Breaking News : Mark Clarke Wins Tooting Selection

Despite an excruciating campaign video, the high profile leader of the Tory youth wing has been selected to fight the Tooting Popular Front. He needs a 7% swing away from Labour…

Oooh www.CherieBlair.org.uk

Pendennis has noticed that our old friend Martha Greene has registered www.CherieBlair.org.uk.

Domain name: cherieblair.org.uk

Registrant: Martha Greene

She has also registered some predictable variations. CherieBlair.tv and MoneyGrubbingScouser.org. are however still available.

Smith Institute : Gordon’s Slip is Clearly ShowingBelow the Hem

“Britain is a better country because of the choices that voters made in 1997, 2001 and 2005….”*

Is that a quote from the draft 2009 Labour party manifesto to be signed by Gordon Brown? In a sense it is, in that it comes from an invitation sent out by what is effectively Gordon’s preparatory campaign committee. The Smith Institute is, even Brownite allies admit, now in its final days as a charity. One Brownite sneered to Guido that “even if it does lose it’s charitable status, it won’t matter, Gordon will be PM by then.”

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

Point of Order-Order

Nick Robinson says you have to filter what Guido says, that you have to watch “the agenda” and that Guido gets things wrong.

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?

New Logo : Cannabis Conservatives

Demos Calls in Two-Brains

Propeller-Head Wonk Watch: The new director of Demos, Catherine Fieschi, seems to be steadying the ship and pointing it in a new direction after the short-lived captaincy of Madelaine Bunting produced a mutiny of the wonks.
Catherine Fieschi is respected as a real academic wonk who hails from the soft liberal school (she is on the editorial board of Prospect, the bible of Hampstead liberals). Essentially, unlike Bunting, she has a Phd and knows how to use it.

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.

Dave the Rave?

What a shocker! The man who before he became leader described himself as an “instinctive libertarian”, said he had “a normal university experience” and backed drug liberalisation for medicinal purposes, has confirmed that he had more than a few spliffs in his youth. But does he pass the hypocrisy test?

Yes. He has said the UN should consider legalising drugs and that the legal classification of ecstasy should be downgraded. He has never lied about his past either as far as we know.

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…

So Much for Anonymity

UPDATE : Not being a fan of navel-gazing, or blogging about blogging, Guido will keep this short. The anonymity which Guido sought to maintain was actually broken by the Guardian in February 2005 after a tip-off from a Labour party employee. A phone number used by Guido was reversed traced and the name of the alter ego was passed to Ros Taylor. She published it in an amusing little piece highlighting a psychedelic youth. So the name of the person channelling the ghost of Guido Fawkes onto the internet has only been a secret to those who were lacking in the wit to Google Who is Guido Fawkes?

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.

Osborne Tried to Lure LibDem’s David LawsOver to the Liberal Conservatives

Peter Oborne has a fascinating article on the extent of the Team Cameron outreach mission to LibDems. In it he claims that George Osborne surprised David Laws with a Cameron sanctioned proposition – a shadow cabinet position for the Orange Booker. Also mentioned as a high value acquisition target is David Owen, the original social-marketeer.

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].

Marr Misses Out

Marr’s production people are more persistent at pestering Guido than Marr himself is with his guests. Nevertheless Guido declined their invitations. So you’ll just have to make do tomorrow with Iain Dale on their political blogging special.

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.

Miliblinking Gordon Gaffe

Tories Sell Old Smith Square HQ for £30m

So that leaves the Tory party virtually debt-free, whereas Labour are bordering on insolvent and barely able to afford holding a leadership election, never mind a general election.

Can Gordon get his mate Ronnie “PFI” Cohen [pictured] to cough up some of his profits for the party?

Normal Service Will Resume Shortly

Guido’s kidneys ache and every pore of his body still oozes vodka and Red Bull.

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?

C4 Political Awards : No Totty Report

Harriet Harman was gutted not to win, Charles Clarke is clearly embittered and laughed heartily at the expense of his enemies colleagues. Charlie Kennedy ostentatiously drunk a Coca Cola, mind you he did leave early, (keeps the Tennents Extra at home obviously).

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.

Oona on the Freedom to Party

Guido hears from his man at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire that Oona King is doing a documentary on “dance music and politics”, specifically the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act for Radio 4.

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…

Blinky Balls Blushes at PMQs

Although his master was absent (presumably washing his hair) Ed Balls was in the chamber during PMQs.

Benedict Brogan’s blog captures the moment

Colin Challen was called to ask the Prime Minister a question, and the minute his name left the Speaker’s lips the cat-calls began.
[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Boris campaign team member Jake Berry not taking well:

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