Saturday, August 20, 2011

Lord Credo 'outed' on twitter BUT how can we believe the outer, who the hell is he ..who are either of them and do we really care ?... says she a now very gullible unfollower !

Lord Credo (@lord_credo)  is well known to those interested in politics on Twitter.  He described himself as "a government Tory communications guy" on his profile; now he says he's a "former govt comms guy".  He has 4400 followers and is in the top 10 "House of Twits" favourite political tweeters currently.

In brief this is the picture of how he has portrayed of himself:

- He was David Cameron's personal advisor and representative
- He reported only and personally to David Cameron and the Chief Whip
- Only the Chief Whip and his "good friend" William Hague knew his identity online
- He was on the same level with Andy Coulson, was offered his job, but refused it
- He previously worked for the Canadian PM and was personally head-hunted to work for ours
- Somehow, however, he also fitted in working for the Archbishop of Canterbury in comms
- He had read theology, trained as a priest, worked as a policeman briefly in Ontario, then as a pilot, before going into politics/ communications. He suffers from MS.

Credo resigned his job for David Cameron in May, but is currently on gardening leave.  This was because of a personal falling out, even though the Prime Minister has apparently called him and begged him to return to his job.  It coincides with the diagnosis of a brain tumour (more on this later).

Credo's "offline" name is Mike Paterson.  He has always taken pains to protect his identity, because he is so "high level".  I did hear him give this name, however, in my presence to officers of the Essex Constabulary in May 2011.

Emperor's New Clothes

I had huge doubts Credo could possibly be who he said he was quite early on.  Many of us did; how could anyone be tweeting as much as he did in a job so high level, and be so indiscreet about government goings on.  However, we met and he seemed genuine. Very likeable in fact.

Moreover I met him the presence of a BBC chap (who is real) and two people who work in the Commons (who are also real).  I saw him talking online to people like Sally Bercow (I was in Hampshire hotel lobby with him when her name flashed up on his mobile).  I'd been to drinks with him and the infamous undercover blogger and real life journalist Fleet Street Fox.  More recently he's been talking openly to Louise Mensch MP: people see this, they see his profile bio, and don't think any thing more than "he must be real".

Remember the Hans Christian Andersen Story? Everyone in the crowd looks on at the Emperor who is not wearing anything.  Because everyone thinks everyone else can see the lovely clothes, not a soul says a thing.  Credo didn't ever turn up in nice clothes though - he wore the same threadbare ill-fitting jacket every time I saw him, coming from "work" or from home, clutching a dirty worn out BBC bag.  But none of us was the little boy in the crowd who shouted out "he's naked!"

Abuse of Friendship

Credo weaseled his way into my group of friends.  He and his girlfriend spent the entire summer staying with various of them, moving from house to house, apparently because his house in Sussex had sold and a new purchase had fallen through.  The longest was 8 weeks with a lovely girl, from whom he "borrowed" money and didn't pay a penny in food contributions, towards utilities or the huge phone bill they ran up.  He also borrowed cash from another friend on Twitter.  It was a standing joke that Credo would come along to drinks and forget his wallet.  He has asked all of us to put him up at one time another; more recently there have been requests for money.

When he was "diagnosed" with cancer - a malignant brain tumour - we were all extremely concerned.  He announced it online: his follower count shot up.  Offers of support and help poured in.  He told us his wife, from whom he was estranged, had suddenly committed suicide in Sydney just before their divorce was finalised.  She was a medical doctor and knew which pills to take.  As a result of the divorce however, all his accounts were frozen.  The latest was that he was expecting a cheque for hundreds of thousands of pounds from the estate - but somehow it never arrived.  Credo's cancer fortunately disappeared amazingly rapidly; when I saw him I couldn't believe how well he looked.  It was almost as if he had never had it... 

I'd had a former Lib Dem friend who had constantly doubted Credo could be who he said he was.  He had worked at the House of Commons and rationally set out his doubts.  I simply refused to believe it.  I liked Mike and yes some of these things were a bit odd.  When he claimed to have been instrumental in bringing Andy Coulson down and presented him with damning evidence - well it was brushed off as Credo blowing his own trumpet.  The epic 48 hour drive he made to Scotland at Christmas just didn't seem real; the time he was in Amsterdam and crossing areas on foot faster than a gazelle (at around 18 stone, Mike is NO gazelle) didn't quite add up.  The sheer amount of drama and chaos going on in one person's life - from his mother having a stroke, then breast cancer, then a heart-by pass... through the dead wife, to his current girlfriend being committed.  It just didn't seem plausible.  But my friends knew him and "proper" people were talking to him online.


