Tuesday, September 22, 2009

+++ Baroness Scotland Reported to Bar Standards Board +++

standard_splash_baronessBookies William Hill are offering odds of 9/4 that the Attorney General, Baroness Scotland, will resign or be sacked before the end of this year.

The headlines don’t look very good for her.

Rawnsley Doesn’t Want to Work for Ashcroft

Andrew Rawnsley has resigned as editor-in-chief of PoliticsHome:

I became Editor-in-Chief on the basis that PoliticsHome was dedicated to being a non-partisan site clearly independent of any party both editorially and financially. It was essential for users of the site that they could feel absolute confidence in the political independence of PoliticsHome. I do not believe that can be compatible with being under the ownership of the deputy chairman of the Conservative Party.

Rawnsley has his reputation to think of, but the proof will be in the pudding. Politicshome has been hitherto a utility that doesn’t originate commentary.  The official announcement that Lord Ashcroft has taken a 57% stake in ConservativeHome and PoliticsHome is here. Though none of the parties is commenting, Guido understands that it was a six-figure sum £1.3 million that changed hands. Which is a fairly good price for a media publishing operation without a penny of revenue.

Incidentally Lord Ashcroft, since you appear to be on a buying spree, Guido won’t sell for less than seven eight figures…

It Ain’t Over for the Lady

target-baronessPatricia Scotland is not out of the woods yet – despite receiving the Prime Minister’s backing.  Guido has checked with the Bar Council and it is true that she will not have to report herself on the grounds that it is a civil offense to “unknowingly” employ an illegal immigrant.   She is making a lot of play of the claim that it is an administrative error and a “technical breach of the rules”, as if she had been caught by the offside trap.  It isn’t a game, it is a breach of the law by the highest law officer in the land, a breach of a law she introduced.

The Cabinet Office is trying to defend the Baroness over her expense claims.  Ridiculously they are now claiming that all ministers are entitled to claim the London allowance regardless of where they live.  Effectively giving all peers who are ministers an immediate pay rise…

‘Love Bomber’ Pickles v ‘Attack Dog’ Huhne

This morning’s Today programme exchange between Eric Pickles and Chris Huhne was classic:

+++ Sky : Baroness Scotland Fined £5,000 +++

+++ UKBA Source : Baroness Scotland Served
With ‘Notice of Potential Liability’ +++

baroness scotlandBaroness Scotland has been served with a “Notice of Potential Liability”. This is the first stage before a decision is made to issue a fine. According to a single source, most of the enforcement team is keen to nail her but Lin Homer (UKBA CEO) is desperately looking for a way to avoid prosecution. Lady Scotland claims that Tapui’s passport was current and endorsed with the correct Home Office stamps, telling investigators she “knows what they look like”. However, she didn’t take copies as required by the Act. The raid only turned up an expired passport.

Tapui is said to have contacted UKBA late yesterday afternoon. Everything is on hold until the UKBA enforcement team speak to her.

Mark Oaten Fridge Magnet

oaten-fridge-magnet

Party conference memorabilia doesn’t come more crap…

Monday, September 21, 2009

Jackie Ashley, Tory Strategist

Don Paskini laments the profound insight into political strategy offered by the Guardian’s Jackie Ashley, the self-confessed Brownite also know as Mrs Marr:

jackie ashley

June 2009: “what is silly is to imply that Labour would not make cuts or that they would not have to raise taxes for ordinary families…Better to admit the obvious and draw clear lines between Labour policies and Tory ones. There is a sensible, grown-up argument to be had, and it’s one that Labour could end up winning.”

Labour took the advice and how did it work out?

“It’s certainly now much easier for the Conservative government to make cuts. Labour has provided cover and, deliciously, Ed Balls has started the process.” ConservativeHome.

ConservativeHome is now reporting that

Today Jackie Ashley’s column is on the need for Labour to set out its plans for tax rises.

Guido has some sympathy for Paskini when he foams at the mouth “next time don’t write a newspaper article about how Labour would be more popular if they did what George Osborne wants them to do.” Quite.

Chris Davies Attacks Expense Fiddling “Dirty Cheating Bastards”

Guido was in Bournemouth yesterday speaking at a fringe meetingon the topic of MPs’ expenses organised by Liberal Vision.  Greg Dyke was on form, his political promiscuity means the former Labour-luvvie  is now a LibDem and he is helping the Tories formulate their media policy.

Thieving BastardAt the end of the meeting Guido asked the members of the audience to put up their hand if they thought the former LibDem chief-exec Lord Rennard should keep the £42,000 he claimed for overnight subsistence despite living in Vauxhall, just over the Thames from parliament.  Not a single hand went up, not even the manicured hand of the Telegraph-beatified ‘Saint’ Lynne Featherstone MP who was in the room.

Even the co-panellist LibDem Lord Teverson, who was sitting next to Guido, said he was abstaining…

IEA Chief Search Down to Last Ten

The search for a new £100,000-a-year Director-General of the Institute for Economic Affairs has whittled down the sixty or so applicants to a short-list of ten.  The final decision will be made by the trustees before the end of next month.  Word is the Trustees are looking for someone who can take the fight for free markets to the media more aggressively.  The IEA has failed to have much of a media profile since the 80s…

101

Meanwhile elsewhere in wonkland Guido asked Madsen Pirie, the Adam Smith Institute’s doyen of Westminster wonks, if his new book 101 Great Philosophers: Makers of Modern Thought was aimed at politicians. “No”, he said. It was aimed at aspirational people seeking self-improvement. “Most politicians are not like that,” he told Guido, “They think they are already perfect.”

Quite.


Seen Elsewhere

Shapps Defends Bashir Defection | Seb Payne
Tory Leadership Contenders Jostle Over Europe | Alex Wickham
Cutting Taxes is Good For You | Art Laffer
Suspects Will Now Have to Prove Innocence | Laura Perrins
Labour Cllr: Cops Shouldn’t Stop Petrol Thieves | HandF Forum
Creeping Cultural Acceptance of Anti-Semitism | Eric Pickles
Time For Greece to Leave Eurozone | Allister Heath
Boris: Jihadis are W*nkers | Sun
Ed Miliband: International Sex Symbol | Telegraph
Javid: Let Tories Campaign For Out Vote | House
Ministry of Justice Loses Death Inquiry Data “In the Post” | TechnoGuido


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Boris on British Jihadis. Apparently based on MI5 intel:

“If you look at all the psychological profiling about bombers, they typically will look at porn. They are literally w***ers. Severe onanists. They are tortured. They will be very badly adjusted in their relations with women, and that is a symptom of their feeling of being failures and that the world is against them. They are not making it with girls, and so they turn to other forms of spiritual comfort — which of course is no comfort.”


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