Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Schhhh, Ssshhh, Schillings

Gove : "I Might Be Ugly, But I’m Smart"

Michael Gove is making a much anticipated speech this morning which is expected to be the intellectual equivalent of a bitch-slap to Gordon Brown. What the kind readers of this blog always say in the comments whenever Guido features Gove is that “he has a face you just want to slap”.

Gove is clearly aware of this and possessing a fair amount of ambition he has made some efforts to ameliorate this reaction. He lost the glasses earlier this year and his clothes have got sharper since his journalist days. He explains in article this morning “thus you have the paradox, which I exemplify, of the individual who is both plain and vain, a man who tries to dress smartly because of an anxiety to minimise the unhappy aesthetic impact of one’s appearance.”

What Michael should understand is that the collective urge to happy-slap him isn’t strictly to do with his looks. It is the sheer swottyness of him, exemplified in the article, that brings out the latent playground bully in us all.

UPDATE : His speech is a measured dissection of the Brownies problems.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Sky Dalek Policy

Sky apologised today following Julie Etchingham’s joke on air that the Tories favoured a policy of “extermination” for immigrants.

As Dave said live “Let me outline the action that a Conservative government would take. As we have seen, some of the increase in population size results from natural change – birth rates, death rates. Here our policy should be obvious… “

Microphone switched on, Julie cracked: “Extermination.”

A Sky News spokesman said: “A comment was made in the studio during David Cameron’s speech that was broadcast in error. The comment was not intended for broadcast. The off-the-cuff remark was regrettable.” She is shortly off to work with Trevor MacDonald on the re-launched News at Ten…

Stephen Glover was one of the founders of the Indy and he still writes a weekly media column for the paper. All credit to him for this morning in his column covering and criticising the editor of the paper for Indy-gate. Some thought it amusing that it had been unmentioned in his column of last week. (Guido did inquire of Glover if he would be covering it when it went without comment).

“You can’t expect him to criticise his own editor in the paper” Guido was told by other hacks. Well he did. Independent? Glover is.

Flying Lion Ordinary Rendition

Bob Piper and few other left leaning bloggers are getting excited about Flying Lion Limited and bemoaning Guido’s lack of digging into it. They have been digging into the company (now known as “Con Air” because it ferries Tories around) in the hope of uncovering something murky. The Bahamian registered company has got them more than a little agitated.

It is hard to see why they are getting so excited since they should already know it is owned by Ashcroft and a quick perusal of the Electoral Commission website shows £19,819.60 given in the last twelve months. In the year before more than £50,000 worth of flights were registered as reported by The Times in May 2006. So the only reason Guido hasn’t been digging into it is because it is not news…

(Incidentally Dave flew BA to Berlin last week.)

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Friday, October 26, 2007

Friday Caption Contest

Hain Loses Another SpAd

Hain can’t seem to hold a SpAd down since Phil Taylor’s departure. Robert Philpot has gone back to Progress. Who are Hain’s SpAds nowadays? Why did Philpot leave so soon? Hain could get a Basher Davis type reputation for staff turnover at this rate…

Lord Hoyle Whores Himself to Arms Dealers

In what is in truth an everyday tale of New Labour sleaze, the Guardian exposes on the front page something that happens regularly at the Parliament of Whores in Westminster.

Lord Hoyle was paid a “counsultancy” fee by lobbyist Michael Wood, of Whitehall Advisers, a firm specialising in the murky world of lobbying for arms deals. The firm boasts in publicity of their ability to influence MoD purchases and that they have played a role in £10 billion of UK equipment procurement.

The undeclared payment is the subject of evolving explanations by Hoyle. He originally admitted to the Guardian

Lord Hoyle accepts he was asked to arrange the lobbyist’s introduction “to say hello to the new minister”. He told the Guardian that Lord Drayson was asked to come for a drink. Mr Wood was already there. He says he told the minister: “Mike Wood of Whitehall Advisers would like to meet you.”

At the meeting, which Lord Drayson, the Minister for Arms Procurement, appears to have correctly and formally noted, Mike Wood made his pitch for his firms clients.

So we have an undeclared, under-the-counter payment to a peer to introduce a lobbyist pimping on behalf of arms dealers to the Minister, Lord Drayson, in charge of buying arms – who himself bought his way into the legislature. Remember the 1997 promise of New Labour to be “whiter than white”…

UPDATE : As a co-conspirator points out in the comments, Tory MP Gerald Howarth obtained a parliamentary pass for Mike Wood. Why? He does enjoy a lot of defence related junkets…

Thursday, October 25, 2007

MPs Expenses – A New Hero Emerges

MPs expense figures have just been released.* Philip Hollobone (Con, Kettering) is the least expensive MP coming in at under £44,551. Liam Byrne (Lab, Birmingham Hodge Hill) is four times as expensive at £178,116.

Guido called Hollobone’s office to try and figure out the anomaly:

Guido Fawkes “Is Hollobone there?”
Office “Yes.”
Guido Fawkes “Can I speak to him?”
Office “Yes.”
Guido Fawkes “Thanks.”
Guido waits patiently.
Office “It is me.”

It turns out that the reason he is some £23,340 cheaper than even Dennis Skinner (£67,891) is that he doesn’t employ any office staff. He answers his own correspondence (he can type) and he says dealing with constituents is his favourite part of the job. So it is no surprise that he is rated in the top decile for responsiveness by WriteToThem.com, whereas Liam Byrne, despite all his staff and great expense, comes 158th.

According to data from TheyWorkForYou.com, Philip Hollobone

  • Has spoken in 105 debates in the last year — well above average amongst MPs.
  • Has received answers to 194 written questions in the last year — well above average amongst MPs.
  • Is a member of 2 select committees.
  • Replied within 2 or 3 weeks to a very high number of messages sent via WriteToThem.com during 2006, according to constituents.
  • Has voted in 87% of votes in parliament — well above average amongst MPs.

How is it that he can be an excellent constituency MP for a third of the average cost of the rest?

*Thanks to Bloomberg for doing the number crunching.


Seen Elsewhere

Guido’s Column | Sun
NUT’s Loony Defence of Status Quo | Jago Pearson
A Dozen Reasons to Be Cheerful | John McTernan
Political Bloggers Are Equal Opportunities Attackers | ConHome
Michael Gove Should Resign | Conservative Women
Sarah Wollaston’s Naming and Shaming of Bloggers | LibDemVoice
Fraser Nelson: Put Your Money on Ed Miliband to Win | Guardian
Guido Fawkes is Too Aggressive | The Times
Ditch Tobacco Plain Packaging | Grassroots Conservatives
What Farage, Boris and Rob Ford Have in Common | William Walter
Labour Spell New Adviser’s Name Wrong | ITV


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Rod Liddle on the loony UN sexism special rapporteur:

“There is more sexism in Britain than in any other country in the world, according to a mad woman who has been sent here by the United Nations.

Rashida Manjoo is a part-time professor of law at Cape Town University in the totally non-sexist country of South Africa (otherwise known as Rape Capital Of The World).

Mrs Magoo has been wandering around with her notebook and is appalled by the sexist “boys’ club” culture here, apparently.

I don’t doubt we still have sexism in the UK. But is it worse than in, say, Saudi Arabia, d’you think, honey-lamb? Or about 175 other countries? Get a grip, you doolally old bat.”



orkneylad says:

What’s he been doing FFS, mining bitcoins?


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