Week 38: Villain – Damian McBride, Benjamin Wegg-Prosser, Tessa Jowell, Alistair Campbell etc

by Jackie_South on September 22, 2013

villain_2_iconThis week, our award for the greatest villains of the last seven days goes to the backroom boys and girls of New Labour who decided the eve of Conference was the right time to re-open old wounds

This week, self-confessed “cruel vindictive and thoughtless bastard” released his memoirs – cruelly, vindictively or just thoughtlessly on the eve of a conference where his former colleague in Gordon Brown’s office – Ed Miliband – needs to make a big leap forward to portray himself as the next Prime Minister. Among the revelations are the story that Richard Desmond got the editor of the Express to show the then chancellor an X-Ray of his colon, so that he could say “Gordon Brown’s looking up your arsehole. The most powerful bloke in Britain and he’s looking up your arse.”

This piece of self-indulgence on its own would be enough to win a villain award from us. This is a man who shows little loyalty to the party he once purported to serve,  and is only interested in earning as much as he can from his book.

But the digging of old dirt has been compounded by a flurry of Blairites responding. On Friday, Benjamin Wegg-Prosser released a stash of emails that he has been sitting on for the last six years to tell his side of the tale. More damaging was the claim from Tessa Jowell that Ed Miliband must have known what was going on.

Then Alistair Campbell weighed in with an attack on McBride and much of the Brown organisation from the TB-GB days. Campbell made clear that he excluded Miliband from this, stating that the current leader had intervened to try and stop McBride. But Campbell noticeably remained silent about what role Ed Balls might have played.

All of this just ups the ante. Many will not have known who McBride was until the events leading to his resignation, and few outside the Westminster Village will have understood Wegg-Prosser’s role. But the likes of Jowell and Campbell really ought to have known a lot better. In the latter case, it looks as if McBride had successfully pushed the buttons to make Campbell see red and suspend good judgement, but this is no real excuse.

This has been an exercise of self-justification and fighting old battles in a way that totally ignores the negative impact it can have on the current Labour Party and its leadership.

These are matters that ought to have waited until they would not have that impact: either when Labour was back in power and a new narrative was being written, or until the Eds had moved on. But of course, that would not sell as many books or newspapers. Shame on both the Blairites and Brownites who refuse to let sleeping dogs lie.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Charlie_East_West September 23, 2013 at 6:35 am

The whole sorry business of (old) New Labour reminds me of a family feud that always kicks off when reunited at Christmas time.

I hope Ed M takes the piss out of them all in his Conference speech. But according to McBride, Ed M was one of the fuckers himself.

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