Why the flip-flop? Guido thinks it is because leadership rival Dr Fox has stuck to his right-wing moralising guns and Davis fears leaking votes to Fox. It certainly seems strange that yesterday Basher promised that his campaign aides would not “go near this issue”, and the next day he returns to it. No wonder Fatty Soames said yesterday that “Davis has got plenty of form for this sort of thing. When he said people should ‘speak no ill of a fellow Conservative’ you could hear the sound of people throwing up into buckets at the sheer hypocrisy of the man.”
Former Basher backer and demi-billionaire, Michael Spencer, told The Times it had been “blatantly preposterous” of Basher to fuel the row. Spencer, a Cameroonie and party animal himself, said: “The Davis campaign has been threatened by David Cameron and this is the response. It is bitterly disappointing. There are bigger issues here. It is a sad, sad response of the Davis team to Cameron’s Blackpool speech.”
Hat-tip: Vernon Bogdanor. (Professor of government at Oxford University and David Cameron’s tutor).
The Guardian reckons the “issue first surfaced at a conference fringe event when Mr Cameron was asked if he had taken drugs”. The Guardian has it wrong, the issue was first raised in the Indy, (non-exec director, Ken Clarke). The Indy has given Ken Clarke a lot of help during the leadership race, organised a party fringe meeting for him, a few adoring interviews and generally said that its director would be the best leader of the Tory party. So would Guido be too cynical to think that the man who keeps mentioning cocaine might be the man who encouraged a journalist to look into Cameron’s views on drug policy? Cameron is of course the reason Clarke has failed to gather in the votes of centrist MPs…
Cameron has consistently advocated the reform of drug laws, serving on the home affairs select committee in 2001, he supported the reclassification of cannabis and ecstasy. At the time he wrote: “I am an instinctive libertarian who abhors state prohibitions and tends to be sceptical of most government action, whether targeted against drug use or anything else … Hounding hundreds of thousands – indeed millions – of young people with harsh criminal penalties is no longer practicable or desirable.”
Cameron’s lunch with Lord Rothermere has not resulted in favourable coverage from the Daily Mail. Dacre today ladles hypocritical excrement all over Cameron: “the bitter truth is that there is a direct connection between this ambivalence over drugs among an affluent metropolitan elite and the hopeless, helpless junkies in bleak housing estates who are destroying their lives and blighting whole neighbourhoods through crime…. If he becomes Prime Minister, how can he possibly have a position on drugs if his own record remains shrouded in mystery?” (Guido suggests Dacre visits the convenient-for-the-office Roof Gardens nightclub to find out which of his elite metropolitan journalists are more than ambivalent in this area.)
Cameron’s rivals are gleeful, before all they had on him was that he was too posh and too young. For now Cameron’s team intend to hold the line (pardon the pun) at that was then, this is now. Cameron has also met with Murdoch, whose tabloids have a ruthless streak that Dacre’s drink addled journo’s lack, but it remains to be seen if he has impressed Murdoch enough for him to rein in his News of the Screws hacks.
Tony Blair and Jacques Chirac made efforts to put recent fisticuffs behind them, when they publicly kissed and made up in Paris last week.
Sadly, relations are now frostier than ever, after the PM decided to invite Chirac’s arch-nemesis, French home affairs minister Nicolas Sarkozy, for a secret tête à tête in Westminster on Monday.
Although Downing Street initially denied that any meeting had taken place, it was later forced to issue a “clarification,” saying that the two had been involved in “private discussions”.
Now details have reached Pandora of both the contents of their conversation, and the extraordinary lengths that Downing Street went to in a bid to prevent the summit from becoming public.
Initially, I gather that Sarkozy was due to arrive at Downing Street at 11am, for talks in the PM’s private office. However, he was later instructed to present himself at the Marriott Hotel next to Westminster Bridge at 8.30pm. Staff ushered him into a private suite, where Blair spent an hour, discussing what one French observer has described as the “British economic model.”
This marks a severe breach of protocol on both men’s part. Sarkozy is Minister for the Interior – the equivalent of Charles Clarke – so was upstaging Chirac by discussing economic affairs.
Blair, for his part, should never have held official talks with Sarkozy. In any case, economics are supposed to be Gordon Brown’s baby. His spokesman will say only: “It was a private and informal meeting.”
Guido first drew attention to this on Monday.
Mum Talked Down Woolwich Terrorists | Telegraph
How the Tories Can Win in 2015 | Harry Phibbs
View From Lord Bell’s Summer Party | Speccie
What Dave, Ed and Nick Want You to Hear | James Kirkup
In Praise of Apple’s Tax Plan | Daniel Mitchell
Christine Blower Can’t Do Maths | Toby Young
Cameron is Having a Shocker | Iain Martin
UKIP Still Back Flat Tax | London Loves Business
Dave Will Probably Win in 2015 | Dan Hodges
EU’s Tax Harmonisation Agenda | Dan Hannan
Tories Have Always Sneered at Party Faithful | Simon Heffer
Ai Weiwei in China fighting the taxman…
“Under totalitarian rule, no one is protected by law. We will all be the same helpless victims. When a country insists on its lies, it’s time for an artist to bring forth change.”
Ned Flanders – Clegg
Lisa Simpson – Natalie Bennett
Milhouse – Hilary Benn
Martin Prince – Andy Burnham
Edna Krabappel – Luciana Berger
Crazy Cat Lady – Glenda jackson
Comic book guy – John Prescott
Carl – Chucka
Lenny – Philip Hammond
Willie – Eric joyce
Poochie – Gordon Brown
Reverend Lovejoy – Tony Blair