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Neo-Guido has been doing the rounds of broadcasters trying to bring harmony where there is discord:
He is on Sky News shortly with Ken Livingstone’s former race adviser and rabble rouser, Lee Jasper, at 17.30.
We have previous…
Diane Abbott in 2010:
“The Labour Party should never get involved in the politics of racial division.”
During his pre-Christmas leadership wobble, Ed rushed out the news that Tim Livesey, a former senior adviser to the Archbishop of Canterbury, has been hired as his new Chief of Staff. Well what a first week he’s having! Yesterday there was Glasman, then the cack-handed response to Abbott this morning, and now Tom Baldwin’s latest strategy memo has been leaked, to much hilarity. Apparently Labour’s post-election recovery has been the best of any party in history. Quiet at the back.
Isn’t it amazing how it’s Sam Coates of The Times keeps getting Baldwin’s memos. They used to work together when Baldwin was the Times’ Chief Reporter. It’s almost as if Baldwin knows that a “leak” is more likely to be read over a press release. Straight out of the Democrat play-book…
UPDATE: Not a strategy, it is a lunchtime line to take. Baldwin would know.
Labour hq source just called. The lunchtime leak memo is 'not a strategy document'. It is a 'script for people going on broadcast'. Er…
— Sam Coates Times (@SamCoatesTimes) January 5, 2012
Hungry? Fancy a rib-eye steak and hand-cut chips with béarnaise sauce served in the agreeable setting of a restaurant in an historic building on the riverside. Waited on by liveried waiters bringing silver service to white linen tables? It will cost our MPs a mere £7.80 and you’ll chip in £5.93 in subsidy for that lunch. We are all in it together.
If you are a vegetarian or dieting for the New Year perhaps you would like an artichoke and tomato salad drizzled with truffle dressing? Only £2.05 in the MPs’ dining room thanks to the £1.56 that minimum wage taxpayers have contributed to the MPs lunch in subsidy. The 646 MPs have their lunches subsidised to the tune of £8,823 each per annum. Three years after the expenses scandal, MPs are still troughing at our expense…
“We disagree with Diane’s tweet. It is wrong to make sweeping generalisations about any race, creed, or culture. The Labour Party has always campaigned against such behaviour – and so has Diane Abbott.”
Time for an apology, or it won’t be the last comment they have to make about their Shadow Health Minister…
UPDATE: Firstly there was this:
And now this:
“I understand people have interpreted my comments as making generalisations about white people. I do not believe in doing that. I apologise for any offence caused.”
It comes as no surprise that Guido’s speculation that it was Ed on the phone turned out to be correct. It sounds like she has a gun to her head. Why did this take hours? Thought it was “taken out of context”? A long morning…
The latest internal CCHQ newsletter for the Midlands welcomes Rupert Matthews as Roger Helmer MEP’s replacement. It even has a whole article about his preparations for taking over. It was sent out by the official Conservative’s Midlands ofice and, given the ongoing row over the succession, HQ might have something to say about it. It’s looking increasingly difficult for Sayeeda Warsi and Co. to block Matthews becoming an MEP, as they have spent the last few months trying to do…
As predicted, it’s the “context” line. Diane Abbott has broken cover to say: “tweet taken out of context. Refers to nature of 19th century European colonialism. Bit much to get into 140 characters.” Except that isn’t quite true, Abbott was mid-conversation about generalisations and race and used the present tense. She also had 34 characters left in the Tweet. Terrible holding statement, and no apology. Over to you Ed…
Diane Abbott is never far from controversy, especially online. Remember the time she tweeted Labour’s latest poll results during the two-minute Remembrance Day silence? Well there can no blaming a staffer for yesterday’s tweet, that has caused uproar across all parties. At a time when the media is having a long overdue conversation about racism, Abbott is refusing to see that there is anything wrong with slamming an entire group of people based on the colour of their skin. She is a Shadow Minister and represents a constituency that is 61% white…
Sections 17 to 29 of the Public Order Act 1986 are pretty clear on statements like this. They cover deliberately provoking hatred of a racial group, distributing racist material to the public, and perhaps most notably in this case, inciting inflammatory rumours about an ethnic group, for the purpose of spreading racial discontent. Or perhaps a “sorry” would be more appropriate…
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Mandy Rice-Davies (R.I.P.) on Lord Astor’s denial of their affair….
“Well he would, wouldn’t he?”