Friday Caption Contest (Washington, Late Edition)

Yes it isn’t Friday (when this was supposed to go up to coincide with Tony’s visit to Dubya*). There were, errm, technical problems.

What should have been on the placards?

*Incidentally, wasn’t that Ruth Turner chatting animatedly to the POTUS in shot on Newsnight?

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Sunday Times Police Hunt Arms Trail in Downing Street

Who Didn’t Kow-Tow to Gordon?

Only a few malcontents on the right and the usual suspects on the left. Clarke, Hoey and Frank Field stand out. Croydonian has compiled the full list.

Where Does Dave Find His Campaigners?

So when you need a replacement to run WebCameron where do you advertise? Obviously someone ideologically sympatico is required to run an enthusiastic hard-hitting campaign. So advertise in the Guardian. Doh!

World Bank Sleaze Allegations Swamp Gordon’s Chief-of-Staff

Gordon Brown is expected to recall his former private secretary from Washington, where he serves as as an executive director at both the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, to become his chief-of-staff. The Wall Street Journal is reporting this morning that Tom Scholar, like Paul Wolfowitz, is accused of abusing his position to assist a girlfriend get a promotion.
He is accused of violating the Bank’s Staff Rules and the Board’s Standards of Conduct, like Wolfowitz, Scholar is said to have a romantic relationship with a female employee at the World Bank. Scholar has never officially disclosed this relationship even though it clearly interferes with his oversight responsibilities as a Board member. He is accused of directly intervening to further the woman’s career. He is not taking calls and has gone to ground.

Looks like Jonathan Powell’s successor will follow in his high ethical standards…

Saoirse!

click to enlarge
Guido is off back home to Ireland today, where he’ll be doing his bit for the only party of which he is a paid up member – the Progressive Democrats. (How a cynic like Guido came to be a paid up member is complicated and involves alcohol). The Irish general election is on May 24th. The PDs are the more ideological part of the governing coalition which over the last decade has made Ireland the high-growth, low tax, successful enterprise culture that it is today. They are fighting a strong threat from a rainbow coalition of Socialists, Greens and Gerry Adams’ gangsters.

The PDs are standing firmly on their anti-IRA, tax-cutting, free markets and free enterprise platform. Didn’t Britain once have a successful political party that stood for those values?

Incidentally Tony Blair, fresh from paying tribute to Sarkozy, appeared last night in Fianna Fáil’s party political broadcast backing Bertie Ahern. Fianna Fáil is the Irish equivalent of the Conservative party – so that is the second foreign centre-right political leader he has backed against their socialist opponents in as many weeks. The PDs are allied internationally with the LibDems, but as far as Guido can discover, no-one from Cowley Street is going to help the Irish liberal party. We will cope…

Benn Scrapes Through

Team Benn seems to have relaxed and the word is they have scraped together enough nominations to see Hilary through.

Even the prayers of atheists get answered…

UPDATE : Maybe not. As of this evening still officially 3 nominations short? Time for some more prayers? Although over at LabourHome they say he definitely has the numbers.

Shop-a-SpAd : Gus O’Donnell Warns "No Ifs, No Buts"

Guido has been in touch with the Cabinet Office, and a few cocky SpAds should watch their step – you know who you are – the boss of the civil service seems to agree:

Gus O’Donnell has reiterated the ground rules for civil servants, including special advisers, on their conduct during the subsequent election campaign.

This note also provides guidance to ministers in relation to the requirements of the Ministerial Code.

Ministers
During the leadership/deputy leadership election campaign, ministers remain in charge of their departments. Government business continues as normal.

All costs associated with the leadership/deputy leadership campaign – travel, accommodation, printing and so on – should be met by the individuals or the Party not the taxpayer.

Under the terms of the Ministerial Code, ministers must not use government resources for party political purposes. They must uphold the political impartiality of the civil service and not ask civil servants to act in any way which would conflict with the Civil Service Code.

So off the office computer, desist from using the taxpayers’ Blackberry and take your leave. Guido is being sent more and more examples day-after-day that show SpAds breaking the rules.

Cameron’s Old Boss’ Firm to Rebuild Labour Party Website

Michael Green’s Tangent Communications has won the contract to rebuild the Labour Party website. Green backed Cameron’s leadership bid with a donation. How ironic…

[…]

+ READ MORE +

WebCam-Man Deleted

Sam Roake, formerly the Head of Web Campaigning at CCHQ, has left the building. He is keeping tight-lipped about the reasons why, as is CCHQ. Presumably there has been a falling out since as far as Guido can determine

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Number Twos Through

With one more day to go Jon Cruddas needs one more nomination to be through. Benn looks finished, unless he has a last minute surge, which is not impossible. Although Johnson’s people have been blamed for smearing Benn others have

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Gordon Backed by 81% of Labour MPs

Alan Milburn somehow found the time to nominate Hazel Blears, but not Gordon Brown. What a surprise…

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Sky News ask a “Labour representative” where the local St George’s Day events are. He replies:

“You’re better off asking the UKIP candidate” 

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