Monday, July 31, 2006

Tory Radio Re-Launches Website

The Tory Beast of Bassetlaw has clearly had a bit of a makeover, either his picture has been airbrushed or he is wearing make-up. Jonathan Sheppard has decided to take Tory Radio to a new audience with a new website, Guido has listened to a few of his podcasts and he has a knack of letting the interviewee let on more than they intended. The gritty Northern interviewer got the mincing metrosexual quote out of Frankie and got Tebbit to admit he really wants to hug a hoodie. Guido found it a bit bizarre to be cheerfully invited to personally go and live-blog the Tory party conference by the party chairman in the last podcast. Not sure that is the most tempting offer, but throw in drinks with that redhead from CCHQ and it is a deal…

As the “Tory Radio” name suggests it is completely unfair and unbalanced, but it does represent a significantly more open-minded approach in that the likes of Francis Maude are willing, without any editorial control, to take grassroots questions for podcasting. Can you really imagine Hazel Blears not going into her Blair-bot mode if she was asked unscripted questions? Because ToryRadio.com is unofficial and outside the control of CCHQ there is always a chance it could go madly off message. The jingles are a bit Smashy and Nicey…

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Boles Confirms Mayoral Ambitions

As Guido reported a few weeks ago, Nick Boles has confirmed to ConservativeHome that he wants to run for mayor of London. A friend of Dave and head wonk at Policy Exchange, Guido believes a plank of his platform will be to bring back in some form the much loved London Routemaster bus. Londoners loathe the long bendy-buses so he is on to a vote winner with this idea.
No news as yet as to if Peter Stringfellow plans to stand. Guido is willing to be his campaign manager if he does…

UPDATE : Nick emails to say in true Cameroonie fashion that he is making no policy commitments at this stage. However “The Routemaster had fantastic qualities which its replacements conspicuously lack. Livingstone has shown a lack of imagination and nerve in giving in to the Routemaster’s detractors at TfL without demanding that they come up with a new bus design which combines the advantages of the Routemaster with better disabled access. I would not be so easily browbeaten.”

Prescott : Sexual Harassment Writ andPolice Confirm Corruption Investigation

Prezza is under more pressure* ahead of becoming the cowboy in charge of the country. As reported here two weeks ago, the Yard has received two formal complaints regarding alleged offences under the 1889-1916 Prevention of Corruption Acts. The complainants are George Bathurst, a Windsor based Tory businessman and the LibDem MP, Norman Baker.

The Met Police’s Press Office is only now confirming that police are studying claims that Prezza could have broken anti-corruption laws by staying on US billionaire Philip Anschutz’s ranch.

Elsewhere the writ from Tricia McDaid, who worked for Prescott when he was the transport shadow has now been filed in the High Court and formally served on Prescott. In papers filed with the court, Ms McDaid says: “I am bringing a claim for damages and my consequential losses as a result of my former employer’s negligent behaviour.”

Some of her allegations:

  • At a party at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum in 1992. She said: “He started to kiss me. He pulled my dress out, looked down my top and said, ‘What have you got on under there? How come you can’t see anything?’ I was wearing a body stocking as opposed to a bra and knickers… It was embarrassing for him to have done that in front of so many people.”
  • In 1993, after Labour’s defeat in the 1992 election, McDaid was recruited to work for the party. One of her tasks was to help Prescott in his role as shadow transport secretary. “He was wary from the start because he was aware his behaviour had been inappropriate”
  • “I just hated it. He said that since I wasn’t a member of the Labour party I must be a spy. He made a fuss because he had harassed me and he didn’t like the fact he was under my brief.”
  • “He was a boastful, arrogant, nasty pig. He just jumped on you when he felt like it at a party. He had no manners whatsoever. Several times I nearly slapped him in the face.”
  • He “jumped” on her at parties hoping for sexual favours. “He just leapt on me at one party and his tongue was halfway down my throat.”
  • She had to wear trouser suits to avoid his wandering hands in the lifts at his Westminster office. She added that she was too afraid to protest at the time for fear of losing her job.
  • “He started to kiss me. He pulled my dress out, looked down my top and said, ‘What have you got on under there, how come you can’t see anything?’. I was wearing a body stocking as opposed to a bra and knickers. It was so embarrassing for him to have done that in front of so many people… A few weeks later he came to my house. He just turned up on the doorstep at about 12 o’clock at night. I was in East Dulwich and he lived in this seamen’s union flat in Clapham and he just came over. I cooked him dinner and sat there and chatted. He was looking for sexual favours but what are you going to do? It was sexual harassment but I never made a formal complaint. If you complained about sexual harassment, you would have never worked again. We did not have sexual relations. But he used to get really drunk on whisky and would say he had a dossier about people in the Labour party sleeping with one another.”
  • “Afterwards I worked as a political journalist for the Irish News. I remember him at a party at the Irish embassy. I was surrounded by people but he kissed me on the lips and started to put his tongue down my throat. I laid into him. I got quite aggressive and there was a scene. He accused me of being a Tory spy.”
  • She said he also turned up at her house uninvited at night looking for “sexual favours”.
  • “It was all about sex. That’s all it was ever about with him. He saw women as wee girls and would just grab their arses. He would do it to anybody in a skirt. I started wearing trouser suits so I wouldn’t get groped. We would have meetings in his office and he would put his hand up his secretary’s skirt while everybody was there.”
Tricia McDaid endured a campaign of harassment for two years, afraid to complain for fear she would be sacked.


