A semi-regular series on the ‘chequered history’ of the mayor’s new spin doctor, MATT “PAGE 3” BAKER, former bag-carrier and sleaze slinger for Labour’s hugely entertaining MP for Rochdale, Simon Danczuk.
Your caring, sharing, sleuthing BRISTOLIAN has managed to track down some information on the fake internet accounts run by Mayor Sleazeball’s new spin doctor, MATT “PAGE 3” BAKER when he was employed by Rochdale MP, SIMON DANCZUK.
It seems Baker and Danczuk first met when working on The Big Issue In The North in the late 90s. Danczuk left to set up VISION TWENTYONE, a social research company, with RUTH TURNER who went on to be Tony Blair’s director of government relations and the chair of his Faith Foundation.
The company, which specialised in using government cash to set up citizens juries to come up with ways of improving communities, went tits-up when the Labour government cash finally dried up in 2012 OWING £222,000. Danczuk is quoted as describing his business flop as, “a difficult experience but I’ve learned a lot of lessons from it.”
So that’s all right then.
Baker, meanwhile, went to work at MANCHESTER BUSINESS SCHOOL until the pair became reacquainted in 2007 when Danczuk was selected as Labour PPC for Rochdale and Baker started working for him. Although it’s unclear whether Baker was also working for the Business School at the same time. Efforts to establish his period of employment there are currently ongoing.
The BRISTOLIAN’s been told that even in 2007, “most of Matt Baker’s activities for Danczuk seem to have centred on the press and on ‘BLACK OPS.’”
Indeed, Baker was forced to admit that one particularly virulent contributor to the popular ROCHDALE ONLINE forum, a ‘MR PHIL SEDGLEY’, was in fact him! He was also using several other PSEUDONYMS to attack opponents both within and outside the Labour Party. While actual people in the Labour Party were often bemused when challenged over letters to the press that had appeared in their name that they clearly had no knowledge of!
Then there was ‘RUTH LUGER’, who was especially nasty. This turned out to be the wife of his boss at the Business School and it’s almost certain that he wasn’t just using her name but also her account.
When Baker was confronted on the phone about ‘Ruth Luger’ he’s alleged to have BURST INTO TEARS and begged that it didn’t go any further because he was sure he would get the sack and he had just become a father! No action to stop Baker appears to have been taken.
During the general election campaign in 2010, Baker turned more attention to the local press. He invented several names for himself with which to bombard the Rochdale Observer and others with stories and letters. Among the names he was forced to admit were actually him were ‘SEAN CAIRNS’, ‘WILLIAM RILEY’ and ‘HARRY RUSH’!
He is also suspected of using many more fake identities. They all ‘lived’ in properties that were either empty or didn’t exist at all and he was able to get away with it because the papers only published a road name rather than a number. All these MADE-UP letters and stories attacked opponents rather than supported his own candidate.
At the time Baker was living in neighbouring CALDER VALLEY and he had also become the campaign manager for one of the candidates in the Labour selection battle there. This started turning nasty too. Baker was assumed to be behind much of the poison that had been injected into proceedings and was quite often turned away from Labour Party meetings.
The names he was using to write to the ROCHDALE OBSERVER even started to appear in the HALIFAX EVENING COURIER. Again, always attacking opponents.
So with Baker now installed in the hot seat in Bristol and running his campaign, it’s pretty clear what type of campaign we can expect from Mayor Smear isn’t it?