Happy New Year to you all

May I wish you all a Happy New Year. Guido will be disappearing into alcoholic oblivion watching Ken Livingstone’s fireworks and listening to Big Ben chime midnight at his party. I do however have a much better idea for using gunpowder by the Thames… if only…

Out With the Old – 2004 Year of Political Liars

As Guido gets older he gets increasingly weary of lying politicians, Jeremy Paxman famously said that when he interviews a politician he wonders “why that lying bastard is lying to me.” Lying seems central to modern politics. Politicians have such contempt for us that they lie to us without flinching.

We went to war and lost a hundred soldiers lives on the basis of lies, from the prime minister down lies were told, Tony Blair is the Liar-in-Chief. The Tory leader is no better, why does he tell us complete bullshit like “we are united” on the issue of ID cards. Does he think we can’t read about the shadow cabinet dissent in the papers or that we can’t count the number of Tory MPs who failed to vote for ID cards?

Charles Kennedy (although to be honest I don’t pay him much attention) seems to be more honest. Voters would find that attractive if were not for the endless examples of LibDem dishonesty and duplicity in local government.

The expenses fiddles at Westminster may be small change compared to the dodges of MEPs, but it matters. We elect politicians on the basis of trust, we trust them to do what is right and we hold them to the highest standards. We do not expect them to be fiddling the postage and claiming tens of thousands of pounds for travel costs when they live a few stops away from Westminster on the tube.

But worst of all its the corrosive lying on a day-to-day basis, spin may embellish and put policy in the most advantageous light, but when spending plans are announced repeatedly as new spending, it is lying. Blunkett pathetically lying to hold on to office when he is in charge of the justice system is unacceptable. The collective amnesia of the civil service was a disgrace, John Gieve should be sacked, not knighted. Labour MP Tony Clarke, active in the politics of football, lied about his hooligan past. He could have come clean and said he was a naughty boy in his youth, but he lied because it was easier. From the top to the bottom lying is acceptable.

If politicians could make one collective New Years resolution it should be to tell the truth.

What Goes Around, Comes Around…

Simon Hoggart, who once dubbed working class wit Dennis Skinner “the beast of leg over” after an amorous endeavor became public, was welcomed back when he entered the press gallery by Skinner – “aye, ‘ere comes the shagger!”

Security Blunkett

Lying Blunkett has, Guido notices, managed because of “security reasons” to hang on to his Belgravia des res & chaffeur driven car, all at our expense, despite being relegated to the back benches. A consolation prize from Blair. How many previous Home Secretaries get bodyguards, chaffeur driven cars and a Belgravia home courtesy of the taxpayer? None.

Jowell: "I talk bollocks"

Tessa Jowell, culture secretary, tells the FT in an interview today that ministers are talking too much meaningless government jargon that “real people” do not understand. Tessa reveals she keeps a “little book of bollocks” listing the gobbledegook spouted by her and her colleagues. She calls on the government to “cut the crap” and reconnect with the public in the forthcoming general election campaign. “I have what I call a bollocks list where I just sit in meetings and I write down some of the absurd language we use – and we are all guilty of this, myself included. The risk is when you have been in government for eight years you begin to talk the language which is not the language of the real world,” or the truth, eh Mr Blunkett?

“Reprofiling expenditure”, “sustainable eating in schools”, “regional cultural data feedback rollout”, “strategic objectives for evaluation”, and “weaning the profile”, are some of the more unintelligible catchphrases on Ms Jowell’s hit-list.

Saying that bureaucratic language has become a “barrier” between ministers and the public, she urges the government to reach out to voters in the run-up to the election. “It’s cutting the crap, talking directly to people and facing their anger, their optimism, their frustration, their enthusiasm.” Hmmm, I would love to see a few ministers reaching out to hunt supporters.

Pollard: "Preposterous… Pull the other one"

Polly has yet to call Blunkett a liar, but he does say on his blog

… there is already one element of the affair which is self-evidently preposterous. According to Mr Blunkett’s explanation, he forgot putting into his red ministerial box a letter about the visa application for his own son’s nanny. I am unable to comprehend how such an explanation is remotely possible. This is a man who can recall trivial conversations from 20 years ago with constituents about refuse collections; with a memory so powerful, its like has never before been seen in politics. And yet he forgot, he says, that he put his son’s nanny’s visa application into the system.

Pull the other one.



On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me,

One incriminating fax…

The Big Blunket Lies

Amongst the many untruths and deceptive statements identified and alluded to by Budd in his report, two key issues jump out. Blunkett’s explanation that his only involvement in backing the application for Kimberly Quinn’s nanny was to check over the form in his private office was originally central to his defence.

It was a lie.

Budd’s report bluntly contradicts that claim and concludes:



“Neither Mr Blunkett nor anyone in his private office was involved in providing the application form, checking it or delivering it to the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) in Croydon.”

Blunkett and his spin doctors changed tack altering the story to claim he used the letter only to illustrate the policy issue of processing delays, not to fast-track the Nanny’s particular application. That transparent lie is now proven false. Within two weeks of Blunkett getting the letter she got her passport back with the visa. What was the average time for processing applications for a nanny not working for the Home Secretary’s mistress?

“The average time for processing extended applications for ILR for domestic workers at the time of the application was 172 days.”

So those denials were also lies.

So when Blair said “You leave government with your integrity intact” that wasn’t really true was it? He lied, spinning furiously, misused public funds, and fathered a child by another man’s wife. Only an arrogant deluded politician would claim in the face of that record “I have built my political career and earned the trust of the people I have served through being honest and truthful.”

Blogging Budd Live

The full report is here

[…]

Blogging Budd Live

“People have not been able to recollect” But they have been able to operate a shredder!

[…]

Blogging Budd Live

“Not been able to discover the precise link” – Budd says no smoking gun, but he was looking for one. Croydon IND department exonerated.

[…]

Blogging Budd Live

Budd does not clear Blunkett! Press pack is sceptical. Looks like Budd is saying “I can’t prove anything”.

[…]



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Quote of the Day

Andrew Neil on the dying Dead Tree Press

“I read more bloggers now than mainstream columnists, because they’ve got more interesting things to say. Too many columnists today make you think, ‘Yeah, I think you’ve said that 10 times before and I’ve just noticed your column has not go a single fact in it’”.

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