Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sacked Boris Aide Lunched His Mistress on Expenses

Andrew Gilligan and Paul Waugh have been digging into Ian Clement’s expense claims for restaurant meals charged to the public purse on a City Hall credit card. It appears he was taking out his mistress

Draper Gives Masterclass

draper pr week

PR Week are holding a fancy New Media and Blogging conference this week with luminaries like DJ Collins from Google speaking (who incidentally was tapped to go spin do “strategic communications” for Downing Street, had drinks with Brown, told Google he was going, but backed out after a turf war with the bunker heavies before actually moving).

Draper has not withdrawn from the line-up the organisers say.  Guido is loooking forward particularly to hearing from Draper how to “Get The Tone Right To Achieve Maximum Coverage” and how to “Perfect your blogger Outreach Strategy”.  Also can’t wait to hear “How to Build Relationships with Bloggers”. Presumably by calling them racists.

Guido will also be speaking at the event on the subject of “sophisticated blogging”.  Honestly.

UPDATE : It is sold out.

Too Early for “Bercow Must Go”

Bercow on Probabtion

With the support of only 3 members sitting on the benches of the next governing party never in living memory has a new speaker so divided the house. Already the drum beat has started to undermine him.  Don’t get Guido wrong, there is good reason to be wary of Speaker Bercow.

He is the candidate of a party on the way out.  Like a drunk being thrown out of the pub they have spat on the floor before they got thrown out the door.  Bercow is disliked intensely by those who know him best, the longer you have known him, the less you like him. He was championed by Julian Lewis, who fought a dubious and disingenuous campaign against the public finding out about house flipping by MPs.  In the run up to his election Bercow called for a 60% pay increase for MPs. These are not good omens.

Putting aside Guido’s personal animosity, there are some good things to be said for Bercow.  No one doubts his energy or his ability to articulate his views.  They are not things that could be said for the last Speaker.

Speakers-OfficeThere is no point undermining him before we see how he actually performs in the job.  There is now an opportunity for a great reforming Speaker to drive through reforms that regain for parliament the ability to hold the government to account and in check.  Bercow has been elected on a manifesto promising to modernise procedures, strengthen democratic oversight of the government and make parlaiment more transparent.  If he sets the course for great reform let him keep his job.  If he fails, the next parliament should not hesitate to find someone else who can do the job.

UPDATE : Dale reminds Guido that Bercow promised that any minister who made an announcement to the media instead of the House first would be called to explain himself before parliament. Watch out for that, Guido’s money is on Ed Balls doing it first. Wonder what will happen if Mandelson does it…

Monday, June 22, 2009

Bercow 322 v Young 271

Put Your Money on Bercow

Unless the LibDems en masse back Sir George Young, it is going to be Bercow.  Labour will stick it to the  Tories, there is no chance they will suffer an old Etonian Speaker and the prospect of an old Etonian PM.  At least Guido will be a few hundred quid richer, if not happier…

Cracker from Crick : Redact the Ballot Papers

Crick has just blogged:

For every round of voting in this election, the Commons is having to print a new ballot paper, each with fewer and fewer names, as candidates are either excluded or withdraw.

“Considering how good at redacting they are,” suggests a senior Conservative, “why can’t they just blank them out!”

Cameron’s Euro Time-Keeping

The only hard and fast promise Cameron made in his campaign for the Tory leadership back in 2005 was that he would take the Tories out of the EPP.  He promised that under his leadership they would be out of the federalist EPP “within weeks”, then when he won it turned into “by Christmas” then it was “within months”Three-and-a-half years later Dave got there…

Miliband warns with uncharacteristic wit that “the new grouping may contain nuts”.   The Bruges group is ecstatic.  No doubt there will be a few hiccups, political rivals will be keen to amplify any slip-ups.  At least Cameron has finally delivered.

Now about that referendum promised by Nick Clegg and Gordon Brown…

Guido Laid Widdecombe

That is not something many can say. Laid her at the bookies on Betfair of course. Selling her price down….

UPDATE : Sir George Young has gone favourite in late betting.

+++ New Group “European Conservatives and Reformists” +++

UPDATE : Group members include

Belgium: Lijst Dedecker (LDD), with 1 MEP in the New Group
Czech Republic: Civic Democratic Party (ODS), with 9 MEPs
Finland: The Centre Party (Keskusta) sits in the Liberal (ALDE) group but one of its MEPs is now joining the New Group.
Hungary: Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF) with 1 MEP
Latvia: Latvian National Independence Movement (TB/LNNK) with 1 MEP
The Netherlands: ChristianUnion (ChristenUnie) with 1 MEP
Poland: Law & Justice (PiS) with 15 MEPs
United Kingdom: The Conservative Party, with 26 MEPs in the New Group.

They have issued a group declaration:

THE PRAGUE DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES OF THE EUROPEAN CONSERVATIVES AND REFORMISTS GROUP IN THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

CONSCIOUS OF THE URGENT NEED TO REFORM THE EU ON THE BASIS OF EUROREALISM, OPENNESS, ACCOUNTABILITY AND DEMOCRACY, IN A WAY THAT RESPECTS THE SOVEREIGNTY OF OUR NATIONS AND CONCENTRATES ON ECONOMIC RECOVERY, GROWTH AND COMPETITIVENESS, THE EUROPEAN CONSERVATIVES AND REFORMISTS GROUP SHARES THE
FOLLOWING PRINCIPLES:

1. Free enterprise, free and fair trade and competition, minimal regulation, lower taxation, and small government as the ultimate catalysts for individual freedom and personal and national prosperity.
2. Freedom of the individual, more personal responsibility and greater democratic accountability.
3. Sustainable, clean energy supply with an emphasis on energy security.
4. The importance of the family as the bedrock of society.
5. The sovereign integrity of the nation state, opposition to EU federalism and a renewed respect for true subsidiarity.
6. The overriding value of the transatlantic security relationship in a revitalised NATO, and support for young democracies across Europe.
7. Effectively controlled immigration and an end to abuse of asylum procedures
8. Efficient and modern public services and sensitivity to the needs of both rural and urban communities.
9. An end to waste and excessive bureaucracy and a commitment to greater transparency and probity in the EU institutions and use of EU funds.
10. Respect and equitable treatment for all EU countries, new and old, large and small.

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Monday Clubbers


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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…”



Left on Left says:

The lefties are attacking because the panellist is a millionaire and lives in a London home worth upwards of two million. Someone had best tell them he’s called Ed Miliband.


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