He is universally disliked by MPs, journalists, party activists and civil servants alike. Arrogant, rude and just plain unpleasant to deal with, he manages to come over as such even when he is on television. With him as Chancellor the Labour Party has the chance of becoming the third party behind the LibDems. Go for it…
The Home Secretary could order a jury not to be summoned, replace the coroner with a government appointee and bar the public from inquests if it is deemed to be in the “public interest”.
It could be applied to inquests similar to those into the deaths of the weapons inspector David Kelly, “friendly-fire” military casualties or Diana, Princess of Wales, and Dodi Fayed. In future, inquests similar to that into the death of Jean Charles de Menezes, which is due to start next month with 44 police officers giving evidence anonymously, could also be subject to the secrecy clause.
This is not about national security, it is about covering-up embarrassments for the government. The families of soldiers who die because of penny pinching would not be able to discover the truth. Anything embarrassing would be deemed a “national security issue”. The government is already doing this to protect itself from embarrassment.
For example: Guido, and other journalists have made Freedom of Information requests in an attempt to discover if Ed Balls still had a pass giving him access to the Treasury when he was supposedly a fellow of the Smith Institute. We believe he was actually continuing to act as Gordon’s bag carrier and political confidante, that he was in and out of the Treasury seeing Gordon regularly. The Treasury refuses to answer the question claiming it is a national security issue. It isn’t, it is a cover-up. This clause is about covering up politically damaging information.
14.57 Just in from a co-conspirator :
Some poor fellow was just walking along Great Smith Street ahead of me, just outside of the Department for Children, Schools and Families. A car zoomed up outside and the door was flung open in a “I’m important and busy” manner - hitting the poor pedestrian. The moron responsible eventually shouted a token “sorry”, but not before those standing about (including me) had spotted that the culprit was the popular Ed Balls.
The door was opened just ahead of the pedestrian who walked into it, although was protecting himself with his hands as he must have seen it coming at the last second.
It was the reason why he eventually shouted an apology. He also had his team with him (3 or 4 people), and there were another two or three bystanders.
Source is pukka.
16:12 UPDATE : Another co-conspirator is prompted to email:
A couple of years ago I was at the dentist in Victoria Street. Ed Balls was there with his daughter. When they left, Ed was on the phone being incredibly busy and important. He walked out of the heavy swing door letting it fall back on his daughter who got properly squidged. She must have been no more than about 8 years old and the valiant little soul put her whole body strength into squeezing the door open again and followed her dad out into the street where he was still on the phone completely oblivious.
Not the most recent of events granted, but shows he has got form…
He is rumoured to be a possible replacement for Alistair Darling at the Treasury. Clearly not something that will please the City’s moneymen….
Jenny studied economics at Cambridge, worked at the Bank of England in 1992 as a professional economist during the ERM crisis before moving to Reuters in 1994 until becoming the BBC’s Economics Correspondent. In 2005 she became co-presenter with Brillo of the Daily Politics.
Guido particularly enjoyed her occasional cat-fights with Yvette Cooper and her teaching of rudimentary economics to Ed Balls. Viewer’s loss is Mervyn’s gain…
This game has been produced by Her Majesty’s Official Opposition. The Guidoisation of democracy continues…
What was announced: ‘Two pupils from every sixth form and college in the country will be able to visit Auschwitz and learn about the Holocaust thanks to £4.65 million of funding’ (DCSF press release, 4 February 2008)
In fact schools would have to find £100 to fund every sixth-former’s trip (Times, 4 February 2008)Ed Balls pounced on it and press released:
“This is a truly disgraceful remark by David Cameron and he should apologise immediately for the offence he has caused. Anyone who has seen the horrors of Auschwitz at first hand knows what a life-changing experience it is. To call the announcement I made of £4.65 million to fund visits by school children over the next three years a ‘gimmick’ just beggars belief. In trying to make this issue into a matter of party politics, David Cameron has shown once again that he not only lacks judgement but also a basic sense of decency.”
Aside from the fact that it is not a remark by Dave, but in the notes of a CCHQ briefing, there is obvious irony in Blinky criticising the Tories for “trying to make this into a matter of party politics” in a Labour Party press release.
The Tories now say that they support the educational Auschwitz trips and that they would fully fund them via the Lottery fund. Whatever the substance of the matter, somebody is going to get a bollocking for the original press release…
So they will need Darling to suffer meekly for another 2 years…
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Dave on selfie-gate:
“When a member of the Kinnock family asked me for a photograph I thought it only polite to say yes. Nelson Mandela had a history of bringing people together.”