On the Hercules to Basra

Sky’s Glen O’Glaza doesn’t seem to have enjoyed himself on the 44 hour Basra-Kabul round trip. He questions the wisdom of Gordon’s media handlers in organising a schedule which made it difficult for broadcasters to file a story. Not much point in a photo-op without being able to send back photos…

Beau Bo D’Or’s
take on the trip for Channel 4 made Guido smile. Press play.

UPDATE : According to information in the comments Gordon didn’t fly out on Hercules and risk using the transport he deems appropriate for the squaddies. Courage?

Parliamentary Panto

Panto season is upon us:

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what value of assets the Bank of England has accepted as collateral for loans to Northern Rock; (2) what proportion of the Bank of England’s total assets are represented by claims on Northern Rock and its assets.

Kitty Ussher: The sum borrowed by the company is confidential.

Oh no it isn’t! Despite much inconsequential huffing and puffing from Schillings you can still read in detail about Northern Crock’s supposedly confidential finances here.

The Coming Economic Downturn

Just flicking through this morning’s Pink ‘Un must be grim reading for Darling and Brown:

UK home affordability hits 15-year low

Decline in UK confidence hits hiring

UK producer price inflation hits 16-year high

The authoritative investment bank Morgan Stanley is now predicting a U.S. recession next year. Given that the British economy is debt-bloated and during the feast years Gordon just splurged on more spending rather than putting something aside for a famine, the U.K. economy is heading for a very hard-landing next year. The Tories will be very glad that Gordon didn’t call that election. Happy Christmas…

Labour Party Christmas Advent Calendar

Courtesy of LibDemVoice.

Which World Leader Has Open Blog Comments?

President Ahmadinejad has not got a reputation as the most liberal world leader, in fact Iran tries to censor the internet by blocking access to foreign websites.

But his own very public blog allows comments from unregistered users, which means that like on this blog you get the mob making comments. He has comment moderation but it is (as here) pretty liberal. John Jacobs from the USA tells Mahmoud “I hate you. You are retarted. That simple, mentally retarted”. More intelligently another American posts a comment “I think you are an evil leader. Freedom and tolerance are necessities in this day and age, and the fact that your country kills intellectuals, journalists, minorities, etc. is horrible and deeply disturbing. People say America is so horrible, but you can live in whatever fashion you want to, and if the government does something you dont like then we can protest. Our government is great because it is of the people, for the people and by the people. Change your ways.”

In contrast as an experiment (after discovering that they were using payroll astro-turfers) Guido has been joining Downing Street Ministerial webchats on and off for months and posting polite pointed but critical questions to the likes of Ed Balls and other ministers. Not once has a single question got through, yet Guido can post critical comments on the Iranian president’s blog freely.

Paddick Confesses Guilt

Guido is looking forward to the London Mayoral elections hotting up, especially as the LibDems have chosen a strong personality to contest against Boris and Ken. Brian Paddick, the former top copper, is running on their ticket. Sort of.

He apparently has his own views on issues and doesn’t plan to pay much heed to the party machine. Guido asked him bluntly
Is it true that you have made it clear to Cowley Street that you will be doing your campaign your way and that since leaving the police you have adopted a new mantra: “I take advice, I do not take orders.”

Paddick replied straightforwardly “Guilty as charged!”

There Will Be Mulled Wine and Hangovers…

You should have received your invite by now. No word yet as to Stanislav’s attendance.

Beg for an invite from Guido.Fawkes@Order-Order.com.

Tories Call for an Inquiry into Balls’ Bung

The Tories are calling for a Civil Service inquiry into the circumstances surrounding a 2005 payment of nearly £100,000 to Ed Balls from the already under statutory investigation Smith Institute. The payment was allegedly for his work on two pamphlets published by the Institute. Ex-employees confirm that he was never seen at the Institute’s offices during his 8 month tenure despite being paid an unheard of (for wonkland) monthly salary of over £10,000.

The Smith Institute was used as a slush fund for the Brownies. It functioned effectively as Gordon’s policy and political secretariat in his long putsch for the premiership. Once Gordon Brown was installed in No. 10, Konrad Caulkett moved seamlessly from his executive position at the Smith Institute to become a Special Adviser in Downing Street. During Konrad’s time at the supposedly non-political charity he assisted Ed Ball’s 2005 election campaign in his Normanton constituency whilst still drawing a salary from the charity.

Who stumped up for Ed Balls’ generous payments package? Could it have been wealthy property developer John Milligan? Pictured here with Brown, he is a trustee of Gordon’s charity, the Smith Institute, has given tens of thousands to the Labour party and even made a personal donation of £25,000 to Gordon’s leadership coffers.

For some strange reason Ed Balls failed to properly declare his income from the Smith Institute or get the necessary Treasury clearance required for a Special Adviser before taking the sinecure. The rules were designed to prevent conflicts of interest. It also turned out that the Treasury had made undeclared payments to the Smith Institute, by mistake of course, which were only discovered when Guido succeeded in pushing the Charity Commissioners to investigate. They were the result of a mix-up according to yet another Smith Institute trustee Paul Myners, one of Gordon’s favourite businessman who only remembered (during the week the investigation was announced) that he was himself supposed to make good the payment, some two years later.

Of course the Smith Institute received free advice and polling data from another trustee, Deborah Mattinson, whose firm coincidentally won government contracts for which they charged the Treasury £3 million. Do you think there is a strong piscine smell here?

Friday Write Off

Blogging will be light on Friday (isn’t it always) because Guido will be in London for Xmas drinks and would love to see friends of the blog. He would particularly like to see new friends from the comments, like Stanislav,

[…]

+ READ MORE +

"British Jobs for British Workers"Law Lords Rule Labour Party Guilty of Racial Discrimination

Raghib Ahsan took the Labour Party to an industrial tribunal on the grounds of racial discrimination. He won his case but the Labour party appealed and it went all the way to the House of Lords. The Law Lords unanimously

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Ashcroft Should Come Clean

Labour is getting hammered for breaking the laws on political funding. Rightly so, there needs to be criminal prosecutions in order to make it clear that the laws are to be obeyed. The Tories are working around the laws, which

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Sky News ask a “Labour representative” where the local St George’s Day events are. He replies:

“You’re better off asking the UKIP candidate” 

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