*Yes Sir Michael, round two has begun

Friendly FoEs

Anna Mitchell from the Friends of the Earth press office was on the phone to Guido and he got on his bike and went back to their offices.

Anna looked me in the eye and said “that is not our rubbish”. Guido pointed out that it was outside their office and had a Friends of the Earth sticker on it. She said it was not their bin, the rubbish must come from their neighbours and she offered me the chance to come view their extensive recycling facilities. Guido declined the offer. Anna clearly was genuine and Guido is a sucker for a pretty face – so will accept their claim.

However, there is clearly a missed recycling opportunity here for them literally on their doorstep. All that paper waste and their handy recycling facilities…

Not So Friendly to the Earth

Guido’s friends have noticed that he is riding about on a bicycle – not in some emulation of Cameron but because his scooter has been stolen for the third time this year. Since it is sunny and baby Ms Fawkes enjoys riding in the safety seat on the back, it seems like a good idea, as well as being healthy and green.

Bicycling along earlier this morning Guido passed by Friends of the Earth‘s offices. The “holier than thou” crowd who campaign for more recycling had their rubbish outside dumped in a commercial waste dumper bin awaiting collection. That was surprising in itself – you would expect a recycling bin or even a composter. As well as all the cardboard boxes, office paper, cardboard wine case (Spanish red, non-organic) and other easily recycled materials there was even a Starbucks coffee cup. Ironic that CCHQ has fairtrade coffee inhouse and someone at FoE sups from the cup of the devil itself.

So Guido’s first attempt at actual muckraking uncovers a hypocritical mini-scandal at the Green HQ. Guido has checked and there are recycling facilities only a few hundred yards from FoE’s offices.

Don’t Like Mondays?

Just remember that our ruling classes have 11 weeks off and won’t be back in their offices until October 9th. MPs will of course be on full pay…

Laura Ashley Jul06 468x60 banner

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Nominations Open:2006 Press Plagiarist of the Year

This unique, specially commissioned, beautiful trophy and conceptual artwork representing the until now under-recognised journalistic skills of cutting and pasting will once again be awarded to the journalist nominated by blog readers to have excelled in this under-recognised area.

This year we are making two changes to the award – an international category to recognise the efforts of foreign journalists. The winner of the UK award will, in addition to the trophy, also receive a specially drafted Claim for Monies Owed from the Courts.

Let Guido remind you of the nomination criteria: a story has to be pinched from an original blog source, either verbatim or in essence, and no credit / payment given to the original source. This qualifies as plagiarism. Similar stories on subjects eliciting similar comments do not pass this test, since even lazy journalists can have the same ideas as brilliant bloggers.

International interest in this award is high, nominees will be nerve wracked. Get nominating…

2005 winners here. More about the awards of last year.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Handbags at Brown : Gordon’s SpAd Attacks Gay Paper

Following Pink News investigation which revealed that Gordon has consistently failed to turn up to vote for gay rights, his SpAd Damian McBride went off on one: “This is a ridiculous, irresponsible and shameful piece of garbage from a newspaper which does not understand the parliamentary process. If The Pink News wants to portray Gordon Brown as homophobic, can they explain why he has done more than any politician in history to reform the tax system in favour of gay couples”.

Editor Marc Shoffman said: Pink News does not believe the report was irresponsible, whilst we understand the time pressures of the Chancellor, the fact is that if the Whips believe the legislation was ‘flagship’ this suggests that someone who themselves seeks to become Prime Minister should also attend... The Treasury is a 5 minute walk from the House of Commons, if you passionately believe in something you can take some time out of the day to vote for it, especially as many of the votes were conducted outside of office hours.”

