There has long been speculation regarding the high level of support the McCanns received from within the government when their daughter Madeleine disappeared. It has been defended as ‘normal government support’ for a family in distress – but was it government support or Labour Party support?
The recent revelations of a high level ‘dirty tricks campaign’ within Downing Street has thrown new focus on the connections between government press officers and campaigns to ‘pervert the truth’ and implant false perceptions in the public domain.
One of the most discussed facets of the McCann saga has been the appointment of Clarence Mitchell, previously head of the government media monitoring unit, to act as family spokesman and general factotum of the McCann family.
Clarence Mitchell would certainly have worked closely with Damian McBride, the now disgraced political advisor revealed to be the author of scurilous rumours regarding the opposition Conservative Party.
A Plymouth web site has uncovered an intreiguing coincidence potentially linking the Downing Street ‘dirty tricks department’ and the McCann saga.
On the same day that McBride was sending his ill fated e-mails to Derek Draper, many miles away, another smear campaign was underway. Plymouth Labour Councillor Bill Stevens was writing on Draper’s Labourlist web site attempting to smear the reputation of Conservative Councillor Steve Rickets, by linking him to an incident which the McCann’s reportedly found ‘very distressing’.
Councillor Bill Stevens, who speaks for Labour on Governance issues, tells us that “Plymouth Councillor Steven Ricketts is closely linked to the main perpetrators”
The article has been withdrawn today, but excerpts from it can be seen here.
Was the appearence of that story orchestrated by Damien McBride?
The entire affair is beginning to resemble the film popular in the nineties – ‘Six Degrees of Separation’.
Lord Mandelson, close friend of Derek Draper, web master to Labourlist, close friend of Damian McBride, head of government ‘dirty tricks department’, colleague of Clarence Mitchell, purveyor of the McCann version of events, to Gerry McCann, COMARE colleague of John McCann, brother to the Labour Prime Minister, supporter of the McCann’s search for Madeleine in Morocco, holiday resort of Lord Mandelson, can I stop now? Would you care to continue playing this game on your own whilst I travel back to France?