Looks like the leaders of the opposition parties were lucky not to get a Nokia to the temple administered by the Prime Mentalist. Reports from the meeting to discuss reforming MP’s expenses have a shouting Brown shaking his fist at the other party leaders shouting ‘We have to get this sorted! We have to get this sorted!’ repeatedly.
Clegg called time on the meeting which saw Brown blame Cameron for bringing the subject up repeatedly at PMQs. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Asking the PM questions at PMQs. Enough to drive him bonkers…
Looks like two Labour peers have been found guilty of taking cash for amendments. The Sunday Times reports that Lord Taylor of Blackburn and Lord Truscott face a one year suspension.
A years suspension from the gravy train? They just got caught trying to sell legislation, isn’t whoring out parliament a bit more serious than that punishment suggests? Is there really no criminal sanction available?
We still have yet to hear the outcome of the investigation into Alistair Darling’s old flatmate, Lord Moonie. Guido would also love to get to the bottom of the financial relationship between Moonie, Gordon Brown and Darling. We know Moonie paid Gordon Brown handsomely for his old Kennington flat which he then sub-let to Alistair Darling. We are clearly not dealing with an obscure outsider here, we are dealing with someone at the corrupt heart of Labour’s Scottish Raj. Did Darling claiming an allowance from the taxpayers to be paid to his mate Moonie? Isn’t that a little too cosy a use of public money?
UPDATE I : The proxy battle for the soul of the Labour party being waged by Blairites via the candidacy of Georgia Gould, 22 year old daughter of Philip, one of the architects of New Labour, is hotting up. Unsealed ballot boxes, dirty tricks, offers of ministerial bribes, mendacious “uncle Ally” Campbell lobbying on her behalf and finally the sitting Labour MP calling for a police investigation into irregularities. This is the future of the Labour Party.
UPDATE II : Tommy McAvoy, the whip behind Gordon’s expense plans, has had a million quid in expenses, employs multiple family members at the taxpayer’s expense and owns a pub according to the Mail on Sunday. Time please…
UPDATE III : The News of the World says that according to Labour’s own internal polling – based on polls and focus groups carried out over the past two weeks – Guido’s two favourite topics; MP’s sleaze and MP’s expense fiddling have destroyed the Labour Party’s electoral hopes:
* Voters think Labour are now sleazier than the Tories.
* Even if Brown fixes the economy, voters still don’t want another Labour government.
One senior Labour insider told the News of the World: “This is an awful toxic mix for us. The research shows we have lost the one advantage we had over the Tories.
“People always thought Labour stood for helping other people, for social justice, while the Tories stood for self interest.
“Now they think we are sleazier than the Tories.”
So defeat will, based on the Labour Party’s own polling research, officially be due to sleaze. It will be, to coin a phrase, “Guido wot won it”…
Guido watched Have I Got New for You last night. Gay Tory MP Alan Duncan was the fall guy, it soon became clear he is no Boris. Watch it on iPlayer and cringe.
From the beginning when he pulled a bath plug out of his pocket to the moment when he threatened to murder Miss California he was trying too hard to be outrageously funny. The camp jokes didn’t really work. Guido recently declined an invitation to go on the Irish equivalent of HIGNFY. Guido, like Alan Duncan, is well able to make an idiot of himself without the help of comedians.
UPDATE : Courtesy of Swiss Bob :
She was rumoured to have instructed lawyers this week. Her blog confirms it this afternoon “Just For The Record“:
“I have instructed and proceeded with legal action. Obviously, I am not going to say anything at all at this stage, other than that.”
Guido knows for a fact that the untrue story about her was given to some journalists, and it was alluded to in stories, it was then refined for a second more vicious smear attempt by Damian McBride in the infamous Smeargate emails.
