8 November 2014

Damian McBride’s 'standard tactic'

A post here last month, Supermac’s old trick, recorded a self-deprecatory anecdote by Peregrine Worsthorne which was a reminder of how the world works. In similar vein, this comes from an article by Damian McBride in the Mail on Sunday on 2 November about Jim Murphy, one of the candidates for the leadership of the Labour party in Scotland:
Sometimes in politics, we unfairly project our own cynicism on to others. When Murphy travelled to the Philippines last December to see the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan with my old employers, the aid agency Cafod, the staff he met spoke glowingly about how he’d helped the relief work. I smiled cynically that the pictures of him mucking in must look great. ‘No,’ they replied, ‘there weren’t any cameras.’ 
My first encounter with Murphy was equally illuminating. When I was Gordon Brown’s media adviser in September 2008, I approached Murphy at a dinner, warned him there was a rumour that he was planning to resign, and he should get out and deny it. It was a standard tactic to intimidate a potentially wobbly minister by making them think we had eyes everywhere. He looked at me with a contemptuous smile and snorted: ‘Away and eat your chicken, you.’

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