Monday, July 2, 2012

Nick Clegg on Newsround

McBride Denies Book Deal

After dipping his toe into the blogging world on key occasions this year, Damian McBride has created plenty of ripples. Speculation has been spreading that the disgraced Brown spinner was touting for a book deal by giving us a glimpse of what such a tome would be like. Needless to say there have already been offers, which do not come as a suprise to anyone who has read his illuminating posts.

McBride denies he is interested though and says he has rejected deals.

Guess he will have to stick to the blogging.

Guido could use the competition…

Gaby Hinsliff Joins Grazia

Congratulations are in order for Gaby Hinsliff, who has joined fashion mag Grazia as political editor at large. Gaby quit the Observer in 2009 saying she wanted to “get a life” but her career has gone from strength to strength ever since. Her first weekly column starts tomorrow. Guido hopes there are pictures…

Cam Expecting Rough EU Ride in Parliament

It seems the Prime Minister’s PPS is gearing up for an angry reaction when Cameron takes to the Despatch Box later to report on last week’s EU summit*:

From: SWAYNE, Desmond
Sent: 02 July 2012 14:34

Subject: Statement 3.30

Comrades

Ed’s main effort is to engineer blue on blue. Let’s not help him. Dessie

Guido reckons it’s going to take more than that to quell the crowd behind Dave…

* The summit he used to rule out a referendum.

Dave Preparing Conference EU Blitz

The latest briefing to Tory MPs gives an interesting clue as to Cameron’s next move re-Europe:

From: CCHQ
Date: 2 July 2012
To: MPs Lines To Take
Subject: Political Topline: 2 July 2012

Good afternoon. Please see below the political top line:

The Prime Minister is clear that an in-out referendum is not the answer right now. Instead we should first set out how we want to change our relationship with Europe and then as the end point becomes clear we should consult the British people, either in a general election or a referendum. He will set out more details of the Conservative Party’s position in the Autumn.

Faced with his choppiest conference yet as leader, it seems the PM is preparing some EU shaped hats and rabbits in time for Birmingham.

Tories Advise Top Donors How to Avoid Tax

Dave might think that Jimmy Carr is morally repugnant but that has not stopped the Tories from advising their wealthy donors on how to avoid tax. The Conservative Foundation, an organisation run by an array of Tory grandees and city types, is offering donors the chance to dodge inheritance tax through a scheme in which they leave a “legacy” to the Tory party. The scheme promises to “reduce or even remove completely” the inheritance tax liability of rich Conservative backers, while its website explains how to take advantage of rules allowing tax-free donations to political parties. Although the scheme appears to have been set up on the quiet it is startlingly open about its intentions:

Cameron was always going to be a hostage to fortune over tax avoidance, now he faces the inevitable dilemma of having to deal with questions about his party’s wealthy financiers. He’s hardly making it easy for himself.

Murdoch’s Sun Influence in Pictures

One of the most memorable soundbites from the Leveson Inquiry was Rupert Murdoch telling Mr Jay: “if you want to judge my thinking, look at the Sun“. That mantra was strikingly evident this morning as Uncle Rupe’s tweets on Scientology were followed by front page splash just hours later:

Now that the media mogul is on Twitter,  Sun editor Dominic Mohan doesn’t even have to wait for the call…

British Bankers Association Cancel Summer Bash

Former Tory MP Angela Knight has more bad news for the bankers and their chums this morning:

From: Ben Andersen-Tuffnell
Sent: 02 July 2012
Subject: CANCELLED – BBA Reception on 4 July

Message sent on behalf of Angela Knight, Chief Executive, BBA

Dear Attendee,

We believe that in the current circumstances it would be wrong to proceed with the reception on Wednesday evening. We regret the short notice but our industry needs to think long and hard about its collective behaviour and I am sure you understand this is not the time for such an event to take place.

Regards,

Angela

Angela Knight CBE
Chief Executive

British Bankers’ Association (BBA)
“The voice of banking and financial services”

Pinners Hall
105-108 Old Broad Street
London EC2N 1EX

No Bolly for the big boys then.

Telegraph Appoint “Online Political Editor”

The Rehabilitation of Liam Fox Part I

With bright lights, cameras and TV Political Editors, it certainly looked like a comeback attempt from Liam Fox this morning. The excited glint in his eye and a new tie were only let down by the cheap polyester Union flag next to him. In many ways Fox had won before he reached the podium – the trail of his speech was enough to force the Prime Minister’s hand yesterday, triggering a U-turn on his dismissal of a referendum just hours previously. The first chance to question Fox since his cabinet departure proved more interesting…

Nick Robinson seemed horrified by Fox’s claim that he was not afraid of a post-EU Britain. “Why don’t you fear it?” pushed Robbo with terror in his voice. “Why are you not afraid of leaving?”. Asked if Dave would be happy about the intervention, Fox tried to avoid the politics. Apparently “we have to start thinking about life beyond the Westminster village”- somewhere the former Defence Secretary has spent plenty of time recently. Surely renegotiating would be impossible with LibDems? “Well it’s not easy.” Guido put it to the good doctor:

“One day people may look back at this speech as the first step towards an EU exit for the UK. Might we also look back at your first step toward politically recovery? Is taking on this cause part of your rehabilitation process for a return to high office?”

Suddenly the smile was gone. Fox replied with cold stare and chatter about the need to escape the prism of Westminster village, avoid petty personality politics, represent his constituents et cetera. So that’s a yes then.

The one time Tory leadership runner is clearly still very sore. “How do you feel?” asked Christopher Hope of the Telegraph like he was talking to a poorly aunt. “Do you wish you were back in government?”

“I don’t imagine I would be in the heart of government for about twenty-five minutes if I had given this speech.”

Apparently there aren’t “a huge amount of consolations” on the outside, but Fox said the freedom to speak out is one of them. Over to a serving Cabinet Minster to prove him wrong…


Seen Elsewhere

Bookies v Pollsters: What We Learned From IndyRef | Paddy Power
Guido’s Column | Sun
Elite’s Obsession With Climate Change Alarmism | David Keighley
Charities Should Not Demonise Freud | ConHome
Double Standards of Police Leaks to Guardian | Mail
My Year in Court | Charlie Brooks
Legalise Pot | NY Times
Spooks Recruited IRA Paedo | Mirror
How Police Hack Phones and Email | Times
Labour’s Minimum Wage Pledge Not Ambitious | Alan Milburn
Lord Freud’s Comments | Ryan Bourne


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Chris Bryant talks to the Times Diary about a famous gay actor:

“I don’t think I’ve had sex with him. He says we had sex in Clapham. I’m fairly certain I’ve never had sex south of the river”



Progressive Inclusion Champion says:

Great to hear Carswell call for inclusive policies and that UKIP must stand for first and second generation immigrants as much as the English.


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