Labour’s planned smear website: Telegraph gets it wrong

My blog post today was going to be about my experience of the government’s special advisers in the light of the Damian McBride scandal – and I will write about that, later today if I get time – but I’ve spotted a bizarre piece published on the Telegraph website yesterday purporting to be a profile of the Unite official Andrew Dodgshon, who it says is the “apparent frontman” for Red Rag, the empty blog website where McBride proposed to publish unfounded smears against senior Tories.

This article is full of mistakes and its author has obviously not bothered to check any of the contents.

I don’t know what, if any, involvement Dodgshon has with Red Rag. But I have had some dealings with the man, so I can tell you that he isn’t a “journalist and press officer for the Transport and General Workers Union” any more. For over a year he’s actually been based in the political department. And someone should tell the Telegraph about the T&G’s merger to form Unite. He doesn’t live in Milton Keynes either. Charlie Whelan is Unite’s political director and therefore Dodgshon’s boss, but he’s not in charge of press officers, who are in a different department under different bosses. And yes, he does review books for Tribune – as do people far more loyal to the government, like Denis McShane – but why didn’t the article’s author check by putting the website through a Google search?

Come to think of it, why didn’t he get hold of Dodgshon’s phone number – which isn’t hard – and ring him up? This article should have been more rigorously checked before the Telegraph’s web editors let it get published, and it doesn’t reflect well on their standards.

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One Response to “Labour’s planned smear website: Telegraph gets it wrong”

  1. Matt Wardman Says:

    Perhaps the “Press Officer” refused to talk to the Press?

    A classic of boilerplate and glue.

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