September 20th, 2011

SpAd’s Unrecorded Private Email Network Includes Ministers

While we are on the subject of controversal email practice,  it is worth noting that the use of personal email accounts to avoid the eyes, and ham-fists, of civil servants is not confined to one department. The rules in the Special Adviser’s code state that party political activity must not be done on government resources, Andy Coulson used to remind SpAds of this when they were appointed to their jobs, telling them to use their own private emails. Guido understands that government Ministers Oliver Letwin and Frankie Maude prefer to use Google’s G-Mail rather than the government network. When it was broached with Frankie that there were security issues about this, Maude is said to have quipped that he’s the Minister for Transparency so it didn’t matter…

Steve Hilton is said to be a big fan of instant messaging on Skype, and Cameron still has his Yahoo mail, though he prefers to text message MPs, which isn’t always as private or secure as one might hope.  Downing Street information security protocols do not allow the use of webmail on official computers, hence the common sight of double-BlackBerry wielding SpAds and ministers. It also assists Ministers and SpAds who want to outwit backward looking civil servants resistant to change – a big problem in the Education Department…


145 Comments

  1. 1
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Well Labour have had 13 years stuffing the place with moles

    Like

    • 10
      Tax Payer says:

      The distinction between government/party/private has been blurred for years.

      I’m sure that minister’s, SpAd’s and civil servant’s have had (strictly speaking) inappropriate conversations about party matters all the time. And have done under all governments.

      So what’s the problem with emails along the same lines?

      Like

    • 13
      Sense of perspective says:

      Woooooooooo if the debt crisis , or war on terror or rioting in the streets or escalating energy bills aren’t bad enough, we now have “controversial e mail behaviour” to contend with. Surely the final sign that the apocalypse is upon us !

      Like

      • 25
        Lord Stansted says:

        You are missing the point. If they don’t understand simple email security then thay are little able to understand much else. Think of it as having an affair – if you’ll cheat on your wife then you’ll cheat on anyone.

        Like

        • 46
          David Laws Lib Dem fiddler says:

          Irrespective of the medium it is the content that we need to fix our attention. Guido, have you contacted anyone at Lie Dumb HQ about the Green wasteful tax that is putting so much cost on our energy bills?

          I appreciate Sir Reg Sheffield (Cameron’s father-in-law) gets a wind fall each week for leasing his land for fart machines and Yeo MP is lining his pockets but for the vast millions it is not a joke.

          Why is the CPS taking so long- are they waiting for the conference season to finish??

          Like

    • 15
      Guido's mammy says:

      FFS fatboy, get a job!

      Like

    • 20
    • 67
      Anonymous says:

      The rat catcher needs to be sent for, where are you Lord Tebbitt?

      http://horsforthletdownbyleeds.blogspot.com/

      Like

    • 80
      AC1 says:

      @Guido this needs a right hand side link

      http://caracaschronicles.com/2011/09/17/johann-hari-busted-for-the-wrong-thing/
      “I won’t pretend otherwise: I found British columnist and PSF-extraordinaire Johann Hari’s fake-quote-fueled disgrace (complete with having to drop the “award-winning” from his CV) especially gratifying.

      Busted for plagiarizing other journalists’ work, malicious use of Wikipedia sock-puppets, and generally playing fast-and-loose with the basic rules of journalism, Hari’s been forced to hand back his Orwell Prize, march off to Journalistic Ethics school and step down (appallingly, temporarily) from his perch at The Independent. (Just imagine if journalists in Venezuela faced these kinds of consequences for making shit up!)

      To say Johann Hari had it coming is an understatement. Below, I’m reprinting my 2008 rebuttal to some of his embarrassingly bad Venezuela reporting: judge for yourself.

      It strikes me that, while we can only be heartened to see hackistry on this scale meet its comeuppance, Hari’s name is being dragged through the mud for all the wrong reasons. Because while attacking your critics on Wikipedia under a pseudonym is certainly tawdry, the sins he’s being held responsible for are relatively minor compared to his wholesale endorsement of a tinpot autocrat’s propaganda fantasies.

      In falling hook, line and sinker for the whole panoply of chavista propaganda myths, Hari showed a poverty of the soul that you can’t fix with a couple of semesters in J-School. And The Independent disgraced itself in failing to fact-check the many, evident and grave misstatements of fact in his Venezuela reporting.”

      Like

    • 107
      Oliver Letwin says:

      Jenny, need to prepare statement for when we dump Clegg and the LibDems….whoops, hit the worng bloody key, er….

