Tuesday, June 17, 2008

++ Sleaze Watchdog to Investigate Spelman +++

Full scale inquiry into Spelman to go ahead:


CONDUCT OF MRS CAROLINE SPELMAN MP

The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards has been authorised by the Committee on Standards and Privileges to undertake an inquiry into whether Mrs Caroline Spelman MP breached the rules of the House in the arrangements she made for the employment of a secretarial assistant who was also her children’s nanny for a period from 1997.

The Commissioner had a meeting with Mrs Spelman on 9 June to discuss this matter with her. He undertook to consider carefully her request that he undertake an inquiry, despite having received no formal complaint about her conduct and that the events complained of were more than seven years ago. Such an inquiry would be exceptional and would require the agreement of the Committee.

Having carefully considered the matter the Commissioner has recommended to the Committee that exceptionally he should conduct an inquiry. The Committee has accepted that recommendation.

The Commissioner is therefore initiating an inquiry into whether the circumstances of Mrs Spelman’s employment of her secretarial assistant from 1997 breached the rules of the House in force at the time.

Guido can’t really understand how she can possibly be exonerated. Her latest statements seem to be misleading as well…

Change of Address

Basher’s office needs to let go:

From: KRANTZ, Caroline

To: XXXX
Subject: RE: XXXX

Many thanks

Caroline Krantz, Secretary
Office of the Rt Hon David Davis MP
Shadow Home Secretary
House of Commons
Westminster SW1A 0AA

The Case for Elite Politics and Not Listening to the People

Fresh from telling people that if only they were as clever as him they would vote for Ken Livingstone, Steve Richards has a pricelessly revealing piece in The Indy this morning. It reveals a core trait shared with many fellow pundits who are fully paid-up members of the political class – an elitist contempt for democracy.

Richards accepts that a referendum on Europe would be lost in Britain, he blames this rightly on “distant bureaucrats that run the EU, apparently incapable of producing documents that are comprehensible to voters. We cannot hold these officials to account if we do not know what they are doing or supposed to do.” Does he accept this signals that Europe needs to be reformed? No, it means a referendum should not be held.Bizarrely he goes on to argue that politicians “are so in touch with the mood of voters they are fearful of their own convictions… Party lines are already blurred because leaders fear the voters too much. If they became less neurotically attentive, politics would become more interesting and, I suspect, more progressive.” There we have it. In print. If only politicians ignored the voters, the policies he favours could be implemented. If only the voters weren’t in the way…

The arrogance and contempt for the will of the people that Steve Richards shows again is breath taking, he makes no bones about it, he wants a progressive tyranny run by people who think like him. He knows the voters do not want the same, so he thinks politicians should ignore the voters. He laments that this is “unfashionable”, on the contrary, it remains a core belief of many members of the political class in the Westminster Village and in Brussels. Is it any surprise that an anti-politics culture is growing as people and politicians become disengaged?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Irish “No” Hero Declan Resolute in Westminster

Victorious “No” campaigner Declan Ganley is in London tonight doing a bit of a victory lap and setting out his plans should the EU decide to press ahead regardless of the democratic will. He spoke from the heart, not as smoothly as a politician, he listened patiently to a critique from Sir Michael Whitewhich lasted almost as long as his own speech (though it ended with a question mark). He was firm, in a room full of Eurosceptics he maintained his own pro-European credentials, stating that he wanted a democratic, peaceful Europe. He said he was perhaps Brussels-sceptic. He advocated turning the 2009 European elections into a referendum.There was much laughter when Declan predicted that the Europhile Irish Times journalist would report that he was speaking to a room full of CIA backed Eurosceptics at an extreme right-wing British think-tank. He was speaking at an event hosted by the centrist Policy Exchange think tank and liberal pressure group Open Europe. When a hostile questioner identified himself as from the European Movement, Declan pointed out, to the amusement of the crowd, that his organisation actually was financed during the Cold War by the CIA.

