Spin doctor Damien McBride’s damning view on #piggate

Was this the face Call-Me-Dave was pulling at the moment of the - alleged - incident? Photograph: Murdo MacLeod for the Guardian

Was this the face Call-Me-Dave was pulling at the moment of the – alleged – incident? Photograph: Murdo MacLeod for the Guardian

This is damning – by Gordon Brown’s former spin doctor, Damien McBride, who should know his subject very well.

I’m confused by the lack of an official denial. Not from the No 10 civil service press office – that’s not their job – but from the many political advisers who work on Cameron’s media team. I regularly issued statements from No 10 as a “spokesman for Gordon Brown” on matters personal, and did so precisely when I needed a denial or clarification to carry extra weight, especially for the benefit of other media outlets considering whether to follow up the story.

If, on Sunday night – when details first emerged from the Daily Mail serialisation – a spokesman for Cameron had issued an official statement saying: “This disgusting story is a complete and utter fabrication, and casts huge doubt on the credibility of all the other allegations in this book”, it would have been pretty devastating for the Mail and for Ashcroft, and would have deterred other newspapers from repeating either the pig story or the book’s many other revelations.

Indeed, the first thing you do as a spin doctor when a book is serialised about your boss or your party is to look for one howling error that you can highlight to discredit all the other accurate things the author has written, and suggest they’ve been relying on sources inclined to make things up.

So why no official denial in this case? Perhaps the PM’s spin team decided that responding officially to the pig story would oblige them to respond to potentially more damaging allegations regarding Ashcroft’s non-dom status. Better, instead, to say they were not commenting on any of the book’s contents.

If so, it was a major miscalculation, and one I’d suggest they are too experienced to have made. In the absence of an instant bucket of water, the story has caught fire over the past two days. Not only that, it’s allowed other newspapers to declare open season on Cameron’s private life, as we see from today’s “coke parties” splash in the Sun.

My successors in No 10 must have seen that coming, so their failure to head it off must be ascribed to something else.

25 thoughts on “Spin doctor Damien McBride’s damning view on #piggate

  1. stephen brophy

    These stories are not new, there’s been whispers about cameron and when George takes over then the story about him the hooker and cocaine use will come out in another book!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      We don’t know that it is correct – but the fact that Cameron hasn’t denied it mitigates in its favour. As for the photo – if it does surface I don’t want to see it!

      1. Nick Tennant

        Mike, James Delingpole on Twitter has admitted knowledge of *the pig*. As much as I enjoyed #piggate other allegations are more worrying and surely the sustained weekly attack is damaging. Too damaging to go without some statement?

  2. paulrutherford8

    “My successors in No 10 must have seen that coming, so their failure to head it off must be ascribed to something else.”

    That would suggest the story *is* very probably true. Wouldn’t surprise me in the least.

    1. Shaun

      Or Osborne. It would also give the Tory party loving media a defence against charges over its, otherwise, extremely bias coverage. Less people might think they unduly unfair over their coverage of Corbyn; When, actually, they only changing Cameron for the right’s preferred leader, Osborne.


    2. Cora Uption

      My thoughts exactly, like Hameron’s ever going to be out of a job? He’s a mouth piece and nothing more. They’ll move him into the background where he will probably have more power than he does now. He’s probably in on it. Move him out, bring in Boris or someone else with a personality who can actually argue with Jeremy Corbyn rather than make the party look weak with fumbled subject changes and turning pink. This has been the plan since he became party “leader”.

  3. Dave Campbell

    This isn’t the same Damien McBride who was screaming around the place telling people to stock up on basic foodstuffs and take all our money out of the bank because the Chinese economy was in meltdown . . . . or because the sky was falling on his head . . . . is it??
    An ex-advisor to Gordon Brown eh ? Whatever became of that chap???

  4. Dave Rowlands

    Snout at the… Has now a total different meaning, they have money, they can do as they please and we will just sit back and watch them do it.

  5. SheHasBecomeADragon (@Nanna_Baps)

    “Don’t recognise” isn’t the same as “didn’t happen”, is it? It probably all happened then, and is evidently, immensely damaging, so weasel words are the only possible response. If any of it is untrue, Cameron will sue for libel; if he does not, there’s your answer.

    In the past, litigious politicians (Archer for one) have sued for libel even when damaging allegations were true, and because of the nature of our courts, and the willingness of unscrupulous sycophants to perjure themselves, managed to successfully sue truthful publications, and obtain damages. It is only in the light of later revelations, such as withdrawal of perjured testimony, that said publications have been vindicated, and the truth confirmed.

    More interesting, (to me, at least) is the tantalising notion that if all this has been kept hidden in some degenerate, upper-class pact of mutual assurance of destruction and blackmail for decades, what else the buggers are hiding, and how come the supposedly professional investigative journalists of the mainstream media haven’t managed to lever their dirty little secrets out into the open before?

