Do You Know Now?

Just in from the Court:

A Metropolitan police security officer, Chris Ham, 21, told the high court in London today that Mr Jones, the MP for Clwyd South for 20 years, swore at him after he “politely” asked to see his pass at Portcullis House in Westminster. Mr Ham, who said he had never seen Mr Jones before the incident, described the outburst as having left him “shocked and flustered”.

Giving evidence on behalf of Mail on Sunday publisher Associated Newspapers, Mr Ham said: “His immediate response was to tell me to fuck off and that he was a member of parliament. I again asked politely, persisted. His second response was ‘Fuck off, you should know who I am, you don’t have the right to question me, you are only security.'”


Who is fucked now?

Politicians are Feral Spinners

Blair must reap what he sowed. The culture of New Labour is a culture of rapid rebuttal, the set “line”, the vicious rubbishing of enemies, the off-the-record briefing all backed up by armies of government media handlers and Special Advisers. 24/7 rolling spin…

Remember, for example, what they told us about the Women’s Institute member who led the slow-hand-clapping of Blair – that she had a National Front past. That was feral spin, vicious and untrue. Do you remember Alastair Campbell’s plan to “fuck” David Kelly? That was feral. Do you remember Alastair Campbell’s foul mouthed tirades? They were feral. The old woman mistreated at an NHS hospital during an election campaign? “Racist” they smeared, without any evidence. The Brownite pack’s undermining of Blairite colleagues like Ruth Kelly and John Reid? Wasn’t that feral?

Blair’s treatment by the media got rough only after he was completely found out. It was the dodgy dossier, and the false prospectus for war that did for him, his spin was until then more than a match for the media pack.

UPDATE : The IPPR has just emailed out a piece (on the back of the Blair speech) by Sir Michael White where he blames everyone else for the “gross tabloidisation of national journalism” including of course the “unmediated internet”. He repeats his claim that the Loans for Lordships investigation is just political opportunism by the SNP and Blair’s political enemies. Michael White has spent 30 years covering politics close-up, he is no longer able to see that selling seats in the legislature is just plain wrong. He basically says “everybody did it”, why the fuss now?

The better question is, why only now has there been a fuss? Well if a young new MP had not stumbled upon the corruption legislation, if a less determined detective had not been given the case and the story wasn’t pushed relentlessly by “unmediated” voices, there would have been no fuss.

Just as well the likes of Sir Michael White and Nick Robinson were ignored and some kept on at the story in an unmediated and grossly tabloid way, eh?

Self-Important-Shit-of-an-MP Sues

Martyn Jones is widely regarded in the Palace of Westminster, by the few people who actually know who he is, as a bit of a self-important prat in a building full of self-important prats. He is suing the Mail on Sunday’s Simon Walters for libel on the grounds that an article exaggerated an incident in a report with the headline “Labour MP in foul-mouthed outburst”.

Before entering parliament Martyn Jones worked in a brewery and in a 20-year backbench career since he has hardly risen to the heights of recognition. Yet when a Portcullis House security guard asked him to show his ID card he went into a full blown “do-you-know-who-I-am” routine and told the guard, who was only doing his job, that “I don’t give a shit what you are. You should know who members of Parliament are.”

Giving evidence in court Jones claimed that only about 10% of MPs wore their passes and it was better for security to identify MPs by their faces. Is that true, do only 60 or so MPs wear their passes? How is it better for security not to wear a pass?

UPDATE : On a scale of 0 -100%, the Public Whip rates his opposition to ID cards at 0%.

Osborne : "We’ll Cut Taxes – Maybe"

Sometimes Guido wonders what the point of the Tories is nowadays, if they won’t even promise to reduce the tax burden in government, what use are they?

Osborne today will promise the British Chambers of Commerce a tax reduction in “a new pact with Britain’s small businesses” and a “radical package of tax simplification”. This will be done in a “fiscally neutral way”. That means the overall tax burden will remain unchanged. So it is not really a tax cut, more a shifting of taxes about. Did he learn nothing in Dublin?


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Quote of the Day

Ken Clarke tells the Ben Fellows trial:

“The idea that I would go strolling off in order to grope a man in an office is highly unlikely.”

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