Saturday, November 23, 2013

Memo to Jonathan Freedland: who is smearing who?

Jonathan Freedland wrote in the Guardian yesterday here that the 2015 election will be a very dirty election, an opinion which I regret to say is probably right, but for which he gives precisely the wrong reason: that "The Tory smear machine is operating at full throttle."

Freedland bases this on what he calls "The Paul Flowers affair."

The most irritating characteristic of a large chunk of the left, whether we are talking about Labour activists or their fellow travellers in the press, is is the way they manage to generate a santimonious  tone of moral superiority about things when done by the right while having an extraordinarily short memory when similar, or worse, things are done by the left.

Let's not forget that the last Labour government employed Damian McBride, using money which was paid by all of us as taxpayers,  to act as Gordon Brown's personal attack dog - and making up the most horrible smears against anyone who got in Gordon's way. Including other members of the Labour party. And against the families of such people. And McBride was caught planning to plant smears which had been made up and bore no resemblance to the truth. When he was caught one Labour figure was quoted in the press as saying that the only surprising thing about it was this time it was Tories rather than other members of the Labour party he was planning to smear.

With a story as incredible as what has happened with Paul Flowers, nobody had to make up anything.

Indeed, you probably wouldn't risk making it up. As Guido Fawkes points out here, if someone decided to fabricate the most damaging possible smear against Labour, would they really dare put out what appears to have actually happened?

POSTSCRIPT - I am told here that the front page of tomorrow's "Independent on Sunday" will include an item with the headline "Miliband: Tories are 'In the gutter.'"

I repeat: who is smearing who?

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