Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Why Has Wee Dougie Bottled It Again?

It is noticeable that old hands like Geof Hoon and Jack Straw have been the ones pushed in front of the cameras by Downing Street to defend the government during this whirlpool of incompetence. Ed Balls and Douglas Alexander have kept out of sight whispering in Gordon’s ear. So it is a bit of a disappointment that Wee Dougie won’t be on Question Time this week after all.

Iain Dale is asking readers if they can work out why. Was it…?

A) He was scared of appearing with Ken Clarke
B) He couldn’t think how to defend Sister Wendy
C) He didn’t want to account for his role in the bottled election decision
D) He was scared of defending his role in the David Abrahams planning application

or E) All four

Another Brown bottler.

EXCLUSIVE : Darling Spoke at Deutsche Bank Hosted Labour Fund-Raiser

An outraged City co-conspirator has tipped off Guido that this morning Labour’s London Business group held an £80 a ticket breakfast fund-raiser with Alistair Darling.

Guido is stunned that in the current circumstances the Chancellor of the Exchequer attended a Breakfast fund-raiser hosted by Deutsche Bank at their City offices on Great Winchester Street.

The invitation from Labour’s Victoria Street HQ states that “the format will follow our usual arrangements: our guest speaker will make a short address and then take questions from the floor. There will be an opportunity for guests to network…”

This morning Deutsche Bank is threatening to walk away from the Virgin Group bid for Northern Rock, because it has serious issues with Virgin’s takeover proposal. Is it really appropriate to be holding a Labour party fund-raiser at the offices of a bank bidding for Northern Rock? Doesn’t Darling see that it smacks of Cash-for-Access?

Incidentally Guido got stonewalled by government SpAds and Press Officers on this all morning. Public servants? Guido thinks not. Unfortunately for them the Deutsche Bank Press Office is more helpful.

Ask the Electoral Commission to Confiscate the Money

Just got off the phone with the Electoral Commission. They are taking the “we can’t comment on an ongoing police investigation” line (© T. Blair). They however offered to direct Guido to the relevant legislation, which states


Forfeiture of donations made by impermissible or unidentifiable donors

(1) This section applies to any donation received by a registered party—

(a) which, … the party are prohibited from accepting, but

(b) which has been accepted by the party.

(2) The court may, on an application made by the Commission, order the forfeiture by the party of an amount equal to the value of the donation.

(3) The standard of proof in proceedings on an application under this section shall be that applicable to civil proceedings.

(4) An order may be made under this section whether or not proceedings are brought against any person for an offence connected with the donation.

So all the Electoral Commission has to do is apply to a Court for an Order. Guido understands that the only circumstances where the Labour party could pay back the money to the donor would be if they had discovered the funds were impermissable within 30 days of them being accepted. It is too late for that…

The Electoral Commission works for you, it costs millions yet it rarely seems to show any teeth, If you think they should get on with it and confiscate the money forthwith, email vmarkos@electoralcommission.org.uk, Vera Markos – Head of Strategy and Secretary to the Commission asking them to do their statutory duty swiftly.

What are they waiting for? The Labour party admits the donations were impermissable.

The LibDem leadership race is dragging on for another fortnight. Guido put a large bet on Clegg immediately after Ming’s election, assuming that Clegg was the heir, because he seemed appealingly telegenic and modernising.

Throughout this leadership contest Guido has however reduced his exposure to Clegg. It has to be said that Huhne, who has a limited likeability factor as a human, is a better campaigner. He has positioned himself on the clitoris of the activist base, painted Clegg as inept, lightweight and Cameron-in-yellow. He has also smartly jumped on Donorgate to put himself in the news. All in all, he has shown the ruthless determination of a politician who wants to win.

If he wins it will put the LibDems in the position the Tories were in under IDS. Universally derided as he was by the end of his leadership, people forget that IDS had activist adoration for his traditional Conservative views and hard line on Europe. The parliamentary Tory party was dismayed that they were saddled with IDS. Huhne has tacked left to appeal to the LibDem activists, who are far to the left of their parliamentarians and the party establishment machine.

Guido thinks it would be strategically better for the Tories to have Clegg as a leader, despite the fears that he will compete for Cameron’s votes. The most likely outcome of a general election is still a hung parliament. Clegg will be more amenable to a deal with the Tories. Guido is also beginning to wonder if Clegg might actually be a weaker campaigner than Huhne.


Seen Elsewhere

Jonathan Jones is a Tw*t | Iain Dale
Second Scotland Poll Suggests Labour Wipeout | Times
Paedo Probe Boss Urged to Quit | Sun
Keynesian Tories Won’t Eliminate Deficit | Tim Montgomerie
Whitehall Doesn’t Work | Dom Cummings
Russell Brand’s Tax Avoidance Firm | Sun
1 in 7 Young Britons Back ISIS | Times
Apple’s Tim Cook: iGay | Techno Guido
Insurgent Parties Plunge Labour Into Crisis | Alex Wickham
Mind-Bending Politics of Drugs | Mark Wallace
PC Worries Prevent Police Protecting Young Girls | Jill Kirby


VOTER-RECALL
Find out more about PLMR


David Cameron drug policy reformer and leadership contender in 2005…

“Politicians attempt to appeal to the lowest common denominator by posturing with tough policies and calling for crackdown after crackdown. Drugs policy has been failing for decades.”



“Digger” Murdoch says:

Is it just me, or is Nigel Farage just a top hat and a monocle away from being a Batman villain?


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