Saturday Seven Up

7upTraffic post-election as we head into silly season has been down about 25%, but last week was quite a good week. If you were not one of the 61,509 visitors viewing 307,380 pages over the last seven days, here are the seven most popular stories (in order of popularity) that you missed:

You’re either in front of Guido, or you are behind…

Miliband’s Own Donors Don’t Believe in Him

David Miliband proudly published his formidable donors list on his website yesterday. Intriguingly the law firm Mishcon de Reya have given the favourite in the race £13,077 through a donation-in-kind of legal services. This strikes an odd note given David’s less than amiable relationship with said law firm previously.

Last year John Jackson, Mishcon’s chairman,  accused the then Foreign Secretary of a breach of the rule of law over the case of the tortured terrorist suspect Binyam Mohamed. For someone now providing valuable support through his firm, he has certainly changed his tune. Jackson wrote:

“The Foreign Secretary has, apparently, said that the judges were mistaken and that at no time did US authorities make the threats set out in the judgement. This is said to have been confirmed by very senior U.S. spokespeople. If the judges were mistaken what, precisely, was the basis of the Foreign Secretary’s Immunity Certificate? And, come to think of it, why is he the Minister concerned with intelligence sharing? This is beginning to look like the proverbial can of worms.

Three days later the donor went even further and hinted that Miliband was not being entirely straight regarding whether the US threatened British authorities about the case:

“David Miliband now claims the US authorities did not make threats in relation to the sharing of intelligence information and that he had not raised this aspect of the BM case with colleagues in the US since the inauguration of President Obama. This is so astonishing as to defy belief when placed next to what the Divisional Court said in its last judgement published last Wednesday

David Miliband’s own brother doesn’t think he is the best man for the job, and even those who are throwing money at him seem to doubt his honesty. When both blood and money question the man, eyebrows are inevitably raised. If they don’t trust him, why should anyone else? What changed Jackson’s mind about David Miliband? Why the cash? What was promised?

Commons Drinks Up Just 5%

Regular readers will remember much fanfare from Bercow when he announced that, in these austere times, the cost of subsidised food and drink on the Parliamentary Estate would be rising, bringing it into line with “high-street” rivals. So the cheaper end of the real world.

Half a million quid will be removed from the subsidy, but what does that actually mean in practice? Guido’s man behind the bar whispered that for all the press releases and back slapping, the plan is to only put prices up by a meagre 5%. The Commons bars and terraces will still be the cheapest place to drink in town even after this small rise. The Guinness is half price by Central London standards, cheers.

Friday Caption Contest (Briefing the Lobby Edition)

Dolly Back on the London Scene

Derek Draper disappeared from the face of the earth after his exit in disgrace from LabourList. He was spotted doing a bit of canvassing on election day and was entertained by Gloria De Piero on the Commons terrace a few weeks back. Now it seems old Dolly is trying to make a bit of comeback on the London scene. He was clocked last week at a YouGovStone networking event, the sort where some pay through the nose to mingle. Seeing Draper standing in corner, alone, a co-conspirator saw his moment:

CC: Derek, how are you, big fan…
DD: Oh yeah… cheers… You Labour?
CC: No Tory… obviously.

Needless to say cards were not swapped…

Blair Still a Hero, To Some

Tony is off to Kosovo today to receive the Golden Medal of Freedom. He will meet leaders and address their Assembly. No expense is being spared for their hero’s welcome, although he won’t be offered honorary tribal membership as he was in Sierra Leone. While unwanted and still hated by swathes of his own country, the Blair magic is undiminished on the international stage.

‘Tonibler’ is a popular name for young Kosovans, and he has streets named after him. Guido is racking his brains as to where in the world his successor would receive anything other than polite applause…

UPDATE: While Blair might be popular, a Kosovan co-conspirator notes that he has a long way to go to beat Clinton as a local hero:

Blair doesn’t even have his own scrapyard in Pristina named after him yet.

Dave Dodges Humiliation

Bob Crowe has been mouthing off for the last couple of days at the prospect of the Prime Minister addressing the TUC conference in the autumn. He is whipping up anger about the invitation and claims he will lead a walk out over the axe swinging public sector cuts. He is determined to humiliate Dave by having him speak to an empty hall. Imagine the TV footage…

Now Dave is back-tracking and Downing Street are making it be known he almost certainly won’t be addressing the baying mob – instead he is thinking of sending a braver replacement – Nick won’t mind a few boos for the greater-good, right?

Ed Bankrolled By His Girlfriend’s Parents

Ed Miliband is struggling to raise the cash compared to his brother’s formidable flesh-pressing and begging efforts. Without those Blairite purse-string holders behind you, every donation counts. So £2,500 in cash would be greatly appreciated. Two payments of exactly the same amount stand out though. They must be very loyal supporters to provide a third of the campaign costs so far:

And who are these generous Thorntons? Well Ed’s girlfriend Justine’s Mum and Dad of course…

The Plot Thickens…

Ed Balls has been on the phone to a friendly ear to unequivocally deny he was behind the Burnham briefing Guido mentioned earlier:

There is no truth in these allegations, in these smears about me or my supporters. It is

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Miliband’s Millionaires

For all the hustings and the hype, what really makes leadership campaigns successful is the hard cash. And no surprise that favourite David Miliband has raised nearly five times that of his closest financial rival Ed Balls.

  • David Miliband -£185,000

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Prezza “Sidelined” Into the Lords

So it’s Baron Prezza of Kingston-on-Hull. And more importantly Lady Prescott too. A quiet and subdued Prescott has just taken his oath. The millionaire didn’t look very happy during the whole process.

Must have been all that “flummery”…[…]

+ READ MORE +

Temper, Temper Tom

This is from last night, but Guido was waiting for decent-quality footage to appear online of his old mucker Tom Watson losing it in the Commons and managing to break pretty much all established Parliamentary protocol in one sentence. It’s […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Cameron on Trump:

“I have to say that knowing the gruelling nature of the primaries and what you have to go through, anyone who makes it through that extraordinary contest to lead their party into a general election deserves our respect.”

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