Thursday, September 3, 2009

Eric Joyce Resignation Letter in Full

Joyce

Gordon Brown MP

10 Downing Street

LONDON

3 September 2009

Gordon

As you may know, I told Bob Ainsworth some weeks ago that I intended to step down as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Defence Secretary before the start of the new parliamentary term. This seems to me the least disruptive time to do that. I have been privileged to work as PPS to four senior Labour ministers in four government departments and now feel that I can make my best contribution to the Labour effort in parliament by concentrating on helping, as a regular back-bencher, to show that Labour remains sound on matters of Defence.

Labour was returned to power in 1997 on the back of your great success in turning the Economy from a weakness into a strength for Labour. Our continuing success in helping people from all parts of society become more prosperous, while helping the least well-off most, is built upon that. More quietly, during the 90’s, Labour’s then shadow defence team showed how Labour had become, after the disaster of the early 1980s, ‘sound’ on Defence. It seems to me that your personal success on the economy won the deal in 1997, while colleagues at Defence sealed it.

We are now, I think, once again at a critical time for Labour and Defence. The Conservatives, of course opportunistically, think they can convince the public that we have lost our empathy with the Defence community. We must not allow this to happen. I know that you have great commitment to our armed forces and this was clear when you visited Afghanistan this week, yet there seem to me to be some problems which need fixing with the greatest urgency.

As you know, two Black Watch soldiers gave their lives during your visit. I do not think the public will accept for much longer that our losses can be justified by simply referring to the risk of greater terrorism on our streets. Nor do I think we can continue with the present level of uncertainty about the future of our deployment in Afghanistan.

I think we must be much more direct about the reality that we do punch a long way above our weight, that many of our allies do far too little, and that leaving the field to the United States would mean the end of NATO as a meaningful proposition. The British people have a proud history of facing such realities. They understand the importance of the allied effort in Afghanistan/Pakistan and I think they would appreciate more direct approach by politicians. We also need to make it clear that our commitment in Afghanistan is high but time limited. It should be possible now to say that we will move off our present war-footing and reduce our forces there substantially during our next term in government.

We also need a greater geopolitical return from the United States for our efforts. For many, Britain fights; Germany pays, France calculates; Italy avoids. If the United States values each of these approaches equally, they will end up shouldering the burden by themselves. The first place to start is an acceptance this week by them, and by the Afghanistan electoral authorities, that there must be a second round in the elections there. I do not think the British people will support the physical risk to our servicemen and women unless they can be given confidence that Afghanistan’s government has been properly elected and has a clear intent to deal with the corruption there which has continued unabated in recent years.

Most important of all, we must make it clear to every serviceman and woman, their families and the British public that we give their well-being the highest political priority. Behind the hand attacks by any Labour figure on senior service personnel are now, to the public, indistinguishable from attacks on the services themselves. Conversely, in my view we should allow our service personnel greater latitude to voice their views on matters which make distinctions between defence and politics pointless.

I believe the next election is ours to win, thanks greatly to your personal great economic success. But we cannot win unless we grip defence. Above all, Labour must remember that service folk and their families are our people. We say that we honour them for their risk, bravery and sacrifice and we must at literally all costs continue to show by our actions that we mean it.

I intend to do what modest amount I can to help from the back-benches.

Yours sincerely

Eric Joyce MP

+++ Eric Joyce Rumoured to Be Resigning as PPS +++

Rumour is now widespread.  Eric Joyce not answering his mobile for the last two hours.  If he is resigning as PPS to the Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth and he blames the treatment of soldiers, it will be explosive.  If…

UPDATE 19.01 +++ CHANNEL 4 NEWS @ 7 CONFIRMS +++

+++ RESIGNS OVER AFGHANISTAN +++

+++ YOU READ IT HERE FIRST +++

Eric Joyce resignation letter alleges Brown doesn’t empathise with the military.  Joyce denounces “behind the hand attacks on senior personnel” by defence ministers.  Explosive!

+++ Rumour PPS Set to Resign Tonight +++

The Libyan Deal Makers Linked to Downing Street

Libyan Links
Guido is certain that neither compassion, the hunt for WMDs or anti-terrorism were the real motive for the release of Abdel Basset Ali Megrahi.  Money was the motive.  Big money.  The released correspondence makes it apparent that the Libyans made it clear that if Britain wanted trade contracts, including the go ahead for BP’s massive oil exploration plans, then Megrahi had to be freed. There were many players who pushed this sordid deal behind the scenes, including Lord Mandelson, but the two key insiders who helped make it happen have so far escaped close scrutiny.

butlernNick Butler is the Economic Adviser brought into Downing Street when Gordon became Prime Minister.  Prior to that he was a senior strategist for BP. He joined the firm in 1977 and helped to develop close links between BP and New Labour in the 1990s becoming V.P. for Policy and Strategy Development from 2002-2006. Butler is also a Labour loyalist who has been treasurer of the Fabian Society for more than 25 years. According to the Guardian, “Since the 1980s, Butler has maintained and extended his political and commercial connections like a model member of the ‘successor generation’. He is close to Mandelson”

markallenSir Mark Allen is a Special Adviser to BP. Before that he was the senior MI6 officer who negotiated with Seif Gaddafi to end Libya’s international isolation in 2003-04.  Allen, a noted Arabist, is a regular visitor to Tripoli on behalf of BP and another firm he advises, the Monitor Group, which has won a lucrative contract to restructure the Libyan economy. When BP’s then Chairman, Lord Browne flew to Libya to discuss oil deals, Mark Allen was on the plane with him.

