Quote of the Day

The PMS gets a little confused about that crooked fella’:

“The Prime Minister continues to have confidence in his environment secretary…the energy secretary, even.”

Screws Hacked Missing Milly’s Mobile

The Guardian are reporting this afternoon that the News of the World hacked into Milly Dowler’s voicemail and deleted messages so that pending ones could come into her inbox. In other words they tampered with evidence in a police investigation into a missing young girl for the sake of some column inches. Current News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks was the Screws editor at the time. Someone will take the fall for this one.

Hari’s “Scoops”

The sun isn’t going down on the Johann Hari scandal. The careless whisper that he was tidying up what the subjects of his “interviews” were saying, doesn’t cover all of his artistic prose. What about when the interviewee isn’t a writer, yet still gets a spruce up? How are we meant to find a little faith then? 

Anna Raccoon and The Debrief have been pondering Hari’s “exclusive” interview with George Michael in the Indy back in 2005. The same interview exclusively appeared on Hari’s personal site the same day. Amazingly Hari seems to have blagged another interview with the troubled singer in 2009, this time for the Huffington Post. Except it’s not a new “exclusive” interview, it’s the same one – he simply changed the ages in the piece to reflect the time passed. A simple google from the HuffPo team would have proved that. Oh and of course there were bits of the original stolen from elsewhere. Wham!

Elsewhere around the web Archbishop Cranmer has his take, the Staggers’ notes Hari’s great affection for the Daily Mail. The HuffPo covers the scandal of the Indy journalist (Hari) who is a terrible fraud, neglecting to mention that Hari has written (or rather cut and pasted) for them, for years. Fancy that…

UPDATE: Guido understands that this week’s edition of Private Eye is going to be Hari-tastic.

IMF Bailout Billions to be Debated

Tomorrow morning the Statutory Instruments Committee in Committee Room 14 of the Commons will consider for 90 minutes the extra £9.5 billion the government proposes to export to the IMF en route to Greece and probably the ECB. That is some £105 million per minute of debate. £9.5 billion is a lot of care for the aged.

Hat-tip: John Redwood

Where’s Dave?

The PM did not attend this morning’s Reagan statue unveiling due to a “long standing international engagement”. Paul Waugh has been dropping hints all morning, and now that a British soldier has gone missing in Afghanistan, might we be seeing the PM leading the search from the front? So to speak… 

UPDATE:

Labour’s £51,000 Pilgrim

Yesterday’s News of the World hailed, with paywall smashing fanfare, a huge clamp down on taxpayer funding of trade union officials. Music to Guido’s ears after his long campaign against such pilgrims.

Mad Frankie Maude is on the rampage with his axe:

“Maude is ready to tear up workers’ rights laws that force struggling families to pay the wages of full-time union officials in public services. A senior Whitehall source said: “We’re looking closely at the huge levels of support unions receive. This is high on our agenda.”

The momentum is building. There is no justification for the taxpayer paying a lobbying organisation to fight for an unsustainable mess in the interests of a vocal minority group. We don’t pay the arms dealers and the tobacco lobbyists’ staffing bills…

Take this classic example flagged up by the Black Country’s Express and Star:

“Judy Foster is employed as an administration officer by the fire service. But for the past seven years the Labour councillor has been devoting all her working time to Unison, representing 280 fire workers. The fire service has now insisted that Councillor Foster spends half her working time on fire service duties and half with the union. But Unison has appealed against the offer and says her union work should be full time and funded entirely by the taxpayer.”

Why? On what grounds?

“Councillor Foster, who was elected in 1998, already picks up £9,300 in allowances from Dudley Council along with £14,475 as vice chairman of the West Midlands Police Authority. With her £28,000 job, it brings her combined taxpayer-funded salary and allowances to more than £51,000.”

Guido reckons he’s found an “efficiency saving” right there.

The Gipper

UPDATE:

Rich and Mark’s Monday Morning View



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Quote of the Day

The Donald asks what America wants from a President…

“I spent less, I won the most. Isn’t that what you want from your President for a little time?”

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