Thursday, December 6, 2007

Harriet Is Having a Party Tonight

Guido knows how skint Harriet is so he wants to do his bit to help tonight. Leg it on down for 7.30pm to the Fox on the Hill, 149 Denmark Hill, Camberwell, London, SE5 8EH. For only a mere £10 contribution to the buffet, you can help her out. Now Harriet, don’t forget if it does make a profit to register the money this time.

A bit of a come down after the cancelled swanky champagne and canapes fund-raiser party she planned for yesterday in a West End nightclub. Times are hard…

Follett v Follett

Guido and Mrs Fawkes often have disagreements over who spends how much on what. She thinks it all goes on booze and Guido suspects a lot of it just gets wasted on not getting wasted.

The multi-millionaire Folletts are no different. Ken Follett says “She spends all of her allowances and all of her salary running her office and I actually subsidise it to the tune of every year at least a hundred thousand pounds a year.”

When the Huntsman blogger pointed out that this is undeclared funding and therefore unlawful, Barbara got a bit panicky. The Equality Minister now says, panto style,“oh no he doesn’t”.

Barbara told PinkNews that “There are no donations involved. The funds are either from my parliamentary income, or from the joint accounts that I hold with my husband, Ken Follett.” Which doesn’t really clear up the matter up does it?

Boris Attacks Ken Over Jasper’s Missing Millions

Boris speaking at Prospex, a charity helping disadvantaged young kids said pointedly today;
“it is galling to know that millions of pounds of LDA money has allegedly not got through to the many community groups that need it most. The Mayor should now apologise for this outrageous abuse of hard-earned taxpayer’s money. We always knew the attacks on me were a put-up job, and in no sense represented the black community. The attacks are a smokescreen to hide the fact that his administration has ripped off community groups across London and failed to improve the lives of the very people he claims to champion. I am delighted that the curtain has gone up to reveal Ken pulling the levers. The incompetent puppetmaster has been exposed by his own puppets.”

Ken has a history of diverting cash supposedly for good causes into furthering his political self interest. If it is proven that Jasper, who is a bit of a shakedown artist at the best of times, has misused public money, Ken will go down with him.

No Boom. Just Bust.

The latest insolvency figures are out. Gordon has certainly put an end to the boom, just not so sure about the bust. Is it a prudent moment to put £30 billion of public money into Northern Rock’s mortgage risk as property prices turn down?

Today’s Bank of England interest rate cut is a vote of no confidence in the economy…

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Why Has Wee Dougie Bottled It Again?

It is noticeable that old hands like Geof Hoon and Jack Straw have been the ones pushed in front of the cameras by Downing Street to defend the government during this whirlpool of incompetence. Ed Balls and Douglas Alexander have kept out of sight whispering in Gordon’s ear. So it is a bit of a disappointment that Wee Dougie won’t be on Question Time this week after all.

Iain Dale is asking readers if they can work out why. Was it…?

A) He was scared of appearing with Ken Clarke
B) He couldn’t think how to defend Sister Wendy
C) He didn’t want to account for his role in the bottled election decision
D) He was scared of defending his role in the David Abrahams planning application

or E) All four

Another Brown bottler.

EXCLUSIVE : Darling Spoke at Deutsche Bank Hosted Labour Fund-Raiser

An outraged City co-conspirator has tipped off Guido that this morning Labour’s London Business group held an £80 a ticket breakfast fund-raiser with Alistair Darling.

Guido is stunned that in the current circumstances the Chancellor of the Exchequer attended a Breakfast fund-raiser hosted by Deutsche Bank at their City offices on Great Winchester Street.

The invitation from Labour’s Victoria Street HQ states that “the format will follow our usual arrangements: our guest speaker will make a short address and then take questions from the floor. There will be an opportunity for guests to network…”

This morning Deutsche Bank is threatening to walk away from the Virgin Group bid for Northern Rock, because it has serious issues with Virgin’s takeover proposal. Is it really appropriate to be holding a Labour party fund-raiser at the offices of a bank bidding for Northern Rock? Doesn’t Darling see that it smacks of Cash-for-Access?

