Friday, July 22, 2011

Goldsmith’s Non-Denial Denial [UPDATED]

Yesterday Guido highlighted the involvement of former Director of Public Prosecutions Lord Macdonald and the former Attorney General Lord Goldsmith in the phone-hacking scandal. It obviously hit a sore spot with the latter. Goldsmith’s spokesman emailed Guido:

“Lord Goldsmith looks forward to responding to the letter Mr Vaz is apparently sending, but wishes to make it perfectly clear now that there is no truth at all in the suggestion that he authorised or instructed police to narrow their investigations in relation to phone hacking.”

That’s all well and good, but it does not answer the charge that Guido laid yesterday. Goldsmith is attempting to shift the blame down the line to Macdonald for the decision to limit the investigation. However what Guido wants to know is whether Goldsmith subsequently raised in Cabinet that the police had told him in May 2006 that “a vast number of unique voicemail numbers belonging to high-profile individuals (politicians, celebrities) have been identified as being accessed without authority…”

He told Newsnight last night “As background in the briefing that I had about those cases (Mulcaire and Goodman), I was told that the police believed there were other cases as well.” Did he raise this in Cabinet? If not, then why not? If however he did, then why was no action taken by the Labour government?

UPDATE: Lord Goldsmith and his spokesman are keen readers and tell Guido it would it would have been “entirely inappropriate for the Attorney General to share this or any such memorandum with any Cabinet Ministers” arguing that

“the DPP acts independently of government and that the Attorney General, when fulfilling his role of superintendence, does so also.

This memorandum was to keep the Attorney General, as a law officer, updated on the progress in this investigation. It was not for sharing with other Ministers, none of whom should ever be, or perceived to be, in a position to influence prosecution decisions.

I trust the above answers the question you raised. It still leaves Lord MacDonald with some tricky questions to respond to which I see Mark Reckless is pursuing.”

Which is a lawyerly way of saying it wasn’t down to me, it was down to him…

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lord Goldsmith Knew Extent of Phone-Hacking in 2006
Labour’s Attorney General Did Nothing in Government

One snippet of yesterday’s phone-hacking debate in Parliament struck Guido as slightly odd. QC, and West Devon MP, Geoffrey Cox revealed some damning loose ends about Blair’s Attorney General and Lord Macdonald, the then Director of Public Prosecutions, that the Home Affairs Select Committee report did not clear up. In May 2006 both Goldsmith and Macdonald were given a briefing from the police that stated:

“a vast number of unique voicemail numbers belonging to high-profile individuals (politicians, celebrities) have been identified as being accessed without authority. These may be the subject of wider investigation.”

Cox went on to point out that the CPS decided to instead focus their investigation on Goodman and Mulcaire, and the hacking of two officials at the palace. Despite this, Goldsmith knew about the extent of the phone-hacking, yet seemingly did nothing. Cox was pushing Labour to reveal whether Goldsmith raised the issue at Cabinet, as he had a duty to do with matters of public interest. As he repeatedly hammered home – why was nothing done?

Another Tory MP Mark Reckless, who is on the Home Affairs Select Committee, is going after Lord Macdonald, who is now at Matrix Chambers with Blair’s wife. Reckless has written to Macdonald demanding to know why nothing was done. Reckless also wants to know how much Macdonald has had in writing fees since he stood down at the CPS from, you guessed it, News International. Another layer emerges…

Monday, June 27, 2011

On the Air Last Night

Yesterday’s broadcast of the Politics Show had Blair on, and someone who would have been familiar to him, his former speech writer. Though perhaps not familiar to the Beeboid staffer who compiles the credits. Apparently they tried to get the Education Secretary on the show too late, everyone knows You Can’t Hurry Gove. That’s Just the Way It Is…

UPDATE: In the comments Bill Quango MP, one of the blog’s favourite co-conspirators, points out the Beeboid got YAB’s MBE wrong, she sent it back over some imperialist outrage or another.

Friday, June 24, 2011

+ + + Hackers Obtain Blair’s Files + + +

His National Insurance number, mobile numbers of advisers and staff, as well as an odd-looking address book. Nothing too damning on first glance, but an embarrassing breach of security none the less. Lolz indeed.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Blair Backs Heir

Just when Ed thought the onslaught against his leadership was dying down, guess who sticks an oar in?

Mr Blair said embattled Mr Miliband would be WRONG to pull back from his own forward-looking philosophy, WRONG to shift from the centre ground of politics and is WRONG to declare the days of New Labour were over.

