Labour Too Positive About Economy

On the day the recession returned with GDP coming in at what Gordon Brown would describe as “negative growth” the Labour Party released their first fancy Obama-style infographic on Facebook.

Unfortunately it was what is known in the trade as a ‘SMOG’ – a Social Media Own Goal. The bar chart was all too positive…

Speaker in Gay Harassment Scandal

The Speaker has been forced to deny allegations that he had harassed an openly gay male staffer. The adviser claims that he was only hired “for the purpose of pursuing a sexual relationship” and was harassed in person and by text message. Australia’s Parliamentary Speaker Peter Slipper has stood down temporarily, but strongly denies the allegations, saying they came as a complete surprise…

Yellow Hands Are Dirty Too

The one time LibDem DCMS spokesman Don Foster said in the House earlier: “Politicians have been cosying up to the media for too long. Given press perception and actual impartiality, it is improper for politicians to make decisions about media ownership”. He would know:

Are the LibDem’s hands really clean here?

They have their own people in Murdoch’s world – take Sky’s Head of Policy David Wheeldon who was a former senior member of LibDem policy unit. Despite it being a matter for BIS and then Culture, the emails released yesterday are full of meetings with Jonny Oates – Clegg’s adviser who is a former director of Bell Pottinger and one of two controversial lobbyists at the heart of the Deputy Prime Minister’s team. Vince’s team were also calling Fred Michel unsolicited. There is no doubt that Vince hated Murdoch, but to suggest the LibDems are somehow saintly is a joke. They are trying to pretend they didn’t go to the News Intrnational party out of choice, when in reality they were not invited…

Ken Promising Full Silveta Accounts

Ken Livingstone has a tendency to shoot his mouth off and says things which are inadvisable, like criticising politicians for cosying up to News International when he himself is no stranger to Wapping:

Incidentally when Guido tweeted this picture yesterday twitter-idiots claimed it was a fake. It is absolutely genuine.

At the London Jewish Forum last night under pressure about his tax affairs Ken promised again that the certified Silveta accounts would be published online “shortly”. No sign of them yet. Only 20 days since he first promised he would..

Murdoch Calls Brown “Unbalanced”

While Hunt waves/drowns in Parliament Murdoch has been shining some light on Brown. The key quote from when the Sun switched to supporting the Tories in in late 2009 Murdoch confirms that Brown called to say:

“Your company has declared war on my government and we have no alternative but to make war on your company. It never occurred to me that our lack of support for Brown would lead to obstacles in our plans for a takeover of BSkyB.”

A claim denied at the time…

+ + + Hunt SpAd Adam Smith Quits + + +

Hunt’s SpAd has been resigned for apparently speaking to News Corp without Hunt’s permission, but it does not stop there. Section 4 of  the Special Advisers code states:

“The responsibility for the management and conduct of special advisers, including discipline, rests with the Minister who made the appointment.”

That is also confirmed in section 3.3 of the Ministerial Code:

“All special advisers must uphold their responsibility to the Government as a whole, not just their appointing Minister. The  responsibility for the management and conduct of special advisers, including discipline, rests with the Minister who made the appointment. Individual Ministers will be accountable to the Prime Minister, Parliament and the public for their actions and decisions in respect of their special advisers. It is, of course, also open to the Prime Minister to terminate employment by withdrawing his consent to an individual appointment.”

With Hunt up at 12.30, Guido is wondering how he’s going to try claim his SpAd was acting rogue when last night he said the contact was authorised?

UPDATE: Adam Smith says:

“While it was part of my role to keep News Corporation informed throughout the BskyB bid process, the content and extent of my contact was done without authorisation from the Secretary of State. I do not recognise all of what Fred Michel said, but nonetheless I appreciate that my activities at times went too far and have, taken together, created the perception that News Corporation had too close a relationship with the department, contrary to the clear requirements set out by Jeremy Hunt and the permanent secretary that this needed to be a fair and scrupulous process. Whilst I firmly believe that the process was in fact conducted scrupulously fairly, as a result of my activities it is only right for me to step down as special adviser to Jeremy Hunt.”

They have now admitted that there was wrong doing. The rules are very clear…

Adam Smith picture from Steve Back.

Rupert Murdoch tells Mr Jay:

“If you want to judge my thinking look at the Sun.”

Double Dip Misery Index

Despite the news that the UK is officially back in recession, the slump in GDP and year on year surge in this month’s Public Sector Borrowing figures have been padded by a fall in inflation and an 35,000 drop in unemployment. Due to this, we are slightly less unhappy this month. The figure is almost identical to this time last year…

N.B. Stats bods can check Guido’s adding up here

PMQs LIVE: Murdoch Hunt Edition

[…]

+ READ MORE +

+ + + Double Dip + + +

UK GDP fell -0.2% in Q1 2012. Ouch…[…]

+ READ MORE +

Michel Threatens Hunters

So the fightback begins, and not just from Hunt, who quite fairly wants his day in court. The statement he put out last night claimed some of the information was inaccurate and it later emerged the the Permanent Secretary at […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Charles Clarke says Cameron is the most successful PM for over a century…

“Under Margaret Thatcher the Conservatives gained 99 seats. They lost 211 under John Major, gained one under William Hague, quickly and wisely got rid of Ian Duncan-Smith, gained 32 under Michael Howard and have so far gained 133 under David Cameron who, to the great surprise of many (including senior Conservatives), has turned out to be the most electorally successful Tory leader since 1900.”

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