Two men; one ex-BP now at the heart of government, the other  ex-MI6 and now at the heart of BP.  They oiled the wheels to release a convicted mass murderer – and now BP will make billions.  That was the deal…

Muddled Mehdi

mehdiMehdi Hasan is the New Statesman’s ‘Senior Politics Editor’. He gets a lot of flack from the Islamophobic Jihadis-Under-the-Bed crowd for being soft on Islamo-Fascism.  They variously accuse him of wanting to sublimate the West to a new Caliphate and kill all non-believers or suchlike.  Frankly Guido has lost track of the detail and suspects they might be slightly misrepresenting Mehdi’s actual beliefs.

Nevertheless Mehdi does hold some strange beliefs which he reveals to us in the Statesman, for example he claims the BBC has an institutionally right-wing biasHave you noticed?

ns_logoToday he writes of the Farage v Bercow election challenge that it isa shame they can’t both lose.” It should hardly fall to Guido to educate the ‘Senior Politics Editor’ of Britain’s leading left-wing political publication.  Nevertheless it is Guido’s understanding of the current system of British parliamentary democracy that there is in fact a way they could indeed “both lose”If another candidate stands and gets “more votes” they would “both lose”.  Hope that helps Mehdi…

Twittery Today : Prezza / FCO Edition

no_twitter_smallGuido is starting a new occasional blog feature highlighting some of the idiocy that appears on Twitter.  If you find any examples, please email them to twitter@order-order.com.

Email ‘em, don’t Tweet ‘em, please…

@foreignoffice Opium cultivation, production and prices are down according to @UNODC report

Why, if you are trying to eradicate supply in Afghanistan, proudly boast that opium supplies are cheaper?  Is that supposed to be a success?

@John Prescott If Adam Boulton insisted empty chairing every politician he asked on his show he’d need to do a deal with Ikea!

Boulton would need only one empty chair.   Once filled, it would by definition no longer be an “empty chair”Back of the maths class Professor Prezza, doh!

+++ UKIP’s Farage : “I’ll Stand Against Bercow” +++

In what was one of the safest Tory seats in the country UKIP plan to mount a challenge. Speaking about Bercow, the controversial Labour-backed Speaker, Nigel Farage told the Telegraph

nigel farage“He is not a Conservative and yet he is sitting in one of the safest Conservative seats in the country. It means the people of Buckingham cannot vote for a Conservative even if they want to. This is a part of England where we did very well in the European elections and local elections. We are very well organised and strong and I intend to fight this very hard to become the MP.”

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative John Bercow 27,748 57.4 +3.7
Labour David Greene 9,619 19.9 −4.3
Liberal Democrat Luke Croydon 9,508 19.7 −0.3
UKIP David Williams 1,432 3.0 +0.9

This could be fun…

UPDATE : ConservativeHome’s Tim Montgomerie says what a lot of Tories will be thinking “I’d be tempted to vote UKIP if I lived in Buckingham”.  Dizzy thinks he “… would happily campaign/vote for Farage over Bercow.”

PM’s Wife Taken by Aliens on UFO to Venus

Alien KidnappersNo, really.  The new Japanese premier-in-waiting, Yukio Hatoyama, has won an historic election victory over the long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party. That is nothing, his wife Miyuki, beat alien kidnappers. In Miyuki’s book published last year  (“Very Strange Things I’ve Encountered”) she claims that “while my body was asleep, I think my soul rode on a triangular-shaped UFO and went to Venus… It was a very beautiful place and it was really green.”

First Ladies are often “out there”.  Nancy Reagan consulted astrologers, Cherie Blair had tantric, naked, in-shower, deep massages with Carole Caplin amongst other fruity new age mumbo jumbo practises.  Bet Sarah Brown sometimes wishes she was kidnapped by aliens….


Seen Elsewhere

Revealed: The Guido Fawkes Anniversary Dinner Guestlist | Peter Oborne
More Owen Jones Errors | Michael Ezra
Why Should Men Get Equal Maternity Leave? | Laura Keynes
Dentists Have Last Laugh Over Sneering Keynes | FT
Why’s Clegg Giving Men Paternity Leave? | Conservative Women
Cam Cannot Stem EU Immigration | David Keighley
9 Mansion Tax Questions for Ed Balls | TPA
Politicians are Lying to You About Immigration | Alex Wickham
Give Journalists Public Interest Defence in Law | Guardian
Cameron is Going to Have to Deal With UKIP | Dan Hodges
Opinions on Key Issues By Constituency | Red Box


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Chris Bryant talks to the Times Diary about a famous gay actor:

“I don’t think I’ve had sex with him. He says we had sex in Clapham. I’m fairly certain I’ve never had sex south of the river”



Progressive Inclusion Champion says:

Great to hear Carswell call for inclusive policies and that UKIP must stand for first and second generation immigrants as much as the English.


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