Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

St Tony Comes into the Light

Guido is trying to take a break from blogging and ignore the newsflow. Hard when the two main news items in Ireland today are Taoiseach Bertie Ahern being cross examined over corruption allegations and Tony formally converting to Catholicism. Blair always was upwardly mobile.

UPDATE : Fraser Nelson had a good piece anticipating Blair’s formal conversion last month. Guido’s struggle for the re-Catholicisation of England seems to be progressing well with the news that Catholic church-goers out number C of E church-goers.

Hain’s Suspiciously Slow Declaration

On the morning of December 3 earlier this month Guido called up one of Hain’s (until that day) undeclared financial backers to make enquiries. By that afternoon Hain had made a dash across to the Electoral Commission, allegedly entirely unrelated, to clear up a few omissions.

Sky’s Joey Jones wonders why Hain’s team is taking so long to get the information out into the open. Joey asks
So why the delay? – Is there a bigger can of worms than we had thought?

Hain’s team say they want to get their submission absolutely right. I know it may sound a bit cynical for this time of year, but I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if the information got sneaked out once everyone’s headed off for the holidays…

Guido has his own suspicions. Don’t worry Peter, Guido will break away from his holidays to make sure it doesn’t go unreported. Don’t forget anything this time Peter, it would not look good if Guido had to point out an omission again…

Clegg Hires Brian Eno as "Youth Issues Adviser"

Brian Eno is a 60 year old ex-rock musician.

UPDATE : Clegg doesn’t believe in God. No word from God as yet on the future prospects for the LibDems, but you don’t expect miracles.

Boris Bus Beats Ken’s Killer Bendy Bus

Boris is backing the futuristic clean, low emission, hydrogen-powered wheelchair and pushchair friendly double decker bus. So us cyclists will have two good reasons to support it, less chance of being crushed to death by a bendy bus or having to choke on diesel fumes. Autocar commissioned this design. Of course we were told by Ken that “only a dehumanised moron” would get rid of the Routemaster. Ken got rid of the Routemaster in 2004.

Londoners want, and tourists especially expect, to see the famous red bus silhouette against the backdrop of the Capital of the World. Bizarrely Ken’s supporters now no longer able to object on disability legislation grounds now object on cost grounds. When have they ever worried about cost before? Boris is on to a populist vote winner here…

Failure to Follow-Up

Guido has been busy Christmas shopping, spending his Clegg bets winnings, which were not as much as they should be because Guido reduced his exposure as the campaign progressed, or rather as Clegg’s campaign failed to progress.

Meantime in the red corner of Guido’s blog comments a number of posters are complaining that Guido has failed to follow up the scandal of Cameron’s Dodgy Donors. Yet more evidence that Guido is, yawn, a Tory toady.

There is a back story here. When the Abrahams scandal blew up Guido got an anonymous call from a posh voice who seemed to be intimately familiar with Tory fundraising processes. It was inconceivable, the source claimed, that if Labour were following procedures they would be unaware of Abrahams. The Tories themselves checked donations against monthly updated electoral rolls. They returned donations regularly which checks discovered failed to meet the criteria, all donations above £200 were checked, above £5,000 they were scrutinised and at £50,000 they got to know everything about them. Labour were simply not doing this checking and Guido should get on to the Electoral Commission to discover how many donations Labour returned in comparison to the Conservatives. Not enough it now seems.

The Tories are being disingenuous saying they voluntarily forfeited the £5,900 and £1,500 donations. They had no choice, the 30 day grace period to discover mistakes was up. Unless by “voluntarily” they mean “we didn’t want to continue breaking the law” they only did what they had to do.

It is extra embarrassing that it is Cameron’s own constituency association. Is it on a par with Peter Watt, the Labour Party’s national general secretary, being party to a proxy donor scheme to cover-up the party’s third biggest donor? Well, you judge for yourselves…

Courageous Gordon to Use Alistair as Human Shield

The PM’s monthly news conference will be a laugh* in ten minutes. Notice it is called the PM’s monthly news conference, yet this month he is bringing Alistair Darling along to take the blame for the inevitable questions about Northern Crock. He couldn’t do his usual Macavity trick and disappear so he is going to try to hide behind his Darling Chancellor instead.

*Maybe not.

+++ MING IS ALIVE +++

Seen at the LibDem leadership announcement. Not looking too spritely or cheerful…

UPDATE : Clegg won (no surprise) and gave a speech worthy of, errm, Al Gore. There were only 500 votes in it out of some 40,000 cast.

CCHQ Designated Party Poopers Tonight

CCHQ are having their Christmas party tonight. Somebody is worried that the boys and girls will get out of hand. Surely not, this isn’t the Bullingdon Club after all…

Dear All,

HR have just had a word with me regarding

[…]

Who is Leaking Now?

At the last stormy meeting of Tony Wright’s Public Administration Select Committee, Yates of the Yard was blamed for leaking during the inquiry into Loans for Lordships. He pointed the finger at the politicians on the committee. They in

[…]

Can the Irish Again Save Europe?

With the fall of the Roman Empire in the fifth century, it fell to us Irish, to our glory, to save Western Civilisation. It was Irish monks who copied and preserved almost all of Western classical poetry, history, oratory, philosophy

[…]

Andrew Gilligan in this evening’s London Standard has another story about the whirlpool of corruption and graft surrounding Lee Jasper, Mayor Ken Livingstone’s aide.

Cash has been dished out in wheelbarrows to Jasper’s pals. Now a whistle-blower of impeccable credentials

[…]



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Quote of the Day

Tim Shipman to Adam Boulton on the TV debates…

“If Cameron gets in a car to go to the debate, Lynton Crosby will stage a car crash.”

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