      Like

  2. 2
    enema of the state says:

    they’re all devious, lying cun*ts – tell us something we didn’t know

    Like

  3. 3
    enema of the state says:

    “a big problem in the Education Department” – the biggest problem in that department is nancy boy, cocksucker Gove

    Like

    • 12
      Engineer says:

      The biggest problem that department has is that British education is crap, and they are institutionally incapable of improving it.

      Like

      • 17
        AC1 says:

        Government is the problem, not the answer.

        Time for government to merely make sure Parents get their children an education.

        Like

        • 28

          Yay instead of just making less crap schools we can privatise them and expect single working mothers slaving 60 hour weeks for 240 take home to have lots of money left to spend on rent,electric,gas,foodLtravel and clothes and also edjumacation.

          Your a genius AC1

          Have. Yourself a cookie.

          Like

          • AC1 says:

            Maybe, If you cannot afford kids you shouldn’t have them, rather than force others to pay for them????

            Thanks and keep your fingers confined to your own wallet.

            Like

          • smoggie says:

            Subsidise condoms not single fat chav mums,

            Like

          • Selohesra says:

            Better still Smoggie – sterilise those found guilty of rioting or benefit cheating – and to show we are all in it together extend sterilisation to expense cheating MPs

            Like

          • Sir William Waad says:

            Maybe if they gave her the money that they would have spent on giving her kids a crap education?

            Like

          • smoggie says:

            Sterilise anyone on benefits. The workshy might actually die out and we could actually pay off the nation’s debt.

            Like

          • Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

            Eugenics?

            Fabians will love that.

            Like

          • AC1 says:

            Sir William Waad,
            I prefer the loan option. Government is a transfer organisation so giving to one party means taking from another, and with the current tax system that means harming the economy…

            Like

        • 29
          non believer says:

          yes, private education for all!

          why has no one else had this genius idea?

          Like

          • Engineer says:

            Years ago, they did. They were called ‘Grant Maintained’ schools – private enterprises that took pupils funded by the state. Most were of high standards, because nobody wanted to send their offspring to them if they were poor.

            Unfortunately, there weren’t enough places for all, so some bog-standard comps had to be provided for those not fortunate enough to get in.

            Like

          • AC1 says:

            IT works. The state’s extortion funded, subsidised creche does not.

            Like

          • AC1 says:

            1) State run, Extortion funded schools have been a failure!

            2) ???

            3) Extort more, and more state involvement will improve things.

            Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
            Albert Einstein

            Like

          • scratch a libertarian sniff a nazi says:

            Ac1 doesnty seem to be smart enough to understand kids need a minimum 18 years to grow up and a lot of things can happen in 18 years. Let’s try and put this in a way he can process the facts.

            Kids equal one cyclical free market boom and bust cycle with low endogenious options for stable projection of previously single carefree spending budgets dribble wibble durrrrrrr

            What’s the minimum income level for desteralisation in your fascist wet dream utopia ac? You doink.

            Like

          • smoggie says:

            What the fuck are you on about?

            Like

          • AC1 says:

            He’s busy spelling endogenous incorrectly.

            That seems to be all.

            Like

          • AC1 says:

            Maybe he should try scratching less and reading a dictionary more?

            BTW found this interesting.

            http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-09-child-doesnt-village.html

            “It doesn’t take a village to raise a child after all, according to University of Michigan research.”

            Like

          • smoggie says:

            I bet the twat has done fuck all to help anyone in his life out of his own pocket. Much easier to get on the sanctimonious high horse to berate others. Makes the tightarse looks like he cares. Does he fuck.

            Armchair socialist.

            Like

          • AC1 says:

            My guess is that he’s projecting?

            Like

      • 27
        sockpuppet #4 says:

        You say that as if other countries know how do do education better.
        What you actually need is a more deferential society. But I’ve always said bollocks to that.

        Like

        • 31
          Engineer says:

          The international league tables of educational attainment would tend to indicate that many other countries do indeed know how to do education better.

          I think what we need is the courage to let good teachers get on with teaching, and the courage to tell bad teachers that their contribution to society might be better made in a different field. We also need to junk most of the ‘educational theory’ that has grown up over the last three decades or so, because the results clearly demonstrate that most of it is baloney.

          Like

          • sockpuppet #4 says:

            I say bollocks to international league tables too.

            In more deferential societies teachers can just get on with teaching and not bothere with all sorts of time consuming things like discipline. That explains some of the differences from country to country.

            And on the same theme … 1981. yes I remember it well. We sat down and only gave the most useless sods a hard time. I rekon most of the sillier stuff in education was in place before then.

