'It is not through any attempt at distancing, merely a statement of fact, to say that I barely know Mr McBride. I was vaguely aware of him being around the Treasury when I was in Number 10, and vaguely aware that he was closer to the Charlie Whelan school of strategic communications than my own. (I'm aware we tend to get lumped together in some sections, but I know the differences, even if they don't.)
In more recent times, I have been in meetings where Mr McBride has beeen present, but never heard him speak. I have heard his colleagues both defend him vigorously, and attack him equally forecefully.
But on reading the emails he sent, I was struck not just by their unpleasantness, but also by their incompetence and, most of all, how much they miss the point about where we are politically.' The biggest piece of spin about Brown has been the idea that he is principled and driven by his moral compass while Blair was an opportunist obsessed by presentation. This incident should finally put the lie to that. It exposes the Brown mentality for all the world to see.