Thursday, June 7, 2012

No Beeb Action For Craig Oliver Leak

Guido hears that despite a concerted effort, the sources that brought the world the Craig Oliver V. Norman Smith video have not been found, and thus the BBC will be not be taking any action over the leak. Under pressure from No.10 enquiries were made, but to no avail. Guido went out of his way as always, to make sure this was the case.

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Ed Bottles €uro Vote

The swivel-eyed Europhiles in Ed’s team seem to have beaten Cruddas and Balls. The Labour leader said earlier:

“Our position has not changed since six months ago. We didn’t think it was the right time to be doing that given all that was happening… The priority in the eurozone is to sort out the problems of the eurozone. At this moment the idea that Britain would now embark on a referendum on getting out of Europe… The priority has got to be getting out of these problems… we needs to concentrate on jobs and growth at home, and they need to concentrate on jobs and growth in the eurozone as well.”

It does not rule out a referendum forever, but water is definitely being poured on growing speculation that Ed might actually do something bold…

Named Sources Contradict Anonymous “Slave Labour” Attack

Worried about a Tory bounce, Labour are desperate to try to play down the relative success of the Jubilee – Watson has been slagging off elites on Twitter and orders have been sent out to stir up the “slave labour” of young volunteers being “forced” to camp. The Tories are looking for apologies and distancing by Ed.

The BBC took the two Guardian’s unnamed sources and ran with them, though it seems they didn’t bother trying to contact other trainee stewards. The Mail did:

Robert Cooke, 30, from Plymouth:

“Organisers found somewhere for us to shelter, and said that if any of us wanted to get into our sleeping bags to keep warm, then we could. Most of us just stayed up chatting. It was a good laugh, and we had access to the portable loos the whole time. They have paid for all the training for my licence and an NVQ in crowd safety. They gave us boots worth £80, and a uniform. We worked out that what they’ve spent is the equivalent of us being paid £45 an hour.”

Kirsty Nicholls, 23, also from Plymouth:

“I would like to thank CPUK for the amazing experience I was a part of this weekend.  I am extremely grateful for this opportunity. We were treated with the utmost respect and highly praised for the work we had done. I personally volunteered to do all three days work as I found the experience incredibly pleasurable. I look forward to a long career with CPUK.”

Markus Hanks, another volunteer, said:

“Thanks for a great time at the Diamond Jubilee. Brilliant company to work for, great staff, brilliant atmosphere between everyone, looking forward to working with Close Protection UK again at the London 2012 Olympics. I’m supporting you and the Close Protection UK 110%.”

Paging the Today Programme…

Laurie’s Been Tweet Deletin’
Violent Threats To Stab Vanish


“Any time one of my sisters mentions any past or present romantic disappointment I get the urge to hunt someone down with sharp things” read Laurie Penny’s twitter feed last night. Momentarily at least – the tweet was soon deleted. After making a living out of lambasting “violent misogyny” Laurie finds herself in the glass house of violent misandry…

Pic via @OnTablets

Ed Should Listen to Watson More

Click to Play

Not a sentence headline we would normally use, but it would appear the Labour leader is frit. Ever since Neo-Guido asked Ed at a press conference whether he preferred the NHS or football, operational press releases and invitations to speeches immediately dried up. The BBC picked up the question after Ed missed an NHS rally and instead went to a football match with one of his donors, so while cheeky, it could hardly be described as unfair. Even Cameron has the Morning Star and Mirror to his pressers…

Back in the leadership election Tom Watson organised a hustings for candidates. Writing in the Guardian about it, he said Guido would probably try attend but “if you can’t deal with him in a public meeting, you don’t deserve to be Labour leader.” Wise words there…

Video: Boris on Letterman

Flashback: Warsi Attacked Labour for Pakistan Visit

Baroness Warsi (Shadow Minister (Community Cohesion and Social Action), Communities and Local Government; Conservative)
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether Shahid Malik MP’s August 2009 visit to Pakistan, including his meeting with Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, was in his official capacity as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government with reference to paragraph 10.4 of the Ministerial Code, whether the travel expenses incurred in relation to the August 2009 visit to Pakistan by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Shahid Malik MP, were paid for, in whole or in part, out of public funds; and whether any free travel was accepted.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (a) was informed of, and (b) approved, the August 2009 visit to Pakistan by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Shahid Malik MP, including his meeting with the Prime Minister of Pakistan, prior to the visit taking place.

Rewind to October 2009 and Warsi was asking the questions…

Greek Extremists Attack Each Other – Literally

Warsi Reality Check

Guido has been a regular critic of Baroness Warsi – it is fair to say we do not approve of her characterisation and handling of the Eurosceptic wing of her party – for example she blundered so badly during the succession to the retiring Roger Helmer MEP that his seat is now represented in the UKIP interest.

We’ve written before that it is pretty poor of her defenders to try to characterise criticism as crypto-racism. It was the Labour MP Karl Turner who called for Warsi to be referred over her expenses claims not just to the Lords Commissioner for Standards, he wrote to the police as well. It was Labour’s semi-official attack dog Michael Dugher who wrote to the Cabinet Secretary demanding a full investigation. Labour’s Deputy General Secretary Tom Watson raised questions about the propriety of her trip funded by the government of Pakistan. Turner, Dugher and Watson have many unpleasant failings, however racism is not among them.

Tory activists don’t rate Warsi’s skill at making her party’s case on the Today programme or on Newsnight, Tory commentators tend to agree. Here Guido thinks they mistake her blunt directness for a communications problem – she was pretty effective on the most watched edition of Question Time against Nick Griffin. She may not appeal to political wonks and pundits – she is not a product of the Oxbridge PPE clique that dominates Westminster – however because voters can identify with her Warsi reaches voters who it is impossible for the posh boys to reach. Warsi is a highly visible and valuable advocate, which is exactly why Cameron appointed her party chairman. Warsi should be deployed to reach non-traditional Tory voters, not to communicate to the political class that wakes up listening to Today and goes to bed watching Newsnight. 

Labour and their media allies are trying hard to make capital out of her referral by Cameron and Hunt’s non-referral. This is supposedly evidence of Tory prejudice. Actually it just reflects the fact that Hunt denies wrongdoing and Warsi admits it, arguing that they are minor oversights.


Seen Elsewhere

Apple’s Tim Cook: iGay | Techno Guido
Insurgent Parties Plunge Labour Into Crisis | Alex Wickham
Mind-Bending Politics of Drugs | Mark Wallace
PC Worries Prevent Police Protecting Young Girls | Jill Kirby
Miliband Should Win Rochester | Martin Kettle
Thatcher Minister Sir John Nott ‘Voted for UKIP’ | Times
Time to Listen to Drugs Experts | Guardian
Drug Laws Don’t Work | Times
Our Moral Duty to Cut Taxes | David Cameron
Greens Ahead of LibDems | Guardian
Channel 4 to Spoof UKIP Election Win | Guardian


VOTER-RECALL
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David Cameron drug policy reformer and leadership contender in 2005…

“Politicians attempt to appeal to the lowest common denominator by posturing with tough policies and calling for crackdown after crackdown. Drugs policy has been failing for decades.”



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Is it just me, or is Nigel Farage just a top hat and a monocle away from being a Batman villain?


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