Tom Watson Breaks His Promise, As Predicted

Back in October last year Guido wrote of Tom Watson:-

“was overheard telling senior party officials in his constituency recently that he expects “to be back in government” after Gordon takes over… Gordon wouldn’t reward the treachery that he has publicly disavowed advance knowledge of and claimed he would have advised against. Would he?

Tom got very upset and posted in the comments

For the record: I do not want to go back into government whoever leads the Labour Party. I’m very happy being a constituency MP.
10:28 AM, October 26, 2006

He went on to write

I’m an overweight opinionated member of parliament, I embarrass my relatives all the time. That was the only accurate bit of your post. But you know this.

The bit about returning to government is the inaccurate part of your post. But then I suspect you know this too. You are asking people to comment on a story that isn’t true. It doesn’t do you or political bloggers any service. Then again, why am I bothering to say this to you? You know all this as well.
11:15 AM, October 26, 2006

With a reputation for accurate and balanced reporting to protect, Guido was troubled by this, perhaps Tom Watson was not a treacherous, lying plotter who met and connived with Brown on the eve of his coup attempt against Blair. Maybe he was not going to return to government under Brown. Guido offered to retract the allegation if he promised not to return to government.
Tom said…

It shouldn’t be neccesary but to amuse you: I promise never to return to government.

Good enough?
11:26 AM, October 26, 2006

Tom Watson rejoined the government as a whip today. But we never really believed him did we? Nor did we really believe that he only chatted to Gordon about the kids. As politicians go, Tom Watson is one of the most mendacious shits in parliament. The thing is, he is proud of it.

Smith Institute Board’s Financial Backing for Gordon

The Smith Institute’s director, Wilf Stevenson claims that it is an independent, non-partisan charity and has no direct links to Gordon Brown.

So it is a bit of a coincidence that Lord Haskell, chairman of the Board of Trustees gave a five grand donation to Gordon’s leadership campaign. Even more of a coincidence that another board member, Mr Paul Myners, gave twelve grand. Surely he can’t remain mere “mister” Myners for much longer. It was Myners of course who provided the implausible story to cover-up the Treasury’s direct payment to the Smith Institute.

You won’t read about this in the Guardian, because although it likes to advertise that it has no press baron owner, Myners is chairman of the Guardian Media Group as well as being a Sith board member. Another fortunate coincidence…

The official position, as of this afternoon, is the “The Charity Commission’s inquiry into the Smith Institute remains open and ongoing”. How much longer can the investigation go on? It is a pretty open and shut case.

PMS First Briefing : The Spin Begins

We must now learn to call the PMOS the PMS, he is no longer the PM’s Official Spokesman because that would imply an Unofficial spokesman doing off-the-record spin. That is apparently not going to happen anymore in our changed spin-free-Brownite era.

But lo, the age of spin may not be completely dead. At Michael Ellam’s first briefing as Brown’s mouthpiece on Wednesday, he announced the symbolic first move in office: stopping Alastair Campbell and Jonathan Powell from telling civil servants what to do. When sharp-eyed and unusually on the ball Lobby hacks pointed out that neither man still worked in government, Ellam, suffering perhaps first-day nerves, conceded: “It is a meaningless gesture.”

This is not quite how the exchange is reported on the No. 10 website, though:

“Put to him that the Orders of Council applied to just two people, one who had already gone and one who effectively went today, and did not actually apply to anyone else, the PMS replied that while this was technically correct, this was not a meaningless gesture.”

If Mr Ellam dares to contradict Guido there is a recording…

Friday Caption Contest (Isaby Edition)

No Cabinet Minister Has the Experience to Run A Whelk Stall

The cabinet re-shuffle analysis in the press will be detailed, so Guido will skip it. One blogger’s analysis struck Guido as critical – not a single member of the cabinet has had a business career. Absorb that fact. Is it any wonder that Gordon felt the need to draft in Digby Jones?
Digby Jones is a talented operator and he will no doubt do a good job as minister for trade promotion. He is not however a new face, Guido recalls that the then Chancellor used his pre-budget report to announce Digby’s appointment as his “skills envoy” only six months ago. So he is being re-announced as a Brownite ally. Ironically he always struck Guido as a business leader with a libertarian streak – see his pronouncements on taxation, regulation and political correctness – perhaps that is why he won’t be joining the Labour party.

Gordon’s offer of a peerage was enough to get him go over to the dark side and join a government with no business nous whatsoever.

Prezza Who?

A co-conspirator emails:

Spotted last night – Prescott strutting into a parliamentary party dinner with a cabal of confidantes, then second later re-emerging in full tantrum, confidantes in hot (though somewhat bothered) pursuit, complaining “Not one of them stood up when I entered the room! I was deputy prime minister only four hours ago!”

Could be worse, ask Tony…

++ YATES QUESTIONS BLAIR AGAIN ++

Not long now.. Guido said on Monday.

July 19 By-Elections Confirmed

LabourHome confirms that the Labour Chief Whip has moved the writ for Ealing Southall and Sedgefield by-elections this morning. Gordon wants to move quick to prevent any ability for the opposition to build momentum in what should be nominally safe Labour seats.

Shirley Williams : No Brown Job

LibDem Voice reports Shirley stating “I met Gordon Brown at 6:30pm on Wednesday evening. We had a friendly and constructive discussion. I was not offered a Ministerial position and would not have accepted one.”

[…]

Sieghart Says Times Colleagues Craven to Brown

Startlingly candid admission in farewell column:

As this is to be my last regular column for The Times, I am in a different position today from other commentators. I don’t have to worry about whether

[…]

Fancy a Bet George?

The Sun’s George Pascoe-Watson, author of this famous front page prediction, says we may have an election in October, but most likely next June. Guido is offering 2/1 against George, if you are interested.

Talking of betting with

[…]

Is It All Balls? Who is It?

Tory and LibDem HQs are more fearful of defections today than the Soviet Olympic Team Coach used to be. Benedict Brogan says it is not going to be Rifkind. Some are worried about Patten. Still no public denial

[…]



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Quote of the Day

Lord Ashcroft’s focus group is asked where each party leader would be most likely to go on holiday:

David Cameron: “Monaco”

Nigel Farage: “Blighty”

Nick Clegg: “Caribbean”

Ed Miliband: “The Moon, his own little world”

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