Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Walkabout Watson Key To Brown's Downfall?

A feverish spinning battle to put a lid on Smeargate is showing signs of paying off. But at the rotten heart lies the antics of key cyberminister, Tom Watson, strangely silent over the whole sordid affair. 

As a disreputable bunch of cronies rally round a beleaguered Brown, still refusing to say sorry, his spinning pack of cards could still come crashing down around his ears. 

A week is a long time in politics - four days a nightmare. The "nest of vipers" at the heart of a corrupt government was exposed and laid bare as Smeargate slowly unravelled and the Tory sex smear email scandal rocked the rotten government to its core.

The sordid scandal is showing signs of running its course for now but not before a bunch of second-rate spinners and special advisers have been forced to crawl out of the woodwork and into the full glare of the media, ruining their Easter holidays. Shame.

But Brown's pathetic non-apology for McPoison's muckraking has done nothing to satisfy Tories blood lust and left many rank and file Labour supporters, "staring into the abyss" according to back-bench Labour MP Frank Field

Time for a reality check. There were always three people in Smeargate's murky marriage. It was always about the tight cabal run out of the Downing Street propaganda war room. Brown and his two henchmen, the now defunct McPoison and cabinet office cyberspace minister, Tom Watson. 

Dirty tricks were bound to come out sooner or later but the Orange Party believes it dragged on for so long because of a bunch of sad, second-rate spinners playing at being the big boys. A bunch of amateurs, copying the tough-talking, bully-boy Blair years of Alastair Campbell - but without the charm. But like Campbell, enjoying the full confidence of their permanently plotting Supreme Leader.

For probably the only time, the Orange Party earlier had to sort of agree with Campbell - why the hell didn't they just get it all out into the open in one fell swoop? A press conference, with staged Cherie-gate crocodile tears, the full monty. Say sorry. Put a lid on it. Move on. 

But the brutal fact is that they couldn't. Lurking in the background has been a burning question - where's Watson, what's he been up to? 

After all, this cyber spinning MP, cabinet office minister and ruthless Brown enforcer famously delivered a Postman Pat video to Brown's son while plotting to knife Blair in the back. 

Shadow cabinet office minister, Francis Maude, is demanding answers from the country's top civil servant. Number seven on the long list is the most revealing: 

7. In the case of Mr Tom Watson, who is both Minister for the Civil Service and Minister for Digital Engagement, did he have any knowledge of or involvement in the Red Rag website? Are you satisfied that he has complied fully with the Ministerial Code, given that he was referred to in one of the e-mails published yesterday? What action have you taken to assure yourself that this is the case?

The Sun today urged Brown to sack the "poisonous" Watson, who "is a stain on the Prime Minister’s judgement and his government’s credibility."

But, apart from his early denial of involvement, Watson seems to have gone walkabout. 

As the Orange Party pointed out on Saturday, when the Daily Telegraph plunged in feet first with a Downing Street backed pre-emptive spoiler, SpAds and spinners are one thing, a government minister, quite another.

Thanks to Paul Staines aka Guido, we now know the PM was dining with Derek Draper at Chequers only a couple of weeks after McPoison and Draper had started plotting their scurrilous Red Rag website. So just who else was having a freebie lunch and the ear of Brown? 

The Sun doesn't mince words: "Treacherous Tom Watson, — a tub of lard who is known without affection at Westminster as 'Two Dinners' Tommy — is suspected of being in this up to his bloated and bulging neck." 

An apology is the least Brown could have offered Tory leader David Cameron who along with his shadow chancellor and other Tory MPs and their families have been smitten by wilful, disgraceful and totally unfounded sex smears. 

Today Cameron piled the pressure on Brown to explain exactly what he knew, when he knew it and who else was involved, calling for a change in culture, leadership and government. 

As the Sun says: "Two dinners Tom is behind this sick plot." Follow Watson and all roads always lead back to Brown. 

What was Watson's last offering before he disappeared up his own cyberbottom? 

A cute little video wishing everyone a Happy Easter. You can't make it up. 

UPDATE 5.23: Fraser Nelson reports Watson is due to make a "personal statement"

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