Dirty war

19 04 2009

What was once very dirty just got dirtier. On April 15, Charlie Whelan treated the Strathsprey Herald readers to his view of the Tory Head of Comms.

His name is Andy Coulson, the former ‘News of the World’ man who was forced to quit his job there. And why? Well, just the little matter of paying £100,000 for someone to tap the mobile phones of the royal family.

So next time you hear a Tory spokesperson talk about Labour dirty tricks, just think about the sort of people they employ.

And in a separate development, on April 18, the News of the World carries a scoop (which I found on Guido) that treats readers to the story of how the Red Rag coterie met at the offices of Charlie Whelan.

A shocked Labour party insider told us:

“It is devastating that Collins was there. It was a meeting called to set up, run and work out how to finance the Red Rag site.

“It’s no coincidence either that it wasn’t held at Labour Party HQ, or that it was at Charlie Whelan’s offices in Unite.

It is now the largest donor to the Labour Party, and it’s cash is effectively paying the near-bankrupt party’s wages as it struggles to manage debts topping £16million.

“Whelan is back as Gordon Brown’s unofficial Mr Fix-it, and he’s now so powerful that he’s effectively running the party.

“If anyone in the party was still daft enough to believe the Downing Street line about this being minor, this email finally exposes that lie.”

Whelan was copied in to the vile emails between McBride and Draper and his role in the meeting at the Unite HQ raises further questions about how closely the union was involved in the dirty tricks campaign.

He is political director of Unite, which has two million members.

This is devastating stuff if true. But the Downing Street line pushed out all this week is that ‘politics’ (not Labour) is foul and needs cleaned up. What the NoW has done is to play that back, not into government or No10, but into the very heart of the Labour Party.

Labour’s most important union have unknowingly been backrolling the activities of people who apparently make the leadership of the Labour Party sick to their stomach. Is this a Tory play to threaten a major Labour funding stream in the lead-in to a general election?

But for Whelan this is devastating. He is being portrayed as the ‘man behind the curtain’.

Whelan told the Strathy:

I, however, am still considering if I should bring the police into the hacking of my own computer.

Another email is now directly implicating him in this mess, and Labour insiders are briefing against him. Charlie must go to m’learned friends (if he wants to keep in with Unite he must protest too much). How on earth is Gordon Brown going to keep a lid on this thing?

PS. Gordon Brown may be seen as vulnerable but he is still the PM of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The government defence is right in one respect – GB put the GB at the centre of the world economy for the G20. And he didn’t fluff it.

Party Meltdown plus governing incompetence is one thing. Party Meltdown plus global leadership is quite something else. My overriding impression of the government over the past month is still G20 – but maybe I’m in the minority.

PPS. Well, it’s back to the good ‘ol days… ‘friends of Peter Mandelson‘ briefing against Brownites. If you’re a Labour supporter, you must be pulling your hair out.

PPPS. Iain Dale’s reporting that Unite will tell anyone who’ll listen that they are not funding Draper/Red Rag. I daresay anyone who pledged backing has since departed the toxic Draper. Unite will be pressed on the funding question, as it should be. How union funding is disposed of may be of interest to the Tories but it is certainly of interest to union members. How much more is to be revealed? (Jeez, monolithic blocs of organised labour funding secret attacks on millionaire old Etonians and ex-members of the Bullingdon Club which could indirectly lead to the meltdown of a sitting government… s’like watching Oliver Stone tackle ‘Right Ho Jeeves’. What a Carry On!!)

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