Brown Broke Pledge to Bring 1000 Troops Home for Christmas

Guido fears Brown’s innumeracy may cost taxpayers dearly when a deal is done on Northern Rock. Two examples illustrate Gordon’s tendency to be numerically misleading. On the Downing Street website Brown’s second sentence in his recent speech on developing the English language reads “Today more than a billion people speak English, a third of humanity.” Eh? The world population is estimated to be in excess of 6 billion. So he is only out by a margin of error of some 100%
More seriously, remember Gordon Brown’s cynical pledge to bring 1,000 troops home by Christmas as promised during Tory Party Conference whilst on a visit to Iraq? There were some 5,030 personnel in the country a the time and on the 26 December, 2007 that was only reduced to 4,600. So actually only 430 troops came out of Iraq, they didn’t even come home. According to the MoD, Operation Telic had some 6120 assigned to it before Gordon made his promise. A total of 6500 were assigned on December 26, an increase of 380. Cynical lies, playing politics with soldiers lives.

Incidentally, Guido was told about the above photo by a serving soldier, who said that there was a panic by MoD spin-doctors eager to find women and black soldiers to provide the right photo-op backdrop for Gordon. You can see what the real political priority was when he made that announcement. Making it look good.

Hat-tip : Cynosarges (via email).

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Des Browne’s Scottish SpAd Says Scots,"Narrow, Presbyterian, Racist"

John McTernan, the mastermind of the Labour Party’s historic defeat in Scotland wrote to a Labour MSP describing Scotland as “narrow, Presbyterian, racist”.

Seems largely accurate, but unwise a thing to say if you are a Catholic working for a narrow Presbyterian boss. Actually his immediate boss is Des Browne, not Gordon. Des is a Catholic as well. Guido finds the left / right, Catholic / proddie class dynamic beyond him in Scottish politics. Is there some kind of dissent brewing? Browne was said to be irritated with Gordon not so long. Are they plotting some kind of Catholic emancipation?

Not content with bringing peace to the Middle East Tony is advising the President of Rwanda on “institutional capacity building”. Liz Lloyd, who was deputy chief of staff under Jonathan Powell in Blair’s Downing Street, his former private secretary Kate Gross and David Easton, (ex McKinsey) are holed up in the Aga Khan’s Hotel Serena where the presidential suite goes for $2,000 a night.

Guido is worried that Blair is succumbing to the Jimmy Carter delusion, that he can solve the worlds ills. To be fair Jimmy Carter has in fact done a lot of good and it hasn’t cost the taxpayers a penny. Blair on the other hand has his office subsidised by the taxpayers through the FCO.

That the PM who sold more peerages than any other in history is advising President Kagame on anti-corruption issues, does have some ironies. Admittedly he is doing it for free. On balance Guido commends Blair for this, well us Catholics do have to do more than just Hail Mary’s for penance…

Incidentally the Blair Foundation at first denied this story for some reason. They claimed that Liz Lloyd did not work for the Blair Foundation, which is technically correct. Old habits die hard, eh?

Friday Caption Contest

Opaque SpAds and Researchers

Classic example of pig ignorant behaviour from an uppity Hain staffer cited by Rosa Prince*. If SpAds and assistants only realised that even a hostile questioner deserves answers rather than evasions, they might actually serve their masters and their public paymasters better.

If Konrad Caulkett had not infuriated Guido with his patronising half-truths, the pursuit of the truth about the Smith Institute might not have been undertaken. (Konrad condescended to tell Guido that “more than six” meetings had been held by the Sith in Downing Street, it turned out to be nearly 200 meetings). Hain’s SpAd Joe Carberry similarly succeeded in incensing Guido. Months of hounding of his master later he might reflect that perhaps it was not the best way to handle a legitimate inquiry.

I wonder if in their minds they fantasise that they are mini-Alastair Campbell types. Yesterday when Guido was waiting to go into the Today studio, he was listening to a smug youth (who he surmised was School’s Minister Jim Knight’s SpAd) on the phone fending off journos. After Knight had finished his piece on air the SpAd smirkingly asked “What do you think?” “Knight? I think he is a c**t” Guido replied. Perplexed SpAd exits the green room.

After a decade in government even politician’s bag carriers get a little above themselves. Not wise to be so uppity now they are on their way down…

*Guido was right Rosa.

Fourth Company Endorsed by Hain Got£1m from Welsh Assembly Government

When Peter Hain is eventually reshuffled away or forced out of office he can just continue his career in advertising making those celebrity endorsements; “St Tropez, for a perma-tan, will last longer than my career…”

Here is a fourth corporate endorsement, he praised a firm as a “modern, dynamic company” which he wanted to see go “from strength to strength” in the run up to their stock market floatation. It is handy for a Cardiff based spin firm doing government relations if the Welsh Secretary himself gives you a boost despite the obvious conflict of interest. Very reassuring to potential investors…

Freshwater UK plc, which even more handily also got a £1m investment from the Welsh Assembly Government development arm, had coincidentally paid £10,000 for a table at a Labour fundraiser four days prior that ringing endorsement. Peter Hain was seated at the Freshwater table at the event, which was also attended by John Underwood, Freshwater’s business development director and Hain’s campaign treasurer. It was Underwood who set up the faux think tank as well to channel money to Hain4Labour. Yet another amazing coincidence in the Hain saga…

The London Evening Standard has been trying to get hold of Hain4Labour’s campaign manager, the increasingly elusive Morgan the Organ. Morgan Allen Moore’s vice-chairman Richard Moore told the Standard that the fake think tank matter sharing a registered office with them was “purely coincidental”. “The only connection between Morgan Allen Moore and the Progressive Policies Forum is that we have the same registered address with a firm of London solicitors.”

Too many coincidences to be believable.

Electoral Commission Did Not Write to MIC

Word reaches Guido that the Electoral Commission wrote to “certain” unincorporated associations last week, not including the Midlands Industrial Council. Lisa Klein, Director of Party and Election Finance, wrote the letter reminding them about original money sources being permissible donors.

The MIC has long been the target of Labour complaints and has gone to some lengths to satisfy the Electoral Commission.

Lisa Klein was unavailable for comment…

Today Radio 4 : Guido on Drudge

Guido will shortly be paying homage to Matt Drudge on the tail end of the Today programme this morning. They will probably wheel out some old Guardian hack to tell you how it was better in the old days, before

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Ten Years Ago Today:
Drudge Ended the Reign of the Media Gate-keepers

On the night of January 17, 1998, Matt Drudge revealed that Newsweek editors had spiked a story about Bill Clinton and an intern named Monica Lewinsky. His story ended once and for all the gate-keeper ability, if not the mentality,

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Murkier and Murkier

Two Labour MPs John Mann* and Kevan Jones** have written to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner with a list of donations to 80 Tory MPs they want probed. Guido asked a Labour contact for some background on them, he said “they

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Steve Morgan Sleaze Investigation

The Spin Industry’s self regulatory body, the APPC, describes itself “as the representative and regulatory body for UK public affairs professionals in the consultancy sector.” It was set up in the wake of brown-envelope lobbyist scandals by some of

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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David Cameron tells MPs after voting:

“Wouldn’t miss this for the world. Secret ballots very important. Remember the Chartists.”

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