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Home > Politics

Spinning penny

11 February 2005

We wanted to write something about Michael Jackson this week, because he's back in the news, and he's funny. Funny peculiar yes, and funny quite awful too. But then we realised that there's nothing new to say - maybe a couple of smug gags about the Jackson Twelve and the truth about whatever happened to Corey Feldman, but no real meat. So we switched our attentions to another bad penny: Alastair Campbell. But again, what's the fucking point? Same old same old.

Just as we know for sure that even if Jackson didn't actually fuck any kids, we wouldn't let him babysit our children, so we're also pretty sure that even if Alastair Campbell isn't actually the reincarnation of Josef Goebbels, neither would we let him babysit our children. We wouldn't even let him in the house to behonest. But the news that he was mastermind behind Labour's recent Belsen-scented campaign posters is really neither here not there. He's just back creating publicity, which as we know, is what he does best. Still, we thought we'd spin it out anyway. It was either that or say something good about the Israelis, and like Campbell himself, we didn't want that.

So what's the story, such as it is? Well, Campbell is back in the swivel chair at Camp Labour, fiddling with the knobs and as usual, proving as much of a hindrance as a boon. Turns out that he had more than a single deft hand in the alleged anti-Semitism. Turns out, according to FCUK-man Trevor Beattie's ad agency, who did his dirty work for him, 'Alastair Campbell is taking full responsibility for these executions.' Executions?! We honestly didn't know it had gone that far. But we're not that surprised. He has a great deal more of the night about him than Michael Howard ever had. As evidenced by the rumoured existence of a third poster, featuring a six-foot children-eating bagel called Michaelberg Howardstein. As further evidenced by the 'obscene outburst' he mailed to Newsnight's Andrew McFadyen on Monday. The 'obscene outburst' quote is from the Evening Standard, who are naturally keen to give the 'offensive poster' story more legs than a millipede's orgy, seeing as how they broke it and all.

When Newsnight contacted Campbell, the posters were still the story. But then Campbell sent a rash or otherwise errant email from his BlackBerry, and there he was back on the front pages. Or as near as that bloody sailorwoman would allow. The email he sent ended with these words: 'Posters done by tbwa [Beatties's agency] according polotical [sic] brief. Now fuck off and cover something important you twats!' He would later attempt to laugh it off and put it down to an inability to operate his new toy. But is this really what it was? Or is Campbell thumbing his priggish nose at Chris Morris and Charlie Brooker, pre-empting and gloriously trumping their Nathan Barley before he's even aired? Either way, it hardly shows him in a good light, like say, his high-key charity-running does. For all his much-vaunted communications skills, his tabloid-savvy and alleged linguistic expertise, the fucker still writes like he's mashing out porn. What is 'furst' when it's at home?

The funny thing - funny-ironic - is that for all his hideousness - and the fact that he's probably being paid a secret fuckolad by BlackBerry - Alastair Campbell was absolutely right. Newsnight really should be covering something more important.


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