Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Tommy Gun Spurns the Spinner

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Tommy Gun Spurns the Spinner

Article excerpt

Cheerleader for "Murdoch Labour" over nearly two decades, Alastair Campbell once advised Ed Miliband to deal directly with his friend Rebekah Brooks and bypass the Fortress Wapping underlings. It was an understandable, if misguided, courtesy by Comical Ali, who was a guest at her wedding in 2009. During Campbell's reign, Labour guaranteed News International a platinum-story service (the Sun was informed of the date of the 2001 election before the Queen) and Murdoch's papers offered seemingly unstinting support for events such as the Iraq war. So it may be no surprise that parliamentary colleagues of Brooks's nemesis "Tommy Gun" Watson whisper that he rejected overtures from Campbell to hitch the spinner's rickshaw to Watson's horse. I wonder if the suspicious Watson also remembers Campbell dismissing him as a "political pygmy" for joining the riot that forced Tony Blair, leader of Murdoch Labour, to quit as PM.

Nick Clegg was left with a bad taste in his mouth after a trip to Brazil. Waiting for a flight at ram in Rio de Janeiro, the Deputy PM fancied a bowl of Frosties. A hack from the Daily Telegraph helpfully poured the milk. The Lib Dumb took one mouthful before spitting out the flakes. The milk, I hear, was curdled. Clegg likes Frosties, suggested a snout, because Tony the Tiger reminds him of the "ginger rodent" Danny Alexander.

The things you hear muttered in parliament ... Could News International really have subsidised Andy Coulson's wages while he worked for David Cameron? …

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