Wednesday, August 13, 2008

+++ R.I.P John MacDougall MP +++

The Scottish Labour MP for Glenrothes, John MacDougall, has died aged 60 after a battle with cancer.

UPDATE : Gordon paid tribute to Mr MacDougall. He said: “Over three decades he has been a good personal friend of mine and I visited him on Monday. Our heartfelt condolences go to his widow, Cathy, to his son and daughter, Scott and Julie and to his mother and sister.” He died on Tuesday.

Terror Attack in the Fawkes Household

After grappling with nappies and watching Teletubbies since 6.30 in the morning, Guido wandered bleary-eyed towards the kitchen in search of a coffee for breakfast, failing to spot the clear and present danger arranged by Ms Fawkes.

As a result of an improvised booby trap of which Al Qaeda would have been pleased, Guido executed a Chaplinesque aerial manoeuvre, kicking the wall barefoot and audibly crunching his toes before landing bum-first. Ouch. Ms Fawkes cackled hysterically and Baby Fawkes clapped gleefully in her high chair exclaiming “Dadda!” in an impressed “do it again” tone. Even the nanny giggled before regaining her composure and clearing away the booby trap toys.

The joys of fatherhood. Blogging may be light.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Number10.gov.uk

Dizzy got the scoop:

UPDATE : Just had a look under the hood. It is built using WordPress software. Downing Street has become a blog site…

Tender Welsh Pork Costs Taxpayers

Interesting how the expense claims swilling by Welsh Assembly members breaks down by party:
Lib Dems AMs: Total : £55,321. Average : £9,220
Plaid Cymru AMs: Total : £129,936. Average: £8,662
Conservative AMs: Total: £93,730. Average : £7,810
Labour AMs: Total : £121,977. Average : £4,691
Source: Assembly Commission figures for 2007-2008
Why are LibDem piggies twice as expensive as Labour porkers?

Well done to Labour’s Lesley Griffiths who managed to get the taxpayers to pamper her sty with a £2,000 sofa, LibDem leader Mike German, claimed £9,217.10, for a second home despite living only 17 miles from the Assembly, Tory Nick Ramsey spent £1,000 on a top of the range TV system and more than £2,000 on two beds. Clearly pork needs to be treated tenderly…

They only awarded themselves an 8.3% pay-rise in March. Oink, oink!

"Obama Nation" Bestselling Book in the World Today

Obama Nation is #1 on the New York Times Best Seller List and on Amazon. Is the book proof of The One’s popularity? Not really, it is written by the author who brought you “Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry”.

Sub-titled, “Leftist politics and the cult of personality” it doesn’t pull punches. Obama is arguably shown to be the most left-wing candidate to ever stand a real chance of becoming U.S. president. It also highlights a lot of shady financial dealings and Obama’s association with some dubious characters.

The policy shifts made by Obama have been dramatic, his anti-nukes position has been dropped on the path to power, he now says he will do “whatever is necessary” to counter Iran becoming a nuclear power. A lot of interesting facts and history in this book explain why it is selling like hot cakes…

Soldiers’ Deaths to Be Kept Secret

The law pages of The Times carry a story about a clause in the latest Counter-Terrorism Bill which will give the Home Secretary the power to order Court hearings to be held in secret.

The Home Secretary could order a jury not to be summoned, replace the coroner with a government appointee and bar the public from inquests if it is deemed to be in the “public interest”.

It could be applied to inquests similar to those into the deaths of the weapons inspector David Kelly, “friendly-fire” military casualties or Diana, Princess of Wales, and Dodi Fayed. In future, inquests similar to that into the death of Jean Charles de Menezes, which is due to start next month with 44 police officers giving evidence anonymously, could also be subject to the secrecy clause.

This is not about national security, it is about covering-up embarrassments for the government. The families of soldiers who die because of penny pinching would not be able to discover the truth. Anything embarrassing would be deemed a “national security issue”. The government is already doing this to protect itself from embarrassment.

For example: Guido, and other journalists have made Freedom of Information requests in an attempt to discover if Ed Balls still had a pass giving him access to the Treasury when he was supposedly a fellow of the Smith Institute. We believe he was actually continuing to act as Gordon’s bag carrier and political confidante, that he was in and out of the Treasury seeing Gordon regularly. The Treasury refuses to answer the question claiming it is a national security issue. It isn’t, it is a cover-up. This clause is about covering up politically damaging information.

Kirsty, Kirsty, Kirsty, Kirsty, Kirsty….

Monday, August 11, 2008

Kirsty, Kirsty, Kirsty, Kirsty, Kirsty….

For those of you who missed the Newsnight session where Kirsty walk tried valiantly to get a clear answer out of Caroline Flint over Stamp Duty, here it is again. Don’t expect a straight answer…

Labour Wage-Slave Hypocrisy

Many graduates are desperate to break into politics – sadly this exposes them to exploitation by unscrupulous employers who will take advantage of their desire to get political experience of any kind. Have no fear, Guido learns from the Labour Party party website that
“Labour has announced a new drive to crack down on rogue employers who abuse vulnerable workers… The crack down will be overseen by a new Fair Employment Enforcement Board which will co-ordinate the work… by using a single telephone helpline number for vulnerable workers to report abuses the agencies will be able to better share the vital information necessary to catch rogue employers..

Labour’s Employment Relations Minister Pat McFadden said:

“We want to prevent unscrupulous employers who undercut honest competition and prey on people who are fearful or so desperate to earn a living that they are open to exploitation.”

Guido has just had a quick check of some job advertising and found a number of unscrupulous employers preying on desperately ambitious young workers keen to break into politics:

Work for no pay for Claire Curtis-Thomas MP.
Work for no pay for Fabian Society.
Work for no pay for Labour Party (North Regional Office).
Work for no pay for Diane Abbott MP.
Work for no pay for Barbara Follett MP.
Work for no pay for Andy Slaughter MP.

What is the number on which to report these unscrupulous employers?

UPDATE : MPs get a staffing allowance of £100, 205. Claire Curtis Thomas, don’t forget, is “Britain’s most expensive MP” racking up costs of over £170,000 a year.

The Horror that is FrankenBrown!


Seen Elsewhere

Labour Failed Those Victims | Labour Uncut
We Cannot Ignore the Race Issue Here | Dan Hodges
74 MPs Who Back Stop Mills Motion | Speccie
Milibande | Ian Birrell
The True Meaning of Political Correctness Gone Mad | Speccie
Nigel, Nigel, Nigel! | Bloomberg
Bercow Blinks | Guardian
Speaker on the Ropes | Indy
Outgoing Clerk Slams Bercow – Row Goes Very Public | BBC
Darling Was Wrong on OBR | Speccie
Climate Change Cools Off | Washington Times


VOTER-RECALL
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Shaun Wright’s understatement about the Rotherham child abuse scandal…

“..I could have taken more action and probably dealt with this issue better.”



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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