If you hadn’t heard PMQs for yourself and only relied upon the BBC’s wash up of it afterwards you might not have realised that Miliband was completely steamrollered and failed utterly to make a dent in Cameron’s defence.

The central plank of Miliband’s attack was that the Cabinet Permanent Secretary, Gus O’Donnell, must have warned Cameron about the accusations against Coulson, Miliband also claimed that Coulson hadn’t been security vetted and if he had of been he would not have passed muster and therefore not have been given the job of communications director.

Miliband said there was now a very important question that the whole country wanted an answer to…did Sir Gus O’Donnell raise any concerns about Andy Coulson?

The BBC, in the shape of Andrew Neil and Nick Robinson, decided Cameron was lying when he said O’Donnell had not raised such concerns.

Robinson bizarrely tried to claim that Cameron’s defence, claiming that the revelations in Leveson cleared him, was similar to Blair trying to use the Hutton Inquiry to defend himself….as the BBC is of the opinion that the Hutton Inquiry was an Establishment whitewash presumably Robinson thinks Leveson is as well as Leveson certanly does clear Cameron.

Robinson went on to say Cameron had one problem…when Miliband asked him twice about whether there was civil service advice about Coulson Cameron insisted that that too had been raised in Leveson with Gus O’Donnell…Robinson says ‘I’ve checked and I can find no evidence that that was raised…what was unwise of the Prime Minister was to claim that Leveson cleared him of seems to me he didn’t.’


Unfortunately anyone with the ability to run a word search of the witness statement of Gus O’Donnell to Leveson would have found that he did clear Cameron:

Question 30 – Please set out in full for the inquiry details of your role, if any, in relation to the appointment by the Prime Minster of Andy Coulson to a post in No.10. Your account should include a full explanation of the basis on which you were asked to advise.  Mr Coulson was brought in as a special adviser to the Prime Minister.

I was not involved in the process of appointing Mr Coulson. Mr Coulson was cleared to SC (security clearance) level and was undergoing DV (developed vetting) clearance at the time of his resignation

Gus O’Donnell had no involvement in the appointment of Mr Coulson…pretty clear.

In other words Miliband’s attack, and Robinson’s ‘analysis’, is completely undermined by the actual evidence….Miliband himself claimed that O’Donnell had said nothing about Coulson at the Leveson Inquiry…clearly he did.


Robinson seems more intent on generating some sort of ‘scoop’ and whipping up a storm against Cameron rather than getting the real story…the real story which in fact provides a better scoop…..smashing Miliband’s attack.  Robinson is more concerned with supposition and speculation despite admitting he had no evidence to back that up…I paraphrase his words here:

Now it seems extremely likely, though I haven’t got the evidence, that civil servants said ‘you do know there are some questions about Coulson?’…it seems to me to be extremely likely that that happened..I don’t know we weren’t there…..’I’ve checked and I can find no evidence that that [Leveson asked O’Donnell about Coulson]  was raised…what was unwise of the Prime Minister was to claim that Leveson cleared him of this…it seems to me he didn’t.’


Pure speculation on Robinson’s part…if he’d bothered to check the statement he would have  realised that not only had O’Donnell cleared Cameron but that Coulson was vetted.

More excellent journalism from the impartial, accurate and accountable BBC.

Robinson goes on to attack ‘another interesting tactic he [cameron] uses’….Robinson says Cameron said he got the same assurances about hacking that the police and the PCC got…and neither had felt the need to act upon those, and therefore this shows he was right not to be concerned either.

Robinson says thatCaeron is muddling his times because at the time the allegations were made the police hadn’t looked into this.

Robinson claims that this undermines Cameron’s defence…however logically it reinforces it…If the police and PCC came to this late in the day, with more time to look at evidence and with possibly more evidence, and yet still decided there was no case to answer, then that backs up Cameron’s decision made at a time when there was even less evidence.


We then had a Labour Spad telling us that it was totally implausible that Coulson wasn’t vetted…and they have failed to answer why Coulson wasn’t subject to that degree of scrutiny.

But as we saw from O’Donnell’s statement Coulson had an initial ‘SC’ level of vetting which allowed him to see secret, and sometimes top secret, material….and he was undergoing the DV process when he resigned.

Once again the BBC is allowing false information to be broadcast and false assertions made against Cameron without challenge.

