UPDATE :Just confirming a venue. Will get back to you all shortly.
UPDATE :Just confirming a venue. Will get back to you all shortly.
It took a ten year battle with the Labour Party before Raghib won. Guido has not noticed this well reported elsewhere. The full Law Lords ruling is here [pdf].
Lord Hoffman was absolutely damning of the Labour Party defence proffered, before he resigned, by Peter Watt -
…it seems to me unacceptable. It is nothing more than the old plea that you have nothing against employing a black person but the customers would not like it. In essence it is a defence of justification based on political expediency. It may salvage the purity of the personal motives of the selection panel but it does not in my opinion satisfy the terms of the 1976 Act, which does not allow any justification for “direct” discrimination. It simply says that one shall not discriminate on racial grounds.
Ashcroft’s influence on the Tories, like that of Lord Sainsbury for Labour, has been in the national interest. Billionaire Lord Sainsbury helped finance New Labour, dragging the Labour party from socialism towards an accommodation with the Thatcherite settlement and at the very least an acceptance of the market economy. Sainsbury financed progressive think tanks and pressure groups as well as the Labour party itself, to the betterment of the country. It was in the national interest to have a non-socialist alternative governing party to the Tories. Like Ashcroft he got stuck in rather than just sending £15 million plus of cheques.
Ashcroft has an equally involved approach, he has made an evidence based case to the Tories to change their game for the better. He has encouraged them, with financial incentives, to campaign professionally. He has pushed the party to appeal to the young aspirational middle classes once again, rather than just their core voters. It has got to be in the best interests of the country to have an opposition that is electorally competitive and appealing rather than ideologically marooned. Ashcroft is not a sinister Blofeld type character, he like Sainsbury has constructively used his wealth to better his party and (eventually) his country. But the increasing perception that Labour is trying to capitalise on is that he is a shadowy tycoon manipulating Cameron. It is in his own interests to come clean and it is definitely in the interests of the Tories that he comes clean – soon. If not people will be entitled to assume he has something to hide.
Politics in Britain suffers from a disconnect between cynical voters and disingenuous politicians. Any lack of clarity and the voters presume the worst – usually correctly. The money laundering, for that is what it is, endemic in British politics is just not acceptable. Every penny should be accounted for and sourced, whether it is Midlands business types or Muslim moguls. If they don’t like the publicity than they shouldn’t donate. Corruption is only possible in the shadows, in the sunshine we can see clearly, whatever reforms are made should be on the basis of total transparency. State funding is a lazy option, it also presumes that political campaigning is of such importance that it should be funded – it isn’t. In Europe there is plenty of state-sourced funding corruption, it won’t make things any better.
Politics is needlessly expensive, we don’t need so much politics or so many politicians and their hangers on. Politicians need to be taken down a peg or two, having to raise money only from people who are prepared to openly support them might bring some much needed humility and make them more connected to voters. If people are too ashamed to openly support politicians, it is the politicians who need to improve their reputation.
For Andy Marr, this constitutes an all out attack. Mrs Marr’s articles in the Guardian are less than adulatory of late. Are they disappointed?
Abrahams did get government fast-tracking after donation – Sunday Telegraph
96% of Muslim Friends of Labour cash came from one donor - Sunday Times
Planners fast-tracked Labour donor’s business park scheme - Indy on Sunday
Wendy hit by more revelations – Sunday Herald
Scottish Labour loses top donor in sleaze row – Scotland on Sunday
Son of millionaire MP Sarwar guilty of £850,000 money laundering scam – Scotsman
Hugh Grant parties with vice-girls – News of the Screws
He was quite happily telling his companion that if (and he did say “if”) he wins a third term, he will be evicting the Conservative Group from their offices and taking over the area for his own staff. Apparently the Conservatives are hardly ever there and don’t need as much room as they have.
Not so certain of victory?
UPDATE : Ken’s henchman Lee Jasper is, as Guido has said before, a shakedown artist. He lives in an upmarket period property owned by a Housing Association which receives £80 million a year to house low income families. Lee Jasper earns £117,000 a year and pays just £90 week rent. According to the Evening Standard the market rate, which he could well afford, is £550 a week for this period property worth some £750,000. So this is what Ken means by affordable housing.
“I think we’re in a mess. I think people are demoralised. I think Labour party members can’t understand how we’ve got in this mess. I think Gordon has shown, to be frank with you, ineptitude on a number of issues and so have some of the people around him..”
This follows Blairite Matthew Taylor yesterday telling the Guardian that the government was “inept”
“Politically, it doesn’t look particularly attractive if you are going round trying to shift responsibility. … too early to say that the position for the government is terminal.”
So there you have it, from Labour’s left and right, they are inept clowns.
What Farage, Boris and Rob Ford Have in Common | William Walter
Labour Spell New Adviser’s Name Wrong | ITV
Dave Stung by Jellyfish | Sun
City Minister’s Inheritance Tax Dodging Trusts | Indy
What I Would Have Done if I was Sarah Wollaston | Iain Dale
Boris is an Epic Europhile | Louise Mensch
Warsi Got PM to Confront “Secular Fundamentalism” | Fraser Nelson
Guardian April Fools Apology | Press Gazette
Jenni Russell and Her Child’s Godfather, Ed Miliband | Breitbart
Labour’s Left and Right are Growing Restive | Staggers
Corrupt, Incompetent UN Has No Right to Lecture Us | Dan Hannan
Rod Liddle on the loony UN sexism special rapporteur:
“There is more sexism in Britain than in any other country in the world, according to a mad woman who has been sent here by the United Nations.
Rashida Manjoo is a part-time professor of law at Cape Town University in the totally non-sexist country of South Africa (otherwise known as Rape Capital Of The World).
Mrs Magoo has been wandering around with her notebook and is appalled by the sexist “boys’ club” culture here, apparently.
I don’t doubt we still have sexism in the UK. But is it worse than in, say, Saudi Arabia, d’you think, honey-lamb? Or about 175 other countries? Get a grip, you doolally old bat.”