Some might say Lord Sugar and his underlings have too much time on their hands, but to be fair they did manage a funny with the last of their alternative Christmas carols this afternoon:
Get into the Yuletide spirit by singing the full set around the fire…
Last week’s belated caption contest winner is Chooky with this effort, the best of a very mediocre set of entries:
“After Cameron tells Leveson where to put his report, the Lord Justice regrets writing the 4th Volume.”
Last night’s Newsnight panel on free schools was made up of two headteachers, a former teacher and the suspiciously anti-Tory Lucy Reese, billed as “a parent governor from Camden where primary schools have the best Ofsted outcomes in the country”. What they didn’t tell you is that Reese is actually a Labour activist, touted earlier this year as a potential council candidate for upmarket Primrose Hill. A writer for Left Futures, when Reese isn’t helping out at her local primary school she knocks on doors telling people to vote for Ed. Must have slipped their mind…
£53,000 expenses cheat Margaret Moran’s lawyer has delivered a withering rant about how terribly out of order the press are for reporting her crimes:
“The more vengeful press, who hound her at her front door, seem to think that the only way someone can be demonstrably mentally ill is if they are in a straitjacket in a padded cell. The reports back in April all agree that she suffers from this mental illness. Hounding a mentally ill woman is a dangerous and vile thing to do, at any time, particularly post the Leveson conclusions. It could have led to an increased risk of suicide. There will always be sections of the media who believe it’s a huge con. But they’ve not read all the evidence.”
At least Craig Oliver did it subtly…
Of all the MP Christmas cards Guido has laid eyes on so far, this effort by Austin Mitchell is surely the most disturbing. This week’s best entry will win a copy of Fred Metcalf’s “Dictionary of Humorous Political Quotations”. Make them funny…
Ed Miliband called on immigrants to integrate and learn English. Under Labour we were told that immigrants will have to reach a minimum standard in English language by the Home Secretary David Blunkett in 2004. Home Secretary Jacqui Smith in September 2007 said immigrants “need to integrate into our country, learn English and use our language.” In 2009 Immigration Minister Phil Woolas said “Immigrants must learn English.” They didn’t have much success in government with this policy…
UPDATE: Press released text to “check against delivery”:
We talked about “shared citizenship”.
But we did too little to tackle the realities of segregation in communities that were struggling to cope.
So Labour has to change as well.
What does a strategy for integration look like?
What he actually said verbatim:
We talked about “shared citizenship”.
But people said what does that actually mean in practice.
So we’ve got to change as well.
What does a strategy for integration look like.
Ed didn’t quite ‘fess up to one of Labour’s failures on immigration…
Still no apology from Debbie Abrahams following her Eoin Clarke-inspired question to the PM. Andy Burnham’s PPS claimed that Virgin Care was a donor to the Tory party and that it had shareholders on clinical commissioning group boards, allegations Clarke has had to issue a grovelling apology for. With Abrahams ignoring the subject on twitter and elsewhere, a co-conspirator got in touch last night to point Guido towards a tweet from two days ago:
— Debbie Abrahams (@Debbie_abrahams) December 12, 2012
Telling NHS porky pies even when presented with the facts? Talk about eating your words…
Coming out as pro-liberalisation if not pro-drugs legalisation, at least Nick Clegg is moving in the right direction this morning. There is much talk in Westminster, surely not rooted in jealously, of his announcement that Jeremy Browne will be sent on an all-expenses paid “fact-finding mission” to Amsterdam, Portugal and Latin America. The Home Office minister will be, ahem, researching the effects of liberal drugs policies in these countries. At least that’s what he is telling his boss…
Max Clifford tells us in his book “Read All About It” that he took extra care to make clear that underage girls were never allowed at his infamous sex parties. According to Clifford:
“The parties initially took place about once a month, then weekly. I became the ringmaster, a role I like to have in many aspects of life, and particularly when I’m in the middle of big stories. The parties became my circus and various people performed in different ways. I didn’t allow drugs to be taken or anyone underage to come… Although what I’ve done is certainly immoral, sexual procuring has never bothered me as long as the people involved have been old enough to know what they’re doing.”
A helpful disclaimer…
UPDATE: In his own words…
Expenses cheat Margaret Moran was “too depressed” to attend court to hear her sentence this morning, but she faces a two-year supervision and treatment order as ‘punishment’ for her £53,000 swindle. This expenses piggie was found to have committed 15 counts of false accounting. The judge says some will say “she got away with it”. Moran isn’t the first expenses cheat to dodge jail, and she won’t be the last…
Treasury’s Laws There to Be Broken | Jill Kirby
Dave’s Pro-Free Markets Speech | ASI
Forget the Nimbys, Bring on the Bimbys | ConHome
Emily is No Snob | Islington Tribune
Cam’s Red Line | Sun
Politicians Must Examine Their Extincts | Laura K
Immigration Lies | Nigel Farage
Take That Mr Speaker | Quentin Letts
How Avoidable Scandals Destroy Stupid Politicians | Alex Wickham
UKIP Mosque Confusion | The Week
Let’s Ban the Word Internet | Padraig Reidy
Tony Blair threatens Ed:
“If you had a strong political lead that was combining the politics of aspiration with the politics of compassion, I still think that’s where you could get a substantial majority… If I ever do an interview on [the state of the Labour Party], it will have to be at length…”