It’s Easter and up to now political news is slow here in the old world. The British are wallowing in their newest scandal. In a time where political smear campaigns are slowly going out of fashion Damian McBride an aide to Britains Prime Minster Gordon Brown and a Karl Rove disciple, it seems, didn’t get it and sent out a few e-mails intending to start one against Tory leaders.
The ideas contained in the email include spreading several false rumours: that David Cameron had an embarrassing medical condition; that George Osborne took drugs with a prostitute – an old allegation in the public domain which Osborne has flatly denied; allegations of a sexual nature about the Tory backbencher Nadine Dorries, which she vehemently denies and has consulted her lawyers about; and about a Tory MP allegedly getting publicity for a firm run by his partner. There is no evidence that any of the claims are true. (read more)
Now the fat’s in the fire and McBride out of his job. Carole Cadwalladr from the Guardian revisits old scandals and reminds us of the hypocrisy which is the real scandal behind the stories. Alan Watkins of The Independent points out the futility of smearing campaigns in an environment that wants change above all:
Recent experience of this country’s politics, for what it is worth, teaches us that a change in the weather takes place every 15 or 20 years. It was so with the elections of 1945, 1964, 1979 and, yes, 1997. People waved little Union Jack flags outside No 10, and it was a bright May morning. Even Mr Alastair Campbell could not control the weather, but he did supply both the flags and the cast of extras, who had been conscripted predominantly from the staff of Labour Party headquarters. (read more)
The Times celebrates the demise of a Rovian political career:
THERE will be few tears shed over the departure of Damian McBride from Downing Street – his talent for making enemies was almost equal to his talent for spin.
Minutes after McBride’s resignation, Paul Staines, the political blogger who first obtained the e-mails and is a long-standing critic of McBride’s modus operandi, posted a simple message on his website: “Mission accomplished.” (read more)
McBride’s worries will most probably not be over with his resignation, says the Daily Mail and The Telegraph calls him a political assassin. The tabloid The Sun has other fish to fry. When it comes to smear campaigns, they’re the tops and you really don’t want to read stories like this one.
Der Spiegel from Germany takes a look back on predictions about the economy. So let’s have a small Easter Quiz who said this?
“There will probably be some bank failures. There are some small … banks that have heavily invested in real estate in locales where prices have fallen. Among the largest banks, the capital ratios remain good, and I don’t expect any serious problems among the larger banks.” (go see)February 28, 2008
“The current financial crisis in the US is likely to be judged in retrospect as the most wrenching since the end of the Second World War.”March 17, 2008 (look who’s talking)