Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A phonecall threat and a quote with sub-text?

You can't beat a good cliche in politics, and the one that springs to mind right now is that your opponents are in front of you but your enemies are behind you. That old chestnut has never been more true for Alex Hilton (aka RecessMonkey and editor of LabourHome) after he received a threatening phonecall from someone high up in the Labour Party.

The call was pretty straightforward it seems, he was informed in no uncertain terms that he should disassociate himself from any friendship or business relationship he has with Guido (Alex owns shares in Messagespace who deliver the ads on this site). Alex says,
I have been told that if I don't extract myself from Messagespace I will be painted as endorsing every offensive comment or article on the Guido Fawkes site, that of Devil's Kitchen, Iain Dale and every other right winger on the system.

I have been told that I don't have Labour values by owning shares in Messagespace though, frankly, I feel more guilty about not checking where my tiny pension pot is invested. I have been told that there will be a campaign to rubbish me in the Labour Party and this will inevitably reflect badly on Labourhome.
How marvellously Stalinesque huh? Interestingly, the other person involved in LabourHome and MessageSpace, Jag Singh, says in the comments at LabourHome that he too has been threatened with much the same thing.

Frankly such action is pretty disgusting. After all, who you are friends with privately is your business. What's more, in a time of deep economic recession, is it not utterly insane that people in Labour Party - the Labour Party - would be effectively ordering someone to quit their job? I am thinking of Jag Singh here who works for Messagespace on the tech side.

Seriously, for the sake of tribalist political bullshit, he is expected to go from earning money to not earning money? The talk of Labour values from whoever is making the threats is complete and utter bollocks on that point I'd say.

Whilst we're on the mysterious threatening caller, there has been some speculation around who it might be, so I just want to take a look at the three current possibilities that have been thrown out there.

  • Derek Draper: Has a motive given he has been made to look a complete fool in the last week by Guido et al. Also renouned for being a nasty and pretty vicious bully in between being a psychotherapist.
  • Charlie Whelan: Back on the scene with LabourList and in general. Bully like Draper. However doesn't really have the motive unlss following orders from someone else.
  • Tom Watson: Hates Guido with a passion but is it likely a Cabinet Office minister would get his hands dirty in this way? Probably has an alibi that he was visiting Gordon to give him a present anyway.
I took the liberty of giving Alex Hilton a call last night to see if I could get anything out of him (I consider him a friend in case you were wondering), as you'd imagine he was not willing to tell me anything. He did however give me a quote which, on reflection this morning, I think throws another possible name into the fray for that phonecall. Alex said, quite deliberately I might add,

I'm not going to play a David Kelly game where you throw names at me and I confirm or deny them.
How strange to make reference to the David Kelly strategy? For those that can't remember, that was when Alastair Campbell and Tom Kelly essentially let journalists throw names at them until they got it right in relation to the late Dr David Kelly. Make of Alex's comment what you will. Is there a sub-text to it about the identity of the caller?

Either way, I think Alex and/or Jag should out the person that has threatened them. Firstly because the threat is, as is clear from Labour supporters on LabourHome, absurd. And secondly, as Jag points out in the comments, it's a great example of why people don't want to get involved in politics.


no, he's spartacus - him over there said...

I agree with your final comment about turning people away from politics.

I took a small step into tech-world by signing up to twitter so I could follow you and Iain Dale.

Almost at once, Derek Draper began to follow ME (along with anyone else following Iain I understand).

I felt sufficiently threatened by that action to abort my twitter account entirely, in less than two days.

Jabba the Cat said...

Ferrets in a sack. Hopefully they will devour each other in public and speed up the downfall of the ZaNuLab edifice.

marksany said...

Looks like Alex and Jag have finally found out how socialism really works. I look forward to them crossing the floor soon.

Barnacle Bill said...

I think you are spot on with your "David Kelly" observation there young dizzy.
Someone we all know who can shout threats down a telephone line, and has admitted to mental health problems recently.
Once again when cornered NuLabor cannot but show it's nasty side.

davidc said...

@ barnacle bill - has nulab got a 'good side'to show ?

Anonymous said...

I too noticed that Dolly started following me on Twitter (for some reason I feel the urge to replace one of the vowels...) soon after I started following various people. Very spooky initially, but I soon blocked him.
I find it a very bizarre, almost obsessive tactic to try and check on people that sign for updates from certain sites/blogs.
Reminds me that I should go through my Twitter followers...