"DD for Freedom" Campaign Launches Tomorrow

Word is that www.DavidDavisforFreedom.com launches tomorrow and that he is going to wait until after PMQs to jab a question to the clunking fist before he stands down as an MP. Do hope this campaign site is going to be better than his leadership campaign site. That went under the title “Modern Conservatives” and looked ten years out of date…

Howard’s End

Friday night saw a surprise party for Michael Howard, the well attended party in the constituency saw warm video tributes from Margaret Thatcher, David Cameron and John Major. The John Major video set may have seemed familiar to Howard – it was filmed in his office with Major sitting in his seat, a reversal that some might have found amusing…

Michael Howard will be spending more time at the races

Jonah Jinxs Fiji

Fijime.comRemember the Fijian Visitors Bureau’s plan to boost tourism with an official endorsement from Gordon Brown? That was in February, so how has it worked out for them?

Guido has sad but unsurprising news for followers of the chilling effects of the Curse of the One-Eyed Son of the Manse. Fiji’s economic circumstances are difficult and they must have been desperate to call on help from Gordon to boost tourism. 1 in 5 Fiji holidays are from people having beach weddings. The Fiji Registrar General reports a dramatic drop this year, Fiji Visitors Bureau chairman Patrick Wong expressed concern at the declining figures last week.

Is it any surprise? “Darling, shall we get married in Fiji, Gordon Brown is endorsing it…” Hardly going to impress the fiance is it..?

Online Market Share and Mind Share Means Profit Share

Guido gets asked to speak at more and more dead-tree-press industry events, the stump speech has changed over the last year or so, whereas in the past Guido has said basically we (bloggers / new media) are going to have your (columnist’s / newspaper’s ) breakfast. The line has evolved even as the mediasaurs embrace blogging. The numbers tell the story:

Across the Atlantic old media is dealing with imploding advertising revenue and decreased mind share. After the New York Times and Washington Post the most powerful media force in politics according to academic studies is the Drudge Report, courted by Democrats and Republicans alike A three man operation versus old media titans?

Guido, with only part-time technical help and the occasional intern doing research, is run at a profit – unlike The Independent, Guardian or Telegraph – giving their online operations a good run for their money. The traditional commentariat now also has to deal with well funded professional newcomers such as PoliticsHome which has established a quality niche for political obssessives. The Guardian and New Statesman are embracing Liberal Conspiracy as the new media champion of the left, with news values and editorial judgement that has until now been lacking in comparison with ConservativeHome. They might reflect that when regime change comes, the media opposition to the Conservatives might be marshalled by Liberal Conspiracy rather than their own somewhat tired media clique.

New media operations like Gawker, HuffPo and Federated Media in the U.S. are earning tens of millions for bloggers, hitherto in Europe it has been more like tens of thousands, but that is now changing. Economic viability is important because as producing original content for new media becomes profitable, it will become better. Bloggers have mind share, they increasingly have mass market share and will therefore increasingly take a share of the profits…

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Saturday, June 14, 2008

+++ Spelman’s Nanny Story Unravelling +++

CCHQ admitting nanny worked for two years, not one, at taxpayers expense. Other contradictions in the story coming out…

Seen Elsewhere

What We Learned From the Referendum | FT
Scottish Crisis Moves South | Nick Wood
English Democrats Accidentally Celebrate Yes Victory | Pink News
Union In Its Current Form is Dead | Janan Ganesh
Labour Could Be Split in Two | Sun
Ashcroft Poll: Why Scotland Voted No | Buzzfeed
Boris: Change Barnett Formula | Sun
Cameron is Back | Dan Hodges
What Happens Now | James Kirkup
Cairo of the North | Quentin Letts
Labour are the Biggest Losers | Phil Collins


VOTER-RECALL
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Diane Abbott on the Daily Politics:

“Labour MPs will unite behind Ed Miliband, once we find out what our policies are.”



It was only a tiny tiny collision.


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