Thursday, June 26, 2008

Spelman "Only Stopped Paying Nanny When Secretary Reported Her"

Michael Crick on Newsnight is going to reveal more details tonight that really will cap it for Spelman – essentially she only stopped fiddling payments to her nanny when her real secretary grassed her. It really does mean the end now. She fiddled and stopped only when she was reported and she lied about the whole thing when exposed. That is not a tenable position.

There is a ridiculous whispering campaign to make this a mother versus misogynists issue. It is actually an anti-corruption issue. The Spelmans are a wealthy couple, they could easily afford a nanny – they chose to fiddle the cost from the taxpayer. Plenty of low income mothers on benefits have gone to jail for fiddling the sums we are talking about here…

UPDATE : Two-thirds of grassroots Conservatives polled by ConservativeHome say Spelman should quit.

Henley News

Was this one of the most unexciting by-elections going?

Guido gave a former senior LibDem apparatchik 9/1 on the LibDems winning. So they are still optimistic…

Brown’s Speech Writer Quits

Decade long Brownie Beth Russell is reportedly quitting Team Brown next month to return to the Treasury. She will be the third member of the mobile phone target team to quit Number 10. She was the official speechwriter, though it is understood that Gordon is the one who inserts the lists of statistics that make his speeches so special.

Downing Street’s Jeremy Heywood has written to Whitehall’s mandarins euphemistically seeking someone for ‘a high profile and demanding post involving daily contact with the Prime Minister… I would be grateful if you could each put forward the names of one or two individuals who would particularly excel in this role.’ An ability to duck under fire would be useful.

Fiona Gordon has already given her notice, Spencer Livermore went in March. The captain will be alone when the ship goes down…

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ironic Speech

Dave’s former speechwriter, Danny Kruger is a bit of a have-a-go-hero crime fighter according to his article in the Speccie this morning:
My wife and I were coming out of a house in Camden where we had been viewing a flat to rent. Standing on the steps with us, the owner of the flat suddenly saw the retreating rear of his moped, two boys aboard and half a dozen of their friends pelting along behind.

Like the pair of prats we were, the owner and I tackled youth crime. When we caught up with the pedestrians, we received between us a black eye (owner) and cut lip (me), and no moped.

My main memory of this incident is rather horrid: the spit-filled mouth of the little rat-faced boy who punched me. Short, white, in a grey hooded tracksuit, he shouted at me with all the rage of Cain: the most astonishing indignation.

Shame about that split lip, Kruger is a thoroughly decent chap. He was also the author of the “Hug a Hoodie” speech…

Inflated Expenses

In 1997 the total maximum expenses claimable by an MP was £50,213. Yet during this prolonged period of low inflation (for which Gordon likes to claim credit) the maximum amount claimable has risen to £159,720.*

A rise of 218% in ten years.

*Not including travel, source: Select Committee on Members Estimate Committee Third Report

The Worst Blog Prediction Ever

Sion Simon MP, Labour Party Conference 2007, Blog for the New Statesman:

Perhaps the magnitude of the moment we face is too great for us collectively to bear. Shortly there will be an election, in which Labour will increase its majority, and in so doing utterly shatter the glass paradigm of cyclical politics which has contained us for the century since 1906. This ought to herald another decade of strong, confident, consensual Labour government. Which will finally and irrevocably transform the nature of politics and civic life in Britain.

That is a frightening responsibility. The young princes who now stride the parade ground with the confidence born of aristocratic schooling can never be afraid. They never have been. Like latter day Pushkins drilled in the elite academy of Brownian blitzkrieg, they are bursting with their sense of destiny. It’s not the Milibands, the Ballses or the Burnhams who are unconsciously nervous. This is the moment for which they were created. They are ready.

But for the rest, the officer class as much as the rank and file, it’s a daunting inheritance. The decade to date has been a long march to sustain. Those who led it have changed and re-changed, been shuffled and sidelined, died and retired from the field. But we – the poor bloody soldiers – are still here. Our boots are fresh and our uniforms re-supplied. We are rested and invigorated. Morale, if it anywhere was, can only be high. Yet still it’s a decade since we have been home. As we prepare to strike out again from our camp, we don’t wonder which army will triumph, but begin to ask what we will do if this march never ends.

Guido is moist-eyed with laughter. Sion Simon really does have exceptional judgement.

Hat-tip : Dominic Fisher

+++ Ed Balls & Yvette Cooper Expense Fiddle Investigation +++

More to follow…

+++ Wendy Alexander Found Guilty Over Donors +++

PMQs Half Hour of Hate

Labour Plans Collective Punishment of Immigrant Families

In a policy shift which is bound to be applauded by the BNP’s Nick Griffin, Labour intends to drop a plan to make families pay a cash bond for relatives who visit from India and Pakistan, instead there will be heavy fines or the threat of jail if family members overstay.

Liam Byrne has just told the BBC’s Asian Network radio station that “what we want to do is have a new system but punish people if things go wrong.” He was referring to people coming over for family weddings and then disappearing. Byrne said the government now wanted to “make sure that we can just hit people and hit people hard if their family member breaks the rules”.

When French resistance fighters killed German soldiers the Gestapo would round up innocent villagers and shoot ten of them for every dead German soldier. It was called “collective punishment”, this policy works on the same principle.

The Labour Party seems to have given up on the centre-ground triangulation of the Blair era. Remember British jobs, for British workers? They are now triangulating the BNP’s white working class vote. Where is Gordon’s moral compass?

See also : Labour Party found Guilty of Racial Discrimination


Seen Elsewhere

Small State Keynesians, Anti-Corporate Hayekians? | Chris Dillow
Ruffley Shows Why We Need a Proper Recall Bill Now | Alex Wickham
How is Miliband’s ‘New Politics’ Working Out? | Speccie
State Should Send More Poor Children Private | Sam Bowman
£1 Million Cost of Ed Balls’ Ego | Laura Perrins
William Hague’s Sausage Fest | Rochdale Online
Public Doesn’t Prioritise Housing | Mark Pack
Mysterious Case of Ruffley’s Missing Letter | Speccie
All the Single Ladies (And Lords) | Bloomberg
How Ruffley’s Resignation Became Inevitable | ConservativeHome
We Need a Recall Bill Now | Speccie


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Damian McBride writes in the epilogue to his memoir…

“At the time of writing, nine months from the election, I’ve concluded that Labour currently has no positive messages to communicate to anyone about why they should vote for the party, no policies which will persuade them, and is being run in a totally dysfunctional way.”



Rob Wilson says:

Without Predujice

Darling

What time will dinner be ready this evening?

Yours

Rob Wilson MP

In the interests of me I am placing a copy of this email in the public domain.


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