Who is crying all the way to the bank?

I'VE been watching the great smeargate story over the last few days with a growing sense of disbelief. Aren't we in serious danger of getting the whole business totally out of all proportion.

I'VE been watching the great smeargate story over the last few days with a growing sense of disbelief. Aren't we in serious danger of getting the whole business totally out of all proportion.

This was one over-enthusiastic advisor doing something monumentally stupid and paying for that stupidity almost immediately by resigning from his job before he could be sacked.

Does anyone seriously think that Gordon Brown took time off from all the G20 negotiations to make up false smear stories about opposition politicians.

Anyone who seriously thinks that needs to get a grip on reality.


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Which begs the question why is there this growing clamour for him to say sorry - to grovel for his country?

This mania for apologies started with the first Labour government of Tony Blair who seemed determined to apologise for things that happened hundreds of years ago.

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If you apologise for slavery in the 18th century, why not apologise for smeargate in 2009?

The problem is, of course, if you run around prostrating yourself for every mistake then it makes real apologies seem totally meaningless.

And I'm afraid I take the fury that we are hearing about coming from the Conservatives over the last few days with more than a pinch of salt.

No one takes the smears seriously so it must be very distressing for the Tory leadership to see their opponents being bashed from all sides in a campaign which can only succeed in undermining Labour's support among the electorate.

David Cameron must, in the words of Liberace, be crying all the way to the bank!

What is needed is a rethink of the relationships between those who work at the highest level of government and the ruling party.

Having political civil servants at the highest level is nothing new.

Tony Blair had Alastair Campbell, Mrs Thatcher had Bernard Ingham, Harold Wilson had Joe Haines and Marcia Falkender.

What is needed is a far clearer definition of what the roles of these political appointees, whose loyalty is first to the party, should be.

And there needs to be a far closer watch kept on what they are up to - to make sure that their work is government-related rather than simply being to promote their own party.

If the party wants its people in Downing Street then fine, but they should be paid by the party and not by the taxpayer.

It does seem that this could happen as a result of the smeargate scandal. If it does, that would be something of a success for Gordon Brown in the teeth of a political disaster.

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