Hague's Vague Bahrain Foresight

As shots ring out over Bahrain, have a look at what a news agency out of Manama was reporting our switched on Foreign Secretary saying exactly a week ago:

“British Foreign Secretary William Hague paid tribute today to Bahrain’s tremendous democratic achievements brought about thanks to the wise leadership and reform project of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. He hailed the kingdom’s successful reforms expressing confidence Bahrain will build on them in the future.”

He went on to thank “Bahrain for its remarkable stances in the defence and security field adding that boosting consultation with the GCC countries regarding foreign policies is Britain’s top priority” Someone had their eye on the ball…

UPDATE: Given how much time Hague spent in Bahrain with his former SpAd, Chris Myers, you would have thought he would have clocked something was up.

According to his entry in the register of interests the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, (c/o the Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain, 30 Belgrave Square) donated the cost of hotel accommodation for two nights in Bahrain; £1,115.86 (9-11 January 2010) when he met the Foreign Minister of Bahrain. Perhaps he was distracted by something.

Labour HQ Sex Offenders Shock News

This just arrived hot to the inbox:

Graham might want to think about rephasing that…

The Donkey and the Lions

It is a political rite of passage for the Leader of the Opposition to go and meet the troops. Often given a warmer reception than the PM, the footage is always carefully stage-managed. But what happens behind the cameras?

Guido’s man on the frontline reports that when Ed visited Afghanistan two weeks ago he decided he wanted to have lunch with some soldiers to talk candidly away from the scrutiny of the pack. All very well and good. Having sat down with some troops he was busy eating and chatting away before someone pointed out the American flags on their sleeves…

Friday Caption Contest (The Public Don't Like It Edition)

Usual rules apply…

How the Mighty Fall

There have been all sorts of suggestions, mostly unprintable, about the shiner on Ken Clarke’s forehead that was noticed in his copious media performance today. It wasn’t Dave’s mobile phone but apparently he tripped up in Speaker’s Court.

Insert gag about a reshuffle here.

The Exclusive Nobody Will Read

The High Court has blocked a compensation bid by prisoners barred from voting. Sam Coates at The Times has got hold of a memo suggesting Britian can ignore the unaccountable court’s decree. However behind the paywall no one is going to see it. It also seems that they haven’t even bothered to upload to original document. This is why The Guardian website is much more successful.

Apparently the “worst case scenario” is 70,000 to 80,000 prisoners at any given time could claim compensation estimated at up to £143 million. The court has no legal powers to force the Government to pay though.

No money for Mr Hirst then.

UPDATE: Ask and ye shall receive. The memo has been put, this side of the wall. A concession that nobody would see it otherwise…

Cowardly Clegg : AV "Nothing To Do With Me"

Nick Clegg just told the Today programme this morning that the AV referendum was “nothing to do with me”. Strange, Guido was at the Liberal Democrat Party conference where he launched the campaign for AV.

That sounded pretty cowardly and reminded Guido of one Gordon Brown, whenever trouble was around Gordon could not be found. Clegg argued for AV on the radio this morning and he is going to give one speech today, after that he is disappearing from the Yes to AV campaign. Last night his local Sheffield radio station, Hallam FM, were chairing a debate. Fellow Sheffield MP David Blunkett was tp argue the case for “No to AV” against Clegg, yet despite being invited in January, Clegg was nowhere to be seen. He is keeping out of the Yes campaign because of fears it will become a “No to Nick” referendum.

Despite the “Yes to AV” side being largely staffed by LibDem activists, funded by LibDem donors and essentially a LibDem campaign to keep them in power, Nick Clegg is keeping a low-profile. This is because the Yes side want to portray themselves as anti-politics, despite AV being the ultimate politicians fix. Under AV Clegg will be able to cut a political deal to save his skin behind closed doors with whomever gets the most votes, never mind the manifesto promises…

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Quote of the Day

Philip Hammond at Treasury questions:

“I’m sorry to be boring.”

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