Late Night Sessions

One of the great things about EyeSpy.MP (or the “phantom blogger” as Sir Michael White mistakenly calls it) is that it reveals the truth about MPs actual behaviour.  Next time an MP whines about being poorly paid and hard working because of all those late night sittings, ask him what really happens during those sessions? Do they scrupulously scrutinise legislation and make speeches of great oratory?

No they get drunk and gossip. Last night the PLP was getting pissed and occasionally wandering into the lobbies to vote. Here are a selection of EyeSpy.MP tweets from last night:

4 out of 5 Lab leadership contenders on the terrace taking advantage of rare late night sitting to be matey (or trying to be in case of D & E Miliband).

Last night: Balls, Burnham and Ed Miliband in the Kremlin buying pints for down-market North East Labour MPs

Why aye man, it’s Sharon Hodgson pet! Skulling a vat of white wine. Drunk as a skunk.

0130: Tired and emotional Dennis Macshane stinging drinking companions for expensive glasses of Sancerre on the Terrace

0200: Ed Balls the last Labour leadership contender left on the Terrace – still drinking pints with the NE mafia!

Bear in mind some of these MPs will have been drinking subsidised beer since tea-time.  In many cases they will be completely drunk when voting and the whips basically roll them into the lobbies. In how many jobs outside the entertainment industry is it acceptable to be completely intoxicated in the workplace? Makes you proud of our great parliamentary democracy doesn’t it…

More LibDems Support Coalition Than Tories

As Simon Hughes sits in his palatial office this morning, as Vince takes a political moment at BIS and Charlie Kennedy emerges bleary eyed at some point closer to lunchtime, there will be some uncomfortable polling news for them to chew over. LibDemVoice has been asking the sandalistas what they think of the coalition with the Tories. For those inherently against the idea, and looking to cause trouble, it will make for a frustrating read.

84% of LibDem members support the coalition versus just 11% against. 74% approve of the record to date. 43% of members think the coalition will harm their electoral prospects though. With the LibDems slumping to 15% in last night’s YouGov poll, they could well be right. The narrative has been that it will be Clegg that faces his party splitting first, but if you compare the LibDem poll to a similar one conducted by ConservativeHome it appears the coalition is more popular amongst the yellows…

The End Is Nigh

Guido hears that today’s Local Government Association Conference was a right hoot, well perhaps not, but Eric Pickles used his speech there to zero his sight and take aim squarely at The Guardian.

It seems he is coming good on Tories pre-election promise to put public sector job adverts online rather than using taxpayers’ money to subsidise the otherwise unsustainable Guardian business model. Without those public sector adverts the paper is going to be in serious trouble. Not even more deals with Apple will be able to save them. Tragic…

Cast-Out Chris Courts Kids

Hugh Muir is reporting that Chris Bryant has emailed all the Labour newbies offering to take them on tours of the Palace of Westminster, just in-case they are called upon to do so for guests. Of course all this creeping around the new kids has nothing to do with the fact that most of the Parliamentary Labour Party hate Bryant’s guts. With the Shadow Cabinet elections coming up he is going to need at least some friends if he is going to have a chance.

Perhaps he can give them tips on how not to start their parliamentary career too…

Pervy Porn Councillors Quit

Scandal looks set to rock Kensington and Chelsea Council as two Tory councillors have just quit following the circulation of, err, extremely inappropriate material, via their council email accounts. All sorts of rumours are flying around about Cllr’s Barry “filthy” Phelps and Mark Daley, to the extent that careful ConHome have shut down their comments on the thread that broke the news.

Apparently due to the “sensitivity” of the darker reasons behind the resignations…

UPDATE: The emails sent. Not porn, but weird and disgusting.

The Wheels Come Off the CSS

The last government were extremely proud of the car-scrappage scheme that they borrowed from Obama. They spent £400m to ensure the UK scraped out of recession – which it did, just, with January’s paltry 0.1% growth figure. The scheme was then extended until February.

Today’s figures reveal that new car registrations are up 10%, without the government incentives to buy, raising serious questions about the need for the scheme in the first place, or the extension, both of which were against Treasury advice. The fact that the subsidy equally went overseas to German and Japanese manufacturers was glossed over by Mandelson.

The numbers pour water on Labour’s current attempts to deny that they were spending more and promising the world because it was an election year. How can they possible jusitify this £400m political spending, forced through only to ensure the UK came out of recession before election day?

Bye Bye Budd

Given that the new Office of Budget Responsibility hasn’t even been enshrined in law properly yet, and barely has a sign on the office door, losing its chairman this early doesn’t look good. Sir Alan Budd has let it be known he is off in a sudden and somewhat mysterious move, leaving the organisation head-less in the run up to the Spending Review. A tad embarrassing for the Chancellor as despite the three month contract Budd was on, it was expected he would be in the post for rather longer. A headache now as a suitable replacement needs to be sought urgently. There are no obvious candidates.

Giving up the right to publicly crunch the numbers was a big jump for Osborne and it has already contradicted his message early on regarding growth figures. Budd’s jumping ship so early doesn’t exactly scream confidence in the new regime.

UPDATE : Some speculation in the City that the 73 year-old Budd prefers comfortable and lucrative board positions to stressful, politically charged Treasury work with austere financial compensation.  He previously described the OBR job as “the most exciting challenge of my professional life”. Too exciting perhaps…

Gordon “Offered Professor’s Chair”

With the summer recess not far off, Gordon’s friends are putting it about that he has been offered various academic posts, telling the Glasgow Herald “It’s true he has been approached by several academic institutions regarding various things. None of these is settled or completed as yet. There have been approaches in this country and in others.”

Meanwhile Gordon is relaxing in Kirkcaldy, cashing £1,270-a-week, plus pension top ups from taxpayers, to rock in his chair.

Godless Socialists

Tonight the Labour leadership hopefuls participate in a Christian Socialist Movement hustings in London. Apart from Andy Burnham, are any of them actually practicing Christians? Aren’t they mostly atheists?[…]

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Poor Business Model Closes Atrium

There was uproar this lunchtime as the news spread that Westminster’s over-priced, and very public, eatery The Atrium is set to close. Despite the sloppy service and mediocre food, the place was a hotbed of gossip with Sky News and […]

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Wavy AV

With Nick Clegg set to formally name the day of the AV referendum at 3.30pm, the positioning is already well under-way. Burnham is trying to invigorate his campaign by being the anti-AV Labour candidate, but Balls was moving onto his […]

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Whining and Dining

Tom Watson has a new bee in his bonnet.  Like so many Labour MPs who are finding it deeply “unfair” that they are no longer in power, Watson has decided to try carry on the scorched earth-policy from the other […]

+ READ MORE +



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