And in another move that will infuriate the rookie Labour leader’s inner team, Mr Blair insisted PM David Cameron’s keystone health and education reforms were RIGHT.

In an interview with the Sun, Blair justifiably takes credit for the coalition’s education and NHS policy, as well as chastising Ed not understanding New Labour: “It is about the Labour party constantly being at the cutting edge, being a modernising party – always being full of creative ideas and isn’t pinned in its ideological past.” PMQs should be fun…

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Dave Really is the Heir To Blair

Last year Blair told the Institute for Government that he wasted much of his first term because of “squabbling and inertia” and that he regretted not taking on the task of reforming the public sector, a decision that directly led to the unsustainable mess we are in today. The unions will always have a Labour leader by the balls.

After he was elected last year Dave said “I would rather have five reforming years as Prime Minister than ten wasted years like Blair.” That dream seems a little lofty today after surrendering to the very same vested interests, squabbling and inertia that crippled his hero, in just over a year. The GP-led commissioning at the centre of the plan to save the NHS has been filleted and PCT’s look set to be replaced with equally bureaucratic and expensive “clinically led commissions”. To be radical is to be brave, but it seems Cameron is neither when it comes to the NHS.

Friday, May 27, 2011

“I Did Not Have Sexual Relations With That Man”

Carole Caplin is back and she’s on the rampage, suing the Mail for implying that she was “some sort of sexpot or randy masseuse”.

She claims that she gave Tony Blair, or “Toblerone”, as she used to call him, nothing more than a neck message. No “hanky-panky” or funny business, well apart from those flats in Bristol. Given that she has turned down millions to tell the story of her years with the Blairs, Guido wonders exactly where the money came from for such a high-profile pursuit.

The judge reserved her decision for a later day…

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What’s Kay Trying to Say?

Kay Burley sails close to the wind in her political bonkbuster ‘First Ladies.’ Guido has touched on the similarities to certain real life ladies involved the the Blair-like PM in the novel already. Not content with upsetting the lawyers there, Kay pushes things even further…

In the most shocking scene in the book, “Valerie”, nearly dies after taking a drink and drugs overdose in the No. 10 flat, while her husband ‘Julian’, the Blair-like PM, is at a tryst with one of his mistresses. She is discovered unconscious in the middle of the night by her 13 year old daughter. No. 10 officials try to stop doctors rushing her to hospital to stop the press from finding out.

Any similarity between this and a real life drama in No. 10 concerning the Blair family is pure coincidence.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Miliband’s Ideological Guru in Pay of Saif Gaddafi

The links between the Gaddafi family, Blair, Mandelson and Brown’s government are well documented. Does Ed Milband’s “new generation” also have links to the Libyan dictatorship? Has Ed Miliband himself got personal links to the “mad dog of the Middle East”?

Professor Held is ghost-writing a big-ideas book for his Dartmouth Park neighbour Ed Miliband, he is also co-director of the London School of Economics’ Centre for the Study of Global Governance. The Centre took £300,000 off Saif Gaddafi.

Held also oversaw Saif’s dodgy doctorate which is under great pressure to be revoked. Professor Held chairs the “Special Ralph Miliband Lecture” series and in November 2009 invited Ed to give one in front of his mother. Watch how Ed heaped praise on Held for all the work he has done for his family:

Six months later Held chaired another “Special Ralph Miliband” event, only this time with a slightly higher profile guest. The details have mysteriously been pulled from the LSE website, but Guido can confirm Held welcomed Saif as a “Representative of the Miliband program” with the sort of sycophantic introduction that only a large sum of money can buy:


(more…)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Quote of the Day

A spokesman for Tony Blair said he was…

“…shocked and appalled by the violence in Libya and continues to urge a political process of change”.


Seen Elsewhere

Labour Failed Those Victims | Labour Uncut
We Cannot Ignore the Race Issue Here | Dan Hodges
74 MPs Who Back Stop Mills Motion | Speccie
Milibande | Ian Birrell
The True Meaning of Political Correctness Gone Mad | Speccie
Nigel, Nigel, Nigel! | Bloomberg
Bercow Blinks | Guardian
Speaker on the Ropes | Indy
Outgoing Clerk Slams Bercow – Row Goes Very Public | BBC
Darling Was Wrong on OBR | Speccie
Climate Change Cools Off | Washington Times


new-advert
Westbourne-Change-Opinion hot-button


Shaun Wright’s understatement about the Rotherham child abuse scandal…

“..I could have taken more action and probably dealt with this issue better.”



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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