Then he came up to my home in Suffolk last week. He was showing off about having picked up "1000 followers during the riots".  It seemed to all be going to his head.  I'd unfortunately seen this
before (Fake QC, much less high profile).  Mike offered to invest £250,000 in my business project.  He failed to recognise a very well known Henry Mee portrait at a friend's house - its twin is hanging at Portcullis House - and seemed embarrassed.  He failed to answer an email about the investment.  He claimed his phone had been switched off for 24 hours (given the PM calls him night and day this seemed unlikely).  He and his girlfriend made a big show of his having poured red wine over their laptop - a reason he hadn't answered my email perhaps?  I'm not Miss Marple, but alarm bells were ringing and this made me want to talk to people.

So those of us who knew him started talking to one another.  It's not easy if you're wrong to be going out there and doubting every thing about a friend, to your mutual friends.  Through a contact, David Cameron's Deputy Chief of Staff confirmed no one had knowledge of a Michael Paterson who had ever worked for the Prime Minister.  I got in touch with the people I'd seen him with at pubs in Whitehall: no one had actually checked him out.  When he boasted he'd had "top level background checks" I asked the person who apparently had carried them out.  He hadn't.

I also spoke to Mark Stamps - a good friend on Twitter and one of our circle of friends.  Now the whole thing really came crashing down.  Whilst Mike was enjoying the free hospitality of another friend, he'd carelessly left his passport lying around.  His name wasn't Mike Paterson - it was in fact Michael Gordon Bracci.  A couple of photocopies were taken, just in case.  Why would he be lying about his name to us all? Mark had asked an official contact to do some checks.  Mark had been doing a lot of work building up a dossier without any of us knowing.  No one with those names had any form of House of Commons clearance.

Religious Right Alert

It doesn't take much to do some Internet searches.  Michael Gordon Bracci is the real name of another alias Credo has used: Mike Daley.  He appears on the "Religious Right Alert" website as a "notorious and self-pronounced 'shit disturber' on the Canadian Anglican Right".  He seems to be some relatively low-level character who sets up cyber squats and was pushing for the schism of the Anglican Church in North America over gay and women's rights through a body called the "Cranmer Foundation" (of which he was the sole director). He moved to London in 2009 and suffers from MS.

Mike Daley is married to Dr Sarah Lublink.  She is not a dead medical doctor in Sydney, but in fact teaches philosophy at the University of Oklahoma.  She is a former evangelical Christian, turned traditionalist.  From what I can see on line she appears to be very much alive.  She did grow up in the Black Forest, which he had mentioned a couple of times to me about his "late wife".  She talks in one Canadian magazine interview about their traditional marriage and how her husband Mike (Daley) has moved to London for a job in PR, but that they make things work.  I've no idea if she knows about his now girlfriend and how that fits in exactly.


Well, Credo is a fake.  He's a confidence trickster, he's pulled the wool over the eyes of many people and he's been left to do it by the actual Downing Street communications team.  Did no one there think to check out and stop someone so well known on Twitter in political circles, who claimed to be so high level?  Instead Tory MPs were happily chatting to him in public.

He's taken hospitality and money from friends of mine.  According to his passport he has no residency or work permit to be in this country.  He has weaseled his way in to a group of people - including gays and lesbians - even though he is a traditionalist Christian and has worked to back Church homophobia.  He has spoken positively about people I know from the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement - but whom he must actually know from the bitter "other side of the fence".

He's currently - apparently - back in Canada, where his mother died unexpectedly just a few hours after his arrival.  His response to the hundreds of messages of sympathy and all the attention on Twitter was "wow, thanks everybody."  Michael Gordon Bracci been building up a totally false identity for himself and thriving off the attention he's been getting.  His motivation? Well he is clearly a fantasist and quite probably not at all well from a mental perspective.

How do I feel? Angry, sick, embarrassed, violated, and furious on behalf of my friends he has exploited.  Police and Immigration should be involved here.  If I find out Mike has set his foot in this country again, they will be.
Credo: the irony of the name is not lost on me