They gave it to Dan Hodges, Jerry? Whyever would they do that?
That was fiction, if well-informed fiction. What we now have, courtesy of the increasingly wayward Mail on Sunday, is poorly-informed paranoia. Ominously for the MoS, theirs is the only paper majoring on the idea that the Rotten Lefties™ have a mole at the heart of Government. Political editor Glen Owen’s headline tells you all you need to know.
“Hunt for Labour’s No 10 moles taking revenge on Boris for Cummings’ war on Whitehall chiefs” it tells readers, the supporting article claiming “The moles - Labour-sympathising civil servants - are believed to have played a key role in triggering the lobbying scandal which has allowed Sir Keir's party to construct a narrative of 'Tory sleaze' by leaking details of David Cameron's contacts with Ministers and officials”. Yeah, right.
Maybe they missed that it was proper investigative journalism by the likes of the FT. But do go on. “They are also suspected of using leaks to try to 'sabotage' the Brexit withdrawal negotiations last year, and to provide advance notice to the Labour leader about Government policies in the pipeline - giving him time to structure his responses”. How could Labour “sabotage” something with which they had no involvement?
It gets worse. And more desperate. “The Tory spy-hunters believe a 'cell' of Labour supporters, centred on the Cabinet Office, was activated last year”. Don’t tell me, the mole is code named “Gerald”, the safe house is near Camden Lock, and his cover will be blown by two people meeting in an otherwise deserted cemetery somewhere in Lisbon.
Amateur hour at the paranoia bar
Worse still for the MoS, and whoever in Downing Street is feeding them this drivel, is that the pundit chosen to back up Owen’s article is none other than the not even slightly celebrated blues artiste Whinging Dan Hodges, who says of the alleged leak “Ministers believe they now know precisely where it's coming from. And why”. Tell us more.
“Last week, allies of former PM David Cameron accused aides loyal to Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove of deliberately fanning the Greensill flames. But now attention is again turning towards career civil servants”. Yes? Yes yes? Yes yes yes?
Then Desperate Dan has a chance to win himself a get-out. “Perhaps there is no Redthroat”. No mole? But then he goes all-in: “Feel free to place your own bets. But my money's on Redthroat”. Attaboy Dan! That’s the same Dan Hodges who said Remain would win the 2016 referendum, Jeremy Corbyn wouldn’t win the Labour leadership in 2015, and that Hillary Clinton would beat Donald Trump in 2016.
There is, of course, a far more plausible explanation: the Tories foul things up, they’re incapable of admitting it, and so blame someone else. As with Brexit, which is, in the retelling, someone else’s fault. But the MoS has had its briefing. So off it rambles.
The MoS is no longer capable of coherent journalism. But you knew that already.
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