            Oh, and “clearly demonstrates”. No. So you fail your foundation level science.

            Like

          • AC1 says:

            Maximise parental choice is always the best way. That means getting rid of the state, and thus bureaucrats (left-wing and thus false) whims.

            Like

        • 47
          AC1 says:

          Deferential Society?

          Haha. You want deference you have to earn it, and most modern teachers are in no-way entitled to any deference.

          Like

          • sockpuppet #4 says:

            Get a dictionary.

            When you were at school, I bet you sat and listened to the boring old cocks.

            Like

          • AC1 says:

            I made better use of my time and mitched off.

            Like

          • AC1 says:

            To learn computers.

            Seems to have worked.

            Like

          • non believer says:

            well bully for you, you were a computer geek, bunked off school and it worked out for you.

            therefore we should abolish all state involvement in schools, and leave it free markets to fill the void.

            is there anywhere else in the world that has no state involvement in education? Any ‘libertarian’ paradise where it’s resulted in improved standards for all?

            utter nonsense.

            Like

          • AC1 says:

            “no state involvement in education”

            I’m calling for the state to do what it does, which is force. Is force good at teaching? No.
            Is force good at coercing parents into making sure their own children get an education? Yes.

            Like

          • sockpuppet #4 says:

            “is force good at teaching”.

            Well maybe not, but if the little bastards don’t sit down, shut up, and stop whinging, then they’re not going to learn anything.

            Do you think they should express their darling rights to not cooperate?

            Like

          • James Murdoch says:

            Hey guys. Get a room. Suckas.

            Like

  4. 4
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Guido

    I have a slight problem with this, when info was leaked from the then Labour dictatership , it was a good thing, yet now other lot in charge people inside this coalition goverment leaking to Labour/BBC/Guardian is bad?

    Is only selective leaking good then?

    Like

    • 5
      Gordon Brown says:

      I have just had another leak.

      Like

    • 6
      Tax Payer says:

      Guido isn’t talking about leaks. He’s talking about the distinction between government and party emails, and what they both can and can’t be used for.

      Personally, I don’t see the problem, but I suppose strictly speaking there are rules on this.

      Like

    • 23
      tatifilarious says:

      Nobody said leaking was bad. Security protocol is obviously not good in government. Although it has improved since they’ve stopped leaving databases nd laptops on the train.

      Like

    • 36
      Security says:

      It’s quite common for councillors of all parties to list their e-mail as a google, hotmail, home address. Bear in mind that not many people in government spend much time in the office.

      Nowadays people get mail directly to their smart phone. If we wanted an equivalent and secure system, we’d need to pay for expensive Blackberry phones with exorbitant IT costs associated with it.

      With some modifications hotmail/googlemail accounts on phones can be as secure as blackberry devices – and far less expensive. The caveat’s being to not sync locally nor save the password for your account – require it to be entired on each use.

      Like

  5. 7
    Jess The Dog says:

    Sack all the SPADS.

    Why are they needed? £60K a year, how many of them?

    And how much is spent on additional consultancy research?

    All of this while we have a slow, undynamic and unexciting but long-established Civil Service.

    Time for a petition. Sack SPADS. Now.

    Like

    • 11
      Lard Presclott of Bulimia, Bog Seats, Beams,Bellies,Banjos,Punches, Croquet, Pies, Jags 'n' Shags says:

      Sack of spuds ?? I’ll take those.

      Like

    • 14
      billy hague bites yer bum says:

      over my dead body. the only reason i do this job is to get easy access to all that fresh young flesh

      Like

    • 16
      To be fair says:

      To be fair , without the crucial experience gleaned from a few years of bag carrying then the spads wouldnt have the requisite qualities required for a career representing us in Parliament.

      Like

    • 45
      Ken Clarke says:

      But Spads are a vital way of getting round those pesky good-for-nothing Civil Servants who keep wittering on about ‘but it’s public money’ when they should realise that it’s what’s good for the Minster that counts, not those ghastly unwashed with their trains and little houses. Damn them!

      I agree: no more SpadULike.

      Like

  6. 8
    Handycock says:

    Thanks for your kind advice on that Guido.

    Does it apply to I pods like mine bought on expenses.

    Happy lap dancing (now its all been brushed under the carpet)

    Like

  7. 9
    Engineer says:

    Do they ever use telephones or write memos nowadays?

    Like

    • 33
      smoggie says:

      I’ll reply shortly but I need your fax number.

      Like

      • 42
        Engineer says:

        Don’t bother – just send the office girl with a message.

