Monday, October 1, 2012

Tears of a Sleaze

Keith Vaz cuts a lonely figure tonight as his sits deep in contemplation in the bar of the Manchester Radisson. Surrounded by paperwork and an iPad wielding flunky, delegates are keeping their distance as he occasionally barks into his mobile. Guido has been sitting here for thirty minutes watching as the Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee massages his temples and stares pensively into the middle distance.

The revelations in today’s Telegraph that the police investigated half-a-million pounds of suspect payments to the Labour MP seem to be sitting heavy. Guido is no expert, but he would hazard a guess from the eyes that Vaz has been crying in the last twenty-four hours. Expecting more bad news tomorrow?

Vote for Me, I’m an Expense Fiddling MP!

The Standard have an interesting scoop this afternoon: a number of shamed expenses-hungry Labour MPs who lost their jobs at the last election are apparently planning comebacks in 2015. Guido is generously offering to run their campaigns free of charge:

  • Dawn Butler – Dawn has lived in Brent all her life so she knows the issues that matter to you first hand. In fact, she’s such a dedicated Londoner that she claimed nearly £40,000 of your money for a second home, despite living within ten miles of Westminster! In her spare time Dawn likes to enjoy her “whirlpool” bath paid for by, you guessed it, the taxpayer (allegedly). Vote Dawn – no expense spared for a better Brent!
  • Shahid Malik – They say there’s no rest for the wicked, but don’t tell that to Shahid. After a long day helping constituents the Dewsbury through-and-through Labour stalwart likes nothing more than to relax in his massage armchair. You’ve already shown your appreciation, you paid for it! Don’t sit around – vote for Shahid!
  • Parmjit Dhanda – George Osborne certainly doesn’t have the experience to get us out of this economic mess, but Parmjit does. He’s a money expert, reportedly managing to get away with sneaking an extra £2,000 in mortgage payments by blaming it on “accounting adjustments”. If that’s the sort of financial nous you think we need in government – vote Dhanda!

Labour’s 2015 intake could really be something special

Balls on Wearing Nazi Uniform: It Was a Laugh

Ed Balls has spoken out for the first time about wearing a Nazi uniform in his spare time at Oxford. Kudos to Mehdi Hasan for asking him the awkward question. His flippant response might well upset some in his party: “Of course I’m not embarrassed by it. If I had the choice again, would I do it? No. Is there a difference between being 20 and being 40? Yes.” Apparently he “went along with it for a laugh. In retrospect I wouldn’t do it again.” Guess you had to be there…

Five Most Popular Fringe Events at Labour Conference

Two-Faced Chuka Chokes Up Over Shameful Past

Chuka’s speech to the Labour conference hall today was notably understated. While Ed Balls strayed into leader’s speech territory, it’s no coincidence that the ambitious shadow business secretary kept things low-key. The lobby saw straight through him:

Much more interesting than Chuka’s speech was his little chat with the Channel 4 team last night. Putting on his caring, emotional face, Chuka admitted:

“The people who work for me, as far as I’m concerned, are underpaid, they work 24/7 for the Labour party and because they are deemed to be an expense they are not paid what they deserve for serving my community or serving us nationally as a party. I think it is outrageous. I’m ashamed of what we pay the people who work for us.”

That hasn’t stopped him from advertising for unpaid “volunteers” not once, not twice, but three times. His two-faced hypocrisy knows no bounds. Which Chuka will we see tomorrow?

Check out the latest Telegraph totty…

…Over on MediaGuido

Telegraph Totty Watch

The big media move today sees the Telegraph set up its new girls-only Wonder Women feature. Promising “sassy, irreverent and intelligent content about politics, business, family, life and sex”, the new women’s section has attracted an array of talent. Edited by tech hack Emma Barnett, Wonder Women’s star recruitments include comedian Katy Brand and Cathy Newman from Channel 4 News. Former high class call girl Belle de Jour, now known as Brooke Magnanti, will be talking sex and entrepreneur Emma Sinclair is giving business advice.

They’re only available online…

Video: Butch Balls Blasts Dave

Promising to take a long, hard look at spending whilst not actually committing to cutting anything is classic Balls. Guido enjoyed his line that “If David Cameron is butch, where does that leave George Osborne?”, and the conference hall loved the “Flatline Kid” gag. It was a leader’s speech…

Video via @liarpoliticians

Treasury Sources Kick Back at Balls Before He’s Opened Mouth

Balls seems to have briefed the entirety of his upcoming conference speech already. One of the downsides of doing this before he’s even reached the podium is that it gives his opponents the chance to shoot it down before he’s opened his mouth. Treasury sources are pointing out the HMRC’s own report into the last time Stamp Duty was frozen for first time buyers:

“The tax relief has not had a significant impact on improving affordability for first time buyers. It is estimated that most of the people who benefited would have purchased property in the absence of the relief anyway.”

The only significant impact will be to give Balls at least one policy, however pointless.

It’s well known that Balls still has ‘people’ inside the Treasury and there is plenty of speculation doing the rounds that he had got wind of the 4G auction goodies fund and has pulled a fast one on the Chancellor. Just like George did in 2007 with the inheritance tax threshold hike…

Justine’s X-Rated Ed Rant
Daily Star Sunday Column Now Online

If you had picked up your Daily Star Sunday yesterday you would already know all about Ed’s x-rated argument with his wife Justine:

“It has happened to us all – you’re about to leave home for an important appointment and you can’t find your bits and bobs. Midweek, Guido was told Ed Miliband “came into my opticians wanting new contact lenses in a hurry. Couldn’t wait. His wife was swearing at him ‘They’re your lenses. You f**king lost them’. He was well flustered”. If you had a big speech to read from an autocue, you would be too.”

Elsewhere you can read all about the latest on Labour’s three red princes, Harriet Harman’s take on Fifty Shades of Grey and which fraternal figure will be leaving Manchester early. Yesterday’s column is now online here.


Seen Elsewhere

Why We Need Change | Douglas Carswell
The Howard Roark of Westminster | Guardian
Carswell, the Clacton Cassandra | James Ford
Love Bomb Carswell | ConservativeHome
Denis MacShane’s Ex is Now Hacked Off Spokesman | Speccie
How the Carswell Story Unfolded | Sky News
How to Defect | Telegraph
Carswell Defection Will Dismay Thoughtful Tories | ConservativeHome
Carswell: Darling of the Tories, Labour and Now UKIP | Speccie
Where is the Love? | Tom Watson
Tory Eurosceptics Weakened | Speccie


VOTER-RECALL
Get the book Find out more about PLMR


Douglas Carswell’s side-kick Dan Hannan MEP pours water on the obvious question:

“I won’t be joining UKIP, though I wish Douglas Carswell all the best. He has been a superb MP, and it’s honourable to stand for re-election.”



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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