Gordon has on 14 separate occasions failed to vote when issues relating to gay equality were voted on. He has failed to support the government’s equalisation of the age of consent, the abolition of Section 28, gay couples being able to jointly adopt, civil partnerships and the Equality Act. Tony Blair made the votes…

Snouts in the Trough : Peter Hain Again

Guido does not begrudge Peter Hain his boy-racer passion for fast cars. In his own younger days Guido was known to race about in a Lotus Elise and do the odd handbrake turn in a rally car. As these pictures show Hain enjoyed himself immensely dressing up and racing cars at a Rally Ireland event in Sligo.

Unlike Peter Hain, Guido paid for his boy-racer jollies out of his own pocket rather than charge it to the taxpayer. Guido’s flights and helicopters were at his own expense. Peter Hain charged to the taxpayer the £10,754 costs of his flights and expenses. There is no political justification for this, he is just enjoying himself at the taxpayers expense. No doubt he will claim some bogus “security” justification. Look at his smile in these pictures, he is laughing at you the taxpayer.

Since when has a playboy lifestyle been the chargeable expense of a minister of the crown? He should get his turbocharged snout out of the trough and pay back every penny.

See also Snouts in the Trough : Peter Hain

Lost Constituency

Labour’s approved candidates have received two emails in the last two days from HQ:
Dear NPP applicant,

CONSTITUENCY LABOUR PARTIES SEEKING CANDIDATES FOR THE NEXT GENERAL ELECTION

You are receiving this letter/email because you applied to the National Parliamentary Panel by the end of March deadline set by the NEC for early selections. If you have not provided the NPP co-ordinator with an email address, please forward these details to legal_queries@new.labour.org.uk in order that the party can stay in regular contact with you, update you on training, interviews, selections and other relevant information.

Please note that these details are also available on the members-only area of the Labour Party website – http://www.labour.org.uk – as a potential candidate, you should check this page regularly.

Applications for seats must be in the format of a standard two page CV which is also available from the members’ only area of the website, or directly from Procedures Secretaries.

You are reminded that the candidates’ code of conduct must be adhered to at all times. Following the publication of a timetable for a constituency (and once aspiring candidates have formally expressed an interest in a seat) and on payment of £20, potential candidates are entitled to branch secretary and membership lists.

If you have not logged on to the members’ area of the party’s website before, you will need your membership number. The log-in box is on the left hand side of the web-page.

The following CLPs are currently seeking candidates for the forthcoming general election. Details of the CLP, the Procedures Secretary (to whom applications should be addressed) and the deadline by which all applications should be with the Procedures Secretary are also attached.

PS: Please note if you change any of your details you should inform Membership Services as well by calling 08705 900 200.

General queries on parliamentary selections and the National Parliamentary Panel should be made to the Compliance Unit on legal_queries@new.labour.org.uk

Yours sincerely,

Melanie Onn
Head of Compliance Unit

Current Parliamentary Selections : 26 July 2006

Seat: Shrewsbury & Altringham
Currently held by: Conservative
Majority: 1,808
2nd Place: Lab

Not long after that went out a correction was sent out renaming the constituency:

Seat: Shrewsbury & Atchum
Currently held by: Con
Majority: 1,808
2nd Place: Lab

All women shortlist: No
Deadline for applications: 29 August
Shortlisting meeting: 21 October
Hustings meeting: 4 November

Guido believes Labour HQ will find it is actually called Shrewsbury & Atcham.


Seen Elsewhere

Denis MacShane’s Ex is Now Hacked Off Spokesman | Speccie
How the Carswell Story Unfolded | Sky News
How to Defect | Telegraph
Carswell Defection Will Dismay Thoughtful Tories | ConservativeHome
Carswell: Darling of the Tories, Labour and Now UKIP | Speccie
Where is the Love? | Tom Watson
Tory Eurosceptics Weakened | Speccie
Thacker Played Down Scandal | Times
How Clegg Lost the Women of Britain | Sophy Ridge
Multiculturalism: At What Price? | Allison Pearson
Labour Failed Those Victims | Labour Uncut


VOTER-RECALL
Get the book Find out more about PLMR


Douglas Carswell’s side-kick Dan Hannan MEP pours water on the obvious question:

“I won’t be joining UKIP, though I wish Douglas Carswell all the best. He has been a superb MP, and it’s honourable to stand for re-election.”



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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