Make them witty…
Make them witty…
Last night’s Channel 4 News investigation found that young men working in parliament were more likely to be sexually harassed than women, and specifically that there were a group of gay MPs who preyed upon men in Westminster. Back in January Guido publicly tipped off one journalist to the story on Twitter, he didn’t want to investigate, instead PoliticsHome’s Tony Grew said the allegations were untrue:
Today the story is on the front pages of two newspapers, has been heavily followed up by the rest and is dominating the airwaves on 24 hour news channels and radio, yet gets only a fleeting mention on PoliticsHome. They should have a word with their Lobby correspondent about his news values…
Campaigners at English Pen are giving Chris Grayling a kicking by asking famous writers to join a “mass protest” by naming the book they would most like to send a prisoner. Martin Amis, Carol Ann Duffy, Hermione Lee and many other authors have so far taken part, suggesting classic reads for lags by the likes of Dickens and Mark Twain. Guido is tickled however by the book chosen by the Guardian’s foreign correspondent Luke Harding. He recommends:
“The Snowden Files, Luke Harding. The book describes how an overweening state can behave in an undemocratic manner (among other things)”
Chancellor Zero is no more. Growth is back, even the neo-Keynesians at the FT and the wonks at the IMF can’t deny that the UK expanded faster than the rest of the G7 last year and will probably do the same this year. George Osborne is in Washington today to gloat that
“despite warnings from some that our determined pursuit of our economic plan made that impossible. All of this demonstrates that fiscal consolidation and economic recovery go together, and undermines the pessimistic prognosis that only further fiscal stimulus can drive sustainable growth. Indeed that is precisely the wrong prescription for our economies…”
Ed Balls got it wrong is the core message. Labour will point to per capita GDP which is still 10% lower than it was in 2007 – that will be a second term objective for the Chancellor. Balls will less convincingly say George has missed his deficit target, less convincing because Labour would have missed it by more and opposed almost every measure needed to reduce the deficit. The neo-Keynesian argument that higher unemployment would increase the welfare bill and thus the deficit has been proven to be wrong. Unemployment is down from what it was under Gordon Brown, with the warnings from the likes of David Blanchflower of 4 to 5 million unemployed having turned out to be political hyperbole that has fatally damaged his career as a sage. That “expansionary fiscal contraction” that left-wing wonks and economists said would never come is entering a third year…
Leading left-wing wonk and wannabe Labour MP Will Straw argued in 2011 that Britain’s economy faced the risk of a Japanese-style “lost decade” and that “expansionary fiscal contraction” was a “voodoo theory”, and even that “there was no such thing as an expansionary fiscal contraction”. In 2011 Guido argued the point at length with Will on the BBC’s Daily Politics:
Having failed at the time to get an on-air apology from Will for his role in Gordon Brown’s Treasury, three years later he must now accept that he was wrong about a lost decade and wrong that there was no such thing as an expansionary fiscal contraction. Over to you Will – as growth is expected to hit 3% you have a second chance to offer an apology…
The Nigel Evans case will have lasting repercussions it seems:
From time to time, colleagues approach me for guidance in terms of handling grievances which may have arisen in the course of their employing staff.
The Prime Minister has therefore asked me to draw up a code of conduct and grievance procedure which you may be interested in adopting within your office, mindful that Members’ staff are employed directly by the Member. Adoption is entirely voluntary for colleagues and copies of the code of conduct and the grievance procedure are available either by emailing email@example.com or by writing to me, c/o the Government Chief Whip’s Office.
We intend to undertake a review of the code and procedure in early 2015. Meanwhile, the 1922 Committee are continuing to develop their own ideas for the best form of grievance procedure, which they are hoping to bring forward shortly and these will also form part of the review.
If MPs “pork the payroll” there could be consequences…
A Channel 4 News investigation finds that one in three people working in the sleazy booze-fuelled world of Westminster have experienced some form of sexual harassment at the hands of pervy MPs. One in five had witnessed some other poor young staffer being sexually harassed and over half said they had first or second-hand experience of hands-on politicians. Today’s Mail and Independent splash on the story.
The Tories have responded by ordering their MPs to sign a new code of conduct and implementing a grievance procedure for staff:
The code of conduct acts as a basic statement of what should be best practice in the workplace for Conservative Members and their staff. It explains the rights and responsibilities which are expected of both the employer and the employee.
The grievance procedure is available for staff to use if a grievance arises with their MP as employer. It protects both parties involved, brings with it consistency and fairness, and in doing so upholds the reputation of the Party and of Parliament. It is based upon a three stage process of mediation, grievance hearing and appeal. The process conforms to relevant employment law, ACAS guidance and HR best practice and is added as a schedule to the contract of employment.
They should get everyone at Number 10 to sign it too…
“I’m sure he will want to get on with working with his constituents in the Ribble Valley and, as for the future, I’m sure it’s something he’ll be discussing with the chief whip when he returns to Parliament.”
He’ll be back on the terrace in no time…
“I’ve gone through 11 months of hell.
I’ve not been alone. Many have walked with me, including my team at Clitheroe and Westminster, my constituency association, my family, my friends, my constituents, and indeed many people who I don’t even know have sent messages of support.
In my darkest and loneliest, there were only two, or one, set of footprints in the sand.
And those of you of faith will know they weren’t mine.
The fact is I have got work to do. It’s the work that I have done for the last 22 years.
So this isn’t a time for celebration or euphoria.
Bill Roache just a few weeks ago from this very spot said there are no winners in these cases and that’s absolutely right.
There are no winners. So no celebrations.
And the fact is I’ve got work to do, work that I’ve done for the last 22 years.
All I can say is that after the last 11 months that I’ve gone through nothing will ever be the same again.”
Sarah Wollaston’s role in the Nigel Evans saga can now be fully explained. The Guardian have done a pretty good round up:
“At first, the alleged rape victim told no one what happened. He used his iPad on the train home from Evans’s cottage to search for rape and sexual assault support, but quickly distracted himself with his 12,000-word dissertation. He was not to know that around the same time his friend – the other key complainant – made what he described as an “off-the-cuff remark” to Wollaston about his own encounter with Evans.
The impromptu conversation, over glasses of wine in a Westminster bar, was crucial and triggered a chain of events involving the police.
A month later, in April 2013, the alleged sexual assault victim confided in more detail to Wollaston in a one-on-one meeting, and she decided to set up an urgent meeting with the Commons Speaker, John Bercow. Shortly before the meeting with Bercow, Wollaston’s phone rang. It was the alleged rape victim who, for the first time, gave her his account of what happened when he had slept at Evans’s cottage in Pendleton a month earlier.
Wollaston, a GP with 20 years’ experience including a spell working as a police forensic examiner where she dealt with victims of sexual and domestic violence, told Bercow about both complaints against Evans at a meeting in the Speaker’s office, where Bercow’s secretary and the alleged sexual assault victim were also present.
Bercow said it was for the young man to decide whether he should take the matter to police. A meeting with the alleged rape victim was scheduled for the following week but, following legal advice from the Speaker’s counsel Michael Carpenter, Bercow’s secretary informed Wollaston that the Speaker “cannot handle this”.
Wollaston, frustrated by the response from Bercow’s office, took the matter into her own hands and passed a police telephone number to both men, telling them they had a duty to come forward and ensure Evans was apprehended before any other young men were assaulted.”
And the rest is history…
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
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.”