Don’t forget incumbent MPs have voted themselves an extra £10,000 of taxpayers money for propaganda and already have well funded office teams of staff. They have all the incumbent advantages and they are up against candidates who invariably have jobs to do as well. To lever out an incumbent MP takes some doing…
“I, of course, apologise for any actions or omissions on my part which contributed to the problems encountered in the Scottish elections…”
A sign of the underlying weakness of his position.
UPDATE : The Lobby today asked the PMS again “if the Prime Minister had full confidence in Douglas Alexander”. This is the formula the Lobby uses when they mean “is the PM going to sack ‘im”. Two days in a row, not a good sign…
Ian Austin MP is a former press officer with the West Midlands Labour Party, a political advisor to Gordon Brown when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer and now his PPS who attends cabinet meetings. He is another second-rater who owes his rise only to being a loyal Brownie. Clearly he is also a bit of a numpty.
That should be a resignation issue, but if one thing is key to understanding New Labour at the highest level, it is the putting of party interest before the national interest. That is a given in all circumstances. Soldiers die because of political expediency, hospitals are photo ops, school children are leadership campaign props and spin is the narrative reality.
Dougie Alexander is Gordon’s election co-ordinator, he co-ordinated the recently and expensively lost non-election, he directed the disastrous campaign that led to the loss of electoral control in Scotland by the Labour party for the first time in living memory. He writes pamphlets for think-tanks on how to win elections by turning political parties into “community hubs”. In his spare time he is the Minister in charge of DFID, where he oversees electoral assistance to developing countries – beyond satire.
He is an asset to Labour’s opponents and a liability to Gordon according to Labour colleagues. Hopefully Gordon will ignore the criticism because he so values Dougie’s loyalty.
Full(er) report later. Must dash…
This is only the first hearing, we are told there will be others.
Tony Wright chairs the committee and is being criticised for selecting the terms of reference to avoid investigating the actual allegations. He no doubt would argue that was the job of the police.
However, if at a subsequent hearing he does not call Lord Levy to answer questions, you can safely assume he has been nobbled. Arguably Blair and Ruth Turner should also be called to explain themselves.
Guido has also seen a copy of a letter sent to Tony Wright by a witness making specific allegations about being offered honours in return for donations to the Labour party. The letter specifies who made the offer, the figures discussed, as well as naming the Labour party operators involved when they were introduced to Tony Blair. The witness states in the letter that they are bemused at the lack of a prosecution. The witness also states in their letter to Tony Wright (copied to all members of the Committee) that they are willing to testify to the Committee. If that witness is not called Tony Wright has been nobbled.
To the hundreds who have pledged publicly (and privately) to financially support a private prosecution and have been wondering what has been going on, rest assured preparations have been made, legal soundings have been taken and we are waiting to see what comes out of these hearings.
You will also remember that after the dropping by the CPS of the case, the briefings in the papers by “friends” of Levy and Ruth Turner that they would be taking legal action against those who made the accusations. Nobody has received a writ. They have gone very quiet.
Lost: one feline Labour MP, sleek coat, answers to the name of Gisela Stuart (Edgbaston). If you see this much-stroked pussy please ring to say she is all right.
David Gauke pointed out that MPs would, as a result of the reforms, now get a 55% tax cut on capital gains (down from 40% to 18%) when they sell their taxpayer subsidised Westminster second homes. At this self-serving outrage there was a collective “what the f***!” from a roomful of exasperated entrepreneurs.
Guido thinks when the vote comes, those MPs who vote themselves a 55% tax cut and small businesses an 80% tax hike, should be named and shamed. Guido is thinking not just of Yvette and Ed Balls, but those champagne socialists with their multi-million pound property portfolios who will benefit. Michael Meacher and Emily Thornberry spring to mind, but they are not the only MPs who’ll be voting themselves a tax cut on their property portfolios. It adds insult to injury when you factor in that the taxpayer has paid them a tax-free mortgage subsidy worth some £40,000 a year to MPs. Guido will happily publicly name and shame MPs with bulging property portfolios who vote for the Finance Bill that clobbers entrepreneurs. Email Guido any names and details…
What was Brown’s role at the rugby world cup final? Was he keen to get close to all those rugby heroes to bask in their reflected glory? Sports fans should note that the PM is a sporting Jonah; Scotland lost the the soccer match he attended as PM, England lost to Germany the match he attended with Merkel and the English rugby team suffered his curse last night.
The Springboks carried Mbeki aloft as they celebrated, if England had won could you imagine Jonny and the boys carrying our bottler-in-chief on high?