Even at 17:00 the BBC were still claiming Coulson wasn’t vetted properly:

17:00: PMQs update – Labour is hoping to keep up the pressure on David Cameron by asking Sir David Normington, the former senior civil servant and Commissioner for Public Appointments, to investigate why Andy Coulson was not given top-level security clearance when he worked in Downing Street.


The Labour Spad then went on to claim that DV would have discovered that Coulson had been involved in hacking…..complete rubbish.

Shame though…that would have saved a £100 million trial…who knew eh?  If only we had taken the Guardian’s word for things we could have chucked Coulson in jail and saved oursleves £100 million.

The same Guardian that lied about the News of The World deleting Milly Dowler’s text messages.


The BBC, whilst forensically delving into PMQs remarkably avoids the point raised by Philip Davies, Tory MP, (24 mins 50 secs) that when he was on the Culture, Media and Sport Committee’s inquiry into Press standards, privacy and libel   no concerns had been raised about Coulson by any party, and that Nick Davies of the Guardian came to the Committee and revealed that he had never seen any evidence that directly linked Coulson to phone hacking and that the Committee concluded that:

‘have, however, not seen any evidence that the then Editor, Andy Coulson, knew, but consider he was right to resign.’


Always curious, and telling, what the BBC dodges around.


Miliband’s claims are comprehensively trashed by O’Donnell’s statement to Leveson…the statement that neither Andrew Neil nor Nick Robinson could find.



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37 Responses to Forensic

  1. Charlatans says:

    Alan, good points but has BBC and Robinson been informed?Otherwise what is point?


    • hippiepooter says:

      What’s the point of your comment?

      It’s the most ridiculous comment I’ve ever seen here.


      • lupin says:

        It’s not ridiculous at all. Alan’s case is a strong one and should be put directly to the BBC and Nick Robinson. They should be made to answer it.


  2. Joshaw says:

    I’m no fan of Cameron whatsoever but I thought he did quite well. Once again, Miliband was left looking like a sulky teenager.

    Sky’s Joey Jones was quite good, I thought.


    • ROBERT JONES says:

      I agree that Joey Jones is good at his job with Sky. Their crime reporter Martin Brunt is certainly better than any BBC offering.


  3. Old Timer says:

    Who knew what and when goes over the top of the man in the street. The simple fact is that Coulson left The News of the World because of the, so called, hacking scandal. That should have been enough for Cameron to run a mile in the opposite direction to Coulson but what did he do? He went against advice and employed him.

    The fact that Muppet Milliband could not score a point against Cameron at PMQ’s is irrelevant. An eight year old school child could do better than Milliband. The aftermath of this multi million pound debacle is that Cameron should go. This country needs a man with common sense and judgement, not just good PR skills and a posh accent.

    His other big mistake was underestimating UKIP and calling them names. His stubborn refusal to understand the feeling in this country against being overrun by foreign cultures and a foreign dictatorship have split the hard working people and business community of this country right down the middle. The results of that snobbish derision of UKIP and its tens of thousands of followers will rebound on him, the Conservatives, and the country next year at the GE. Then, if the crazy Labour Party do get in again because of Cameron the country’s demise will be assured.

    Cameron is a nice chap, good with words but bad with decisions and now even the BBC are beginning to feel sorry for him. He has to go.


    • hippiepooter says:

      He deserves to be damaged for appointing someone like Coulson (the cloud of hacking accusations besides while he was editor – he was EDITOR OF THE NEW OF THE SCREWS for goodness sake!!!) but Alan’s central point here is that the BBC (as ever) are acting as a propaganda adjunct to Labour smears simply disproven by facts.

      What a moral abomination the likes of Robinson are.


  4. #88 says:

    Sorry! A bit long but well done Alan. Robinson’s piece was astonishing, bordering on the bizarre. It needed a good Fisking.

    Robinson’s supposition, smearing or innuendo some may call it, ended with an, ‘Of course I have no evidence but maybe someone will come forward (to say that someone in Number 10 warned him). Robinson hopes! But what was interesting about Robinson’s clear assertion of something that he had no evidence for, mirrored the very pointed questions from Miliband and two of his MPs at PMQ – yet again a bit of choreography from Labour and the BBC?

    An talking about choreography, the accusation about timelines from Toenails, mirrored the piece from Tom Watson in the Guardian yesterday (perhaps I should do a Toenails and say: Now it seems extremely likely, though I haven’t got the evidence, that Robinson, Watson and others got their heads together and colluded to say ‘you do know there are some questions about Cameron?’…it seems to me to be extremely likely that that happened…I don’t know I wasn’t there!).

