Why CNN Will Fire Piers Morgan

Will Operation Black Vote Defend Lee Jasper Again?

Lee Jasper’s racist Twitter outbursts are rumbling on. It seems the disgraced former City Hall aide is running out of friends. One person that constantly stands by him though is Simon Woolley, the leader of Operation Black Vote, the campaign to get more black people involved in politics. Last month when Jasper came under fire for comparing the British police to Apartheid South Africans. In response to Woolley said:

“There have been times throughout our history when politicians, newspapers and funders have indicated that if we cast aside Lee Jasper we will gain their support and funding. I’m pleased to say at every juncture that has occurred we’ve showed them the door. Without integrity we have no organisation. Keep with us and spread the word. Our strength is in our unity. “

Does this still apply given Jasper’s latest tirades against “white boys”?

Guido wouldn’t normally care who or what a private organisation chooses to condemn or support, but Freedom of Information requests shine an important light on Operation Black Vote:

  • In July 2009 OBV was allocated £271,228.00 grant funding for the period July 2009 to March 2011 by Communities and Local Government to promote civic and political representation in minority ethnic communities.
  • OBV has also received departmental funding of £85,000 in 2009-10 and £85,000 in 2010-11 for their MP Shadowing Scheme.
  • Between April 2006 and March 2009, OBV received grants totalling £448,510.00.

OBV pretend to be politically neutral, yet backed Diane Abbott’s leadership campaign and Yes2AV. Given that they choose to hug left-wing agitators and race-agitators like Lee Jasper close to their chest, why exactly should we all pick up the tab? If they do nothing about Jasper then it’s time to reconsider that taxpayer funding…

Suspicious Timing

Two weeks ago Guido noted who was blaming who within Downing Street for the Coulson situation. It was made clear to him that Steve Hilton was trying to push any flak firmly in the direction of Cameron’s Chief of Staff Ed Llewellyn. The latter came under intense pressure as the crisis blew up, with widespread calls for him to walk. How funny then that Hilton was subject to such a particularly wounding insider briefing in this morning’s FT:

Just a thought…

£4.2 Million To Change Labour’s Mind

When the government announced that they were switching from the Retail to Consumer Price Index for pensions, Labour kicked off. Stephen Timms set out their absolute opposition to the move in the Commons, and Balls told the GMB union that the move one of the biggest hits “to the living standards of your members in a generation”However it seems that it was all just opportunistic bluster…

Kudos to the eagle-eyed Tory spinner in CCHQ who spotted that Labour’s  annual accounts show that they too have changed from RPI to CPI for their own pension scheme. And why the sudden change of heart? Well a £4.2 million reduction in the cash-strapped Labour Party’s own pension liabilities must have helped…

Leveson Unleashed

Lord Justice Leveson told the press this morning he’s coming for them and will begin taking evidence in September. He says he will use all powers exercise his powers to compel witnesses to not only to testify but to turn over their documents as well. Is that the gentle hum of shredders coming out of Canary Wharf?

One thing he made very clear was that this inquiry would not be restricted to the News of the World, or even the tabloids. Leveson pleaded for hacks not to “close ranks”, making it clear they were all in his sights. Evidence will be given under oath. Better get lawyered up Piers…

Mini-Reshuffle Runners and Riders

As reported yesterday, Downing Street have signed off the plans for a mini-shuffle should the CPS press the big-red Huhne button. All talk of the one time leader in waiting being able to cling on, despite a charge, has withered away, even amongst his most loyal Praetorians online. As Guido told you back in May, the two LibDem front-runners for the Energy and Climate Change brief are Ed Davey and Jeremey Browne:

“Both are Orange Bookers, though Browne is seen as more right-wing which will likely dent his chances for the soppy climate change brief. Obviously Laws is toxic and Guido understands that Sarah Teather has little chance of a promotion.”

Huhne has managed to convince everyone he’s a bit left-wing, which makes Davey seem a likelier option. Though given he held the LibDems Foreign affairs brief before the election, it would make sense to pop him in the Foreign Office and promote the telegenic Browne to the Cabinet.

After she lost control of her backbenchers, leaving the Prime Minister floundering at the height of the phone hacking crisis, the speculation that Warsi is for the chop is growing. Grant Shapps is much tipped to replace her as Tory chairman. Newsnight’s permanent fixture Michael Fallon wouldn’t be too happy though. The current Deputy Chairman has been pressing the flesh recently…

Guido reckons two birds could be killed with one stone here. Shapps, the uber-loyal Cameroon Housing Minister could go and beef up the CCHQ operation, Warsi could stay out of trouble sticking little windmills on a map in Huhne’s old job, and a LibDem could replace Shapps. However it is unlikely that the yellows would be willing to swap a Cabinet job for a mere Minister. Though given the fact that Huhne walking would be their third Cabinet cock-up in a row, perhaps Dave should put his foot down.

Hilton’s Half-Decent Idea

Steve Hilton is coming under all sorts of fire for some mad blue-sky ideas he may or may not have thrown around in Downing Street. The FT are running with the fact that he suggested cutting maternity leave, job centres and pondered why the PM had to obey the law. Though the article is somewhat weakened by the concession that “the shaven-headed policy guru’s friends admit that three-quarters of his ideas fail to get off the drawing board – to the relief of colleagues.”

There is all sorts of speculation flying around about who leaked it, the knives seem to be out for  Hilton again, and this article looks suspiciously like the revenge of Sir Humphrey. The theory that this was Steve himself flying a kite can’t be discounted though. Amongst the bait, upon which the opposition have dutifully bit, there was a gem though:

“When Mr Hilton was looking at ways to cut the deficit, he suggested replacing hundreds of government press officers with a single person in each department who would convey all necessary information via a blog.”

Guido thinks this is a fantastic idea. Imagine all those efficiency savings. If three-quarters of Hilton’s ideas go in the bin, this one, along with his Eurosceptic conversion should be the last to go…

Quote of the Day

The Sun mocks Cable’s “attack” on red tape…

“Way to go, Vince Cable. As the economy flatlines, the Business Secretary saves the day – by cutting regulations on the sale of chocolate liqueurs. ‘This is very radical – we are moving fast,’ declared Mr Cable as he went further by axing rules on fly spray and lowering the age for buying Christmas crackers… Thank goodness the Business Secretary didn’t do anything rash, like tackling the high taxes and red tape destroying enterprise.”



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Quote of the Day

Liz Kendall is asked by Tom Newton Dunn if she would ever ban the Sun from one of her press conferences:

“If you stripped naked and ran in front of me, Tom, I might have second thoughts about it, but apart from that, no.”

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