Never Trust a Hippy asks if the Labour Party should just bend over and take it:
I’d be interested to know what everyone thinks Labour should be doing in the face of being on the receiving end of a similar campaign – over a number of years. These smear campaigns work. They do damage to the government, to the Labour Party and to the very concept of elected government. To simply sit still in the face of them and to not retaliate is not – as far as I can see – an option that anyone would urge upon any other organisation in any other walk of life.
If you add this to the charge of actively running informers within the civil service – and if it is true that the leaker at the fees office is selectively targeting Labour politicians, this becomes an even more serious question – then what should Labour do?
If you are in government, and currently engaged in steering the country through an economic meltdown and trying to convince a skeptical British public of the need for UK troops in Afghanistan, then do your job competently and have a rebuttal unit against smears, but do not respond in kind. Smear campaigns of the nature McBride was planning do not work, mainly because they are not based in truth. Having a go at Smith over the price she claimed for a sink, and the fact her husband watches porn movies at the taxpayer’s expense, does work. That’s because it’s true.
And spare us the bleating about hypocrisy from Guido and the like. What have we learnt about Guido from this episode? Nothing we didn’t already know. Whether Draper, Guido and Iain Dale are a positive thing in the blogosphere might be an interesting, if short, debate in blogland (they aren’t), but it isn’t going to change the public’s opinion of the Labour government.
Sure there’s a large Zanulabour/Liebour Speak ye Branes internet constituency that are enjoying the fending frenzy, but it is the actions of Draper and McBride that have tossed it some chunks of meat by being weird and nasty.