    But both Robinson and Watson are deliberately conflating Coulson’s appointment as Cameron’s spin doctor in opposition in 2007 and his appointment at No 10 as Director of Comms in 2010. From what I can tell Watson’s assertion that Coulson was appointed after the Guardian’s disclosure is wrong – he was appointed before the Guardian targeted he and Cameron. When Coulson was reappointed and ‘brought into Downing Street’, Cameron could quite rightly point to him being cleared by all of those investigations, as well as having three years exemplary service as his Comms Chief.

    Finally, I find it unacceptable that throughout yesterday and today, the BBC continue to tell only part of the story about the rebuke from the trial judge. As the Judge said, he wasn’t singling out Cameron – he was takling about politicianS – you wouldn’t know that though. No comment whatsoever from the BBC about the even more prejudicial comments about Coulson from Miliband.

    The BBC’s handling of this has fallen well below their usual appalling biased standards


  5. Span Ows says:

    Had to laugh at NR’s “Hacking – why an apology will not be enough”…desperation?


    • #88 says:

      Thanks for the link.

      That piece by Robinson is as troubling as his appearance on DP yesterday.

      Read closely. The headline, ‘…why an apology will not be enough.’ The coup de grace, ‘…he would still be facing embarrassment but not questions about why, as Ed Miliband puts it, he brought a criminal into Downing Street.’

      ‘As Miliband puts it’! Robinson here is acting as Labour’s echo chamber. Same words, same phrases. You have to ask once again whether he sat down with his Labour colleagues to pen such tripe.

      The BBCs response to this trial over the past 48 hours just goes to show the extent to which they have been colonised by the left. They have lost their collective minds. To coin a phrase it has been ‘open season’ on their enemies, Cameron and New UK.

      Not only has Robinson seemingly lost his marbles, he has lost what is left of his integrity. He should resign.


      • #88 says:

        News UK, sorry.


      • Span Ows says:

        Indeed, it gets a bit old hat when we say that “if the shoe were on the other foot” but time and again they prove the point.


      • Ken says:

        How many Labour MPs have been sent to prison? Including a secretary of state?

        Labour did not appoint their criminals, they promoted them from within their own party to government positions.

        Not surprising since they committed more crimes as a political party, then all of Murdoch’s indiscresions combined.


      • hippiepooter says:

        No 10 Downing Street should be demanding Robinson’s dismissal for clearly working hand in glove with the Labour Party to make black propaganda on this.


  6. Lucretia says:

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    • Guest Who says:

      I admire your sentence structure.
      Are you my sister?


      • Guest Who says:

        I’ve asked before, but if the site owners could spare a moment it would be nice to know why and for how long it will remain possible for those so minded to use the same posting names of others?
        Ta very much.


        • Roland Deschain says:

          Disqus seems to be increasingly popular, and I’m getting used to it elsewhere on t’interwebby thing. Is that an option here?


          • Guest Who says:

            ‘Is that an option here?’
            Possibly (and anything that prevents false flagging must be good?), but it may not favoured by the current 6 likers above who appear to like things just the way they are.
            It seems a pity to serve up so easily the means to those who often seem intent on closing things down, and further seeking to do so terminally using various ill-considered restrictions of freedoms various new laws and unintended consequences can variably allow.


            • Lucretia says:

              Wow my brother.

              That last sentence exceeds magnificently all my abilities. You need to good teach me all your exquisite English mastery.


              • Span Ows says:

                the link in your name seems to have vanished…


                • Guest Who says:

                  Still got three likes anyway, and I see Agent Doppleganger is up to 12, which tends to be around the maximum the cubicle gardens can generate.
                  The stats on those would be fun to see.


          • The General says:

            Trolls on Disqus not only took my name but my photograph as well and proceeded to put up vile and racist posts using my details. Disqus would not rectify it and said it would continue to allow contributors to use whichever username and avatar they chose even if that meant stealing the identity of another. Don’t touch it.


            • Guest Who says:

              Wow, I was not aware such malicious behaviour was so easily facilitated with the technophile troll troupe.
              But if such a thing is known and shown to occur, it surely blows apart any attempts at closure on such as a ‘hate’ basis as false flagging is so prevalent.
              Ironically the most ruthlessly effective system appears to be that run by the BBC. Or… is it?


    • hippiepooter says:

      I trust everyone knows Lucretia’s linkpage will be a phishing site?

