Thursday, 26 March 2009

Unseemly rows and smear campaigns

There are a couple of unseemly rows in today's papers. Both involve accusations of smear campaigns.

The Standard reports a row over the inclusion of (Lord) Philip Gould's daughter in - I think - a Labour list for the selection of a prospective parliamentary candidate. Gould and Alastair Campbell are accusing people like Charlie Whelan of smears over claims that Georgia Gould has been "parachuted" into the Erith and Thamesmead constituency. It's not clear what the parachuting claim has to back it up - I've never understood how such alleged fixes work - but it is clear that Campbell has been promoting the alleged talents of Gould's daughter elsewhere.

Meanwhile Google and Privacy International are also in dispute over smears and conflicts of interest. It's hard to work out who is right in the Guardian's story but it is clear that Google has been briefing journalists about the alleged conflict of interest of Privacy International's chief executive. Google doesn't seem bothered to deny it, only to confirm that the alleged smear is exactly the issue they want to draw attention to.

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