Thursday, February 26, 2009

Labour Partying With Bankers Tonight

Crisis, what banking crisis? Yesterday the City minister Lord Myners was showing off his art collection to the Labour glitterati, tonight John Prescott will be in the heart of the financial district partying with the rest of the London Labour Party to raise money from bankers at a £500-a-table “Gala Dinner”

For public consumption Labour are bashing the bankers whilst privately they will be dancing to their tunes, still hoping to tap them up for donations. Tonight’s gala venue is next door to Lehman’s building in Canary Wharf, so perhaps they won’t raise quite as much money as they hope – particularly since any bankers still with jobs are unlikely to have cash to spare from non-existent bonuses. Unless of course you negotiated your exit package with Alastair Darling, in which case you are sorted for life…

+++ Brown Broke Rules Says Standards Commissioner +++

Full ruling here.

Lord and Lady Myners Party On

Baron Myners said recently “I have met more masters of the universe than I would like to, people who were grossly over-rewarded and did not recognise that. Some of that is pretty ­unpalatable. They are people who have no sense of the broader society around them.”

Broader society is suffering terribly as the banking and debt crisis ravages the economy. Yet the former Smith Institute deputy chairman, Guardian Media Group chairman, hedge fund director, long time Brown crony and newly appointed City Minister, Lord Myners of Short Selling, isn’t showing any signs of belt tightening. Quite the contrary, he is hosting gilded parties.

Yesterday he and Lady Myners “graciously” invited their friends from the art world, politics and upper reaches of the Guardian into their Belgravia home to view their multi-million pound modern art collection.Guido has been unable to confirm which particular vintage of champagne it was that Sarah Brown, and the many other friends drawn from the ruling New Labour elite, were drinking. Truly, they are “people who have no sense of the broader society around them.”

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

PPS Revolt Threatened Over Post Privatisation

This was sent around Labour PPS’s by Dave Anderson, PPS to Bill Rammell at the FCO. Note he says the issue is as important as the 10p tax issue.

Dear Colleague

In discussion with other colleagues I am aware that some PPS’s share my concerns regarding the proposal to bring a private partner into Royal Mail.

In line with meetings that we had with Alistair on the 10p tax changes, I am hoping to get a meeting with Lord Mandelson and Pat MacFadden and worried PPS’s. I hope that we can find a way forward that is acceptable to all parts of our party and in line with our manifesto commitment.


If you are interested in attending such a meeting can you let me know as soon as possible? My telephone number is 0790 xxxxxx and my email address is xxxxxxxxxxxx@parliament.uk.

Yours sincerely

Dave Anderson MP

Clearly the meeting didn’t go brilliantly…

UPDATE : You have to admire Mandelson’s sheer cunnning. He has just had the first reading of the Post Privatisation Bill a day early in the Lords. former postie, Lord Clarke, shouted “shame on you”. A good day to bury bad headlines.

PMQs Cancelled

Guido’s sympathies are with the Camerons. However cancelling PMQs is not the right response. The show must go on, every week the names of sons who have fallen in Afghanistan and Iraq are read out and sympathies are offered. Democracy does not halt for those sons.

Perhaps the politicians felt uncomfortable continuing with “Punch and Judy politics” as normal when one of the main protagonists, David Cameron, has suffered such a deep personal loss. Perhaps PMQs just isn’t that important.

We are told that instead Brown, Cable and Hague will read statements to the House.

UPDATE 12:05 : Having heard the condolences perhaps it was for the best, the mood of the House was clearly not for “business as usual”.

UPDATE 12:35 : The scheduled unveiling of Margaret Thatcher’s portrait in Downing Street has also been postponed.

+++ Lord Ahmed Get 12 weeks for Dangerous Driving +++

+++ Ivan Cameron Died Overnight +++

Labour Civil War Silences LabourList

Over one hundred and forty Labour MPs have signed a motion opposing goverment plans to part-privatise the Post Office, three Cabinet ministers are known to be opposed, former cabinet ministers like the disgraced Peter Hain are campaigning against the plan and even lowly SpAds are threatening to quit carrying bags. The government could lose the Commons vote without the support of Tory MPs. Unions are threatening to defund the party over the issue. Dramatic stuff. Guido went where “Labour minded people come together” – LabourList – to shed light on the internal debate. Silence.

Total silence on the subject. Caught between the need to placate union sponsors and the demands of those who pull his strings in Downing Street, Draper has had as his lead story all day since yesterday morning a review of Chris Mullin’s book A View From The Foothills. Tragic.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Scottish Dead Tree Scribblers Flee the Press

Guido doesn’t usually do local, particularly not local Scotland. However this is a bit too fun to ignore. Some thoughtless council official has made the mistake of putting this minute on the North Lanarkshire council website and it has put into the public domain the entire short list of applicants for the job as their Head of Spin.
Looks like there is a rush to get out out of the Dead Tree Press and into the safe harbour of the public sector with easy hours and gold plated pensions to accompany the job security.
  • “J. Allardyce” must be Jason Allardyce, associate editor of the Sunday Times Scotland.
  • “A.F. Carlin” could be Tony Carlin, Group Content Editor of Herald newspapers
  • “J.B. Currie” could be Brian Currie, former Evening Times’ political editor and now group political editor of Herald newspapers
  • “S. Dalgety” is probably Susan Dalgety, a former Labour councillor and aide to First Minister Jack McConnell and formerly of publishers Holyrood Communications.
  • “T.J.J. Little” must be Tom Little, Scotland on Sunday columnist
  • “S. Penman” is almost certainly Stephen Penman, currently Deputy Editor, Sunday Herald
  • “K.C. Symon” sounds like Ken Symon, currently with public affairs company McGarvie Morrison Media

One surprise, “J.P. Murdoch” – surely things can’t be that bad….

+++ Source : Spelman Report Not Officially Released Today +++

The Standards and Privileges Committee has received the report this morning from John Lyon, but is not expected to issue anything official until later this week.

UPDATE : Jonathan Isaby is reporting over on ConservativeHome that the committee could not come to a consensus conclusion and that the chairman, “Sir George Young, intends using the next week to take soundings from among the committee with the aim of forging a consensus by the time the committee meets again next Tuesday.”

UPDATE II : The feeling is that Spelman is in trouble. If she was only going to get a slap on the wrist, why the delay?


Seen Elsewhere

PC Worries Prevent Police Protecting Young Girls | Jill Kirby
Miliband Should Win Rochester | Martin Kettle
Thatcher Minister Sir John Nott ‘Voted for UKIP’ | Times
Time to Listen to Drugs Experts | Guardian
Drug Laws Don’t Work | Times
Our Moral Duty to Cut Taxes | David Cameron
Greens Ahead of LibDems | Guardian
Channel 4 to Spoof UKIP Election Win | Guardian
The Threat to Press Freedom | Paul Dacre
White House Scoop Strategy | Post
Labour Council Retweets BNP Endorsement | HandF Forum


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