Brendan O’Neill laments the state of politics:

“The transformation of feminism from an assertive, offence-giving form of politics into a passive, offence-taking form of therapy reflects a change that has taken place across the political sphere. Feeling offended is the lingua franca of modern politics. Politics used to be about saying, “I believe in something and I am going to make it happen”. Now it is about saying, “I am offended by something and I am going to make it disappear”.”

Guidogram Going Out Shortly

The Guidogram round-up of the week is going out shortly.

Thousands of Westminster insiders read the Guidogram, everyone from Downing Street insiders to Fleet Street never miss it. Don’t miss out on all the goings on from the Tory party conference and a big Pilgrims victory. Guido doesn’t just set the agenda, he influences government policy…

Join the conspiracy and become a subscriber to the Guidogram, free, to keep in the loop. You’re either in front of Guido, or behind…

Maude Pours Cold Water on Chief Whip Rumour
Wants to Get On With Reforming Job at Cabinet Office

Francis Maude has kicked back at the speculation he could be moved to replace Andrew Mitchell imminently. Tonight’s Standard reports:

“Senior minister Francis Maude is being tipped to replace disgraced Andrew Mitchell as Chief Whip amid growing pressure on David Cameron to fire the man who allegedly called a police officer a “pleb”. Mr Maude, who served as a junior whip under Margaret Thatcher between 1985 and 1987, is Cabinet Office Minister and Paymaster General with responsibility for making Whitehall more efficient.”

But a Cabinet Office source just told Guido:

“Francis wants to get on with the job of civil service reform and this government’s focus on efficiency and transparency. The Prime Minister made a very clear decision to keep him where he is at the reshuffle.”

It sounds like he could dig in if Cameron fires the trigger on Mitchell, as many are speculating he will tomorrow…

CCHQ Tell Tory MPs: Don’t Mention Mitchell

This was sent around by CCHQ yesterday to Tory MPs

From: Park, Nick

Sent: 10 October 2012 11:28

To: Park, Nick

Subject: Andrew Mitchell

There is a journalist ring round under way asking MPs for their opinions on Andrew Mitchell. Please do not respond to these surveys – they are very unhelpful.

The line to take remains that Andrew Mitchell has apologised and that apology has been accepted by the Police and the Prime Minister; Andrew Mitchell is getting on with his job.

Nick

The PM will have to make up his mind before Monday. Surprising how many MPs and even Cabinet Ministers are openly sceptical he can survive…

Via: Jon Craig

Tories Vote to Silence Putin Critics

Sergei Magnitsky is a name more familiar with human rights campaigners than Westminster insiders. Back in 2009 Magnitsky, a Moscow lawyer, uncovered a multi-million pound scandal involving figures from the Russian government, police and the country’s infamous mafia. Just a few days after making the allegations he was arrested, and died in police custody the week before the police were legally required to release him. At the time the Economist reported that he died after being denied medical treatment by “violent and corrupt cops for hire”.

Last week a report was presented to the Council of Europe detailing a series of human rights allegations against the Russian government, including the Magnitsky case. The vote on whether to hold Russia to account was close, but the motion fell just short of reaching the two-thirds majority required. On Putin’s side were the usual suspects – his own party United Russia, and some old allies like Azerbaijan, Serbia and Armenia. A few communist votes from the Czech Republic also backed up the Russians. But there was one unlikely source of support.

Five British Conservative MPs – Brian Binley, James Clappison, Edward Leigh, Ian Liddell-Grainger and Robert Walter – and two Tory peers also voted to quash the motion. They were joined by, shock, LibDem Russian loverboy Mike Hancock. Despite very real evidence worthy of investigation, their votes helped block the motion calling for Russia to have to explain itself. Why did eight British parliamentarians vote to help Putin whitewash the claims against his government?  There are some very searching questions to answer…

A Tory MP has accused the BBC of dragging their feet over Jimmy Savile.

Get the latest only over on MediaGuido

Tory MP Slams BBC for “Dragging Feet” Over Savile Row
Entwistle “Compromised” Over Newsnight Investigation

Conservative MP Rob Wilson has told Guido that he believes the BBC have “dragged feet consistently” over the allegations surrounding Jimmy Savile. Accusing Lord Patten and George Entwistle of compromising their positions, Wilson says:

“The BBC, at every turn in this dreadful affair, is giving the appearance that it wishes to avoid its duty in getting to the bottom of what has been going on within the Corporation. It has dragged feet consistently.  Both George Entwistle and BBC Trust now appear to be rather compromised with regard to decisions about an independent inquiry.  Entwistle because he should not be part of a process where his own actions, particularly as they relate to the Newsnight Savile investigation, may be the subject of significant scrutiny (which they should be) and Lord Patten and the BBC Trust because they appear to be fighting the BBC’s cause rather than holding it to account on behalf of the license fee payer.”

Guido has also seen an exchange of letters appearing to show how the BBC has carefully altered its position in the face of both public and political pressure. Despite the Beeb initially ruling out an inquiry at all before succumbing to an internal investigation, Patten spins the u-turn as a “misinterpretation” of his original position. Following further letters of complaint Patten then finally announced a full, independent inquiry. They’ll be making that on-air apology in no time then.

Wilson has also written to Entwistle asking for clarification of his involvement in the decision to spike a Newsnight report into Savile. The Tory MP suggests that Entwistle must have been aware of the rumours surrounding Savile at the time and his 2007 interview with the police under caution. Very awkward questions to answer. The pressure is mounting…

Mission Im-Boris-able

This is what warmed the crowds up before Boris’ barnstorming performance at the ConservativeHome rally on Monday:

This message will self-destruct in 2020…

Computer Hacker’s Mum is Shadow Minister

It has been pointed out to Guido that Helen Jones is in fact a Shadow DCLG Minister. Despite being deeply unpopular due to her rudeness, Jones seems to be getting away from any responsibility after it emerged this morning that […]

+ READ MORE +

Two-Faced Chuka: International Edition

It’s a double instalment of two-faced Chuka today. Last week Chuka played up his man of the people credentials in Manchester his way around Manchester before wooing executives from BAE and EADS. At the time he said he emphasised how […]

+ READ MORE +

Paging Tom Watson

Sometimes Guido likes to do his bit as a public service by bringing matters of interest to the attention of the relevant authorities. Yesterday Labour councillor Chris Vobe was suspended after a police investigation was launched into the alleged hacking[…]

+ READ MORE +

Craig Oliver’s Late Night Lobby Briefing

Nick Robinson’s glamorous producer Thea Rogers has hit the headlines before, this could get interesting too:

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Charles Clarke says Cameron is the most successful PM for over a century…

“Under Margaret Thatcher the Conservatives gained 99 seats. They lost 211 under John Major, gained one under William Hague, quickly and wisely got rid of Ian Duncan-Smith, gained 32 under Michael Howard and have so far gained 133 under David Cameron who, to the great surprise of many (including senior Conservatives), has turned out to be the most electorally successful Tory leader since 1900.”

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