Seems largely accurate, but unwise a thing to say if you are a Catholic working for a narrow Presbyterian boss. Actually his immediate boss is Des Browne, not Gordon. Des is a Catholic as well. Guido finds the left / right, Catholic / proddie class dynamic beyond him in Scottish politics. Is there some kind of dissent brewing? Browne was said to be irritated with Gordon not so long. Are they plotting some kind of Catholic emancipation?
Guido is worried that Blair is succumbing to the Jimmy Carter delusion, that he can solve the worlds ills. To be fair Jimmy Carter has in fact done a lot of good and it hasn’t cost the taxpayers a penny. Blair on the other hand has his office subsidised by the taxpayers through the FCO.
That the PM who sold more peerages than any other in history is advising President Kagame on anti-corruption issues, does have some ironies. Admittedly he is doing it for free. On balance Guido commends Blair for this, well us Catholics do have to do more than just Hail Mary’s for penance…
Incidentally the Blair Foundation at first denied this story for some reason. They claimed that Liz Lloyd did not work for the Blair Foundation, which is technically correct. Old habits die hard, eh?
If Konrad Caulkett had not infuriated Guido with his patronising half-truths, the pursuit of the truth about the Smith Institute might not have been undertaken. (Konrad condescended to tell Guido that “more than six” meetings had been held by the Sith in Downing Street, it turned out to be nearly 200 meetings). Hain’s SpAd Joe Carberry similarly succeeded in incensing Guido. Months of hounding of his master later he might reflect that perhaps it was not the best way to handle a legitimate inquiry.
I wonder if in their minds they fantasise that they are mini-Alastair Campbell types. Yesterday when Guido was waiting to go into the Today studio, he was listening to a smug youth (who he surmised was School’s Minister Jim Knight’s SpAd) on the phone fending off journos. After Knight had finished his piece on air the SpAd smirkingly asked “What do you think?” “Knight? I think he is a c**t” Guido replied. Perplexed SpAd exits the green room.
After a decade in government even politician’s bag carriers get a little above themselves. Not wise to be so uppity now they are on their way down…
*Guido was right Rosa.
Here is a fourth corporate endorsement, he praised a firm as a “modern, dynamic company” which he wanted to see go “from strength to strength” in the run up to their stock market floatation. It is handy for a Cardiff based spin firm doing government relations if the Welsh Secretary himself gives you a boost despite the obvious conflict of interest. Very reassuring to potential investors…
Freshwater UK plc, which even more handily also got a £1m investment from the Welsh Assembly Government development arm, had coincidentally paid £10,000 for a table at a Labour fundraiser four days prior that ringing endorsement. Peter Hain was seated at the Freshwater table at the event, which was also attended by John Underwood, Freshwater’s business development director and Hain’s campaign treasurer. It was Underwood who set up the faux think tank as well to channel money to Hain4Labour. Yet another amazing coincidence in the Hain saga…
Too many coincidences to be believable.
The MIC has long been the target of Labour complaints and has gone to some lengths to satisfy the Electoral Commission.
Lisa Klein was unavailable for comment…
UPDATE :It was David Hencke, the Guardian’s sleaze investigatior, so not a confrontation, more a consensus. Be warned Tango-man fans, we swapped titbits in the green room…
UPDATE II : You can catch-up on BBC listen again. Scroll down to 08.30 – 9.00, fast forward 22 minsutes, it is some 7 minutes from the end.
It was denied. He was derided, attacked for his political views, and for working out of a $600-a-month rented Hollywood apartment. He was right. Today his website reputedly makes him $500,000-a-month and Drudge lives in an exclusive penthouse in Florida.
Love him or hate him, you can’t dismiss him. Having been accused of emulating Drudge, all Guido will say is – “you bet!” As a fan and voracious reader, Guido is happy to say he has learnt a lot from the master – namely what matters if you want to be a news maker:
- Content. Original relevant content. Go get the story.
- Don’t follow the herd. Have a clear unique online personality.
- Updating regularly is hard work, if you have nothing new to say, nobody will read you. Link to hot news at least.
