Monday, November 19, 2012

Ladies’ Day for Labour’s Feminist Icons

Guido would like to express his support for the inaugural Labour Women’s Network Political Day held over the weekend. Aiming to stand up for downtrodden women in the party and, no doubt, all across the land. LWN 2012’s star speakers included the multi-millionairess Expenses queen Barbara Follett, three home owning multi-millionairess Polly Toynbee and our favourite feminist comedienne and Harriet Harman’s adviser Ayesha Hazarika also turned up. It was no laughing matter…

Quote of the Day

Dispatches: Rent-Swappers Revealed Tonight

This evening’s Dispatches will blow the lid on five more troughing rent-swapper MPs. Throughout October Guido revealed names of several of the MPs who were billing the taxpayer for the rent for their London accommodation despite owning properties in the capital that they themselves were renting out. Tonight’s programme alleges:

  • John Denham has the nerve to charge the taxpayer for rent even though he has receives income from a London property he rents out. When Guido asked greedy expenses-guzzler Denham why he had decided to become a rent-swapper at the height of the scandal he sobbed that: “I was forced to vacate the property (and rent a flat) directly and solely as a consequence of changes in IPSA rules. For the avoidance of doubt, I would strongly prefer to be living in this property and not a rented flat”.
  • Tory DCMS select committee chairman and rent-swapper John Whittingdale has started claiming rent for a considerably more expensive property than the London flat the he owns, used to live in and now receives rental income for.
  • Mark Pritchard is billing the taxpayer for the rent for a London property despite the fact that he also owns a flat in the capital.
  • Labour’s Michael Meacher has pulled the same trick in Oldham.
  • While Pat McFadden has done the same in Wolverhampton.

Here is the list of MPs claiming for rent in full:

There are some very interesting names on that list. It would seem that Peter Luff is renting off a Frank Lampard. According to the chants, there is only one Frank Lampard, so it must be the Chelsea footballer. Keith Simpson rents off Tory peer Howard Flight. Stephen Williams rents off disgraced LibDem peer Jenny Tonge while Julian Huppert rents from Channel Four’s much loved old political editor Elinor Goodman. Jessica Morden rents off Madeleine Moon. They’re both Labour MPs.

Every single one of these MPs is relaying the same old sob story word for word to try to excuse their rent-swap troughing. 

They can blame the rules all they like, the fact is they are profiting thanks to the taxpayer…

UPDATE:

Twitter Bitch Fight of the Week: Kavanagh v Watson

An early winner this week, as Sun sage Trevor Kavanagh slaps down scatter-gun inquisitor Tom Watson:

That’s him told…

Questions Pile Up for Thompson, But Not From Everyone

Questions about what former BBC Director General Mark Thompson knew about Savile, and when, are piling up on both sides of the pond. Even the New York Times is gunning for their new boss. Thompson left his £834,000 BBC gig on 16 September and started the $4M NYT job on 12 November. On 23 October – five weeks after quitting the BBC – Thompson wrote a letter to Tory MP Rob Wilson stating:

“During my time as director general of the BBC, I never heard any allegations or received any complaints about Jimmy Savile.”

Yet, it is now clear, thanks to freelance journalist Miles Goslett who has been investigating the Savile/BBC story for almost a year, and the Sunday Times, that on 6 September – 10 days before he quit the BBC – Thompson engaged lawyers Mills & Reeve to write a letter threatening to sue the Sunday Times if it published certain allegations about Thompson’s knowledge of the Savile scandal dating back to December 2011. This letter was published on the Sunday Times website yesterday.

Thompson now claims that he did not know exactly what Mills & Reeve’s letter contained and was not shown a copy of it before it was sent. This woeful explanation – the latest in a long line of laughable excuses – has been met with mockery in New York. The New Yorker’s  John Cassidy wrote over the weekend:

“For his sake, I hope that Mark Thompson, the former BBC bigwig who recently took over as chief executive of the New York Times Company, rented an apartment rather than buying one. The way things are going, he could well be back in London pretty soon.”