        Like

        • 62
          Mornington Crescent T/A Phonotas says:

          They don’t even clean the telephones these days – ugh…

          Like

        • 91
          smoggie says:

          OK Cheryl from typing – the one with big tits is coming over. Easy to spot: short skirt and fishnet tights; too much makeup etc….

          …very strange bloke actually.

          Like

          • Engineer says:

            Always wondered a bit about the five o’clock shadow and hairy arms.

            Still, those diversity targets have to be met somehow.

            Thinking about it, it’s not all that urgent. Just pop it in the post.

            Like

  8. 18
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Douglas Alexander: “the British Government should be willing to support the recognition of Palestinian statehood” http://t.co/oX3hTY9D 2 minutes ago · reply · retweet · favorite

    Like

    • 22
      AC1 says:

      This’ll be fun to watch….

      Mother of 4 terrorist murderers
      chosen by the PA
      to launch statehood campaign

      http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=5656

      Like

    • 32
      Sophie says:

      This is all good.

      If a Palestinian State is recognised by the UN & founded this gives Israel the right in International Law to kick seven bells out of the shithole when they next try to kill Israeli school children with rocket & mortar fire.

      Such a shame that the Coalition here is rammed full of anti Israeli’s – both Tory & Lib Dem.

      That Muslim inner city block vote could be crucial at the next GE – I expect to see alot of kowtowing & appeasement of the cult of Mo in the next 24 months – no doubt with R_u_s_t_y D_a_v_e H_e_a_t_h_i_t_e in full on apologist mode.

      Spineless Blue Labour bastard that he is.

      Like

  9. 19
    annette curton says:

    While we are on the subject of controversal email practice… Eh?.

    Like

    • 37
      replacce the royals with golliwogs says:

      Only an idiot would use gmail for proper business transactions. I poay hundreds a month tio keep my company emails secure. These people are a joke! Time to chuck them in the trash!

      Like

  10. 30
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    I’ve just emailed members and supporters to tell them about Labour’s conference theme– Fulfilling the promise of Britain.

    Like

  11. 43
    replacce the royals with golliwogs says:

    moderation all across thle nation censored like a spastic.

    Like

  12. 49
    Larry Lamb says:

    What they need is a message that self destructs. Just like that 70s TV programme.

    Like

  13. 51
    Funky Pigeon says:

    I’m fed up with them trying to shoot the messenger.

    Like

  14. 57
    genghiz the kahn says:

    Joe Public not watching Deadwood on Youtube

    Ed Miliband – After the phone hacking scandal, the lasting change we need…

    301 views – loaded 1 month ago.

    Like

    • 123
      Archer Karcher says:

      Mr. Awsome aka Ed Miliband, has hypnotic presence, thirty seconds in you just drift off and when you come back you can’t remember a thing he said.

      Like

  15. 60
    nell says:

    “Education Dept – backward looking and resistant to change ”

    Ah that’ll be bullyballs’ legacy then. Whether Gove can turn it around remains to be seen.

    Like

  16. 64
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    so it is now apparent that rebels soldiers in tripoli yesterday shot dead a mother, her mother, her two daughters and her two sisters simply because their surname was gaddafi, this is no excuse to simply randomly shoot people dead and its actions like that r no different to the actions of gaddafi’s thugs and these kind of actions do the cause for a democratically led government in libya no gd!

    Like

    • 70
      billy hague bites yer bum says:

      who gives a fuck about a crowd of poor ragheads. think of the oil contracts – that’s the sort of liberation we should be focused on

      Like

    • 77
      nell says:

      Really? Have you got a link to that Bill?

      Like

      • 79
        Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

        Its a fake Billy.

        Like

        • 95
          Ted says:

          Just how many Billy Bowden’s are there?

          I always wondered how he achieved such a colossal rate of posting.
          Billy Bowden is more of a brand name then an individual. A collection of posters working in collaboration around the clock.

          Could the real Billy now stand up?

          Like

          • Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

            I is the orignal.

            I have one stalker (waves at stalker) , a few that do vairations (some are quite funny).

            Its quite flattering really.

            Like

          • smoggie says:

            Since “Ted” has posted zilch posts in the past few months one wonders, conversely, how many other monikers have you the individual been using round the clock if you’re so familiar with Billy’s work.

            Like

        • 99
          nell says:

          Yes I thought as much.

          Like

    • 119
      Ah! Monika says:

      BBC doesn’t call them rebels anymore . Troops of the interim government.

