Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: On youthful indiscretions

79 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 Newer→ Last

  • BenWilson, in reply to Alfie,

    While Ashcroft has deep pockets, if the pig story was really just an elaborate fabrication, the libel payout would be enormous. Do you really think the good Lord and his publishers would set themselves up in that way? I don't.

    I do. I think it's exactly the kind of thing they'd do. Can you imagine the ridiculous field day that would be had if an ex-PM went to trial over something like this? It would hardly matter if they were found guilty of libel by the end, so damaging would the process have been. There's no better way to guarantee this blowing way out of proportion than to treat it seriously. Which is why he won't.

    I'd expect the actual response would be to find a way to personally damage Ashcroft's reputation with a similarly salacious smear, preferably via an unconnected party. We'll probably find out more than we ever wanted to about where his todger has been soon enough. It's probably not going to be hard to find something publicly distasteful in the private life of an English Lord.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • John Palethorpe,

    He can't resign because he'd be 'the pig PM'.

    He can't sue, because the court case would be hilarious and destructive.

    He's just got to hope it goes away. Which it won't. Hah.

    Auckland • Since May 2015 • 83 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    I think part of the cheerfulness from the sidelines is to see what is preceived as the Tory smear machine turning inward after a week of "Corbyn is a threat to your family's security"

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to BenWilson,

    I'd expect the actual response would be to find a way to personally damage Ashcroft's reputation with a similarly salacious smear, preferably via an unconnected party. We'll probably find out more than we ever wanted to about where his todger has been soon enough. It's probably not going to be hard to find something publicly distasteful in the private life of an English Lord.

    He's only a peer by appointment – and even that was a bit of a scandal. Check out his Wikipedia article – he's dodged any number of bullets, but it's not hard to imagine someone, somewhere has something else on him. You're right, this could get interesting.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    As I pointed out earlier, Ashcroft has many roles, and one effect (coincidental or not) is to make the media wary of taking him on. He does good things, ergo he is good, ergo his critics - or even journalists doing their job - are not:

    http://www.crimestoppers-nz.org/about/who-we-are

    Well, do you support criminals and hate victims? Do you?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1321 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    So Ashcroft wrote at least part of his book in Auckland (see embedded tweet).

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Attachment

    This. Good grief.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Smart local pundit Puddleglum continues the contextual analysis in comments at Te Standard:

    Put bluntly, this was not a personal, private act or ‘failing’, quite the reverse – it was a highly political and deliberate act (including membership of the clubs in the first place).

    To be compromised so early in life to one’s elite ‘peers’ is to ensure that you will maintain class discipline (above all else) throughout your life – and to have proved that that is exactly what you are committed to.

    It’s like a gang member committing some ‘beyond the pale’ act in order to be accepted into the gang – crossing the personal Rubicon and allowing others to have access to damaging knowledge about you (not to mention having to face the fact that you’ve been willing to compromise to the group to that extent).

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Alfie,

    Wouldn't you know it... I've been posting in the wrong thread.

    Charlie Brookers Twitter feed is a bit'o'fun. Black Mirror is too close for anyone's comfort but hilarious if you have a mind like mine.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    What is his influence outside the UK?

    He's been over here, funding Crimestoppers.

    Not sure if they pass on any tips about dodgy Belizean money-laundering to the DEA...

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Alfie,

    While Ashcroft has deep pockets, if the pig story was really just an elaborate fabrication, the libel payout would be enormous. Do you really think the good Lord and his publishers would set themselves up in that way?

    I think Ashcroft is no fool -- and he know exactly how British libel law works. Very very slowly, and at ruinous expense. If anyone is being naive, Alfie, I think it's you in underestimating the entitlement and malice of both Ashcroft and Paul Dacre who hasn't made any secret of his utter contempt for anything resembling an ethical compass. (He's still unapologetic for his shameful hit job on Ralph Miliband -- after all, the dead can't sue.)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Up to a point, Russell. But it’s more than a little eyebrow-raising seeing it on Twitter from people who’d be a lot more sceptical if The Daily Mail was publishing allegations Jeremy Corbyn fucked his dinner at a union conference. Especially when the source was a Labour poo-bah with a well-known (and admitted) axe to grind and bury in Corbyn’s head. Or, a little closer to home, every new round in The Herald's endless campaign to drive Len Brown's penis out of office.

    Well, I may be somewhat biased, but I'm going to respectfully disagree with you there. As someone pointed out on twitter, one of the notable things about this is that the entire population of the UK seems to have gone 'yep, that seems like something he'd do'. His own Bullingdon background is playing against him hard. And the source (right-wingers nominally on his side) doesn't do anything to dispell that. Whereas you'd have to come up with something pretty bizarre and backed up with solid-concrete evidence to actually form a signal distinguishable from the endless white noise of the smear machine currently aimed at Corbyn. Evidence of a drug-fuelled orgy with a bunch of young lefties back in the '70's would probably have the effect of turning him from the inhuman trotskyite monster he's currently painted as into an actual person, and give him a poll bump.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Don Christie,

    For me the real story is Ashcroft using his money to try and pervert politics..

