Guido could understand if the Treasury needed statisticians, but pollsters? Perhaps the Bank of England would be interested in measuring, say for example, people’s inflation expectations, but their opinions? If public money has been spent by the Treasury on pollsters who have asked questions that assist Gordon in his personal political ambitions, that would be a massive breach of the Ministerial Code bordering on corruption. If it were to be proved that the payments to do something innocuous were effectively a hidden subsidy covering the costs of doing polling on issues of interest to Gordon Brown for no particular reason it would be scandalous.
Since Gordon’s personal pollsters won’t give Guido answers, maybe Gordon will answer Stewart Jackson’s parliamentary questions?
- To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the decision to engage Opinion Leader Research to undertake polling for HM Treasury was subject to a competitive tendering process and will he make a statement.
- To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much has been spent in each year since 2001 by HM Treasury on polling services provided by Opinion Leader Research and will he make a statement.
Guido sees a pattern here; the Treasury hosts over a hundred of the Smith Institute’s seminars – rent-free, simultaneously the Treasury pays the Smith Institute to hold seminars. The Treasury pays Deborah Mattinson’s Opinion Leader Research generously, Deborah Mattinson sits on the Smith Institute’s board and does “polling” that is helpful to Gordon – for free. She also writes hagiographical press articles about Gordon, based on her own polling research, whenever negative independent poll findings come out.
It is becoming increasingly clear that the taxpayer has been paying, via the Treasury, for Gordon’s polling and spin, all tightly coordinated via the Smith Institute to promote the Brownite political agenda. This is abuse of office.