Coffee House

The real story of the 2007 ‘election that never was’

5 October 2012

‘The election that never was’ is one of the most important events, or non-events, in recent British political history; if it had gone ahead, David Cameron might never have become Prime Minister and there might not have been a coalition at all. Equally, Gordon Brown could have seen Labour’s majority slashed and had to quit long before the financial crisis hit.

The story of what happened that day has been told several times. But I don’t think I’ve read a more gripping account than Damian McBride’s. McBride did disgrace himself but he can sure as hell write. If you like the political game, you really sure read it. (There’s also something intriguing about how McBride is doing all this stuff for free rather than taking the publisher’s pound and penning a memoir).

In terms of today, one of the most interesting things is McBride’s description of his falling out with Ed Miliband. I do think, though, that McBride overdoes the amount of calculation involved on Miliband’s part.

Give the perfect gift this Christmas. Buy a subscription for a friend for just £75 and you’ll receive a free gift too. Buy now.

Show comments
  • HooksLaw

    What comes out of this is that Ed Miliband was part of Brown’s ‘inner circle’ – so it is totally disingenuous for him to distance himself from the brown years. And of course that EdM was a Brown favourite

  • William Blakes Ghost

    Forsyth should be ashamed of himself for promoting the writings of such vermin!

  • Matthew Blott

    No fan of McBride but I agree with James having read the blog – very illuminating.

  • salieri

    “he can sure as hell write”.. well, Mr. F, that’s a matter of opinion.
    But hard though it is to read all the way through McBastard’s turgid paean of self-aggrandisement – moronic football leitmotiv and all – it’s instructive and appalling in equal measure. The third footnote (the party political broadcast that never was) is particularly vomit-inducing; it should be retained for posterity on every Conservative website.

  • Sir Graphus

    Actually a sad a creepy fellow; a crush on Ed Balls and pathetically star struck.

  • 2trueblue

    James, like some of the posters here nothing would induce me to have anything to do with anything verbalised by McBride. I think someone once said that Hitler loved children? Means nothing.

  • Vulture

    …If it had gone ahead David Cameron might never have become Prime Minister…’
    Don’t tease us with these wonderful dreams, James.

    • Dimoto

      I can see you are delighted with the thought of 5 extra years of Brown saving the world, probably with the luvverly Balls as chancellor.

      • Vulture

        Yes, because Labour would have made such a Balls-up that the next election against Dave’s successor, a Eurosceptic Tory leader, would have been a landslide.

        • cg

          Vulture – you really are delusional,a ren’t you?

  • ken from glos

    link does not work

  • EJ

    Can’t think of anything I’d rather not read – some Leftie’s account of something that didn’t happen involving the traitor Blair and the psychotic Brown. If you want to read a decent political book try Peter Hitchens’ “Abolition of Britain” or “The Cameron Delusion”. Probably a bit too near the knuckle for the Spectator.

    • telemachus

      Not sure why you are still here if you need to keep sniping at Speccie

      • Hexhamgeezer


  • Andy Car Park

    ‘One of the most interesting things is McBride’s description of his falling out with Ed Miliband.’
    In terms of sheer eyes-out-on-stalks fascination, it sounds second only to P J Proby’s big falling out with the drummer of Showaddywaddy.

    • Hexhamgeezer

      PJ and the drummer!? …to think I had to find out like this…

    • HooksLaw

      Miliband comes across as a dickhead – but still smarmy labour-lackey McBride tries to big him up.

  • ToryOAP

    When I read this creepy spin doctor’s account I made sure I had a large bowl of salt at hand. There are 4 people in this world I might read for amusement but I would never believe a single word they said as unvarnished truth: McBride, Brown, Blair and Balls. The general gist may be sort of accurate but specifics would be altered to protect the guilty. Just as you cannot be partly pregnant, these people cannot be partly truthful – they are 100% liars and should all be in gaol for what they did to the country, and in the cases of Blair and Brown, for their responsibility for the deaths of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    • Dimoto

      This attempt by the Spectator to “rebrand” McBride as a decent human being, is totally scurrilous and provocative. Shame on you !

    • toni

      There’s one creepy spin doctor mentioned in this account who may be facing jail time and it ain’t McBride.

    • telemachus

      Not sure McBride was any worse than the Toadie Coulson
      In fact if he had got Red Rag up and running and appropriately fed we might have been spared the need to have the lying or cheating coalitionists-not just Coulson but then Laws and then Fox
      God knows who will be next but they are a shifty bunch

Can't find your Web ID? Click here