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Wednesday, 3rd June 2009

How they are trying to discredit Blears

Fraser Nelson 4:15pm

I was sitting next to Lord Mandelson in Simon Mayo's R5 studio and witnessed a class act. Poor Hazel, he said, she had all that blowback from her dodgy home flipping expenses "found all the world on her doorstep" and was being pursued by the media. Poor love. She wanted to have done with it. She couldn't carry on, not for a single day more. You musn't underestimate the effect this has had on the poor fragile wee thing, he says. Full of concern, you see, for her wellbeing. Damian McBride would have been far more brutal, saying "Blears quit because of her OWN GUILT and you know what there was MORE DIRT COMING - enough to BURY THE GREEDY WOMAN thats why she CRACKED UNDER THE PRESSURE and may her God have mercy on her:". Lord Mandelson makes this message sound so much more smooth, so much more acceptable: almost compassionate.

But the briefing against her has begun. John Pieenar said that Whitehall sources suggested to him that Blears quit because there was more dirt to come. As Andy Porter's story in the Telegraph says:

"It is understood that a Cabinet Office compliance unit looking at ministers’ arrangements has uncovered another property sale, in which Miss Blears declared the property as her primary residence for tax purposes while at the same time telling the Commons authorities that it was her designated second home."
As far as I can work out, this is the first piece of dirt that has even purported to come from the merged operation which is No10/Cabinet Office. Either this means Brown is hitting back - his natural instinct, of course - or that he intends this to be a warning shot. "Another squeak from you, chipmunk, and we'll release so much dirt on you that you'll stand zero chance of winning Salford. You'll find the Cabinet Office and No10 can do its own Daily Telegraph operation - but there will be no mercy from us." Blears has, quite rightly in my view, made clear that No10 is briefing against her. As James says, she may well retaliate. Brown and even Mandelson may find that the Iron Chipmunk is not so easily intimidated.

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Sir Graphus

June 3rd, 2009 4:24pm

No 10 smearing Brown's own Cabinet members; If I were any of them, or even all of them, I'd resign in disgust.


June 3rd, 2009 4:32pm

The smearing has got to stop.

'Whitehall sources' and 'It is understood that a...'. Who told who what, and when? Pienaar and Porter are as responsible for this as those in number 10 originating the smears.

Queen John II

June 3rd, 2009 4:33pm

There again though Frazer, if it was me then my arse would be twitching because how long will it be before the police start to get a sniff. Maybe the best policy is to shut your wee gob and hope it all blows away on the election wind. Resign now and take the cash then hope for the best.

Ian Walker

June 3rd, 2009 4:34pm

If this lot spent less time on their political maneuvering and more time keeping an eye on how the country was doing, perhaps we wouldn't be in such a mess.

There aren't words to describe how much I just want to be rid of them.


June 3rd, 2009 4:49pm

Strange how we haven't heard anything before about a "Cabinet Office compliance unit".

There's been "more dirt to come" every day for the last 3 weeks, but up till now the same "compliance unit" has been conspicuous by its silence.

More spin anyone ??

Go Chipmunk !!!!!!

Fergus Pickering

June 3rd, 2009 4:50pm

Cheers for the chipmunk. I don't care what money she has stolen. More power to her bonny wee elbow. Go Hazel go!


June 3rd, 2009 4:56pm

Sorry Mr. Fraser,

Dizzy 'debunked' this piece of spin two hours prior to your post.

and it would appear John Pieenar and you have 'fallen' for it!


June 3rd, 2009 5:02pm

IRN reporting a reshuffle this afternoon.

Chris lancashire

June 3rd, 2009 5:06pm

And all this whilst the economy slithers on down, govt borrowing rockets on up. What the hell do they think they're playing at?


June 3rd, 2009 5:08pm

Andy Porter is nothing more than a number 10 mouthpiece. He should be ashamed to have a lobby pass and should have a downing street one. he has no credibility at all, none whatsoever.


June 3rd, 2009 5:12pm

To clarify.

If Mandelson wants to spin Blears' resignation, on the radio. No problem with that, but anonymous briefings - enough now.


