Friday, January 25, 2008

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 +++

+++ SKY HAIN DONATIONS MET POLICE TO INVESTIGATE +++

Guardian Online Doesn’t Have Much to Boast About

The Guardian was boasting this week that it has 3.6 million UK users a month. Guido has got the breakdown of those numbers from the online industry’s competitive intelligence monitors Hitwise.

In December the Guardian politics pages had some 455,000 UK users, compared to Guido’s 305,000 users. Iain Dale is on a similar number. In fact any two of the top five blogs get more British readers in a month than the whole of Guardian Online’s politics pages. Something that should be worrying the boys and girls on the Farringdon Road…

More Orwellian Behaviour

On Tuesday Guido drew attention to the Orwellian re-writing of speeches after they had been delivered by Gordon to cover-up mistakes. Today we have another 1930s Soviet-style propaganda technique being used by McStalin: airbrushed old photos being used in government publications.
The picture on the left is taken from Gordon’s introduction to Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives published yesterday. The first picture looks ten years old, the picture of the unhealthy figure on the right was taken more recently. Who are they trying to kid, him or us?

Hat-tip : LFAT

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Memories of the Way We Were

Simon Hughes’ somewhat frazzled researcher is currently calling TV companies and newspapers asking “can you remember when Simon was on/wrote for you over the past year? He has to file his tax return.”

Simon has a terrible memory and his January 29th tax return is looming. His memory is so bad that during the 1983 Bermondsey by-election (which was described by Gay News as “the dirtiest and most notorious by-election in British political history”) in which he beat gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, after distributing a leaflet describing the election as a “straight choice”, he forgot he was gay bisexual. Easily done…

Gordon Earns Himself a Blue Peter Badge

As markets plunged yesterday George Bush convened a White House summit to push an emergency $150 billion growth stimulus package through Congress in weeks. He called in heavyweight politicians for a bipartisan effort. Elsewhere in Washington an emergency meeting of the Federal Reserve slashed interest rates 75 basis points in an effort to shore up global markets fearing recession. What does Gordon do?
He takes time out to appear on Blue Peter to wish Konnie Huq good luck in her next job. Yes, the Prime Minister has his own weird sense of priorities.

Seen Elsewhere

Inside an Islamist Takeover Plot School | Newsnight
Ed Heads to Scotland | Sun
Assad’s New Chemical Weapon Attacks | National Review
Jason Groves New Mail Deputy Pol Ed | MediaGuido
Cocaine Conservatives | Standard
Jezza Browne Responds to LibDem Haters | LibDem Voice
Why Britain Needs to Leave the EU | Douglas Carswell
Who Tells Ed When He’s Wrong? | Speccie
Hands Off Our Cojones, Mr Clegg | Laura Perrins
London Live Averaging Just 2,400 Viewers | Forbes
Ed’s Constitutional Failure | ConHome


new-advert
Guido-hot-button (1) Guido-hot-button (1)


Dan Hodges on Team Miliband:

“‘Poisonous’, was the picture painted by one former senior advisor. ‘Dysfunctional,’ said one shadow cabinet member. ‘A bunch of medieval courtiers, not an office,’ said another. The most positive description I could get was ‘It’s a work in progress. They’re learning. Slowly. But they are learning.’”



Nick Clegg says:

Do you want lies with that?


Tip off Guido
Web Guido's Archives

Subscribe me to:






RSS


AddThis Feed Button
Archive


Labels
Guido Reads