Incidentally Guido got stonewalled by government SpAds and Press Officers on this all morning. Public servants? Guido thinks not. Unfortunately for them the Deutsche Bank Press Office is more helpful.

Ask the Electoral Commission to Confiscate the Money

Just got off the phone with the Electoral Commission. They are taking the “we can’t comment on an ongoing police investigation” line (© T. Blair). They however offered to direct Guido to the relevant legislation, which states


Forfeiture of donations made by impermissible or unidentifiable donors

(1) This section applies to any donation received by a registered party—

(a) which, … the party are prohibited from accepting, but

(b) which has been accepted by the party.

(2) The court may, on an application made by the Commission, order the forfeiture by the party of an amount equal to the value of the donation.

(3) The standard of proof in proceedings on an application under this section shall be that applicable to civil proceedings.

(4) An order may be made under this section whether or not proceedings are brought against any person for an offence connected with the donation.

So all the Electoral Commission has to do is apply to a Court for an Order. Guido understands that the only circumstances where the Labour party could pay back the money to the donor would be if they had discovered the funds were impermissable within 30 days of them being accepted. It is too late for that…

The Electoral Commission works for you, it costs millions yet it rarely seems to show any teeth, If you think they should get on with it and confiscate the money forthwith, email vmarkos@electoralcommission.org.uk, Vera Markos – Head of Strategy and Secretary to the Commission asking them to do their statutory duty swiftly.

What are they waiting for? The Labour party admits the donations were impermissable.

The LibDem leadership race is dragging on for another fortnight. Guido put a large bet on Clegg immediately after Ming’s election, assuming that Clegg was the heir, because he seemed appealingly telegenic and modernising.

Throughout this leadership contest Guido has however reduced his exposure to Clegg. It has to be said that Huhne, who has a limited likeability factor as a human, is a better campaigner. He has positioned himself on the clitoris of the activist base, painted Clegg as inept, lightweight and Cameron-in-yellow. He has also smartly jumped on Donorgate to put himself in the news. All in all, he has shown the ruthless determination of a politician who wants to win.

If he wins it will put the LibDems in the position the Tories were in under IDS. Universally derided as he was by the end of his leadership, people forget that IDS had activist adoration for his traditional Conservative views and hard line on Europe. The parliamentary Tory party was dismayed that they were saddled with IDS. Huhne has tacked left to appeal to the LibDem activists, who are far to the left of their parliamentarians and the party establishment machine.

Guido thinks it would be strategically better for the Tories to have Clegg as a leader, despite the fears that he will compete for Cameron’s votes. The most likely outcome of a general election is still a hung parliament. Clegg will be more amenable to a deal with the Tories. Guido is also beginning to wonder if Clegg might actually be a weaker campaigner than Huhne.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Purnell was Telling Porkies

As Guido re-iterated on Sunday, Labour have not paid back the Abrahams money. So when James Purnell toured the Sunday morning broadcast newsrooms claiming that “we’ve given the money back” he was lying.

Angus MacNeil put Jack Straw on the spot in the Commons with his question: “Last week the Prime Minister, when he said unlawful activities had taken place, said the money would be returned. Has the £650,000 left Labour Party accounts and where is it now?” Jack replied evasively “I cannot answer that question. I don’t know is the answer.”

Some of the less bright Labour backbenchers got quite worked up about Ashcroft. Jack Straw, perhaps wisely, was not so keen on talking about billionaire backers. Wisely when you consider that Lord Sainsbury has given far more to Labour in an effort to create a social democratic utopia for Sainsbury’s shoppers. Non-domicile backing for Labour from Lakshmi Mittal, Ronnie Cohen and Swarj Paul totals nearly £10 million, which is more than they have paid in UK taxes. The Labour leadership won’t want too much scrutiny of their foreign backers…

Spare a Thought for Quentin Davies

As the Labour party polls below Blair’s worst, as the majority of voters think it is tainted with sleaze, as bookies make David Cameron the hot favourite to be victorious at the polls, spare a thought for Quentin Davies. The Tory to Labour defector who switched from backing David Davis to Gordon Brown. You would have to have a heart of stone not to laugh…

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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