June 3rd, 2009 5:12pm

Telegraph taking orders again


June 3rd, 2009 5:14pm

Instead of expressing admiration for Mandelslime's disgusting lies, Fraser, you would do better to employ your Presbyterian scorn on this amoral behaviour - so typical of the repulsive Government he serves. There is absolutely nothing to admire about him or them, and they have brought this country to its knees.
You should have been ashamed to have sat anywhere near him: the odour of corruption must have been well-nigh intolerable.

jon dee

June 3rd, 2009 5:17pm

Wonder what the odds are for Hazel Blears being among the frontrunners with an anti-Brown biography following his downfall?

In the meantime, as she showed with her YouTube analogy, she's not afraid to respond to incompetence and the briefers may be advised to show more caution in case Smeargate or similar returns to haunt them.

Bullying can be risky as well as distasteful.

Fox in a box

June 3rd, 2009 5:26pm

Go on Chipmunk!

This all puts me in mind of a "World of Sport" wrestling match...the plucky little one momentarily has Giant Haystacks on the ropes...

The question is, is "Big Daddy" going to tag-in in the nick of time? Or will the Chipmunk be, ultimately, mercilessly crushed...

Easy, easy, easy!!!!

john miller

June 3rd, 2009 5:36pm

A class act? Really? Is this what we are hopng Cameron will be?

If, Fraser, you find this laudable, then why are we Conservatives hoping for a change of Government? Because you do support Cameron, don't you?

A concerted smear campaign, with all the oily collusion of a national newspaper, orchestrated by someone who has had to leave the Cabinet twice, is laudable?

I think I may be sick.

Andy Carpark

June 3rd, 2009 5:37pm

Poodle Pienaar.


June 3rd, 2009 6:00pm

I think that if the chipmunk really goes for brown's jugular she will greatly increase her chances of holding her seat.

Whilst I cannot stand most of what she stands for I have a massive respect for her conviction (maybe another conviction will follow though!).

And queen john II , if people do not stand up for themselves for fear of politically driven police action then we have become Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia.

Even I would fight to defend a lefty like blears fro. That fear and threat.

Chuck Unsworth

June 3rd, 2009 6:01pm

Just name the briefers. That is all that is necessary. Briefing would disappear overnight.

David Lindsay

June 3rd, 2009 6:11pm

Forced out is a woman who came up through local community activism via local government, seems rather unlikely to be mistaken for a member of any Primrose Hill set, and recently made a very John Smith-like speech defending a nurse who had offered to pray for a patient while denouncing those councils which refused to fly the Union Flag.

But kept in is a man who went to public school and Oxford before persecuting the poor, sick and disabled while charging the taxpayer four hundred pounds per month for food, since apparently neither his ministerial nor his parliamentary salary is paid in order to feed him.

Funny, that.


June 3rd, 2009 7:15pm

Fergus Pickering, I was getting really concerned for you but I can see now my concern was entirely needless. Your little Iron Chipmunk clearly has a score to settle and I've got a feeling that Newsnight might be interesting tonight.

Even if she does have to flee from her constituents in Salford, I'm sure a refuge awaits her in Kent.

David Ossitt

June 3rd, 2009 7:24pm

Will someone please help me by translating the post above from the pen of "Queen John II"?

Refering to his arse twitching and police sniffing, has me very confused.

And Queen John; what is that all about?

Rhoda Klapp

June 3rd, 2009 7:56pm

Echoing Chuck Unsworth, if this is a time when normal rules don't apply, it's time to change them. First, start naming the briefers. Every time, for evermore. Let's have the press remember who they are supposed to be working for in a democracy.

(Yes folks, I know they work for the proprietor, but they collectively have an essential role in democracy too)


June 3rd, 2009 10:07pm

Hazel as well as the rest of them was on the take of expenses. Whilst singling her out for public opprobrium was nasty and unequal I cannot say I'm sorry to see her go. Still, given the poverty of choice for next leader she may well be back in which case, watch out all you Chipmunk Scoffers!


June 4th, 2009 11:49am

Are you seriously suggesting Blears needs somebody else to discredit her?

Get real. Cam Lackie.

Richard Blogger

June 4th, 2009 1:36pm

Isn't unattributed tittle tattle so useful? Nice Mr Nelson can start a rumour and his speccy readers believe every word!


June 4th, 2009 7:13pm

Will Brown be savaged by a dead chipmunk?

Bill Corr

June 4th, 2009 10:02pm

Is this the first British administration in which it is normal behaviour of those in Downing Street to undermine supposedly errant or overambitious undelings?

Was it like this in Sir Alec's day? Or Walpole's?

Any information?

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