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Tony Blair’s former press secretary, Alistair Campbell, heard those words from the Guardian’s Michael White on 5 November 1991 – and promptly punched him in the face.
Campbell was the not-so-humble political editor on the Daily Mirror at the time and it had just been reported that his paper’s proprietor, Cap’n Bob Maxwell, had drowned after mysteriously plunging off the back of his yacht. Maxwell was a crook, whose various crimes were subsequently proven to include looting the Mirror pension fund. Michael White reacted to the news of his death with what he described as ‘unbridled glee’, walking from newspaper office to newspaper office in the Palace of Westminster telling everyone he came across that ‘It shows there is a god!’
Campbell’s loyalty to his employer was as great then as it was to be towards Tony Blair later. The next day, in a paper stuffed with pages of Maxwell tributes, he wrote:
‘He was a big man with a big heart, helping sick employees in need and backing charities.’
Ten years later, Michael White revisited out the incident at length in the Guardian. ‘It is a little-reported fact that I hit him back …’ he wrote. ‘After half a dozen blows we were pulled apart by assorted peacemakers, greater in number as the years have passed, a bit like the IRA men who later claimed to have been in the Dublin post office during the Easter Rising.’
Campaign groups highlight UK complicity in Saudi Arabia's human rights abuses.
Three founders of Momentum talk to Ashish Ghadiali about the two years that have transformed their lives and the fortunes of the British left.
Andrew Smith from Campaign Against the Arms Trade gives the run-down on one of the UK's most profitable - and most deadly - industries.
The real story behind the fire in Grande Synthe’s Linière refugee camp, Dunkirk. From 'Bordered Lives – How Europe fails refugees and migrants' by Hsiao-Hung Pai
Javier Pérez De La Cruz writes about the working class Berlin neighbourhood wrung dry by gentrifiers.
Across the world, thousands of protesters are taking on the planet’s biggest fossil fuel companies. We should support them – and if we can, we should join them. By Kara Moses
Students are suffering the effects of financial instability, stress, and slashed mental health services. Mark Crawford reports.
They're not defending free speech - they're just seeking to shore up their own power, writes Ilyas Nagdee
How can the heavily-armed Israeli state claim to be victimised by one teenage activist? By Richard Seymour.
Governments are manufacturing a new 'enemy within', write Yasser Louati and Malia Bouattia
Jeremy Hunt is poised to flog the last of the NHS
Peter Roderick sounds the alarm on an 'attack on the fundamental principles of the NHS'.
Viva Siva, 1923-2018
A. Sivanandan, who died this week, was a hugely important figure in the politics of race and class. As part of our tributes, Red Pepper is republishing this 2009 profile of him by Arun Kundnani
Sivanandan: When memory forgets a giant
Daniel Renwick calls for the whole movement to discover and remember the vital work of A. Sivanandan, who died this week
A master-work of graphic satire
American Jewish cartoonist Eli Valley’s comic commentary on America, the US Jewish diaspora and Israel is nothing if not near the knuckle, Richard Kuper writes
Meet the frontline activists facing down the global mining industry
Activists are defending land, life and water from the global mining industry. Tatiana Garavito, Sebastian Ordoñez and Hannibal Rhoades investigate.
Transition or succession? Zimbabwe’s future looks uncertain
The fall of Mugabe doesn't necessarily spell freedom for the people of Zimbabwe, writes Farai Maguwu
Don’t let Corbyn’s opponents sneak onto the Labour NEC
Labour’s powerful governing body is being targeted by forces that still want to strangle Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, writes Alex Nunns
Labour Party laws are being used to quash dissent
Richard Kuper writes that Labour's authorities are more concerned with suppressing pro-Palestine activism than with actually tackling antisemitism