All the Prime Mentalist did this time was meet with Rangers FC former owner David Murray, now 140-year-old club is facing liquidation.
Who will be his next victim…
Guido has been most amused by the frantic changes made to the Sunday Telegraph’s Baroness Warsi story on their website today. The original photo of the Conservative Friends of Pakistan lunch has been replaced by a four-year-old picture of Dave and Sayeeda with a completely unrelated caption. Guido wonders if that could possibly be because someone at Telegraph towers realised the first photo they published on a piece that slammed the guests at a Warsi event made one guest in particular really stand out. Who was this shady figure given unchecked access to the PM?
Step forward the Telegraph’s very own Peter Oborne…
Labour cheerleaders have been queuing up to lay into Tory MP Andrew Rosindell over his comments about General Pinochet. As we celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of our victory in the Falklands they choose to attack the Chilean leader who was our only ally in in the region during that conflict thousands of miles away. Pinochet gave crucial support, allowing British Special Forces to enter his country and British long range radar to be based in Chile saving the lives of British pilots and seamen. He also provided vital intelligence to Britain in the fight against the Argentinian junta. Political Scrapbook ran a story on Friday and today Ed jumped on the bandwagon:
Rent-a-Gob Karl Turner has gone even further:
“It’s astonishing that a MP should praise a military dictator who overthrew an elected government and was responsible for the murder, torture and arbitrary imprisonment of thousands of people.”
That sounds familiar…
Guido is sure Labour types would want to be completely consistent on the issue and condemn all dictators equally.
Odd then that 65 Labour MPs – including usual suspects Diane Abbott, Jeremy Corbyn and Paul Flynn – signed a motion praising the Cuban military dictator Fidel Castro in 2008. They paid tribute to Castro’s “achievements” and “the esteem in which he is held by the people of Latin America”. Will Ed condemn their words?
There were some surprising results in Labour’s selection of candidates for elected Police Commissioners. No, not “Kojag” in Hull, but victories for two ultra-Blairites in the face of the full weight of opposition from Tom Watson. Jane Kennedy, the former Liverpool MP who resigned as a Junior Minister in June 2009 saying she was unable to affirm her loyalty to the then PM because of Brown’s briefing against colleagues, is back. She beat Watson-backed drunkard Peter Kilfoyle, who sources say “Tommo threw everything behind”, arranging heavy union support and giving a very personal endorsement:
“Mr Watson said: “Peter is tough but he has compassion. He is larger than life but wise. I admire him. I cannot think of a better person to be Merseyside Police Commissioner.””
Ouch. Guido takes particular pleasure in this result given the last time he saw Peter, it was when the thirsty former MP took a swing at him in the Strangers Bar …
The defeats didn’t stop there for Watson and his allies. Over in South Wales former Blarite-Minister and sitting MP Alun Michael beat Unite and Watson backed Paul Cannon. Watson was ably assisted by local MP Chris Bryant, who was apparently desperate to avoid a Welsh by-election. Another failure then…
The weekend papers have provided yet more unpleasant reading for Sayeeda Warsi, with the Telegraph claiming she secured a lunch date between her extremist business partner and David Cameron. Former Hizb ut-Tahrir insider Abid Hussain met the Prime Minister during a Conservative Friends of Pakistan function at the Savoy Hotel last month, with the bill paid for by none other than Lady Warsi herself. Given that Hussain has links to a radical Islamic group and has a conviction for violence, Guido is not exactly sure what is going on here.
Warsi personally vouched for Hussain, exempting him from security checks…
That stack of paper on Sir Alex Allan’s desk must be growing. Looks like we might get some value for money from him after all…
UPDATE: CCHQ sources protest that Hussain was not exempted from security checks, he went through the same security arrangements as every other guest. They claim it was hardly a lunch date “between” Abid Hussain and the Prime Minister, when there were over 300 people there. They claim Hussain did not meet the PM.
Despite conceding that hundreds of Fleet Street journalists are probably guilty on face of it of breaking the law, Leveson has ruled that the crimes detailed in the Motorman files should not be investigated. Brian says that “I do not consider it necessary or desirable for the Inquiry itself to initiate any further detailed investigation of this matter”, finding that his recommendations for the future would not be helped by digging up crimes “ten years on”. The decision comes in spite of Leveson accepting that:
The decision to ignore such strong evidence of serious crimes against innocent people seems against the public interest.
Last week Gordon and a tiny number of loyalists took umbrage in this statement from the Cabinet Office:
“We confirm there is a record of only one call between Mr. Brown and Rupert Murdoch in the year to March 2010, on 10th of November 2009″.
They claimed this was complete vindication and proof that Gordon did not lie about the “declaration of war” phone call. However if that statement is compared to what was said at the time by Brown’s official civil service Prime Minister’s Spokesman, that vindication looks very shaky. The Guardian reported the following briefing to the Lobby on 12 November 2009, the day news of the official Murdoch/Brown call on November 10 had leaked:
“‘He [Brown] has regular communications with Rupert Murdoch, as you would imagine, and he has the most enormous personal regard for Rupert Murdoch,’ the prime minister’s official spokesman said. ‘I am not going to give any further information about the conversation. I am commenting as much as I think I can about a personal conversation. There is nothing unusual in the prime minister talking to Rupert Murdoch.‘”
So there was contemporaneous confirmation from a civil service source that there were regular conversations between Murdoch and Brown prior to November 2009. In the light of the latest Cabinet Office statement saying that they have only have a record of one conversation, any such regular calls can only have been unrecorded and unmonitored. Add this to Peter Mandelson’s sworn statement that the “war” conversation took place and it is clear to all but Brown’s bunker buddies that last week’s statement in no way clears the Prime Mentalist…
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