      If you right click and select ‘copy link’ it would take the unsuspecting clicker to the following:-


      • johnnythephish says:

        Well, dur!


      • Scott says:

        But of course. Although the 13 people (to date) desperate enough to accept any compliment, even computer generated, will never admit to clicking that thumbs up button.

        I’d never normally condone the appropriation of names, especially having been the victim of some substandard attempts at fakery myself by people who think that pretending to me validates their sad existence. But I do think the original “Guest Who” fake post was quite a good one, considering how the spammer’s tortuous turn of phrase so closely mirrored the most egotistical of Biased BBC’s resident numpties.


        • Guest Who says:

          18 now.
          What pleases a certain mob becomes clear.
          Thanks for that last sentence.
          May prove a wee Achilles heel when next claiming debating high ground or wailing about… well… simply posting the usual irony failure, ego-free, non-numptie diatribe.
          (Sorry, Mr. Anderson, but he’s not going away soon, any more tha he’s likely to go near actual BBC inaccuracy, lack of objectivity or integrity).
          Sadly no answer yet about how such shadowing happens and remains permitted. This may prove an unresolved weakness that can be expensive to ignore.
          Like the BBC obliterating 52 comments on an HYS that went off-piste.
          Seems the cheap seat crowd stayed clear of that one.
          Don’t stop; you’ll see the BBC damned by the company that wants to keep it yet.


  7. Wild says:

    The entire BBC is an exercise in trying to prevent people from making up their own minds. They cannot (for example) just show PMQ’s, it has to be interpreted for us – the interpretation being whatever the (middle class public sector) want you to think that week, day, hour, or moment.

    Its reporting of the Murdoch organisation (and its reporting of pretty much everything else) shows that the BBC is as arrogant and partisan as you would expect a gravy train of that size to be – run by and for the same people and paid for by you.

    A free society (indeed even democracy itself if is reporting of boundary fiddling is anything to go by) is everything it is against. They instinctively defend the corrupt and cynical EU and oppose anything which gives people freedom of choice.

    The BBC is soft fascism – it will arrest you only if you do not pay your TV license, but it will encourage others to arrest you if you do not express correct Party approved thoughts.

    It manifests it’s double standards and hypocrisy in every report. They are truly vile.


  8. Rob says:

    I have no brief for Cameron at all, but he owned Miliband at PMQs yesterday. The pipsqueak’s line of attack was pitiful, he was just firing blanks. Normally in situations like this he can spread his muck and then demand a judge led inquiry. Sadly, he did not seem to realise that there has already been one, and it cleared Cameron on every one of the bogus points he made. The only real question which arose from PMQs was “just how crap is Ed Miliband?”, but amazingly the BBC are not running with that one. I wonder why not?


    • Ken says:

      I did notice the moment when it finally seemed to dawn on Miliband, just how utterly, how monumentally crap he had been and realised just how stupid he now looked. he seemed utterly lost and not even aware of where he was standing for a few seconds.

      Cameron went easy on Miliband and still destroyed him. I have never, ever in over 35 years of watching the debates in the commons, ever seen a worse performer at the despatch box than Ed Miliband.


      • Guest Who says:

        It’s genius.
        Time it just right prior to the campaigning, and Ed drops out to save the party and bro comes back from side-stepping leave to save the country, free of taint from any recent disasters, and a bit more charismatic appeal than a filleted sea cucumber.
        Heck, even I might be tempted (though such as the rest of the Labour shower remaining, and David’s Brown-record may still set them a bottom of a stinking pile).


  9. The Technical Team says:

    Naughty Mr .Cameron employing dodgy geezers.
    The Beeb have never done that……..have they?


    • Ken says:

      No, according to the BBC, it’s the NHS who encouraged and enabled the predatory paedophile, necrophiliac and now Murder suspect, James Savile. Dear old pervy uncle Beeb had nothing to do with it.


  10. DownBoy says:

    Yes Miliband was crap at PMQ’s.
    Alan points out that
    ‘Miliband said there was now a very important question that the whole country wanted an answer to…did Sir Gus O’Donnell raise any concerns about Andy Coulson.’
    Err, hello Ed? The country actually couldn’t give a stuff about your arcane metropolitan media issue. Most people have never heard of Gus O’Donnell.
    The irony is that useless Miliband constantly accuses others of being out of touch, yet he thinks this is the big issue for ordinary people right now? What a useless twerp.


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