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