Scrounging Union Boss Tells Members to Sign On

Len McCluskey, the General Secretary of bus-striking fun-spoilers Unite, has set up an online calculator on his union’s website to help members claim benefits. Guido finds the move all the more amusing given that Loony Len claims over £21,000 in employees benefits himself each year, including over £6,000 to run his car. With McCluskey moaning today that 80% of Unite members are unable to pay their bills, perhaps he could help them out by not using his members’ fees to supplement his £100,000 basic wage. What a scrounger.

It’s been a big week for Len as he continues on his quest to conquer the Labour Party. McCluskey told the Unite conference in Brighton that he had set up a £25 million strike fund, revealed plans for supporters to infiltrate the Labour frontbench and quoted his hero Karl Marx. Perhaps it’s time he and Ed sat down for another cosy dinner…

Piers Drags CNN to 21-Year Ratings Low

As if last month’s viewing figures weren’t bad enough for Piers Morgan, official quarterly ratings released yesterday show that CNN has hit a staggering 21-year low. Piers’ prime time chat show has bombed disastrously over the last year, falling 33% in the 24-54 age bracket and 45% overall. US comedians have already started sticking the boot in, with one tweeting:

How much more can his CNN bosses put up with?

Mr Jay Scoops Top Barrister Prize

Congratulations are in order for Robert Jay QC. Brian’s inquisitor-in-chief has scooped the much-coveted Barrister of the Year prize at the Lawyer Awards for his efforts during the Leveson Inquiry. Guido still feels his finest moment was being the inspiration for the #PopLeveson trending topic on twitter. Expect to find Mr Jay celebrating at Sheekey’s tonight…

Taxpayer-Funded Charities and Links With Labour

Guido has expressed his dislike for taxpayer-funded “charities” that lobby the government before, but if there’s one thing worse than a Sock Puppet then it’s a Sock Puppet with suspiciously close links to the Labour Party.

Shelter, the homelessness charity, has been loudly lobbying the Coalition to scrap its Housing Bill over the last few months. Their chief executive is Campbell Robb, a former Labour employee, and they receive some £10 million from the taxpayer each year despite taking a patently partisan position. Not only a Sock Puppet, but one with a conflict of interest.

The worrying ties don’t stop there, with the Gingerbread campaign against Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare proposals being funded largely using taxpayers’ money awarded to them by Labour councils in Manchester, Haringey and Camden. They also receive significant amounts of cash from the Labour-controlled Welsh Assembly.

These so-called “charities” only survive thanks to our money yet seem to be pushing the agenda of their Labour cronies. It’s a revolving door…

Via ConservativeHome.

Read: Clegg’s Lords Reform Bill

What is the point of reforming the House of Lords and making it elected if the Bishops will remain?

PM’s Official Spokesman Misled Lobby About Guido Story
Damian McBride Confirms Truth of “Second Email” Scoop

Back in January 2007 around the time police were arresting Blair’s Downing Street aides over “Loans for Lordships”, Guido ran a story about a secret second unofficial email system in Downing Street used to discuss the sleazy trade in honours. The Lobby pack were very excited by this and followed it up by asking Tom Kelly the then Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman (PMOS) about it at the morning Lobby briefing on Friday, January 26. Tom Kelly explicitly denied the story:

Asked if there was any secret e-mail system in the Prime Minister’s Office, the PMOS said, as we had said last night, there was no secret e-mail system, there was full cooperation with the police, there was no e-mail as described on ITV news last night, and as we had said, the police had not asked us about any of these matters. Asked why the PMOS was now commenting on this investigation, the PMOS said this was so wrong it would have been totally misleading not to comment.

Asked if there had been any arrests of people in Downing Street, the PMOS said no. Asked if there were a separate e-mail address such as some using the letter X and some not, the PMOS said no. Asked if people had ‘Hotmail’ accounts at Downing Street, the PMOS said because of security access to such e-mails accounts was not allowed. The police had had full access to everything they wanted. The fallacy was that in someway Downing Street had not cooperated with the police, that was not true.

The following day Guido ran a follow-up disputing the Lobby briefing in no uncertain terms. Guido knew that Downing Street staffers had access to web based accounts from inside No. 10 because they were using them to leak to the blog – Guido had (to confirm authenticity) tracked the emails back to a source which matched the Internet Protocol address for Downing Street. The Lobby was divided as to whether to believe Guido’s story or the PMOS.

At the next Lobby briefing on Monday, January 29 the Lobby again questioned the PMOS on the matter at length:

Put that we had “rubbished” any idea of alternative computer networks, but the Mail on Saturday and “Guido Fawkes” website had both claimed that they had evidence of alternative email networks in No10 that linked up to the Labour Party, the PMOS said that we stood by what we said to ITN. There was only one email system at No 10.

Asked if it would be possible for someone to “hop on” using a No 10 computer onto the Labour Party network, the PMOS said again that there was only one email system at No 10.

Asked further questions about the possibility of an external server, or the possibilities of sending Labour Party emails, and did only one system allow for more than one email address, the PMOS repeated that there was only one email system in No 10. As the PMOS said on Friday, people in No. 10 could not access hotmail, gmail etc because of security reasons, and he was not aware of anyone who had more than one email address.

Asked if people could send political emails from the No. 10 account, the PMOS replied that he was not going to get into the details of the system. The claim that was put to us was that there was more than one system, and there is not. There is only one, and the police have had access to everything that went through the system.

An absolutely explicit denial that there was any access to webmail or a second email system. After this Guido seems to recall a broadcast by the BBC’s Nick Robinson – at his most patronising – rubbishing Guido’s story as a crazy conspiracy theory. Guido demanded that the PMOS correct himself at the next Lobby briefing. No correction or apology was forthcoming.

This morning Damian McBride, a former Downing Street head of communications for the PM, recalled his first day moving into No. 10:

In hushed tones, I was shown the ‘stand-alone computer’ through which No10 staff could use personal email accounts which were otherwise blocked by the Downing Street servers. “We don’t discuss this publicly,” I was told, “we don’t want people going on about ‘second Downing Street email systems’”.

Never believe anything until it is officially denied…

PMQs LIVE: Fuel Fools Edition

Plenty of Awkward News for Blair

Blair is in the editor’s chair at the Standard today.

Guido is looking forward to extensive coverage of the London hospital that has gone bust because of his own PFI scheme…

Video: Paxman Mauls Chloe Smith on Newsnight

Ouch…

UPDATE: 

Smith’s Channel Four outing was arguably worse…[…]

+ READ MORE +

Dave v Bryant – Round Two at Noon

When asked a question by Labour niggler Chris Bryant yesterday, Dave sulkily replied:

“The word I’m waiting for from him, because he introduced a point of order claiming that I had misled the House, is ‘sorry’. He has said sorry

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Damian McBride said to Gordon Brown on the day he became PM…

“Sod off, you Scottish Git!”[…]

+ READ MORE +

CCHQ Abandon Lords Spin

From: Lines To Take
Sent: 26 June 2012 12:26
To: Lines To Take
Subject: Political Topline: 26 June 2012

Lords reform

We know this is not the most important issue facing this country. We are focussed on dealing with the

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Chuka has been trying to spin the Siemens row:

Chuka Umunna: It’s no different from Sky News quoting a business leader.

Adam Boulton: Except yours says ‘VOTE LABOUR’ at the bottom.

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