And you thought Emily Maitliss was the leggy one…
And you thought Emily Maitliss was the leggy one…
Guido reported on Friday the tale of the Lib Dem activist boasting about his spin that got the Standard to report that Kingston Hospital was under threat. Little did he know he was sitting opposite the Mirror’s Kevin Maguire while he was yelling down the phone on a train. Well it seems this was no rogue agent and was working extremely closely with sitting MP Susan Kramer, who is desperately trying to fight off Zac Goldsmith’s advances. The Liberal Democrats spun their “Save Kingston Hospital” campaign as a reaction to Labour suggesting a London wide review of hospitals. Why if this happened this month was the website “SaveKingstonHospital.org” registered by Kramer herself in early December?
There is no evidence to suggest Kingston Hospital is directly threatened any more than any other hospital in London. Yet Ed Davey and Nick Clegg have been quick to weigh in and throw they support, and faces, behind the quickly unravelling fake astro-turfed campaign. Looks like Parliament, and the Tories should start coming to terms with the dreadful idea that Zac might soon be sitting on the green benches.
Not content with a bad novel set to flop, bad Al Campbell is still trying to flog copies of his other work of fiction – his diaries. Via his website he will be donating £7.50 to Labour from every sale of the unwanted trade copies otherwise destined to be pulped. Guido is not sure how successful this campaign will be given that you can get a copy of the book for a quid in Poundland or a free .pdf of it here. In a bid to encourage people to fall for the fundraising gimmick, bad Al will be signing copies with a personal dedication. You can send him exactly what to write directly from his website without having to pay.
What would you like Bad Al to say?
It seems irony is alive and well at Cowley Street. The Liberal Democrats have put out a press release slamming the government’s use of office space. Understandably the public are right to be outraged about ten million pounds worth of empty offices, but who was the idiot that decided to let Sarah Teather front the campaign?
“Either this Government is incompetent if it thinks £10m is small change. It is completely unacceptable to spend taxpayers’ cash on renting nothing more than thin air. We are in the middle of a housing crisis, yet Gordon Brown chooses to pour millions into a big black hole. This is an astonishing betrayal of the thousands of families across the UK without a home. This kind of shameful waste simply cannot be allowed to go on. Government departments need to wake up and stop leaking taxpayers’ money like a sieve.”
All good stuff, but glass houses come to mind. Is this the same Sarah Teather who was recently exposed for fiddling her expenses so that her local Liberal Democrats could run her tight re-election campaign out of her taxpayer–funded constituency office? Why yes, Guido believes it is. Such blatant hypocrisy is at best laughable, or at worst shows just how far the Liberal Democrats are from getting it. So they might not claim for moats or mortgages, but a fiddle that aids you electorally rather than personally is still an abuse of taxpayers money. Normally when the Liberal Democrats cock something like this up they blame a lowly intern, however the quote is straight from the horses mouth.
The Scotsman is reporting that Nigel Griffiths is not standing for re-election. The disgraced MP is one of Brown’s most obsequious sycophants, always relied on to ridiculous public displays of loyalty to Gordon whenever crisis comes, as it so often does.
As well as playing sex games in his office (on camera) he claimed £3,605 for a plasma screen television. In 2002 the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner ruled that he was wrong to claim £40,000 to rent a property in Edinburgh that he owned. He has now developed an interest in low carbon issues and is getting into that racket taking a job with an NGO. Plenty of opportunities for more expense fiddling there. He was almost certain to lose his seat…
Rawnsley’s new revelations in The End of the Party, like Peter Watt’s in Inside Out, come as no great surprise. Guido has been pretty remorseless over the years in his characterisation of Gordon Brown as the “Prime Mentalist”. As we come closer to the dénouement of this government more and more will come out confirming the truth of this characterisation. The increasingly manifest weirdness of the man means that his acolytes are now reduced to excusing him as a “poor communicator”. Poor communication skills do not explain the widely reported acts of violent rage, poor communication skills do not explain the bizarre behaviour, the appalling mistreatment of junior staff or the violent Nokia chucking abuse towards aides.
The demented dithering of Downing Street’s dysfunctional operation is now well known throughout Westminster and openly recognised in Whitehall. The decision making processes that determine the strategic direction of the country have almost broken down. This stems in large part from the personality of Gordon Brown.
When Brown has gone after the election it seems inevitable that we will eventually have a Khrushchev moment, where a senior Labour figure articulates what everyone knows. It will be devastating. Gordon Brown is a malevolent, deeply damaged and unpleasant human being. He is at the centre of a culture of political bullying that has been unhealthy for the Labour Party and the government. The loyalist cabal around him are unpleasant people who have no place in a healthy political culture, they are as secretive and malicious as they are vindictive and vicious.
Damian McBride was his anonymous assassin, destroying the careers of Brown’s enemies. Nick Brown, Gordon’s tough enforcer is now the party’s chief whip. The charmless Ed Balls plotting on his master’s behalf owes his position entirely to his loyalty to Brown. Charlie Whelan is another Brown bully with a bit more charm and humour. Nick Cohen recalls Charlie Whelan lambasting Martin Bright’s wife, telling the mother of his children that the then political editor of the Staggers should be sacked for disloyalty to Brown. Whelan is now suing the editor of the Speccie for calling him a bully, probably because he couldn’t bully anyone into sacking him. Those around Brown are unpleasant people of necessity, because leaders like him who can’t inspire only hold on to power through fear.
Many people in the Labour Party who know all this stay silent, they despair or they have given up. It would have been better for them all to have had a coup before the election rather than a Khrushchev moment after. Look at the evasiveness and the body language of the people who deny the truth of the allegations about the Prime Mentalist. Truth will out in the end.