Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Clarke : Tony Wanted Me to Be Heir

Charles Clarke claims in an interview in the New Statesman that Tony Blair “wanted me to be foreign secretary because he thought that if I had been foreign secretary and home secretary I would be a credible opponent to Gordon, as the leader of the party. And this had been his long-standing strategy, and that was what he had been intending to do, and that’s what he hoped to do.”

Funny, he is rumoured to have wanted exactly the same for David Miliband. Who to believe?

The Name is Truscott, Peter Truscott, Double-Oh-One (of Them)

Guido has been speaking to people who knew Baron Truscott when he was just a lowly local Labour councillor. They are amazed that nowadays he is the emissary of shady characters who would make good Bond villains. He is director of two firms controlled by Frank Timis, the twice convicted heroin dealer, who owns African Minerals, (formerly called the Sierra Leone Diamond Company). The widely rumoured idea that he might be some kind of “asset” for British intelligence is laughed at, Truscott would never have passed positive vetting they say.

Guido refuses to dismiss the possibility, after all, even in less progressive times than now, MI6 has had agents of ambiguous sexuality. Unfortunately they were double-agents.

Gordon’s Depression Slip

At PMQs Brown said: “We should agree as a world on a monetary and fiscal stimulus that will take the world out of r… depression.”

Like when he said he had “saved the world”, it gives an insight into what he is really thinking…

UPDATE : Worldwide the press are starting to latch on to the first world leader to talk openly of a “depression”.

PMQs Live Chat : Snow Time

Brown Reported to Met Police Commissioner for Leaking by MP

+++ Whisper Number : ITN / YouGov Marginal Seats Polling Shows Labour 3% Down on 2008 +++

NIESR Dismisses Brown/Darling 2009 Recovery Predictions

Propeller-Head Wonk Watch: The National Institute of Economic and Social Research is predicting the UK economy will shrink until the fourth quarter of this year, contradicting the Chancellor’s optimistic forecast for the economy to come out of recession in July. Gross domestic product will fall 2.7% in 2009 the NIESR propellor-heads reckon. Even when the economy stops declining, unemployment will still continue to increase into 2010. Guido predicts it will be half-way through a Cameron government before the economy returns to 2007 peaks. So that is two predictions for the price of one…

UPDATE : Nationwide’s Consumer Confidence Index figure has just come out. It shows that consumer confidence has hit a record low during January, dropping to 40 points. Which is half the level it was at before Jonah became PM.

Prezza Shows Draper How It Is Done

Guido had a famous run in with Prezza once before, where he told the Today programme “is it blogs they call ‘em?” Prescott has since come a long way on the information super – highway, rebutting Iain on video for daring to question if it really was Prezza, or his son David, updating his own status on Facebook. (Guido understands that it is David who is behind the somewhat amateurish Go4th attack videos.)

Credit where credit is due, Prezza gives as good as he gets – with some humour – meanwhile Draper is reduced to ringing up pressure groups to berate interns.

UPDATE 4 Feb, 2009 : Dale has found the exact quote: “I think it’s called the internet or blogs or something. I haven’t got into all this new technology. I’ve only just got used to letters.” and Total Politics has the recording.


Seen Elsewhere

What Did Britain Really Look Like in 1930s? | CapX
Who Is Steering Labour’s Strategy? | Ballot Box
Greens are UKIP for Young People | Telegraph
Short-Termism of CCHQ | ConHome
May Aide: CCHQ Are Being Misleading | Telegraph
Tories Planning For Second Election | Guardian
We Are Losing Cyber War | Fraser Nelson
Osborne Aide Lands Pay Rise | Mirror
The Sick Of It | Sun
UKIP MEP’s Welfare Hypocrisy | Channel 4
Rise of Angela Merkel | New Yorker


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The Economist asks Tony Blair about Wendi Deng:

“Mr Blair roundly denies any impropriety. Asked whether he was (at least) careless about his reputation, he says calmly that it is “not something I will ever talk about—I haven’t and I won’t”, and then bangs his coffee cup so loudly into its saucer that it spills and everyone in the room jumps. But did he find himself in a tangle over his friendship with Ms Deng? A large, dark pool of sweat has suddenly appeared under his armpit, spreading across an expensive blue shirt. Even Mr Blair’s close friends acknowledge that the saga damaged him—not least financially, since Mr Murdoch stopped contributing to Mr Blair’s faith foundation and cut him off from other friendly donors in America.”


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