin Barwell to go through the Withdrawal Agreement. Those who weren’t invited weren’t ‘banned’, they just happened to not be invited to that particular extra briefing. Seems like a storm in a teacup” was his opening shot. As to those being lined up and excluded, well, he had an answer to that, too:”people turned up who were not invited, expecting to be let in anyway”.
He even passed adverse comment on Julia Hartley Dooda, normally a Fawkes friend. “1. It wasn't a lobby briefing 2. It was a technical briefing for selected papers 3. Similar technical briefings happened under May, in addition to other briefings as this was 4. Those who were not invited had tried to get Guido kicked out of No10 Briefings 5. Televise the lobby”. Those trying to exclude the Fawkes rabble were dead right. But do go on.
Jane Merrick pointed out that the Blair Government had never excluded her, even when she worked for the Mail, which Tone and his pals disliked. “Is 'not invited' the same as 'banned' now? Delighted to let everyone know that I was banned from the BAFTAs last night”. Look over there! Anything to avoid the point. And it got worse.
Next up, he lectured Paul Waugh, who has 20+ years more experience of this sort of thing. “There were lobby briefings we are all invited to, and specific briefings that some people are. They don’t replace other scrutiny opportunities. This is nothing but bitter spin from a media class that isn’t getting its way”. No, it’s media censorship aided by folks like him.
And then came the pièce de résistance: “clear you guys in the media class have an idea of what journalism is and it has to fit your narrow ideological template”. Christ on a bike, there is a goon who wouldn’t know journalism if it jumped up and kicked him in the undercarriage, lecturing journalists about what journalism is. Then it got yet worse.
He went after Keir Starmer too: “This is insane. It was one briefing. For a smaller number of PolEds. *In addition* to other briefings. It happened under previous administrations … Those supposed in group on side journalists invited? Just how sinister and right wing were they? They included: The Guardian, ITV, SKY, BBC”. Keep missing that point!
Teaboy Tom has his instructions, and if that means indulging in a little dishonesty helped down with a dose of Newspeak, so be it. We are so far beyond the looking glass that this vapid creep feels empowered to lecture everyone else on a subject he doesn’t understand.
With the implicit support of 10 Downing Street, too. I’ll just leave that one there.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at