Guido understands that legally even if the intended second round of smears were not published widely in print, she has at least two courses of action for slander and defamation because McBride telling journalists the story on his mobile would be slanderous and presumably emailing the smear to Charlie Whelan, Derek Draper and the Unite press officer Andrew Dodgshon would constitute publication (those are the known recipients of the smear at this time). There are likely to be more people who were briefed by McBride…
Knowingly and deliberately libeling someone was until not so long ago a jailable criminal offence, that has if Guido recalls correctly, been taken off the statute books. Guido has said it before; do not mess with Nadine Dorries, she is a Tory tigress…
Guido never links to Downing Street online petitions because they never achieve anything. However dozens of people have emailed about this petition. Guido has spoken to Civil Service types who confirm that under the rules of the petition service this petition is valid and permissable since it is non-partisan. It has already attracted hundreds of petitioners in support.
Something tells Guido this could be big, really big.
Over two million people watched Dan Hannan on YouTube crush Gordon in a speech. If half of them can be bothered to tell Gordon to go, it will be a huge symbolic protest against the unelected Prime Minister. If you want Gordon to go tell him via his own website: click here.
The financial newswire Bloomberg is not known for sensationalism, it has an in-house rule that unattributable reports have to be double-sourced. So bunker watchers can be confident that this report from inside the Prime Mentalist’s bunker is more than just hearsay:
The strain shows, say current and former Brown aides: Among other things, it has inflamed a temper that has always been the subject of gallows humor among those who work with him, they say. The prime minister, 58, has hurled pens and even a stapler at aides, according to one; he says he once saw the leader of Britain’s 61 million people shove a laser printer off a desk in a rage. Another aide was warned to watch out for “flying Nokias” when he joined Brown’s team.
The ‘News Sandwich’
One staffer says a colleague developed a technique called a “news sandwich” – first telling the prime minister about a recent piece of good coverage before delivering bad news, and then moving quickly to tell him about something good coming soon.
Michael Ellam, the PM’s spokesman told Lobby copy-takers on April 14 that the news of Smeargate had made the Prime Mentalist “furious”. Guido wonders if they noticed any signs of bruising on the spokesman?
Matthew Parris yesterday called on the Conservatives to come out of the closet, and behave like conservatives, Guido would be happy if they just behaved like Blairites. The symbolic 63.8% tax rate* should be opposed. Everyone can see that for the government to take more than half your income is not social justice, it is ritually sacrificing the successful on the altar of socialist dogma. Blair would never have countenanced it, he ruled it out in every manifesto that he signed.
The Cameroons have yet to shake off their awe of Blair, who was admittedly a political genius when it came to strategy. Brown is not Blair, when it comes to strategy he is a political idiot, he may be half blind but his bigger handicap is that he is tone deaf to popular feeling. Guido will frame his argument in terms that may resonate with the Cameroons better than Tim Montgomerie’s obituary for New Labour.
Osborne should ignore the siren calls from the likes of Polly and the Fink for acquiescence, there is no need to draw close to Gordon’s dividing line. Labour in government has once again ended in national financial disaster. Think what would Blair do in this situation?
The New Statesman’s James Macintyre, who often takes his copy straight from Mandelson’s friends with whom he has had a close relationship, says that Mandelson wants to fight on a programme of “prioritisation”. Mandelson wants to change the narrative to accept cuts in spending, in this he is supported by the surviving Blairites including Purnell. The Cameroons must not cede this territory to the Blairites in government. Mandelson knows the time for tax and spend is over, buried in debt and deficits.
So accept Gordon’s dividing lines. Think strategically “what would Blair do?” Now is the time for a clear message of fiscal conservativism and sound money.
*That is what the top marginal rate really amounts to when you include the combined NI of 13.8%. Feudal serfs had to work 3 days a month for the barons.
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Why Should Men Get Equal Maternity Leave? | Laura Keynes
Dentists Have Last Laugh Over Sneering Keynes | FT
Why’s Clegg Giving Men Paternity Leave? | Conservative Women
Cam Cannot Stem EU Immigration | David Keighley
9 Mansion Tax Questions for Ed Balls | TPA
Politicians are Lying to You About Immigration | Alex Wickham
Give Journalists Public Interest Defence in Law | Guardian
Cameron is Going to Have to Deal With UKIP | Dan Hodges
Chris Bryant talks to the Times Diary about a famous gay actor:
“I don’t think I’ve had sex with him. He says we had sex in Clapham. I’m fairly certain I’ve never had sex south of the river”