The e-mails, seen by The Sunday Times, expose how Gordon Brown’s head of strategy and planning wrote to a Labour spin doctor proposing a campaign of unfounded personal slurs against senior Tories. The smears, many of a sexual nature, were planned as part of a strategy to “destabilise” the opposition in the run-up to the general election.
According to the newspaper: "The unfounded smears suggested: “Putting the fear of God” into Osborne by spreading rumours that he took drugs and had sex with a prostitute. Spreading rumours about the mental health of Osborne’s wife. Challenging Cameron to reveal details of an “embarrassing illness”. Accusing a gay Tory MP of promoting his partner’s business interests in the Commons."
To be honest, it was this whole 'spin' business that encouraged me to join the Conservative Party after my last sortie into No10, as I didn't like what I saw. Before this, I was still broadly 'apolitical' but left of centre, which is perhaps why, like many others, I was encouraged by the arrival of Tony Blair. Sadly and also like so many others, I was subsequently proved wrong.
So one might reasonably conclude that some of the nastier and more disingenuous material you find on local, left-leaning political weblogs may be either actively encouraged by Labour's political hierarchy or simply followed by example. Either way, among a consistent display of fabulous pink backgrounds, I see policies, words and decisions cynically twisted to satisify a political agenda.
Should I expect well-reasoned and intelligent political debate or am I deluding myself I wonder?
As Winston Churchill once said: "A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on."