Which loud mouthed heckler found themselves on the wrong end of the Deputy Speaker Alan Haselhurst late into last night’s late sitting?
“I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Gentleman. There are certain right Hon. and Hon. Members who are not serving the dignity of the House particularly well at the present time. At all times we should discuss things in a calm and reasonable manner, particularly, I suggest to the House, a subject of this nature.”
You would think while discussing rape and the sensitive circumstances surrounding it, that Members would be able to contain themselves from jeering and interrupting from the back benches, but given it was a late sitting just before midnight it seems one member may have enjoyed the pre-debate refreshments a little too much. Judge for yourself here (from about 23.15). The increasingly irate Deputy Speaker had to wade in again, this time with more of a warning to the obvious frothing, almost slurring, culprit – Labour’s rent-a-thug Denis MacShane:
“Order. The Right Hon. Member for Rotherham is behaving disgracefully and not assisting a debate of this kind. Now, he really has enough experience of this House, as a Minister and as a Back Bencher, to realise that what he is doing is out of tune with how we should conduct our business in this House. I hope that I will not hear from him again.”
A sentiment Guido agrees with wholly.
Defence Secretary Liam Fox is today meeting with his US counterpart Robert Gates. No doubt the continued military relationship in Afghanistan and the wider world will be top if the agenda. Given what we learnt over the weekend about Fox’s choice of Special Adviser – former US Army captain Luke Coffey is causing no end of security headaches in the MOD given his intimate connections to U.S. spooks – is there any need for the meeting at all?
Coffey hasn’t been given full security clearance and probably won’t be. At a time when defence spending and the role of the MOD will be coming under intense scrutiny, is it really appropriate to have a foreign citizen, let alone one with ties to the U.S. intelligence services, thumbing through “U.K. Eyes Only” documents passing over his boss’s desk? Do the American’s already know what Liam will say at the meeting?
One of the perils for any politician is the media is constantly waiting for you to slip up and take a painful fall.
Rarely is this meant literally though.
There is no doubt that Cameron and Osborne have been greatly influenced by the Canadian deficit reduction plan of the 1990s. Canadian PM Stephen Harper was one of the first international leaders to be welcomed by Dave and there are no prizes for guessing what they talked about. Part of the success of the Canadian plan was the uniting of the country behind the need to slash public spending – the PR job the PM embarked on so subtly yesterday. Part of the uniting process was the removal of ideological zeal from the process – something made much easier by being in coalition.
So what are the simple solutions offered by Canada? For the benefit of newbie Chief Secretary Danny Alexander, Guido has made a helpful diagram. The advice seems to be set a target, ring-fence nothing and stick to the target. On top of cutting general waste and government bureaucracy, take each piece of government expenditure and ask three very simple questions:
Though they may be credited with saving the economy and the country, the Coalition shouldn’t expect much gratitude – it will hurt, and without the convincing the voters of the scale of the crisis they will won’t be thanked at the ballot box.
We are told that the Treasury is going to release a document later today designed to produce a “fundamental re-evaluation of the role of government”.
It will ask people to discuss whether the government needs to provide certain public services at all and whether someone else such as councils, voluntary organisations or companies, could do so more cheaply.
There are a lot of things the government does, supposedly on public health grounds, that are massively unpopular:- raising booze taxes such that a pint costs £5 of taxed income and the brewer is lucky to see a pound. Guido thinks adults should make their own health choices. My guess is that they will ignore the the sound of the crowd, nevertheless, shall we give it a try?
Project Bake ‘n Tweet went well, spent my Friday afternoon trying to comprehend the nanny and extract her recipe for Romanian lasagna so I could put it on the Twitter. Hopefully the translation went well and I think I came across as a normal family man.
The campaign team is growing now the nominations are in the bag, was a little embarrassing when it was just the Speaker’s wife manning the phone lines. Not exactly sure what she does and the wine supplies at the London HQ were really eating into out budget. Alex has agreed to stay on and loyally spin, despite a pay-cut, or possibly just because he can’t find a job. Alex says he has secured the support of left-wing nut-roots blogger Sunny Hoondal to back me, which just shows how popular this anti-immigrant thing is becoming on the left. The interwebs is mine, I will be leader.
Charlie reckons the immigrant bashing will play well with union members, if we can succeed in getting Diane Abbott nominated it will work even better. Spent the weekend bashing Poles and Turks – it’s almost as if I’m fighting my local campaign on a national scale. It will upset some of the Party but I’ve got to do something different though, the membership polls aren’t looking too good. How dare they rank me least popular politician in the country? Even bloody Mandelson is more popular. It’s all Gordon’s fault, he keeps calling me but I just get Nicola to tell him my battery is dead.
Andy Burnham is looking likely to get his 33 nominations despite everything. Not so easy to put the frighteners on nowadays. Sometimes I miss Damian.
*As leaked to Guido
Farmer’s Weekly is reporting that Mark Spelman, the husband of the Secretary of State for Defra has applied to Companies House to have the lobbying firm Cormack, Spelman and Associates closed down. The company was set up in 1989 by the couple and it continued to trade under Caroline Spelman’s married and maiden names while she was in the Shadow Cabinet and took over at Defra last month. Guido has been highlighting the obvious conflicts of interest, especially concerning subsidies and GM food. This is good progress, but forces the issue underground…
For all the discussion about the death of New Labour, if ever proof was needed that the project has failed and Labour’s loony left is still alive and well, just look at what one leadership contender had to say when he was asked what he would do if he could travel back in time. John McDonnell told a GMB union crowd that he “would assassinate Thatcher“. There was a distinct lack of disapproval from the other candidates.
McDonnell is looking increasingly unlikely to make the ballot, though Guido understands Andy Burnham is set the scrape through before Wednesday’s deadline. Two days left for Abbot and McDonnell to liven up the race then.
UPDATE : McDonnell has previous, in 2003 he sparked outrage by saying IRA terrorists should be “honoured” for taking part in their “armed struggle”. He praised the provos at a commemoration for the IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands. It was, he said, the “bravery” of the IRA, whose “bombs and bullets” had resulted in the peace process in Northern Ireland. New Labour is only dead minutes and the loony left is back…
Touching to see that now Gordon has exited the stage his old slush fund / think-tank / charity is no more. Former Smith Institute boss Wilf Stevenson has at last got his peerage as a reward for being Brown’s long time toady. The charity which even provided a well paid berth for Balls when he first stood for election is now superfluous and has been wound up.
The name lives on as a limited company available as a think-tank-for-hire by big business; organising seminars for pharmaceutical lobbyists, government contractors, supermarket chains and other vested interests aiming to get their hands into taxpayers’ pockets. The glory days of hosting Al Gore meeting Chancellor Gordon a distant memory…
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…”