Friday, January 25, 2008

Guido is Off to Google UK HQ Tomorrow

Guido will be among the geeks.gov.uk on Saturday trying to rein in some of the starry-eyed types from the eGovernment crowd. As someone who was around for the first internet boom, and only lost half his NAV in the tech crash, it will be Guido’s self-appointed role to try and keep them all on terra firma, particularly the ones spending your taxes.

Since there will be a lot of Whitehall geeks attending maybe Guido will find out why his blog is blocked in some parts of Whitehall for lower grades and not for higher Civil Service grades. Is it because they are scared of leaks or just people monging about on the blog all day?

Guido will be discouraging the eVisionaries from doing things that should be done by the private sector and encouraging them to be open and realistic. Spending millions on sites that no one visits is never a good idea…

Doh!


Kevin Maguire’s made up story, Kirkup’s speculation, Sam Coates’ blog. Doh!

APPC Calls Emergency Meeting Over Hain Lobby Firm

PR Week is reporting that the spin industry’s self regulatory organisation, the Association of Professional Political Consultants, has called an emergency meeting of its management committee on 28 January to look into a complaint about Morgan Allen Moore, the public aff­airs firm linked to the Peter Hain’s donations.

APPC chair Gill Morris called the meeting after receiving a formal complaints concerning a number of breaches of the lobbyists code of conduct by Morgan Allen Moore.

Morgan the Organ made a £5,000 donation to the fake think-tank and allowed the Hain4Labour campaign to use Morgan Allen Moore off­ices. Cheques to Hain4Labour were sent via the Cardiff offices of Morgan Allen Moore before ending up in the campaign coffers. The fake think tank shares an address with Morgan Allen Moore as well.

These actions breach section 12 of the APPC code of conduct, which states that members

must keep strictly separate from their duties and activities as political consultants any personal activity or inv­olvement on behalf of a pol­itical party.

Steve Morgan is going to try and claim that this was all done in a personal capacity. Think carefully Steve, Guido is watching…

Competition : Alternative Career Suggestions for Hain

Now he has more time on his hands we should really be charitable and come up with a few suggestions for alternative careers for Peter Hain. He is after all heavily in debt, owing campaign debts of £41,200.

He needs the money. One obvious suggestion is doing celebrity endorsements. He has already endorsed Tesco, Picture Financial, Cuddy Construction and Freshwater UK.

Perhaps he could endorse St Tropez fake tanning lotion? Tango drinks? Orange phones? Best suggestion in the comments wins a copy of The Big Red Book of New Labour Sleaze.

Friday Caption Contest

The Labour Party is in the Dock

The list of Labour Party figures who look likely to find themselves in the courts this year is getting longer; David Abrahams (or whatever he is calling himself today), Peter Watt, Peter Hain, Wendy Alexander and Harriet Harman, plus a potential supporting cast of intermediaries, advisers and party apparatchiks as defendants.
Some 28,800 people were prosecuted last year by Hain’s former department, the DWP, for failing to declare income. Many were prosecuted for small amounts of money. Poor people.

They were unable to use the defence that they were too busy, that it was an innocent mistake, or that they forgot. Peter Watt conspired to break the law, David Abrahams concocted a scheme to circumvent the law, Wendy Alexander broke the law as did Harriet Harman. If they are not prosecuted it will mean that we are not all equal before the law, the rich and powerful can treat it with contempt. Should it be acceptable that a single mother on benefits who does a bit of hairdressing for cash gets prosecuted, whereas a former Minister of the Crown gets the benefit of the doubt? No ifs, no buts, lawmakers can’t be allowed to be law breakers.

Pressure on Lobbyist Transparency

If you go to the websites of some public affairs firms they boast that they can set up “grassroots networks” - fake campaigns to boost corporate interests. Big Pharma, for example, funds endless patient groups and fake think tanks that are really about increasing product demand, getting approval for their products or policy changes which boost their profits.

A number of left-wing groups have got together in the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency. Their key launch demands are:

* A mandatory public register of lobbyists, with full financial disclosure

* Enforceable ethics rules for all lobbyists

* Enhanced rules on ethics for politicians and public officials on the so-called ‘revolving-door’ syndrome between lobbyists and public bodies; to halt privileged access to decision makers.

This is necessary. A lot of public affairs firms are conning their business clients about what they can do, if they could do what they claim it would (or should) be illegal. It is a murky trade, it is one thing for businessman to lobby in self defence against over regulation, but as often as not they are lobbying for preferential treatment and corporate welfare. Vested interests are not in the common interest.

This seems to be an exclusively left-wing campaign when it is something that could equally easily be supported by groups like the Taxpayer’s Alliance. If this turns out to just another left-wing anti-business campaign it will be a shame.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Back on Newsnight

Guido will be contributing to the Newsnight discussion tonight on the demise of Peter Hain. Guido doesn’t normally do television, but this is a special occasion…

How Guido Destroyed Hain’s Ambitions in 12 Months

On January 29, 2007 Guido threw Hain’s leadership campaign into disarray by revealing his campaign strategy. It led to chaos in Hain4Labour. The leak meant that nobody in the campaign trusted anybody.

In May 2007 Guido revealed the Hain4Labour campaign budget and that sleazy lobbyist Steve Morgan was arranging the financing.

On the morning of December 3, 2007 Guido chased down an undeclared donor and talked to Hain’s Special Adviser Joe Carberry to ask about missing undeclared donations. That afternoon Hain went to see the Electoral Commission.

On January 8 this year Guido revealed the links between campaign donors and endorsements from Hain.

Get the full background to the story:

All Guido’s recent Hain stories. All Guido’s older Hain stories.

+++ HAIN TO RESIGN +++


Seen Elsewhere

Another Feminist Lecture | Laura Perrins
UKIP Posters Bad Economics But Good Politics | James Delingpole
Tories Losing to UKIP in Scotland | ConHome
UKIPers Will Come Home in 2015 | Sun
Tories Set for Thrashing | Sun
Boris Announcement Imminent | Sun
The Case for Splitting Up CCHQ | ConservativeHome
Why UKIP Should Join a ‘European Union’. | Anna Raccoon
Dave’s Brush With Bed Bugs | Speccie
Farage: No Briton Could Be My Secretary | BBC
Dave and George Can Now Be Seen Together | Ben Brogan


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Francis Elliot reports on No. 10 strategy meetings:

“When discussion veers to subjects that Mr Crosby thinks of concern only to the political and journalistic classes, he treats the offender as a pub bore with a tart request to “pass the beer nuts, mate”.”



Alexrod says:

It’s money innit.


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