Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ed Miliband and Tessa Jowell Invited Circle Into NHS

A co-conspirator forwarded this email sent to Massoud Fouladi, the Chief Medical Officer and co-founder of the Circle partnership which is taking over the running of a failing NHS hospital.

Labour leaning blogs and activists are up in arms about the invitation to the Circle Partnership to come in and run Hinchingbrooke Hospital. They seem to forget that it was Labour’s now Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham who started the Hinchingbrooke process. The decision to proceed with the franchise was one of his first acts as Health Secretary. Circle has already done some £110 million of NHS business under the last Labour Government. Labour’s Liz Kendall told the commons today: “Patients and the public will be deeply worried that this morning they have seen this Government’s true vision for the future of our NHS”. Ironically Andy Burnham, who started the whole process, was nowhere to be seen today,

Sorry Was the Silliest Word

It seems that Kate Green apologising to the House yesterday for not declaring her financial interests, despite putting down amendments to legislation on behalf of unions, may shape up to be a massive tactical error for Labour. There is no excuse them not to apologise now every-time they are caught red-handed…

Quick off the mark the Tories are scouring every outlet for evidence of Trade Union influence on legislation, and it didn’t take them long to find Labour’s rising star Rachel Reeves doing the dirty:

“A leaked internal Labour document shows that the trade unions put pressure on Rachel Reeves, then Shadow Pensions Minister, to amend the Pensions Bill. Rachel Reeves election campaign received £3,000 in donations from Unite the union – one of the trade unions putting pressure on her to make amendments to the Bill.”

Warsi has written to Miliband to complain, but Guido’s not going to  hold his breath for her letter being filed anywhere other than the bin. When will Reeves apologise to the House, or were they just making an example of Kate Green?

 

Guido is Getting Under Tom Watson’s Skin

For the last few months Guido has been the only one to point at Tom Watson’s new emperor outfit and laugh. Because of his new role as crusher of the press, the papers didn’t report his taxpayer funded PR adviser, nor his hypocrisy on spending, nor his late night antics at this year’s Labour conference. They’re not going to mention the real reason Tom was being watched by the tabloids in Brighton 2009 either…

However, Watson’s reputation took a knock today and the pack dared to criticise the bully for his over the top “mafia” attacks. Sky’s Sophy Ridge tweets that he just refused to do an interview with them because someone, somewhere on Sky News has quoted this blog. Apparently that makes “trivial television”. Not a great day for Tom to call others trivial… 

Guido will have something to say about Watson when he gives evidence to the Joint Committee on Privacy and Injunctions next week. Something tells him that Tommy won’t be repeating that he thinks the blog is “legendary“:

Attacks on Ken Hotting Up

Quote of the Day

Watson’s Grandstanding Slammed
Won’t Stop TV Headlines Though

Tom Watson created some drama at James Murdoch’s Select Committee appearence with the revelation, clearly not even briefed to the other members of the committee, that he’d met with Neville Thurlbeck. The former Screws Chief Reporter allegedly told Watson that the paper’s legal man Tom Crone had shown James Murdoch the email he denies he ever saw. Watson should have quit while he was ahead…

Instead his “you must be first mafia boss in history who didn’t know he was running a criminal enterprise” triggered groans from his fellow MPs.   The Guardian’s media man Dan Sabbagh wasn’t impressed: “Watson really blew it at the end with over the top questioning pushing the mafia line. His Media Guardian Deputy Editor called it “OTT”, ITV said “Watson fails to land a blow on Murdoch, so resorts to insults…and makes himself look ridiculous.” It’s as if he could hear the movie soundtrack in his head…

Ebenezer Rusbridger Cancels Christmas

Last year the Guardian Media Group lost over £54 million, but that didn’t stop the Editor at Large Alan Rusbridger taking home a cheeky £605,000. Revenue was down from £221 million to £198.2 millon across the group. The Guardian and The Observer’s lost £38.3 million. As a result Christmas has been cancelled. Last year all the hacks were asked for a £20 contribution to the Christmas lunch, but things have got so bad that this year there is no Christmas lunch. Not even a Winterval drink…

UPDATE:

Ed: “Look at Me! Look at Me!”

Yesterday Alistair Darling decried the EU leaders and said that a summit without a deal is worse than no summit at all. This morning razor-sharp Ed has called for an emergency summit this weekend. He says that the leaders “should not be allowed to break up until a deal on European Central Bank and European Financial Stability Facility is agreed”. Given that he won’t actually be invited to any such meeting, will it be him on the door “not allowing” them to leave?

A good Leader of the Opposition needs to pick their battles carefully and Guido reckons that Ed’s going to look very silly on this one…

An Obvious BBC Cut

It’s hard being Nick Robinson. Instead of queueing with the rest of the  media for Murdoch’s 11am appearance in front of the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee, he had a proxy waiting outside the committee room. It seems your licence money is now paying for Soviet Union style proxy queuers.

Cut…

Exclusive: Balls Pulls Lobbyist Strings For Young Aide


Last week Guido reported that Ed Balls had tried desperately to get one of his Shadow Cabinet colleagues to employ the apple of his eye, Ellie Gellard, as their political adviser. They all refused based on her lack of non-Twitter related experience. Having written his cornier speeches and been his general bag-carrier, today Guido can exclusively reveal that Balls has sorted her out with an actual job, in the actual private sector. As a lobbyist with Tetra Strategy…

This change of employment may not mean an end to late night Soho drinking sessions for Ed and Ellie. James O’Keefe and Lee Petar who run Tetra Strategy were both mentioned by Balls in the leaked Telegraph documents that revealed the extent of Balls’ personal war against Blair. Their lobby shop came to attention when it employed the disgraced expenses cheat Julie Kirkbride, more recently they came under the full media glare when it emerged they had been the organisation behind the now infamous meeting between Adam Werritty, Liam Fox and defence industry businessman Harvey Boulter. Industry sources imply that Tetra “do dodgy” – representing Russian oligarchs, the Government of Dubai, NHS contractors and private equity firms. Guido has confirmed that Ellie will be starting there next week, thanks to Balls. As members of the APPC, no Tetra employee can be a holder of a parliamentary pass, and at this time of heightened scrutiny of links between lobbyists and politicians she will have to surrender her pass on Friday…

Guido did try to ask Tetra Strategy what was it about the sultry 21 year-old that first attracted the lobbyists to hire her, was it her intimate knowledge of union affairs gained from Charlie Whelan? Was it her Twitter campaigning know-how? No one was available for comment…


Seen Elsewhere

Twitter Should Not Ban Racist Words | Alex Wickham
Guardian Staff’s Elite Schooling | Chris McGovern
Term-Time Holidays Were State Encouraged | Liberal England
What Did Britain Really Look Like in 1930s? | CapX
Who Is Steering Labour’s Strategy? | Ballot Box
Greens are UKIP for Young People | Telegraph
Short-Termism of CCHQ | ConHome
May Aide: CCHQ Are Being Misleading | Telegraph
Tories Planning For Second Election | Guardian
We Are Losing Cyber War | Fraser Nelson
Osborne Aide Lands Pay Rise | Mirror


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Mandy Rice-Davies (R.I.P.) on Lord Astor’s denial of their affair….

“Well he would, wouldn’t he?”


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