Monday, July 14, 2008

EXCLUSIVE : Sam Coates of ConservativeHome Hired as Cameron Speechwriter

It will be announced later this afternoon that Sam Coates, deputy editor of the influential ConservativeHome website is to become Dave’s deputy speechwriter.

The appointment of the social conservative will be seen as reassuring to the right of the party where Sam is seen as a promising and sound voice. There was a lot of competition for the vacancy created by Danny Kruger leaving. Presumably there will be a lot of competition for the vacancy he will leave at ConservativeHome…

Gove Column Collapses

Guido analysed Michael Gove’s swotty psychology last year.* He has another typically modest piece in The Times this morning Here are My Four Columns of Wisdom.

Guido didn’t get beyond the first line before laughing:

There may be more than a billion books in the Library of Congress but there are only seven basic plots.

Guido has read that there are in literature Seven Types of Ambiguity (though William Empson never met Mrs Fawkes). However the former incredible “billion books” claim prompted a quick check of the Library of Congress website, revealing that there are in fact a mere 32 million books on the shelves. Not such a wise column after all…

*See I Might Be Ugly, But I’m Smart.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Beauty and the Basher

People asking what did David Davis achieve with his “Freedom By-Election” might be surprised to discover that he appears to have won over a convert. The news is that Miss Great Britain, Gemma Garrett, is switching political allegiances to the Tories. Excellent news, it was not all in vain after all. She will make a glamorous addition to the candidates list.

Politics is not exclusively “showbiz for ugly people” after all.

Sunday Sleaze Round-Up

Guido has introduced a simple Pigs in Shit rating system for guidance on the misdemeanors of porcine politicians (guide here). Post links in the comments and we will update this post during the morning.

The Multi-Millionaire Civil Servants
The Times

Accenture, is like Capita and Halliburton, a para-statal corporation dependent on government contracts for hundreds of millions in revenue. It is unbelievable that senior civil servants who are ex-Accenture still have millions of pounds worth of shares. This is obviously a conflict of interest when they are in a position to influence the award of lucrative contracts.

MPs Claim Expenses for Unnecessary Homes
Telegraph
Getting the taxpayer to pay for homes that are nowhere near the constituency or Westminster is a new twist on this fiddle.
Report Re-Ignites Wendy Donations Row
BBC

All you really need to know is that she knowingly and deliberately broke the rules – despite her claims.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday Caption Contest (Fancy Dress Democracy Line-Up)

Byrne Fires on Downing Street

Colin Byrne, CEO of mega-spin merchants, Weber Shandwick, is a former protege of Mandelson and was the Labour Party’s chief press officer from 1988 to 1992. He has his own blog and has, judging by his latest post, had enough of the team of second raters around Gordon.

Quite what prompted the incompetents – as they clearly are these days for all their fat salaries and big job titles and egos – in the No. 10 bunker to have the PM telling us to eat up our crusts one day and be photographed waving a glass of wine around the G8 dinner table as he tucked into the conger eel the next is beyond this simple communications guy’s understanding.

Guido has been patiently waiting for the anti-Brownies to come out and openly attack Gordon. Blairites and ministers are briefing anonymously, the rank-and-file on LabourHome are in open revolt. Expect more of this all summer…

Rosindell Googling Himself in the Early Hours

Rozzer has clearly been sat in front of his computer late at night Googling himself in the early hours of the morning. This arrived in the inbox at 1.30 this morning:

Dear Guido Fawkes

It has been drawn to my attention that on a posting dated the 24th April 2007, there are some extremely offensive comments relating to myself.

I have no problem with anyone taking part in your blog posting criticisms of me for my actions in parliament or my political views, but the remarks on this page are very personal and unpleasant as well as being untrue.

They also relate to other individuals, my family and my staff, which I find particularly offensive.

I would be grateful if you would remove them from the internet.

Thank you for your co-operation.

With best wishes.

Andrew Rosindell M.P.
Member of Parliament for Romford
Shadow Minister for Home Affairs

Looking after ROMFORD · Fighting for ENGLAND · putting BRITAIN first!

He is complaining about the entries in this caption competition from April last year.

Dear Andrew,

Yes they are unpleasant and offensive, they are also very funny. Straight insults and/or satire are however generally not considered defamatory. Nobody is seriously suggesting you and the dog are lovers. Clearly satirical comments of this nature are not actionable.

I have nevertheless had a quick look and removed a couple of comments which, at a stretch, could relate to staff members. Don’t see any about your family.

You are a public figure, you should expect public scrutiny, including ridicule. If you will go round kissing dogs for publicity photos, people are entitled to laugh and make jokes. They will therefore remain published.

On a more serious matter, I note you voted against transparency for MP’s expenses. Since we no longer have the stocks for those the public hold in contempt, my blog will have to do.

Regards,

Guido

Thursday, July 10, 2008

For the Times They Are A-Changin’

Sam Coates over at Red Box has been documenting the difficulties in luring donors to Gordon’s big Wembley fundraiser tonight:
Apparently Alastair Campbell is frantically texting round the great and the good to try and drum up numbers for tomorrow night’s Labour fundraiser at Wembley. Bit late now… One person has apparently been phoned 8 times asked to buy a c. £15,000 table. Still saying no.

In contrast, the room last night for George Osborne’s speech was full, not just with young thrusting Cameroon boys and girls, but with an extraordinaryly large number of civil servant high fliers, no doubt eager to know what the new masters will demand of them. In the words of Bob Dylan:

Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.

UPDATE : Sam also notes the guest list for Osborne’s speech.

Guido Says Jump, Downing Street Geeks Jump

Guido asked where were the promised answers due at the end of last month on Sunday, and again on Tuesday. Today, after Guido’s prompting and some prolonged dithering, we have the “answers” – basically the usual platitudes.

The best questioner asks the PM why should he be PM? Asks him to sell himself to us and answer the question why is he the best man for the job? He simply is unable to answer the question. He tells us what he wants to do, not why he is the best man for the job.

The polls tell us that voters don’t think he is the best man for the job. Tragic.


Seen Elsewhere

Full Jenkin/Beckett/Straw Letter to PM | Politics Home
The ‘Buckingham Bonaparte’ is Cornered | Speccie
Coalition: The Movie | Indy
Lefties Moan About Messina Working For Cameron | MSNBC
Karen Danczuk V Louise Mensch: Round 48 | Sun
Jack Straw Slams Bercow | Sky News
Putin Shuts Down Red Square McDonalds | Telegraph
Paper Trail Suggests Ashcroft Still Funding Tories | Indy
Bradford Bun Fight Coming | Speccie
Former Minister’s Join ‘Canberra Caterer’ Outcry | The Times
Stop Bercow | The Times


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Westbourne-Change-Opinion hot-button


Lord Glasman tells it like it is:

“The first thing is to acknowledge that Labour has been captured by a kind of aggressive public sector morality which is concerned with the individual and the collective but doesn’t understand relationships.”



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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