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.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.
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.
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'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.