‘Liberal’ Tories Shouldn’t Be Uniting with Orangemen

There is something cynical about Cameron’s modernised, de-toxified, “we’ve changed” Tories getting into bed with the Northern Irish unionist parties.  By all means stand Conservative and Unionist candidates, but a readiness to do a back room deal with what remains a bigoted and sectarian political force is not something of which to be proud.  They are hardly ideological allies of the progressive, liberalising force in society that the modernised Tories claim to be.

The news that the Orange Order is trying to match-make between the UUP and DUP by convening secret “unity talks” should come as no surprise.  The Orangemen have played off the mainland parties for decades, trading their votes for favours.  If the Tories get outwitted again by the men in orange sashes don’t be surprised…

Friday Caption Contest

What’s the Big Secret Dave?

Dave had a frank chat with newspaper editors and media big-shots at Davos yesterday.  Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger was one of them.  It was on a strictly off-the-record basis.  Why?

Presumably Dave was speaking honestly in language that he didn’t think the unwashed voters should hear.  Straight-talking Dave is clearly not for public consumption.  At best it is evidence of the contempt in which the public is held by the political elite, at worst it is an admission that Cameron’s private views are different from his public positions.  Very, very worrying.

Wikileaks is Skint

Wikileaks, the groundbreaking website which publishes what people don’t want you to know in an increasingly hostile legal environment, is in financial difficulties.  The website is down and the home page is requesting donations.  By coincidence the BBC’s Culture Show did a profile last night of the website (go 17 ½ minutes in on iPlayer).

Wikileaks refuses to accept corporate sponsorship.  As someone who uses it both as a tool and a resource it seems to me that this is making things unnecessarily hard for themselves.  So long as they have a plurality of donors and don’t give donors any control it doesn’t matter.

A lot of new media and tech corporations would be happy to just be associated with Wikileaks…

Chilcot : the Finale

This is the big day for the chattering classes. Today at the Chilcot Inquiry the unreconciled anti-war left hopes Blair will trip up and effectively confess to war crimes, the commentariat are looking for closure – “the questions Blair must answer”, Hampstead and Islington intellectuals are looking for new material for after-dinner arguments.  Cameroons will look on misty-eyed as the maestro shows how it is done.  There will be something for everyone today. In the end, after six hours of testimony, Guido reckons Blair will walk away with his reputation unchanged. No one will change their mind as a result of Blair’s testimony today.  Nevertheless for the political classes today is the super-bowl of political self-justification.

Gordon’s Million Pound Face Saver Backfires

Sir Thomas Legg will report on Tuesday the long awaited results of his audit of MPs expenses. Right about now Members are opening letters revealing whether their appeals against Legg’s stringent payback requests have failed or not. Someone who has read the report told the Standard that it is a “brutal … unexploded bomb”.  Not only will over three hundred of the troughing piggies be slammed on Tuesday, but Legg also goes after the officials who allowed the pocket lining to continue without raising eyebrows. Great news.

Legg LettersThe decision to bring in Legg was a rushed one taken by Downing Street at the height of the expenses scandal and it has come back to bite Gordon. Not only was he himself ordered to pay back over twelve grand but his measure designed to restore faith in Parliament has come full circle and in the end will reopen the expenses scandal, reignite all that hate and anger, with less than one hundred days until the election.

Another great tactical move from the bunker.

What Smoking Ban?

Rumours are swirling around about the near daily smell of fine Cuban smoke emanating from the loos on the fourth floor of Portcullis House first thing in the morning.

Who is this iconoclastic lone law flouter willing to start the day in style?

Guido has his suspicions…

MPs’ Scams

Austin Mitchell has an EDM up supporting Scams Awareness Month,

“this House welcomes the Office of Fair Trading’s Scams Awareness month blah blah blah”

By coincidence this week Austin Mitchell was ordered to repay £10,000 he over-claimed on his mortgage.

At 4 p.m. today MPs find out if Legg has rejected their appeals to be allowed to get away with such scams…

Why Did You Join the Labour Party?

John Prescott is Tweeting followers asking

Why did you all join #Labour? Personal experiences? Shared values? Same vision of a progressive Britain? Let us know!

Guido is offering a copy of The Big Red Book of New Labour Sleaze to […]

+ READ MORE +

Champagne Induced False Memory Syndrome

Guido gatecrashed last night’s launch of Inside Out, Peter Watt’s tell-all book on the dysfunctional Labour Party.  His co-writer Isabel Oakeshott (pictured) looked glamorous rather than ghostly.

Charles Clarke, one of the few people on the planet who dislikes […]

+ READ MORE +

No Deal Despite Gordon Ducking PMQs

No wonder Gordon was so keen to stay in Northern Ireland today, he knew he was due a battering over banking at PMQs and poor Harman had to take the flak. Surprise, surprise that within an hour of PMQs finishing, […]

+ READ MORE +

PMQs Live : Batty Hatty v Billy

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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