200 Pledge to Back Private Prosecution

Over two hundred people have pledged to contribute financially towards bringing a private prosecution over Loans for Lordships since the CPS has shown itself unwilling to do so.

Guido has taken soundings and now believes that the best course of action is to form a special purpose vehicle to instruct a legal team and take this further. It also seems wise to first allow the Public Administration Select Committee to conduct its investigation when MPs return after the recess. They will hold evidence sessions after Parliament returns from its summer recess, and report by the end of the year.

Tony Wright plans to call Assistant Commissioner John Yates as a witness. It will be particularly interesting to see what evidence comes out at that time. Meantime if you want to be involved in the formation of a vehicle to bring a prosecution or have relevant legal experience and knowledge, email Guido.

The Courts come to a halt and the political class will be on holiday for the next month. Guido will be in touch with pledge makers with more details in due course.

Sir Michael White Loses It

My friend the Axegrinder notes a memo going around the press gallery yesterday sent by the doyen of the Lobby;

Good to see that the people’s ink spills from the pen of plutocrats.

(Yes, it is a slow news day).

Guido’s Top Political Blogs

Dale is looking for your list of Top 20 blogs for his 2007 Guide to Political Blogging in the UK. He wants a more objective means of ordering of them. Don’t know why, last year the result seemed right to Guido.
I don’t have an order of preference, but the blogs Guido reads every day tend to serve up new information rather than commentary. Iain is in there, da Fink’s Comment Central, the Speccie’s CoffeeHouse, Recess Monkey, the unmissable Political Betting, ConservativeHome, LabourHome and LibDemVoice. Dizzy is reliable, SpyBlog is authoritative. Kevin Maguire often talks down to his readers, but has the odd gem of (sometimes unintended) insight, Benedict Brogan is fast and from the frontline.

My favourite blog overall is probably Mike Smithson’s Political Betting.

Email your list to Iain by clicking here and you could win a pile of DVDs and stuff.

Brown Bonks Bonce

Nick Robinson and all the rest of the Lobby will be in full-on pontification mode today in Washington.

Yet again it falls to Guido to get the important news: Gordon Brown banged his head against the door frame as he boarded the Presidential helicopter. Perhaps he misunderstood and was over-excited to be on his way to see Camp David?

Billions spent on the BBC news gathering operation and they miss the big story again.

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Boris v Ken – Boris Edges Ahead

YouGov has Boris 6% ahead of Ken with Londoners (46% v 40%), even before he is the official candidate. The detailed data is interesting, Labour voters are more likely to vote for Boris than Tory voters are likely to vote for Ken. Encouraging…

Sith Break the Rules, Sith Change the Rules

The Charity Commission has been foot dragging on reporting any findings from their investigation into the Smith Institute’s multiple breaches of the charity laws.

Ed Miliband, the Cabinet Office minister and frequent attendee of Smith Institute events at 11 Downing Street in the past, now reckons “Charities should be free to participate in appropriate ways in political activities. There are clear benefits to society from allowing charities to do so.”

Guido is in favour of such a change in the law, but the Charity Commission’s Smith Institute investigation should still reach a prompt conclusion. Gordon Brown was the sole beneficiary of a charity which broke the law continuously for five years and acted as a campaign slush fund for him. Nobody is above the law.

The Charity Commission needs to ascertain, in good time, whether or not taxpayers money was diverted to furthering Gordon Brown’s private interests.

Lazy Tory Slackers M.I.A.

Iain is having a go at Peter Ainsworth for going M.I.A. (Missing In Airtime) during the floods, Benedict Brogan said something similar about part-time shadow cabinet members recently, a bemused journo told Guido he couldn’t believe Hague was missing from the last Zimbabwe debate, the M.I.A. list is endless.

CCHQ is nowadays staffed by people who have never won an election and don’t even seem to fight to win the way the usually third placed Cowley Street operators do. CCHQ needs to move to battle-stations rather than the lacking any sense of urgency, business-as-usual default mode.

For every Alan Duncan, Chris Grayling and David Davis there are two Shadow Cabinet slackers. When you remember the mid-90s and compare how New Labour’s leading lights grabbed broadcast airtime like it was oxygen, you have to wonder. Do these people really have the drive to win?

Friday Caption Contest

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Totty Watch : LibDems Stripping Here

LibDem councillor Myrna Bushell has her own professional website. From it Guido learns that she is “is a very sexy auburn professional multi-talented adult entertainer…” where she boasts that she has recently appeared in Razzle and Fiesta Magazines,

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Guardian Front page Cock-Up ‘Fess Up

Now this is what Guido calls a cavalier attitude to the facts:

Thursday July 26, 2007
Corrections and clarifications

A chart showing David Cameron’s personal rating in a Guardian/ICM poll (front page, yesterday) contained several mistakes. It did not include

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Gordon’s Angels – Image Manipulation or Fashion Clash?

Nick Assinder reckons that the “doughnutting” of Gordon at PMQs by Harriet Harman, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith and Angela Smith behind him framed him in white on screen.

All three seemed to have been issued with white jackets, black T-shirts

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Charles Clarke says Cameron is the most successful PM for over a century…

“Under Margaret Thatcher the Conservatives gained 99 seats. They lost 211 under John Major, gained one under William Hague, quickly and wisely got rid of Ian Duncan-Smith, gained 32 under Michael Howard and have so far gained 133 under David Cameron who, to the great surprise of many (including senior Conservatives), has turned out to be the most electorally successful Tory leader since 1900.”

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