When I was a member of my university's Labour Club, a few other members of that august institution tried to pass a motion of censure on me, for being close friends, nay housemates, with a known Tory. Even then, in the first flush of idealism, it seemed absurd to let political allegiance decide friendships, especially as my political allies were such a dull bunch socially. Now it seems even more mad, but still it goes on. "How can you talk to him? He's a Conservative." Because he's fun and interesting, now piss off.
In the fun and interesting camp is a chap called Iain Dale, whom I came to know when he was running a bookshop in London called Politico's. We disagreed pretty vehemently on just about every single thing politically, but we both had a thing for the Eurovision Song Contest and he was/is the owner of a very smart little dog, which beat politics in a game of scissors/paper/stone any day of the week. I visit his blog, still disagreeing with him pretty vehemently on any subject other than the Herreys and aniseed treats, but doing so from a position of warmth and respect.
Iain's been onto the Damian McBride thing for a while now. Indeed, he was on the 'to be smeared' list himself. With Dolly Draper denying the existence of the incriminating emails, Iain was going to file a Freedom of Information request. With the whole story now public and Iain proved right, the FoI request turned out to be unnecessary, and Iain's been making the most of his vindication, writing articles here, there and everywhere (I would say left, right and centre, but...) and appearing on almost every channel and managing to stay just this side of a gloat.
Now, following some more digging into the way LabourList - the 'e-network' run by Dolly - is funded (or not, as the case may be), Iain's had to contend with 40 calls on his private phone, some of them threatening, and emails like this, apparently promising to blow Dale's blog off the face of the Internet with denial of service attacks. The way Dale has been treated for getting too close to some uncomfortable truths is nothing short of a disgrace. If Iain's blog is DOS-ed offline, however temporarily, this will be why.
EDIT - 27/5/2010 - A follow-up post to this one appears here.