LOSER: GORDON BROWN
The Prime Minister cannot escape responsibility for the McBride emails. As Jonathan blogged yesterday, the politics of spin and smear aren't a bolt on extra to the Brown-Blair years but have been in their DNA. In The Sun Trevor Kavanagh blames McBride's master for his behaviour: "There's no such thing as a badly behaved dog — only a badly trained dog. Damian “Mad Dog” McBride was bred to kill. And he was obedient to one master — Gordon Brown. McBride, alias “McPoison”, was recruited from the Treasury by the then Chancellor, who was impressed by his natural aggression. The PM likes to be seen as a bookish intellectual, a Son of the Manse devoted to “the right thing”. In fact he spends more of his remorseless energy plotting against perceived enemies — Labour and Tory — than on making Britain great again."
WINNER: GUIDO FAWKES
He's not everyone's cup of tea and Ridley Grove warns the Right against getting too close to him but Guido has undoubtedly masterminded Britain's biggest new media coup. We may never know how he got hold of the incriminating emails but he cleverly maximised their impact. He sat on them for a period and then with all the cunning of a great military strategist released them over the usually quiet Easter weekend, after teasing the world about their content and then using the biggest Sunday newspapers to expose the dark heart of Brown's Downing Street.
The events of the weekend have, of course, caused most damage to Labour but coming on top of public fury at MPs' use of expenses they will have contributed to the sense that politics in Britain is fundamentally broken.
WINNER: TOM HARRIS MP AND LABOURHOME
There were a number of Labour bloggers who quickly distanced themselves from Derek Draper and Damian McBride but two stand out. Tom Harris MP and LabourHome's Alex Hilton. Tom Harris wrote: "We screwed up, big time. We have no-one — absolutely no-one at all — to blame for this but ourselves. The damage the Labour Party and the government have sustained this last 24 hours has been entirely self-inflicted. And the people behind this sordid little mess owe everyone named in these emails a very public apology." LabourHome also quickly called on Downing Street to fire its attack dogs.
LOSER: THE DAILY TELEGRAPH'S POLITICAL TEAM
Cheekily using The Telegraph's own website Guido has accused The Telegraph of betraying sources, breaking confidences and even breaching a signed non-disclosure agreement. Its Saturday front page story seemed to be an exercise in damage limitation by Downing Street and Damian McBride.
AND WAS THE BLOGOSPHERE AN OVERALL WINNER OR LOSER?
As well as proving that the blogosphere is now a force in UK politics there's a danger that the weekend also confirms the view of many that the blogosphere is a place of gossip and tittle-tattle. Believing that all blogs are the same is like saying all magazines or newspapers or television programmes are the same. Blogs are as different from each other as Nuts is different from The Economist. As well as gossip the blogosphere is also home to intelligence that shames the old media. UK Polling Report, for example, provides a Rolls Royce guide to opinion polls. Slugger O'Toole offers indispensable commentary on Northern Ireland. And for military strategy Defence of the Realm is unmissable.