    Yeah. The sources (ashcroft and the mail) make this interesting. The UK Labour party might currently be in disarray, but I'm wondering if we're seeing the start of some cracks on the other side. Jeremy Corbyn might not be as unelectable as all that if the other option is a return to mid-90's tory sleaze.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew E,

    Hell hath no fury like a donor scorned.

    Ignoring the salacious allegation, there's a more serious material for Opposition parties to get their teeth into, such as Ashcroft allegedly remaining a non-dom tax exile, long after assurances that he'd become a UK tax resident again led to him being made a peer. Not only did he buy his way into Parliament through donations to the party of his choice (standard fare for the Lords), but he apparently continued avoiding paying tax afterwards - and that Cameron knew this.

    174.77 x 41.28 • Since Sep 2008 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Michael.Higgins,

    A couple of thoughts spring to mind. Firstly, I'm no fan of Cameron but I'm also not much impressed by Ashcroft who seems to have a rich man's sense of entitlement that cannot allow him to countenance not getting his own way (shades of Charles Saatchi and the way he went after Nigella Lawson?). Secondly, just how many other establishment figures in England may have done same initiation?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2013 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rich Lock,

    one of the notable things about this is that the entire population of the UK seems to have gone 'yep, that seems like something he'd do'.

    beyond the UK too.
    true or not, it fits the stereotype so well. #petard

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • kiwiwolf, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Degraded!...Respectfully!.. you couldnt make this stuff up.

    Whangaparaoa • Since Sep 2014 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Michael.Higgins,

    Ashcroft [has] a rich man's sense of entitlement that cannot allow him to countenance not getting his own way

    Spoilt rich prick finds his money can't buy him something: throws toys. In other news, dog bites man. More at 10.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Greville Whittle,

    I keep wondering how many other scions of the upper classes have also been through the same kind of initiation rites; then I remember this clip from The Young Ones:

    I'm also wondering how much of this will blow up in Lord Ashcroft's face, as it sounds like he was involved in many dodgy practises himself and is writing out of sheer pique. He's like a man that handcuffs himself to his enemy and then pulls the pin on a hand grenade.

    Hamiltron • Since Oct 2008 • 50 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to John Palethorpe,

    The simplicity of it “Cameron fucked a pig” is what’s dangerous. As an idea it’ll stick, he’ll be oinked at for the rest of his career. Because basically, it’s pretty believable. His Bullingdon antics, the restaurant trashing and general poor baiting, combined with that photo, make it ‘the sort of thing he’d do’.

    He can’t sue, because he’d need to be in court and have his uni days examined. So it sits there. Like a dead pigs head. On his career. Oink.

    Some things are simply too big to be spun – the Chernobyl meltdown is probably a modern example of it being taken to its logical extreme.

    As for David Cameron personally, cracks are appearing in the whole notion that “it’s not illegal when President Nixon’s doing it!” If Cameron's much-vaunted “Broken Britain” is to be fixed, it needs to start from the top.

    Perceptions of overt betrayal are another fatal weakness – Australasian leadership spills are just the entreés.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5418 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I think you’re right. True or not, suing would be disastrous.

    A lawsuit would come across as rather Colin Craig-ish – suing not for actual libel, but for butt-hurt.

    And is Black Mirror the new Max Headroom in a way?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5418 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    One of Ashcroft's named sources, the dreadful James Delingpole (largely known for his trenchant, idiotic writing in denial of climate change), writes about the drug thing on the Spectator website:

    No hard feelings, I hope, Dave. We’ve had our ups and downs but I’ll always remember our Oxford days fondly and for all my harsh criticisms over the years I still wish you well. But one serious point I would like to raise about your misspent youth and mine is this: your cleaving to our current drugs laws is hypocritical and wrong.

    Quite soon now our own kids will be up at university — Oxford, hopefully — dabbling with weed. Except it won’t be nice giggly stuff like we used to smoke. It will be that horrible, chemical-y, psychosis-­inducing skunk. Strong smoke driving out mild smoke is one of the many unintended consequence of our illiberal drug laws. Make it legal, make it safe, say I: you owe it to your vanished youth.

    The belief that there is some malign, deadly, wholly different kind of cannabis called "skunk" is one of the sad side-effects of reading right-wing newspapers.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Shades of the Dirty Politics' Princess Parties?

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    "...The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which because one had his private parts in the other's mouth..."

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2213 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    A lawsuit would come across as rather Colin Craig-ish – suing not for actual libel, but for butt-hurt.

    No, Red. Sorry, but this is really starting to sound like an elaborate game of "when did you stop beating your wife while high on cocaine and with gravy on your knob, Prime Minister?"

    I've had one of Kiwibog's hand-reared trolls post comments about me that were clearly and actionably defamatory. I didn't sue because I didn't have 1) a large amount of money to contribute to some lawyer's new Beamer fund, 2) years to spend up to my armpits in someone else's slime, and 3) a grasp on the reality of how defamation law works in the real world. You can "win" and still lose unless years of debt and humiliation are a turn on.

    A wise head not a million miles from here also made this salient point: "What the hell do you care about the good opinion of people who'd read that shit anyway?"

    OK, I get plenty of people around here will believe there's no depravity Cameron is incapable of and there's nothing I can say to change anyone's mind. But let's stop playing this game of not suing is effectively an admission of guilt, because I promise you won't like where that ends up.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.