Funny Turner

Variations on these are going round Westminster:

Q. What do you have to be get off Loans-for-Lordship’s charges?
A. Ruthless.

Q. What do you call Labour Party HQ without Loans-for-Lordships?
A. Roofless.

Levy isn’t laughing…

Loans for Lordships : Still Taking Bets

The news that Catholic school headmaster Des Smith will not face charges suggests that we are entering the endgame for the investigation. Guido is still good for bets.

If anybody wants to step up to the plate and bet that nobody will be charged, do email Guido.

Still haven’t seen a payment from the Observer’s Mark Townsend. He predicted the investigation would be all over in October. The Speccie’s Fraser Nelson is studying the wine list. Anyone else care to risk reputation and wallet?

Update : An Über-Blairite-Ultra-Outrider has emailed to say he is on for “20 notes”. Presumably he means £20. Though he should note they don’t print pound notes nowadays.

Liberal Conservative and Liberal DemocratCampaigns Against ID-Cards

The Tory anti-ID cards campaign (top) to be launched this morning emphasises the practical alternative uses for the money that would be wasted on ID cards, as well as Gordon’s support for them. The current LibDem campaign (below) emphasises the negative effect on liberty. The Tories now say the plan is a “BAD IDEA”. The LibDems have always said it was a bad idea.

UPDATE : The ConservativeHome poll results regarding dealing with the LibDems show that it is now being openly discussed by the Tory grassroots.

DD Says “NO2ID”

David Davis has written to the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Gus O’Donnell, giving formal notice that an incoming Conservative administration will scrap ID Cards. He has also written to all the major contractors* warning them of the same.
Guido said, at the time Basher negotiated the delay in the political decision-making watershed on ID-cards until after the election, that is was clever tactics. ID-cards may be popular in some quarters, but one section of the population is 101% opposed to ID-cards. LibDem activists.

Come election time the LibDems will be shoulder-to-shoulder with the Tories on an issue that emphasises their shared ideological belief in the fundamental primacy of individual liberty against state power. New Labour’s authoritarians will be the common enemy.

*So all those donations to the Sith will have been wasted.

Web 2.0 in 5 Minutes

McTernan Grassed

According to the News of the World, Downing Street’s Director of Political Operations, John McTernan, has grassed on Ruth Turner, Lord Levy, Tony Blair and his chief of staff Jonathan Powell. The Screws’ story is a tale of deleted emails, and secret meetings about enobling donors. Blair will be re-interviewed under caution, they claim, having failed to give the police answers to many questions.

If the Screws’ story is correct, the game is up for the Blairites.

IPPR Wonk Whoring Again

Wonks for Sale : IPPR has been caught taking payments for policy again.

IPPR is pushing an unpopular road pricing plan, despite 640,000 petitoners having gone to the Downing Street website to protest against the plan. The IPPR website reveals that for the last two years hardly a month has gone by without a press release or event pushing the poll-tax-on-wheels.
T-Systems supplies the electronic systems that collect €3 billion-a-year from German petrol-heads. Surprise, surprise, T-Systems has given £45,000 to the IPPR in the hope of picking up the contracts for supplying the auto-spy-in-the-sky. Policy payola without disclosure is discrediting wonkland, the recycling of corporate press releases as policy advice stinks and Westminster reeks of it.

The IPPR claims that

Our agenda is simple: we want to build a fairer, more democratic and environmentally sustainable world. We are driven by these values, not by any party or interest group.

Bullshit.

The Times’ Phil Webster to Gordon :”Will this do?”

The Times has a big two-page spread today and a leader on the growing influence of right-of-centre think tanks. Fascinating as it is, why choose today to concentrate on these think-tanks? Phil Webster, political editor, is a friend of Ed Balls and a fellow supporter of Norwich. They even travel to matches together.

Tucked away elsewhere in the paper is a tiny PA piece on a Charity Commission investigation of another think-tank where Ed Balls once worked. Times readers will have to look hard to find it. All the other papers give it prominence Telegraph – page 4, FT – page 3, Independent – page 24, Mail – page 4, Guardian – page 16, Express – page 4, not forgetting the BBC. Even News International stablemate The Sun has a piece on it.

Fact : The Times had the Smith Institute / Gordon Brown story last year.

No. 11 Downing Street, the Rent-Free Home ofGordon Brown’s Smith Institute

It will, Guido predicts, emerge in the Charity regulator’s investigation, that despite having over the years held 165 meetings there, not one single penny has ever been paid by the Smith Institute to the Treasury for the use of No. 11 Downing Street. Absorb that stunning fact.

Wilf Stevenson bleats that they paid for their own tea and biscuits. Despite all of Westminster knowing that the operation is a Brownite organising front, Wilf Stevenson now denies it. The following quotations (after the first) are from less guarded times…

“The Smith Institute has never had and does not currently have a direct relationship with Gordon Brown.”
Wilf Stevenson, Director of the Smith Institute, November 30, 2006.

“This is a series of three seminars dealing with social, cultural and knowledge entrepreneurship. There has been a building interest in this area and it needs to be further investigated in the think-tank world and also within government. This series is under the patronage of the Chancellor of the Exchequer”
Wilf Stevenson, Director of the Smith Institute, July 1999 at 11 Downing Street.

