Crick is on the Venture Capitalist’s Case Tonight

Tonight he is taking a look at Ronnie Cohen’s generosity. Crick is brilliant isn’t he, where does he get his story ideas?

Incidentally, talk is that Newsnight are going to try out a hot, hungry, new investigative reporter soon…

Leeds Lackeys Not Lovers

Guido hates following up other people’s stories but this one appeared too juicy to miss. The Observer’s Pendennis claimed that James Mckenzie, George Osborne’s new researcher, was sharing a flat with Sarah Mulholland, Blinky Balls’ new researcher.

So Guido calls up Osborne’s office looking for Mckenzie. He is not important enough to be allocated his own phone and desk Guido is told, but they will pass on the message. A few minutes later…

Ring, ring…
JM “How did you get my number?”
GF “I didn’t, you called me”
JM “Oh”
GF “It’s about the Pendennis story”
JM “Did you write that?”
GF “No, I write the Guido Fawkes blog”

After that confusing start he vehemently denies living with Ed Ball’s new assistant. But strangely he gets agitated when Guido asks has he met the lady concerned.

JM “I will have to call my office and find out if I should be talking to you”
GF “They told you to call me didn’t they?
JM “I’ve got to go”

So Guido Calls Blinky’s office…

Ring, ring
SM “Hello Sarah here”
GF “Hello it’s Guido Fawkes here, I’m calling about this story”
SM “It is rubbish”
GF “So you have never met him”
SM “I have because he is on the same course as me in Leeds”
GF “But you aren’t, haven’t..”
SM “No!”
GF “Give my regards to Blinky.

So that is that, isn’t it?

Smith Institute’s Mattinson Spins Poll for Brown

The Brownites are obviously getting increasingly desperate about his bad personal poll ratings versus Cameron. The Guardian/ICM survey last week showing Brown 13% adrift of Cameron (worse than Blair) shook Labour MPs at a vital time and led to renewed calls for Labour to skip a generation with Miliband.

A week later comes the Brownite response, today’s Guardian reports on a survey of a hundred “opinion leaders” which shows Gordon outperforming Dave on a whole range of indicators – scoring a modest 92% on integrity.

Who conducted this highly scientific “survey”? None other than Opinion Leader Research run by Deborah Mattinson, the long time Labour Party consultant who is now Gordon Brown’s unofficial pollster and sits on the advisory committee of the Smith Institute – alongside the veteran U.S. pollster Bob Shrum. It was Shrum’s anti-Cameron advice to the Sith that forced the Charity Commission’s official investigation. Guido wonders why a non-partisan, non-political, educational charity has so many pollsters involved?

Mattinson has plenty of previous, she was wheeled out by the dark forces of the Sith the last time Brown’s negative ratings caused rumblings. Popping up in the Times with an article claiming, ironically, that it was all spin and that Gordon is in fact a popular guy.

Of course surveying “opinion leaders” is completely subjective and easily manipulated to give the required answers. Mattinson’s clients know it, but since her clients include Defra, the Department of Education and Science, the Department for Work and Pensions and coincidentally HM Treasury, you can be sure she knows where her bread is buttered and what they want to hear.

Is Guido the only one who has noticed that in times of need, Gordon’s pollster conducts polls with dubious methodologies which she then writes up in hagiographical pro-Gordon articles? Is Guido the only one who thinks there might, in the circumstances, be a serious conflict of interest in her not only sitting on the board of the Smith Institute but also having HM Treasury as a paying client? Who commissioned and paid for this survey of “opinion leaders”? How did she get the HM Treasury contract? Was it by competitive tender?

Guido has asked them repeatedly this morning who commissioned the poll, but nobody at Opinion Leader Research seems to know…

UPDATE : Guido has just noticed that The Sun this morning headlines Deborah’s “survey” Brown is back in poll victory. Will that do Gordon?

The Labour Capital Party

The GMB’s anti-private equity campaign against venture capitalism is gaining traction as anger over job losses at the AA and Birds Eye spreads across the unions.

Venture capitalist, Ronnie “PFI” Cohen, Gordon’s moneybags backer, has a direct debit paying the equivalent of £20,000 a month to the Labour party. Nigel Doughty and Jonathan Aisbitt are another couple of red blooded capitalists happy to chip in a quarter of a million a year to the party formerly known as the worker’s party. Peter Hain said he wanted City slickers to give up their bonuses, but this week he doesn’t mind them giving their bonuses to the Labour party. He who pays the piper calls the tunes.

Last week Hain wanted City slickers to give their bonuses to “charity or invest it in regeneration schemes for unemployed kids”. Now he says “private equity funds provide a very good vehicle for start-ups, for rescue operations and for investment to grow” – which they do – with a tapered relief 10% tax rate on liquidation and tax deductible debt costs to offset against profits. Gordon of course ultimately makes the rules, is he going to side with his millionaire backers, or the workers?



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Quote of the Day

Liz Kendall is asked by Tom Newton Dunn if she would ever ban the Sun from one of her press conferences:

“If you stripped naked and ran in front of me, Tom, I might have second thoughts about it, but apart from that, no.”

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