    The political/media/wealthy establishment looking after their own? How long are we going to let that continue?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      As long as the journalists of the social media are starved of the cash resources they need to carry out proper investigations?

      1. Colin Wilkes

        All the,alleged quality, journalists,especially of the New Statesman, Guardian and Observer are far too busy ripping Jeremy Corbyn to pieces with the one lazily written article shared amongst ten or twelve of them and changing to odd sentence or two.

  6. Mr.Angry

    DC is a pig at heart so if that’s his sexual preference so be it, there are many weird people in our midst and many in government hiding behind the scenes.

    How many weirdos in parliament have escaped an interrogation into the alleged child abuses and how strange the stories emerge after their demise !!

  7. mrmarcpc

    This b*****d, like the rest of them, should be all taken down and booted out of office, forever, the more humiliation to be piled on top of this posh boy, the better, hope something starts about one or more of his treacherous crew!

  8. Paul Paul Paul Billanie

    Or then there is also the fact that there is alleged evidence in the form of a photograph and DC is scared that IF he challenges this, especially through the courts it will be released/revealed in court and/or the press. DC may as well throw the towel in now and retire from parliament as this will certainly be with him forever now.

  9. NMac

    There have been no outright denials from Cameron nor, as far as we know, any legal actions to sue. Cameron is, in my opinion, a dishonest, corrupt and slimy character who has no respect for people or animals and the story is most probably true. There is no doubt in my mind that the Nasty party knives are out to unseat Cameron and exchange him for the equally nasty, dishonest and corrupt Boris Johnson. Another toff, but one who falsely poses as some sort of “likeable buffoon” – nothing could be further from the truth.

  10. Jonathan Wilson

    One of the articles that wized by within the mass of #piggate memes and posts was the comment that “No 10” or the party had said “…we don’t recognise the story”.

    That has to be one of the biggest non-denial denials ever. That is spin^3 (cubed).

    The only reason I can think of for no outright, genuine, denial is that there must be some truth within… The story might not be 100% true, but true enough that a full denial could come back to bite Hameron on his winky as “lying to the country”.

    The question now has to be, has anyone from other parties put a formal question to the PM – on the record.

    Its also a shame that PMQ’s is delayed due to conference season… I know JC wanted PMQ’s to be more civil, but the thought of the opposition benches making “oink oink” noises as Hameron stood up would have been too good to miss.

    One good thing to come of all this, however, is that it no longer matters what Hameron has done in the past, or what he does in the future, (good or bad – tho’ mainly bad) his lasting legacy will be “the PM who face****ed a dead pig”. Even people I know who are staunch conservatives and have made “it was uni, years ago, jolly-japes” excuses, still think it’s hilarious; so his legacy with them is also ruined and lies in tatters.

  11. Jim

    Why is the world so shocked? I don’t find it in the least surprising that David Cameron practised necrophiliac bestiality as a young man. I just thank the Lord that the poor swine – the pig that is! – was not alive when violated. Lovely people these Tories, eh?

  12. Salsville

    This glorious story has given us all a belly laugh – a hundred of them – and we feel much better about everything as a result. The jokes! The shame! The corruption! The humiliation!

    But really, we know that everything in government is planned. Everything. Last week, Labour elected as its leader the first front bench politician in generations who was a free man. There are no strings, no votes against his conscience, no bad behaviour, no secrets, no betrayals. He can speak his mind, hold debates in the open, make decisions at conference, lose votes without losing face or authority. Never was there a Leader of the Opposition like it and within days he has even changed that most Prime-Ministerial of set pieces, PMQs, to suit his own style.

    And Cameron, who cannot make a decision without his paymasters’ nod, or a speech without kowtowing to them, looks ever more obviously what he is, a puppet, jerked about by his bosses.

    What would any of us do, in that position? Call the blackmailers’ bluff. Tell them to do their worst, since none of what they’ve got on you is criminal, and ridicule can be made to serve a purpose. While you cringe at the little prick it gives to your pride and the world roars with laughter, but a little sympathy too, at your discomfiture, you shrug off the shackles of the party’s powerful paymasters, and takes up the reins for the first time as a genuine leader.

    Oink oink oink. The sound of a free man. Watch out Jeremy Corbyn! And congratulations, too. It wouldn’t have come to this, if Hameron had been able to face another encounter with Labour’s new leader without getting the parasites off his own back.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Makes a good story. I think that’s all this is, though. Cameron (Hameron, if you like) will never get away from his paymasters, as you describe them. He’s a bought man. Nobody has any sympathy for him. He is alleged to have committed an act of necrophilia and bestiality.
      In comparison, Jeremy Corbyn can only have risen in everybody’s opinions.

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