“We were in at the beginning and are still here, still innovating. We look forward to hearing what he has to say. But to get us started: Gordon Brown.”
Wilf Stevenson, Director of the Smith Institute, October, 2004 at 11 Downing Street.

“Can I welcome you all, first of all, to No 11 Downing Street for the first in a series of Smith Institute seminars..”
Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer, October, 2004 at 11 Downing Street.

“I am a last-minute substitute for Gordon Brown, so I would like, on his behalf, to welcome you all to Number 11 Downing Street. I know, looking around, some of you are quite regular attenders of Smith Institute seminars, and you will know you get a letter from Wilf Stevenson before each one explaining that you are invited to Number 11 by kind permission of the Chancellor. I have to say, this series of seminars in particular is being held not so much by the kind permission of the Chancellor, but by his absolute insistence that they take place. He is unable to be with us now, but he will want to know exactly what has been said in the discussion when I see him later this morning. Many of you, including and perhaps especially the panel here, have known Gordon for a long time.”

John Healey MP, Economic Secretary, HM Treasury, December 2004 at 11 Downing Street.

Credits to co-conspirators : Saxon Times & Theo Spark for the picture montage. “Welcome to No. 11” for the quotes.

++ Statement from the Charity Commission ++

The Charity Commission for England and Wales has opened a formal inquiry into the charity The Smith Institute today.

Feb 1, 2007 14:19:09

The decision to open an inquiry was taken in the light of new information we have received which raises concerns about some of the charity’s work.

The scope of the inquiry is to determine whether The Smith Institute is both established and operating as a charity advancing the education of the public in the field of study and research into the economy of the United Kingdom.

The Commission has informed the charity of this decision. The Commission has been and continues to engage with the charity in relation to the issues raised.

On being warned of the approach of the Spanish fleet, Drake is said to have remarked that there was plenty of time to finish the game and still beat the Spaniards. On receiving endless journalist’s phone calls at lunchtime, Guido finished another bottle of Chablis with Katy Taylor-Richards, and will still defeat the Sith.

PFI Lawyers Love the Sith

Guido knows just how many loafing City lawyers and bored City brokers follow this blog. Sometimes they can be useful in coming up with little gems. This note, about yesterday’s meeting of the Sith in No. 11, is from the Clifford Chance private internal intranet this morning:
Number 1 law firm at Number 11
On the podium yesterday morning was Stuart Popham, who was invited to speak at a Smith Institute event at Number 11 Downing Street. Stuart shared the limelight with Alistair Darling, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Vicky Pryce, Chief Economic Adviser to the DTI and Michael Snyder from the Corporation of London. Clifford Chance was there in force, with networking skills worthy of a place in the Prime Minister’s, ehem, Chancellor’s home.
You can just sense the self congratulatory smugness at their proximity to the dark side. What is a small donation to the Smith Institute compared to all the millions to be made from drawing up those PFI contracts for Gordon…

This Morning the Smith Institute Met in No. 11

The arrogance of the Sith is incredible. Despite being warned by the Charity Commission to hold events at politically neutral venues, they held yet another event this morning at No. 11.

A co-conspirator tells Guido

Alistair Darling was “looking very proprietorial ” telling the assembled business executives how it will be in future. Attending were some ministers, no politicians from other parties, but some Labour backbenchers.

With Gordon’s future chancellor and only Labour MPs present, seems to Guido to be a little bit political and far from neutral. If you have not yet watched Iain Dale’s ten minute documentary on the Smith Institute, click here.

UPDATE : Dizzy has picked-up on the Treasury’s John Healey avoiding answering questions about EMI. Wonder why?

Tories Pressing Hard on Smith Institute

Chris Grayling has today written to the Charity Commission’s Head of Compliance demanding a full investigation under Section 8 of the Charities Act.

Mark Francois last week tabled yet another Written Parliamentary Question (WPQ) which is still unanswered

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what remuneration was received for the use of 11 Downing Street from the Smith Institute or SI Events Ltd for its seminar on positional goods held on 21st September 2006.

Keith Simpson has been told to expect an answer to his questions “by the end of this week”.

A co-conspirator emails to say he has been told by Oliver Letwin that George Osborne “has been doing a good deal of work on this Smith Institute connection, and will be ensuring that it is brought fully to public attention.”* Hmm, the bandwagon went that way…

*Guido knows that Osborne’s researcher is boasting to journalists that he is behind the exposing of the Sith, perhaps he repeats to them what he reads here?

Dale on the Smith Institute

Iain Dale has been tracking the Smith Institute around Westminster and Whitehall for Doughty Street TV. The evidence that the Smith Institute is a Brownite front, rather than a non-political, non-partisan charity is patently clear. Watch the video here.

+ Smith Institute Exposé II + Doughty Street TV Tonight +

Just to add to the good news flow, Iain Dale has a piece on Doughty Street TV tonight about the Smith Institute which explains why they should lose their charitable status.

Michael Crick will no doubt be watching…

Let’s Do the Perp Walk Again!

Levy really should have taken Guido’s advice when he had the chance, shouldn’t he?

This is not the end, but it is the beginning of the end…

Can’t wait for the PMOS’ explanation tomorrow. “There is no Lord Levy in Downing Street, there is no other email system, from which nothing was deleted, no honours were sold etc…”

Guido was in the supermarket when he heard the news.

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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