For Vice Magazine
Now, if this were a movie, you would hear the audience scream, “DON’T TAKE THE KEY! DON’T GO UP THOSE STAIRS!”
The reporter part of my brain was screaming, too: ‘THIS SMELLS BAD.’ But I couldn’t hear a thing because, while I was out for the story, the memory of Ms Jamaica’s hand in my pocket had drained the blood from my cerebellum. I went up those stairs. Unlocked the door.
BUT FOR GOD’S SAKE, DON’T TAKE OFF YOUR PANTS!
I took off my pants.
When the door opened and Ms Jamaica’s husband walked in (this scamp has a husband?!), I thought, ‘No problem.’
But there was a problem: the photographer and reporter from The Mirror.
The Mirror’s page one splash, in letters bigger than they used for “Hitler defeated”: SEX SCANDAL ROCKS LABOUR CONFERENCE.
This is the third of Palast’s weekly columns for VICE – beginning with a bang: a four-part series on Alex Jones, guns, Piers Morgan and Palast’s penis. If you read the full version of part 3 of these reports right now at Vice Magazine, you get a bonus: a free download copy of Palast’s latest book, the bestseller, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits.
Page two headline: UNDERCOVER MAN’S SNEAKY NIGHT AT LABOUR HOTEL.
Page three headline: FROM THE LIAR TO THE LURKER.
And mucho photos of me and the Distraught Damsel.
And, in The Guardian – my paper – Simon Hoggart reported overhearing The Mirror’s editor, one Piers Morgan, receiving his “thank you” from the Prime Minister’s press spokesman, Alastair Campbell, for “what you did for us” – for “Tony”. Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, the Dark Prince and for those even more powerful in the darkness behind The Prince.
When the ruling class needs to screw us, they hire a screwdriver. And one of their favourite tools is Piers Morgan.
My story began in 1998. A consultant for a Texan company named Enron was shopping to buy influence with the Blair Government, obtained the icky details of how huge US and UK corporations (Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, Tesco, the Texas lottery operator and Enron) used cash and political favours to rewrite laws and obtain inside information worth its weight in gold.
But the Enron man was really Guardian-Observer reporter Greg Palast wearing a wire and taking notes in meetings in “Enron’s suite” at the Tower Hotel, in the ruling-class watering hole of The Reform Club and sipping Lambert Brut in the Banqueting House at Whitehall where King Charles lost his head.
And at the centre of the Casbah of Corruption was the man known as The Prince of Darkness – one Peter Mandelson, Tony Blair’s Karl Rove – his Rasputin – and his boy protégé, Derek Draper, better known as “Dolly” (don’t ask), one of my unwitting and witless sources.
My investigative report, “Lobby-gate: Cash for Access,” took over television news and all the front pages. But Piers Morgan, Blair’s vassal, covered The Mirror’s front page with a not too pretty photo of me under four-inch high letters: “THE LIAR.”
Of course I lied. That’s my job. To get the tapes and documents. But the tapes and documents didn’t lie.
That was 1998. Fast forward a year to 1999 and I’m walking into Ms Jamaica’s room. I won’t repeat her name (even infamy is currency in our world), but will mention that she was Prince Mandelson’s newest toy: his and Blair’s candidate for the Labour Party executive.
Weirdly, it had been me who’d suggested she hook up with Mandelson. She was trying to get into politics and into my pants. I didn’t object to either. I told her she was what Mandelson desperately needed: a “two-fer” – black and female – his perfect cat’s-paw candidate.
(If this is all getting a bit complex, welcome to my life and my somewhat distinctive methods of investigation. For the full story, check out my book Vultures’ Picnic.)
A year later, after breaking my Lobby-gate story, I remembered Ms Jamaica and hoped, correctly, that Mandy’s latest political beard was still interested in “dancing”. Oh, she was, but now the Labour Party minders had kept her under lock and key at the party conference where she was running for the top post. When they found out that their nemesis, Greg Palast, was escorting her to the New Statesmen ball, they whisked the foolish little lady safely away from her hotel room – after having her leave a key.
Once me and my penis grabbed the key and fell into the honey trap, they called the master truth-twister, Piers, who ran the story as me sneaking my way into her room. (That’s a crime, by the way, and Labour demanded that Jamaica and her hubby file a police complaint. I only avoided arrest and getting dumped to the curb by The Guardian because a hotel clerk blew the whistle. He signed an affidavit revealing that Ms Jamaica had given him the key with a request I go into her room and wait for her.)
And Ms Jamaica? Labour slandered her, dumped her, let the press savage her. Boo hoo. Except for The Mirror, which continued the fantasy story. In May 2004, The Mirror finally fired Piers for yet another fake story that Morgan refused – in the face of photo evidence – to retract.
So do I have it in for Piers Moron (as Private Eye calls him)? Naw. The Blairs, the Mandelsons and the corporate powers that fund them will always find their stooges, fluffers, enforcers, reputation hit-men, liars-for-hire and goons.
Moron’s just more craven, more malleable, more enthusiastically scumbag-ish than most, and so paid more than most – in both cash and, it seems, legal protection.
I’ve said that Morgan must be deported from the USA; a fugitive from justice. No joke. We’ll get to that in the next column.
But Morgan’s moral crime is more serious than visa violations and even the felonies of which he boasts. Piers Morgan rents himself as the punisher for the powerful, assault weapon for the privileged.
After all, I can’t believe that Piers, personally, gives a damn about Greg Palast’s pleasure pickle. It’s only that by agreeing to smear those who expose corporate corruption, that Piers Morgan – and too many like him – can curry favour with their corporate media masters and their politician toy boys.
Part Three – Deport Piers Morgan: In Chains
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Palast is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, Armed Madhouse and the highly acclaimed Vultures’ Picnic, named Book of the Year 2012 on BBC Newsnight Review.
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