Thompson – and the New York Times’ owners – must be getting worried. How long can they maintain their position when their own reporters are covering this story prominently in the newsroom just a couple of floors below Thompson’s own office? Meanwhile, there is only silence on this story from the place that likes to consider itself the newspaper industry’s noticeboard: Media Guardian. Odd…

Maggie Miliband

If you’re at your wits’ end come eight o’clock this evening then why not tune into Radio 4 to hear Ed Miliband in conversation with the Indy’s Steve Richards. Apparently not joking in his attempt to relaunch himself as a conviction politician, Ed tells Richards that he’s just like Maggie:

“She was a conviction politician and conviction really matters. In the 1970s, it was a similar moment, in the sense that an old order was crumbling and it wasn’t 100 per cent clear what was going to replace it. The challenge of the future is who can rise to the scale of challenge that the country faces and who can create a project for how this country’s going to be run that is genuinely going to make our economy work, not just for a few people but much more widely.”

A frightening thought…

Guardian Published McAlpine Name During Twitch-hunt

The Guardian website published George Monboit’s deleted Tweets revealing Lord McAlpine as the Newsnight paedophile suspect. Monbiot deleted the offending tweets and grovelled as soon as McAlpine declared he was going to sue the entire internet. However Guido can now reveal that they appeared on the Guardian website during the height of the Twitter witch-hunt at the beginning of the month and, as of 1300 Monday, are still there:

As many re-tweeters are about to find out, re-publication is just as serious as publication. Indeed, far more people will have seen this on the Guardian’s high-traffic pages than on Monbiot’s somewhat niche Twitter feed. The Guardian are not paying any of Monbiot’s legal fees as apparently he was  publishing in a ‘personal capacity’. The liability here is direct…

Oh Deer, Oh Deer, Oh Deer

Faux outrage all round this morning following Tory MP Glyn Davies’ tongue-in-cheek tweet about shooting a stag in his garden:

Leading the lefty indignation is, somewhat predictably, the 12 bores over at the League Against Cruel Sports, chaired by one John Cooper QC. And just who is John Cooper QC? The very man who nobly defended the tweeter’s right to tell jokes in the infamous twitter joke trial. Staggering hypocrisy…

Gaza’s Aqua Park has Been Destroyed

The Crazy Water Park, which was at the heart of Gaza’s vibrant tourist scene, has been destroyed by fire. Gazans used to be able to swim and relax by the pools and there were water slides for the young children. It was a happy place once but the Middle East News Watch reports:

“40 gunmen tied up and blindfolded a nightwatchman before setting fire to an administrative building and restaurant. The fire engulfed different parts of the club, including an administrative building, and then spread to the main restaurant and cafeteria, which is three storeys high.”

No, this was not the repressive IDF attacking the strip, it was Hamas terrorists who were outraged that the park had “hosted parties in which men and women mingled.” Nice bunch.

Mitchell v Dorries: Bushtucker Denial

This Morning Nads’ tweeting daughters Jennifer and Cassie appeared on Daybreak to defend their jungle-venturing mum. They had a rather awkward story to tell about a certain former chief whip:

“She did ask for the month off, she did, she requested it from the Chief Whip at the time, that she’s going to go away from a month, that it will be controversial, and he said that’s fine.”

Andrew Mitchell has responded by denying that he ever gave permission for Nadine to go down under. Good thing he has a spotless record of always telling the truth…

Video via ITV

Seen Elsewhere

Does Europe Really Want Britain to Quit? | Nick Wood
Immigration Nation | Hopi Sen
Tories Choose Anti-Israel Candidate in Rochester | JC
Osborne’s Daycare Obsession is a Time Bomb | Kathy Gyngell
BBC Marr Pinko Trying to Ban the Queen | Speccie
Eric Hobsbawm: Companion of Dishonour | Standpoint
Guido Party Gossip | Iain Dale
Russell Brand Comes Out as 9/11 Truther | Guardian
Health Revolution is Underway | Fraser Nelson
UKIP Gets Professional | Red Box
Kelly Tolhurst Wins Rochester Open Primary | BBC


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Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann on Cameron’s refusal to pay the £1.7 billion EU bill by December 1st:

“Well, then he’s gonna pay on December 2nd”



Mycroft says:

Have you read the last bit of Animal Farm?

You know where the animals are looking through the Farmhouse window?

My TV screen was that window at lunch-time today.

Be careful, the sudden self-congratulatory tone, the slightly pudgy outline of indulgence and you become exactly what you should despise.

The jolly face of the Quisling Cameron poses for your camera has mesmerised and deceived you, you who were once not so deceived.

You were no firebrand, you were a damp squib in my opinion, sorry.

You need a damned good kick up the ahse!


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