      Like

  17. 65
    zoo says:

    Huhne has a whiff of knob cheese on brown nylon about him

    Like

  18. 81
    Bramhall Neighbour says:

    Thinking of putting a small notice in my porch window

    ” WARNING intruders will be confronted with knives ”

    Does this weaken my legal defense if an intruder subsequently runs on to my blade ?

    Like

    • 85
      Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

      if he is intrunding onto your property threating you then its fine.

      Bear in mind the chances are that the intruder would have been educated under Labour so wont be able to read.

      Like

    • 102
      Sir William Waad says:

      It would be a bad idea because it would indicate that any violence that you used against an intruder was premeditated, rather than being in self-defence or a ‘heat of the moment’ response.

      Incidentally, the law in this area has never really changed. You have always been allowed to use reasonable force to defend yourself and your property, but you have never been allowed you kill somebody just because they have broken into your house. An 18th-century householder was convicted of murder after he shot and killed an intruder who was trying to escape over the garden wall.

      In the recent case, it looks as though it was self-defence.

      Like

    • 127
      AC1 says:

      Just put up a sign saying

      “Free knife Sharpening Bigger the better!”

      Like

      • 135
        Give me Justice, give me vengance ....Result ! says:

        Billy no balls could put up a sign saying “come on in, I dont believe in vengance”

        Like

  19. 82
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    BBCPolitics Government denies email cover-up http://t.co/AKVCXuQg 2 minutes ago · reply · retweet · favorite

    Is this he same story?

    Do the BBC have someone sitting there watch Guido Fawkes all day?

    Like

  20. 94
    Sir William Waad says:

    Does all this continual nervous gibbering help the process of government in any way?

    Like

    • 112

      I’ve joined twitter.

      Bought a budgie on execs. He perches in front of a laptop.
      The intern chucks a handful of seeds onto the keyboard every half hour and the bird pecks out a random, meaningless and pointless message.

      I got the idea after reading some of sally Bercow’s.

      Like

  21. 101
    Displaced Brummie says:

    Bloody good job, too! Now they know who was stealing the information from the government servers.

    Like

  22. 106
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Guido

    When you go to Labour conference (what fun), can i ask you to do one thing if you get the chance, Can you ask Ed Miliband if i can have his brothers (David Miliband) autograph?

    Thanks :-)

    Like

    • 117
      Voice of Reason says:

      Judging from your grammar and lack of capital letters you wouldn’t be able to read an autograph.

      Like

  23. 111
    Ah! Monika says:

    Something for Gove to get stuck into and make a name for himself

    Sir David Attenborough has weighed into a campaign calling for creationism to be banned from the school science curriculum and for evolution to be taught more widely in schools.

    Like

  24. 113
    Fuck the aged, Fuck the BBC, Fuck off Edinburgh &the magic monger. I want my rights back says:

    Surely private emails should discussed publicly.

    Like

  25. 116
    Fuck the aged, Fuck the BBC, Fuck off Edinburgh &the magic monger. I want my rights back says:

    Surely private emails should not be discussed publicly. People do not respect privacy anymore.

    Like

  26. 118

    Mr Huhne reminds us that if you want to save money you need to switch over..

    * Flash*
    Swap seats. And if anyone asks, say the missus was driving.

    Like

  27. 131
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    New thread.

    Like

  28. 137
    Ebenezer says:

    All those responsible for this latest attempt to evade democratic scrutiny must be immediately dismissed without compensation of any kind. Their families must be evicted from their homes, and they, together wirh their dependents, must be denied all state benefits and NHS treatment in perpetuity.

    Like

  29. 138
    Edgar Lustgarten says:

    Tony Blair Part Two – no more, no less.

    What a disappointment.

    Like

  30. 140
    The Colonel says:

    Is GORDON still alive? Has he been to the Commons yet since they returned from their 6 month holiday?
    I need to know as it is really annoying me!

    Like

  31. 141
    Maurice Maeterlinck says:

    A genuine investigation would obtain all the email traffic data for the past 12 months from the relevant ISPs and ask Gove and his accomplices to explain it all to a jury.

    As this would reveal who emailed whom, and at what date and time, we can be sure that no such investigation will take place, not even a bogus public enquiry.

    No amount of distractive braying about the need to crack down on this and that can conceal the stench of organised lying.

    Very sad to see the fate of our country pass into the hands of people like Gove.

    Like

  32. 143
    Eileen Critchley says:

    You have to speak Newspeak at The Ministry of Truth.

    But wait what’s this, the Proles are getting themselves organised!

    Like

  33. 144
    Jimmy says:

    “Andy Coulson used to remind SpAds of this when they were appointed to their jobs,”

    Reassuring to know they received their ethics training from an expert.

    Like


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