Drudge has millions of readers and more influence than any other single newsmaker in America. Ironically his ability to direct reader traffic means he is now probably the biggest gate-keeper to conventional journalism today. The Pew Research Centre produced some data on the influence of news sources on the 2008 Presidential campaign. When they asked where Americans got their campaign information online, after the internet portals the New York Times website (6%) was the most cited source, confirming that it is after all the most influential paper in the free world. Second came the Drudge Report (3%), not bad for a three man operation (one of whom is based in London) and way ahead of the Washington Post website (1%). The twentieth century reign of the MSM gate-keepers is over.
Matt Drudge’s greatest achievement was not exposing Bill Clinton, it was deposing the MSM. Guido salutes you Matt, you made him a newsman.
The list is a list of donations from unincorporated associations consisting of mainly Tory dining clubs and support groups. There is a real and important issue of transparency here. What Mann and Jones seem to have forgotten is that Labour too has had some £2 million from unincorporated associations. In fact Harriet Harman got £5,000 from one for her leadership campaign…
It might not be illegal, but it is shady, and none of the parties have anything to be proud of on this front. However it is of an entirely different order to Hain’s fake think-tank. Hain’s campaign didn’t even report the donations never mind the source.
UPDATE : Am reliably informed that Kevan Jones was put up to this by his former boyfriend Nick Brown, the long time Gordon loyalist henchmen and enforcer. Kevan was, a long time ago, Nick Brown’s researcher and has enjoyed the patronage of Nick Brown ever since. One amusing story that Guido has been reminded of is that during the 2003 backbench Tuition Fees Rebellion Kevan Jones was summoned to see Gordon who told him he should vote for Tuition Fees. Jones said he represented a working class constituency in the North East and they could not afford to pay for their children to go to university. Gordon’s reply was classic, “I’m not f***ing asking you, I’m f***ing telling you.”
*John Mann flew to Nigeria recently on a junket courtesy of Shell. Shell is the largest operator in Nigeria providing most of Nigeria’s export earnings. Shell were implicated in the judicial execution of Nigerian environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa. In September 2001 a court in New York granted relatives of Ken Saro-Wiwa and another of the executed activists, the right to sue Shell. The suit alleged the company fabricated evidence to support murder charges against the two men.
**Kevan Jones loves a junket, Guido counted at least half a dozen trips to Washington and elsewhere courtesy of various arms trade interests on the register in the last couple of years.
Guido has learnt that the APPC has received a complaint from James Davenport, a former employee of Morgan Allen Moore, concerning ten separate breaches of the APPC Code of Conduct by Steve Morgan, Hain’s campaign manager. The book is well and truly being thrown at “Morgan the Organ”…
“TORIES AIM TO DESTROY FINAL SALARY PENSION SCHEMES“
The Taxpayers Alliance keeps a hawkish eye on government waste and has made an official complaint to Sir Leigh Lewis, Permanent Secretary of the Department of Work and Pensions about the behaviour of his department’s SpAds campaigning on the public payroll for the Labour Party. Are the DWP SpAds going to blame it like their boss does on incompetence or amnesia?
Hat-tip : Taxpayers Alliance
No opposition MP had the wit to question the conflict of interest and propriety of Hain receiving a £1,500 donation to his campaign from PGA Ryder Cup PR firm TM Communications. More here…
If a politician failed to report an item within 30 days they would get a fixed fine of £100. If they failed to report an item after 60 days a £1,000 fine. If they fail to report an item after 90 days a mandatory one month suspension from the house – unpaid.
Party and constituency reporting would continue as now. To accept donations any other way would be a criminal offence. Simple enough even for the most incompetent politician…
Since Ken is quoted in nearly every article throughout the 20 pages, on concerns ranging from London’s housing shortage, Tube fares, a Metropolitan Police survey, Oyster Cards, offers for Londoners to get half price bus fares and crime in London, Hosie says: “This is an outrageous waste of taxpayers’ money to provide propaganda for Ken Livingstone’s mayoral campaign. The newspaper articles have little or no relevance to anyone outside London. Bad enough that taxpayers’ money is wasted on propaganda but then to have it posted throughout the UK adds insult to injury.”