Saturday, April 25, 2009

+++ Nadine : I’m Suing Damian McBride +++

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.

Nadine DorriesGuido 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…

Just Go Petition

ResignIt was in the hundreds when Guido first highlighted it, it is in the thousands now. On Monday morning when people start emailing it around offices it will be in the tens of thousands.

Tell him to “Just Go!”

Friday, April 24, 2009

Will a Million Voters Tell Gordon to Go?

Resign

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.

Friday Caption Contest (Bend It Like Edition)

Bonkers Brown Bruising in the Bunker

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?

The Heirs to Blair Should Fight Labour on Tax and Spend

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.

Heir to BalirThe 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.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Iain Martin Leaving Labourgraph

Iain MartinDon’t know why or if he even has somewhere to go, but source is reliable.   Maybe Iain is too Conservative leaning for the newspaper’s political team.  The political team has just been strengthened by importing Ben Brogan from the Daily Mail.  On the other hand it has been weakened by the loss of contributing editor Damian McBride, who supplied stories to the chief copy-taker, Andrew Porter.

Guido is also all too well aware that there are internal recriminations at The Telegraph over how it has handled Smeargate.  The Guardian this morning is reporting something of the story.  The Telegraph’s official line is that they aren’t bothered, a TMG spokesperson told the Guardian “As you might imagine, we did not entirely buy [Guido's] version of events. But we are relaxed about it, to be honest.”

Well perhaps they might like to explain their version of events after everyone has seen this:

From : Christopher Hope
To : Guy Fawkes

Date : Thu, Apr 2, 2009 at 6:09 PM
subject :  Non-disclosure agreement
mailed-by telegraph.co.uk

…This is to confirm that we, the Telegraph Media Group, are happy to give you our assurance that anything that you show to us tomorrow (April 3) will be in confidence, for our information, and will not be published in any form without your explicit and prior agreement.

Yours sincerely

Christopher Hope
Whitehall Editor
The Daily Telegraph
111 Buckingham Palace Road
London
SW1W 0DT

SmokescreenAs far as Guido is concerned they have behaved abysmally. They tipped off Downing Street with details of a politically serious story, publishing a spoiler that might as well have had Damian McBride’s byline (it didn’t mention him), they then alone of any newspaper in the world published a hatchet job of a profile. So if you are a source with an important political story, best you give the Telegraph a wide swerve.  They can’t be trusted.  They are likely betray your confidence and reveal you as the source…

UPDATE : Iain Martin has not responded to Guido’s emailed request for comment. So read into that what you will. Also have just noticed that Michael Ellam told the Lobby in the first briefing in the aftermath of Smeargate that the first Downing Street knew about Smeargate was when they were contacted on Friday night (by “national press” aka The Telegraph.)

Potty Priorities

The tabloid headline driven drug laws in Britain are a mess. The next Prime Minister of Britain spent his days at Eton smoking dope, the current Home Secretary says she only smoked “weak” dope, as if that makes a material difference.   If they had been caught and convicted they would probably not have got where they are today.

It is a mad situation where you get a lighter sentence for raping someone than you would for selling them a joint.  Which do you think is worse?

According to the government’s sentencing guidelines study in 2004, the average custodial sentence imposed for rape of an adult was 79.7 months and for GBH was 50.1 months.  For dope dealing the average was 84.0 months.

Why does “intent to supply” a relatively harmless, though wrongly categorised class ‘A’ drug like Ecstasy, attract a stiffer sentence than “attempted rape”?

UPDATE : Just noticed that Peter Wilby in the New Statesman is saying the contemporary left is too timid to be rational on drugs. The centre-right is too, given that a fair share of the Shadow Cabinet have enjoyed recreational drug use, isn’t it time we stopped kow-towing to Dacre and had a grown up attitude to drug addiction? It is a public health problem, not a criminal / judicial problem.

Hat-tip : UK Drug Policy Commission

Bailout : Gordon’s £1.4 Trillion Fail

giltsHere is the futures price chart for the generic Gilt.  All that is stopping that chart going further south faster is that the Bank of England is printing money (though printing isn’t the way it done nowadays, the Bank just changes amounts in the electronic ledger).  Some of that money is recycled into mopping up gilts.  It won’t work for ever.

Gordon has convinced fellow members of the IMF to sell the fund’s gold reserves, this visibly holds down the gold price as the relative value of paper money is destroyed.   There will be an awful day of reckoning.

The gilt market will revolt sooner or later.   Darling’s fantasy forecasts will be rejected by those of us in the reality-based financial markets.   The numbers are horrific.  Bloomberg’s Andrew MacAskill has totted up the cost of the bailout as £1.4 trillion.  That is over 100% of GDP.

Public Hearings on MP’s Expenses


Sir Christopher Kelly has this morning announced the terms of reference for the The Committee on Standards in Public Life’s Inquiry into MPs’ Expenses.  He says:

The aim of our Inquiry is to reform the system of MPs’ expenses to create a new set of rules which are trusted by the public, and which give MPs the support they need to do their jobs.

There will be public hearings, Guido intends to attend those hearings and make a submission through the Sunlight Centre for Open Politics.*

Over the last five years of investigating MP’s fiddles it is fair to say that Guido has become something of an (unwilling) expert on the system and the abuses of the system by which MPs enrich themselves.

Broadly speaking there are some simple principles which need to underpin any new system.  Firstly and most importantly transparency.  We need a completely transparent system of financing.  The best protection we have against shady behaviour is sunlight.

Secondly we need full accounting.  Every single penny must be accounted for, it is public money and the public are entitled to know where it goes.  If politicians don’t like it, maybe public life is not for them.

*Full disclosure, Guido financially supports the Sunlight Centre for Open Politics.  If you want to intern for the Centre (next month) email your resume to team@sunlight-cops.org.uk.


Seen Elsewhere

Comply or Die at Grauniad | MediaGuido
Labour Beats UKIP in South Yorkshire | LabourList
Mock the Week’s Weak Comedy | Nigel Farage
Can Jim Murphy Save Scottish Labour? | Guardian
There is Still Appetite for the Westminster Lunch | Jon Craig
Labour Turn Their Backs on Jewish Community | Dan Hodges
Chivalry is Not Dead | Laura Perrins
Jonathan Jones is a Tw*t | Iain Dale
Second Scotland Poll Suggests Labour Wipeout | Times
Paedo Probe Boss Urged to Quit | Sun
Keynesian Tories Won’t Eliminate Deficit | Tim Montgomerie


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Zac Goldsmith: “The hon. Gentleman might like to know that today’s Guido Fawkes quote of the day is the one on drug laws that we have heard cited by a number of hon. Members.”

Mike Hancock: “I am delighted to hear that Guido Fawkes is talking about something other than me.”



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Is it just me, or is Nigel Farage just a top hat and a monocle away from being a Batman villain?


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