I’ve been chatting with a few folks over the last couple of days about David Davis’ announcement that he was going to resign as an MP and stand for re-election on a Civil Liberties/ Libertarian ticket
Based on the half-arsed way Davis went about things and the obvious confusion of the mainstream media and other politicians I was and, to an extent, still am open to the possibility that this was a genuinely spontaneous, genuinely principled act
Of course, even if it were a genuinely principled act, that wouldn’t stop Davis’ campaign acting like a magnet for the kind of spooks, shills, and useful idiots who have made opposition to the government’s creeping authoritarian agenda over the last eleven years the resounding success that it has been
As Lord Patel mentioned the other day, it seems that David Shayler is the only spook, shill or useful idiot who hasn’t expressed support for Davis in recent days
There was a particularly interesting article in the Guardian/ Observer on Sunday which included some names familiar to anyone who keeps an eye on the activities of the Editorial Intelligence/ New Commentariat/ Common Purpose crowd of interrelated PR invertebrates whose slimy trail can be seen all over the new media. For example...
‘Within hours of his (Davis’) resignation, senior Labour aides were suggesting the paper could mount a candidate against him; by Friday morning, ex-Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie had offered to stand. MacKenzie has said the idea followed a party for Sun editor Rebekah Wade's 40th birthday, attended by Murdoch, on Thursday night. But Wade's inclusion on the guest list for a girlie sleepover hosted by Sarah Brown at Chequers this weekend has only fuelled speculation that Downing Street was closely involved in encouraging the Sun to join the fight.’
Sarah Brown is, of course, a mate of Julia Hobsbawn, the founder of Editorial Intelligence and creator of the term ‘New Commentariat’ and all the shilltastic bloggy goodness that goes with it
But just because the stench of new media manipulation and the clatter of professional self-publicists rattling into action started emanating from around Davis' campaign that itself didn’t suggest Davis himself was part of that side of things
but then a funny thing that happened to me today
Over on Guido Fawkes' blog this afternoon, Mr Fawkes announced that David Davis' campaign website would have the following url…
Being a curious soul I did a swift ‘whois’ and came up with this name as the registrant's address
Paul Borge, 40 Long Acre, London, WC2E 9LG, UK
A bit of googling and I discovered that Mr Borge is a senior IT bod with a PR agency called Fleishman-Hillard
More googling and I discovered that F-H UK is headed up by a guy called Kevin Bell, a former Thatcher adviser, who's kind of big on pushing for ID cards and the lovely contract 'work' that would come with them
...which struck me as a strange choice of PR agency for someone launching a Libertarian campaign
Not sure, and I'm still not sure, if I had made an error or not I asked my friend The Blobfish to comment on Fawkes’ blog asking folk to confirm or refute this train of research
After a little while someone came back and said, no, the domain was actually registered to Davis and Blobfish was mistaken/ a liar/ a troll employed by David Cameron
I repeated the whois search for myself and also got Davis' name and address - though whois did mention that the entry was updated sometime today
A little more searching around and I found what appears to be a cache of an older entry for DAVIDDAVISFORFREEDOM.COM (it's here but presumably not for long) and there was Mr Borge’s name back again...
Now I may be barking up the wrong tree here (I'm nursing a shocking cold), and I'm more than open to being put straight, but it does look like Davis’ campaign url was registered by an employee of a PR company, headed by someone who thinks ID cards are fucking ace, and subsequently re-registered to Davis’ name and address only today
Strange n’est ce pas?
As someone said to me a few days ago, truly spontaneous expressions of mass dissent rarely start from the top down...