The McBride of Dracula returns. And Sir Philip Green? There are so many ways of skinning a prat

7 May 2016 at 11:30

It was pretty well all over even before Diane Abbott sang. Alright, not so much sang as came out with the ludicrous assertion that all this anti Semite stuff is all the work of embittered Blairites. This seems to be the line as it has been adopted by Momentum and Len McLuskey. Totally cloud cuckoo land of course, but Labour is now seriously off the spectrum. And no, there won’t be a leadership challenge. There never would be. The only way Corbyn will leave office is in a box. He has become the Rasputin of Labour politics. No matter what they do to him he just won’t die. Andy Burnham has come to terms that they are saddled with the man until 2020 and has given up hope by offering himself as Mayor of Manchester. He would be rather good.

But if you momentarily noticed a Gothic gloom descend over Labour and caught a few half whispered words in the ear of the press you might just have spotted the delightfully sinister figure of Damian McBride slink back into the darkness. Yes, the McBride of Dracula is back. His official role is that of spinner for Emily Thornberry. In shorthand his job is to keep her in the attic and only allow her near a television studio if she is bound, gagged and under heavy sedation. But he is the man credited with with coming up with the tried and tested canard of telling the press that Corbyn would have to go if they lost a hundred seats or more. As a strategy it was both simple and brilliant. There was no way this was going to happen and when only twenty four bit the dust Labour looks like they had done rather well against the odds, despite that they were trounced by the Tories in Scotland and massacred in the south. Ruth Davidson has become a one woman political whirlwind. She has done what I thought was the impossible. And she has halted any thought of referendum for the next five years. The SNP has reached its watershed. It will be a gradual slide down hill from now on.

But back to Mc Bride. What I don’t understand is why Damian is doing it. He is a great writer and broadcaster and had made decent living out of it. He was a true believer in Brown and must despise everything that Corbyn and Milne stand for. All very odd. But keep a very careful eye on the Labour press operation.

I have been trying to fathom what moment of madness caused Osborne and Morgan to launch a plan to academise all schools. It was a bit like realising that rather a lot of people like pink cars and coming up with the wheeze to make it compulsory that all cars will from now on be pink. I always thought the centre piece of Conservative education policy was giving parents choice. This strange aberration was doomed from the start. But surely there must be somebody looking at policy and weeding out the turkeys? Well, if there isn’t there bloody well should be.

Now a man that could do with the services of Spinny McSpinface is Sir Philip Green. As a rule of thumb if you have trousered £400 million out a company whose pension fund is in serious deficit it is not a good idea to bully, threaten and swear at reporters. But if you are being summoned to a Select committee it is a very bad idea to suggest that they are all a bunch of dickheads even if they are. And it is suicidal to attack Frank Field, who has forgotten more about pensions than most experts know and is revered as a cross between Mother Theresa and the Princess of Wales. Now I appreciate that humility and Sir Philip are not natural bedfellows and that he is a self made man who worships his creator. The sort of chap if offered a blow job from a pneumatic nymfette would probably spit out his cigar and bark," but what’s in it for me?". So Phil old son, a word of advice. Ooze deference, humility, remorse and dig very deep into your wallet. However, there is a precedent for dealing with arrogant tossers. It is called contempt of Parliament. The last time this little ceremony happened was when John Junor, editor of the Sunday Express was called to the bar of the House on his knees to purge the contempt of writing that MPs were abusing this petrol rations. As if! Nowadays this is generally regarded as too degrading and humiliating an exercise. I think that we could just make an exception. Sir Philip seems such a nice chap. There are so many ways to skin a prat.

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