Lebedev Won’t Be the First KGB Agent to Own a British Newspaper

Guido is not referring to the Soviet-backed Communist paper the Morning Star, but to the former Daily Mirror owner, Labour MP, socialist plutocrat, pension Labour Party donor, thief and long term Soviet asset: Robert Maxwell.

That incidentally is not a crazy internet conspiracy theory, it was the judgement of the intelligence services and the Foreign Office’s counter-subversion department according to documents released to the National Archive in 2003. Maxwell was the recipient of many honours from Soviet Bloc regimes for his work for “peace” and business dealings in Eastern Europe. Alistair Campbell loved him.

Same Old Draper, Spinning Lines

In the beginning of New Labour there was spin and young Derek Draper was a child of that, in fact he spun so much that he toppled himself in a sleaze defining moment for New Labour. When you speak to Draper nowadays he is, more than most ever so sensitive politicians, keen to set the terms of the discussion, what is on the record, what is off the record, whether he is going to be quoted or whether it is for background.

So it is in this context that Guido reports that when he was tipped that the new site was going to be called “LabourList” and there had been discussions about a “DailyDraper” blog he called Draper who denied the truth of those names. Point blank denial. Which turned out to be totally untrue.

After LabourList launched Derek posted this comment on this blog

you did get the name right guido, so well done!but what became of the daily draper you rwote so confidently about? mole got his whisker’s twisted?

You know, Derek is a compulsive spinner in the, errm, Jeffrey Archer mould. You would think from that comment Guido had got it wrong, alas a co-conspirator draws attention to this website registered last month:
Domain name:
dailydraper.com

Registrant :
Derek Draper
One Lower John St.
London
W1F 9DT

There is only one twisted spinner in this tale Derek…

Both Gordon and Vadera Quoted Lamont Yesterday

Guido never really bought into the decrying of Norman Lamont. He said a few things that were ill-judged but his judgement wasn’t that bad. He was put into the ERM debacle by Major and was happy to escape it, even if it was a messy exit.

So it was good to see his double rehabilitation yesterday, not just with Shriti welcoming “green shoots” but the Prime Mentalist himself quoting the former Chancellor’s views. Cameron was attacking the VAT reduction, Brown defended it bya citing Lord Lamont support for it. Prudent Gordon who spent a decades denouncing Lamont as an uncaring, incompetent, economic buffoon responsible for the destruction of the British economy, is now cited by Brown as evidence of the rectitude of Labour economic strategy.

In the same vein yesterday Phil Woolas chided Norman Tebbit on the Daily Politics for his wooly liberalism on immigration issues. Who is nasty now?

Patrick McGoohan, "the Prisoner", R.I.P.

Most Libertarians, of whatever flavour, identify with the rebellious individualism of McGoohan’s most famous character. Secretly, we want to fight the heroic fight. Most of us just settle for not paying the TV licence.

Gordon’s Big Porkie

At PMQs Gordon told Dave that around the world “no one except him is proposing we cut public spending at this time”. Not true Gordon, the Irish Times reported yesterday that the Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, has told senior trade union officials that the state’s borrowing figures are unsustainable, billions will be cut from exchequer spending this year. Guido will bet a lot of Guinness that as a result Ireland will be out of the recession before Britain.

Merrill Lynch has just issued a warning that “In our view, the UK faces a unique set of challenges making the sovereign and the banks especially vulnerable… We believe the issue for the UK is that asset quality deterioration across all lending types is pretty much certain.” Credit markets are roughly assigning a 10% probability that the UK will default on government debt within the next five years. If government spending is not controlled, Gordon really could bankrupt us…

UPDATE 15 January : Simon Carr’s sketch this morning makes a good point:

Cameron was wading into the VAT reduction (at a national cost of £12bn it’s giving two packets of crisps to the average family a day). Brown defended it and cited Conservative support for the policy. Chief supporter: Lord Lamont. Gordon has spent 10 years denouncing Lamont as an incompetent, malevolent, economic illiterate who was responsible for the destruction of British economy. And Cameron isn’t suitable to be in public life because he was once standing beside him in a photograph. He really is shameless, our PM.

Jonah Jinx Hits Wales

The dangers of shaking hands with Jonah Brown cannot be overestimated. Keith Dye was proud to welcome Brown on a visit to his offices, it was the pinnacle of his 24 year news career:
Gordon Brown Visits Media Wales
WalesOnline 9 January, 2009
After arriving under a heavy police escort just before 3pm, Mr Brown was given a tour of our multimedia newsroom by Media Wales’ managing director Keith Dye …

Trinity Mirror Redundancies
Press Gazette – 13 January 2009
Keith Dye, managing director of Media Wales has been made redundant and leaves today, following 24 years at the group. Media Wales’ finance director…

Tragedy struck a mere four days later. Beware the dead hand of the accursed One-Eyed Son of the Manse…

Cabinet of No Business Talent

Iain Dale, James Forsyth and Peter Oborne are all ruminating over the complete lack of business experience in the Cabinet. Being a lawyer or a journalist or a PR man doesn’t count (unless you were a business owner). The Shadow Cabinet has people with real business experience (that is why they are millionaires), however neither Cameron or Osborne can really claim to have had to worry about the P & L, covering the monthly wage bill or making the quarterly VAT payment. All Gordon knows about business is how to tax it.

No doubt the fact that not a single member of the Cabinet has run anything like as risky as a whelk stall is the reason Gordon has brought in Mervyn Davies from Standard Chartered (one of the few bankers who has had a good Credit Crunch).

Perhaps the Tories can now bring Digby into their tent since his Lordship is available…

PMQs 2009 Round I

Business Lending Package, Too Late and Too Little

Guido’s main concern about the Tory plan to insure bank-to-business lending was that it would encourage risky lending in a failing economy. The lenders would not really have to worry too much about the risk because the taxpayer would pick

[…]

+ READ MORE +

+++ Bush Awards Blair Medal of Freedom +++

Pays tribute to Blair’s friendship, “the might and moral authority of Great Britain”, Blair’s belief in freedom, “his service to peace to peace and democracy in the Middle East”.

Bush citation:

The first day I met Tony Blair, almost

[…]

+ READ MORE +

More Mortgage Questions for Mandelson

Is history going to repeat itself? Greg Hands is asking how Mandelson made the money dealing in property in his constituency to install himself in a £2.5 million Regency villa. Mandelson admits to receiving money from Alain Minc, the mysterious

[…]

+ READ MORE +

How Does Mandy Afford to Live on Millionaire’s Row?

Andrew Gilligan is digging into how Lord Mandelson can afford to buy a £2.5 million Regency villa on Regents Park. After all he has been a poorly paid public servant for over a decade…

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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