September 2nd, 2007

Coincidence or Corruption?

Gordon’s pollster Deborah Mattinson sits on the board of Gordon’s think-tank, the Smith Institute. Her relationship with Gordon has been very profitable for her firm, OLR. According to today’s Sunday Telegraph, government contracts totalling some £3 milllion have come her way.

By coincidence OLR does a bit of polling for the Smith Institute for no charge. In February Guido queried who paid for their latest “92% favour Gordon” poll. OLR came back and said they had no paying client for the research. Nor did they have an identifiable paying client for their “What it means to be British” research in 2005. Shortly afterwards Gordon began loudly banging his Britishness drum. Opinion Leader Research has helped Gordon on “Britishness” issues before, their research was also used extensively in “New Britain” a 1999 publication produced by the Smith Institute. The pamphlet was itself singled out and explicitly criticised by the Charity Commission as being party political in the first 2001 investigation into the Sith.When the taxpayer is paying OLR £153,484.38 for one-day seminars it can’t be hard for OLR to do a bit of off-the-books work for the Smith Institute. The taxpayer is subsidising Gordon’s private polling, just as it subsidised the event hosting of Gordon’s Smith Institute at Downing Street.

Chris Grayling has written to the Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O’Donnell, asking him to investigate how OLR comes to win so many government contracts. Many market research industry competitors agree with Guido:- it is cronyism plain and simple.


Seen Elsewhere

Bribes, Lies and Curry in Tower Hamlets | Standard
Tory MP Breaks Cover on Canberra Crisis | BBC
Labour MP: Wimmin’ Stop Us Bombing ISIS | Speccie
Peace Envoy Arrives on Italian Coast | Mail
Golden Age of Trusting Politicians is a Myth | Irish Times
More Ed Criticism | Damian McBride
Hague to Weigh into Bercow’s Canberra Crisis | Times
Shadow Cabinet: Who’ll Johnson & Darling Replace? | Labour Uncut
Damian McBride’s Spinning Against Ed Miliband | John Rentoul
Boris Fails the Character Test for Social Conservatives | Laura Perrins
No Charges After Two Years On Bail | Patrick Foster


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Damian McBride offers some more of his helpful advice:

‘Mr Miliband will not survive the televised leaders’ debates trying to have it both ways on every policy from Syria to an EU referendum. The prime minister may be entirely wrong on issues such as HS2, but at least his position is clear.The Labour leader’s attempt to keep his options open is all very well, but to what end? If he thinks he can avoid taking any big decisions until he’s securely installed in Downing Street, Mr Miliband unfortunately hasn’t a prayer.’



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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