Shop-A-Twat

Paul Staines has got his hands on another internal campaign briefing – this time from the Hilary Benn campaign, and has gone off on one his usual half-witted Witch Hunts

The author of this document is Blair McDougall, he is Ian McCartney’s Special Adviser (SpAds). Ian is Hilary Benn’s campaign manager and a minister at the FCO. SpAds are not allowed to campaign under the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers at the taxpayers expense for their masters in internal party matters. In fact they are supposed to take unpaid leave – see the recent example of Peter Hain’s ex-SpAd Phil Taylor.

Note the operative phrase here – not allowed to campaign… at the taxpayers expense.

Since Guido has started on his mission to catch SpAds cheating the taxpayer and breaking the ministerial code some have quite properly taken leave. Guido has just spoken with McDougall about the briefing. He didn’t claim, nor can he retrospectively pretend he was working on his own time. The document was prepared on his desk computer at the FCO, from his email address at the FCO, during office hours. Pressed by Guido that this was a breach of the Code he refused to answer, invited to deny that he had produced the document at the taxpayer’s expense, he declined to deny it.

In short, he appears to have told Staines to fuck off – hardly much of an admission of guilt, more the application of a little much needed common sense.

But there’s more – unlike Staines’ earlier acquisition from the Hain campaign, in which the PDF files’ document properties clearly identified the author of the document, this lastest file carries no such identifiers – the most it confirms is that the .pdf file was rendered from a copy of Open Office, yesterday afternoon, most likely by Staines himself.

For all that, Staines seems remarkably sure of himself in asserting that ‘The document was prepared on his desk computer at the FCO, from his email address at the FCO, during office hours.’

Presumably SpAds don’t take lunch breaks any more that they now appear to take phone calls for irritating right-wing gossip-mongers.

As Staines’ last bit of SpAd baiting made the dizzy media heights of the BBC’s Northern Ireland Political Editor’s blog and icWales before dying on its arse, then I think its safe to say that no one of consequence really gives a fuck about any of this anyway.

One starts to wonder here whether Paul is starting to fall prey to Pennis-effect – the higher you push your profile by media-whoring, the more your targets come to appreciate that the quickest way to fuck you over is simply to blank you completely and refusing to play ball.

Has Staines shot his bolt and peaked way to early – only time will tell, but after the slapping he took from Paxman and White on Newsnight, one has to wonder quite for how much longer his ‘Guido’ shtick will continue to have legs.

7 thoughts on “Shop-A-Twat

  1. “the more your targets come to appreciate that the quickest way to fuck you over is simply to blank you completely and refusing to play ball.”

    Why then do you write 500 words about it?

  2. Does he offer an estimate for the incremental cost to the taxpayer of sending one e-mail?

    Here’s mine: statistically indistinguishable from zero.

  3. DK:

    If you’re referring to the Working Time Directive then although there is an entitlement to rest breaks during the working day, it is still entirely a matter of contract as to whether those breaks are paid or unpaid.

    In practice, it’s only the shorter 10-15 minute ‘tea breaks’ that still tend to be paid – lunch breaks are rarely, if ever, paid these days, even in the public sector.

  4. Cameron and Co were recently told off for using the ( our !) house of commons to hold Tory fund raising meals ( our meals !). Presumably these were cooked by tax payers money and eaten on plates paid for by us.

    Not to mention that the opposition are partly state funded ,following DK and Mr Staines logic I think we should have a strict quota on how much party politics the conservatives can engage in ( dependant on how much of their funding is short money).

  5. Cameron and Co were recently told off for using the ( our !) house of commons to hold Tory fund raising meals ( our meals !). Presumably these were cooked by tax payers money and eaten on plates paid for by us.

    Quite right. And I deplore that too.

    Not to mention that the opposition are partly state funded ,following DK and Mr Staines logic I think we should have a strict quota on how much party politics the conservatives can engage in ( dependant on how much of their funding is short money).

    The short money is to help them carry out the business of being the Opposition government so, yes, the same rules apply to the Tories.

    I am not being party political here, Crossland; I am deploring the lack of standards, this low-level petty corruption, because it often leads to high-level corruption, i.e. the SpAds become MPs…

    DK

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