That may be, but we will know that he is just as slippery as Blair when it comes to covert funding. We’ll know that his big business friends with interests in government contracts, government preferment and personal advancement, backed his campaign with cold cash given behind closed doors. Gordon glad-handed them at events at No. 11 organised by the Smith Institute, subsidised the Sith’s events by allowing them to use No. 11 rent free, the Treasury paid tax kick-backs on donations to the “educational charity” and even went so far as to pay thousands directly to the Smith Institute’s private company to organise events.
Gordon then tried to get a peerage for his allies Wilf Stevenson, the director of the Smith Institute and Ronnie “PFI” Cohen, the financier and Gordon backer. When Blair goes will anything really change when it comes to New Labour sleaze?
*Hat-tip to Hencke
Of course mistakes can be made by anyone in pursuit of the truth.
Can you remind Guido which unfiltered, agenda-free broadcaster confidently predicted with a knowing, worldly-wise smirk to camera, that ‘the police will simply go through the motions of investigating allegations of “cash for peerages’? in March 2006?
So it is interesting to see that Demos have arranged a Valentine’s day lunchtime love-in with David Willets on the New Tory buzzwords social responsibility. Not sure who is wooing who here – the brand decontaminating Tories, or Demos who want to distance themselves from their Blairite New Labour heritage. The important thing is not so much what they are saying, as who is saying what to whom as the tectonic plates shift.
According to the Mail on Sunday he also had a few worries when he was a SpAd at the Home Office and they were clamping down on Acid House parties, parties to which he and Samantha were not strangers. Can’t recall seeing him, mind you, if you can remember anything…
This week will see some features and presentational changes to the blog, including an “about” section. The blog’s style of approach and mission to entertain at the expense of politicians will remain unchanged.
In the article Oborne mentions also that Peter Mandelson has twice met Cameron in the past two months, once for a long private meeting in Brussels and then for a “brief but cheerful chat at the Davos World Economic Forum”.
Guido can reveal that Oborne is wrong on this point. In fact the Heir-to-Blair has met Mandelson three times in the past two months. The other time being on December 18, after Dave spoke at the Royal United Services Institute [pictured].
Strangely they turned down Guido’s generous counter-offer to direct and produce a 5 minute look at why the Lobby/BBC lets us down, and how bloggers are performing a necessary service to democracy.
Guido suspects that they would much rather record and edit the footage to fit their agenda. Guido would rather “frame” them.
No sign of the mobile phone, glasses, or credit cards. (Co-conspirators should contact Guido on the Irish mobile).
Anyone got any ideas for the Friday picture caption contest?
Sandra Howard charmed Mrs Fawkes, whatever happened to her husband? Aitken played up his ex-con status amusingly. Event was otherwise lacking in senior Tories who were all at the Black and White Ball, only Dominic Grieve showed up in incongruous black tie before he hopped off to Battersea.
Jon Snow was surprisingly bad at reading his auto-cue and we were repeatedly asked to clap and laugh a second time at his fluffed jokes. The live link to the Tory Ball with Cameron was a needle match. Snow couldn’t hide his loathing and made a jibe about tickets to the ball costing £5,000.* Cameron (through a gritted smile) retorted “Well on your salary Jon that wouldn’t be a problem”. Wonder if that will be cut?
*Was actually £325 on Guido’s invite. 325 quid to spend an evening with Tories? Guido might charge that to spend a night with the Tories, but not a hope in hell of paying it.
Guido is a fan of Oona and everything he has heard about her suggests she is great fun.
Presumably Oona will be putting the case for allowing us to get completely caned in Vauxhall after-hours clubs. After all, she has done the research…