Monday, September 5, 2011

Bada Bing, Bada Deng

If you were wondering why Tony Blair was so quiet during the phone-hacking crisis, no look further than the Vogue interview with Murdoch’s wife, and chief bodyguard, Wendi Deng. It’s not online yet, but  The Telegraph reports that it claims Blair is the godfather to one of the Murdoch’s children:

“The journalist who conducted the interview for Vogue is said to move in the same circles as the Murdochs in New York. While Mrs Murdoch does not comment on Mr Blair directly, the article states that Miss Kidman, Mr Jackman and Mr Blair are godparents. It claims that Mr Blair attended the Jordanian ceremony “garbed in white” and describes him as one of Mrs Murdoch’s “closest friends”.They have a mutual friend in Queen Rania of Jordan, who hosted the baptism.”

He’ll be creeping up to the Gaddafi family next…

Monday, August 22, 2011

Labour and Gaddafi, Follow the Money

Guido’s critique of Miliband’s handling of the first days of the Libyan uprising upset some of his apologists, who dispute the fact that the Labour Party are losing an ally today. In order to put this to rest once and for all, Guido thought he would take a last look at Gaddafi, his family and the key players in the last government.

In September 2009 Gordon Brown told the Andrew Marr Show “there was no deal” to have the Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi released early on compassionate grounds. Two years later the convicted terrorist was seen cheering on Gaddafi from the comfort of sunny Tripoli. “So if you’re suggesting there was any deal, there was no deal. There was no conspiracy, there was no attempt to make anything conditional on anything else” Brown promised. The line was pushed the next day by Ed Balls, when he told the Today program“none of us wanted to see the release of al-Megrahi.” However we know now that this is just not true…

Far from it in fact. A Cabinet Office report in July 2010 revealed that the Labour government did “all they could” to get Megrahi released. And it wasn’t just the Cabinet Office blowing Gordon’s line out of the water. Guido brought you leaked emails from former Blair adviser John McTernan that explicitly mentioned a deal. Jack Straw let slip that British trade had been a major factor in the release. As Guido reported back in February, the Scottish nationalists tried to line their pockets too.

“Scot’s justice was bought and the Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill’s price was £100 million. The Labour government in Westminster brought forward legislation to get the SNP government in Scotland off the Somerville judgement hook in June 2009, two months later Megrahi was released.”

small_three-libyan-logos

Far from Gordon’s line that the decision was made in Scotland and that he couldn’t of possibly have had anything to do with it, a dirty deal was concocted at the heart of the British government. It involved Downing Street, the British intelligence services and BP. In September 2009 Guido brought you the players:

“Nick Butler is the Economic Adviser brought into Downing Street when Gordon became Prime Minister.  Prior to that he was a senior strategist for BP. He joined the firm in 1977 and helped to develop close links between BP and New Labour in the 1990s. 

Incidentally Butler is a mate of Peter Mandelson who has also been treasurer of the Fabian Society for more than 25 years. He helped to bring close to half-a-million into Brown’s coffers from his city chums.

“Sir Mark Allen is a Special Adviser to BP. Before that he was the senior MI6 officer who negotiated with Saif Gaddafi to end Libya’s international isolation in 2003-04…”

It was these two men, one ex-BP then at the heart of government, the other  ex-MI6 and then at the heart of BP, who conspired to give Gaddafi what he wanted for access to Libya’s oil. Less than twenty-four hours after Guido revealed the cast more details began trickling out. Allen had called Jack Straw twice in November 2007 to put pressure on him for a deal. Despite initial denials, BP also coughed that they had lobbied the government over the slow progress of the deal, highlighting that there would be “negative consequences for UK commercial interests”. And what was Peter Mandelson’s disingenuous take on these allegations? “It’s not only completely wrong to make such a suggestion it’s also quite offensive…”

No doubt Mandy had plenty of time to make up his mind as to what is offensive whilst he spent a shooting weekend with Gadaffi’s son and Nat Rothschild. A tight and close gruesome threesome. There is no denying the closeness of the upper echelons of the last government to the murderers currently being hounded out of Tripoli. Just last year Gaddafi was asking the Libyan people to “pray for Gordon Brown”, but it’s the hand of Gaddafi’s “good friend” Tony Blair which is never far away. The deal was concocted on Tony’s watch and he even approved the training of Gaddafi’s special forces by the SAS. So close were they that it was Blair that Gaddafi phoned to seek advice on how to deal with the uprisings. Mandelson was keen to help out too – speaking of Saif Gadaffi’s chilling threats to slaughter the rebels, Mandy thinks he could have spun it better:

 ‘I’d rather have had a couple of minutes with him beforehand to say that you know this sort of performance in a very clumsy and ham-fisted way is not going to get you anywhere.’

Even Douglas Alexander, Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary who was so keen to talk down the threat of No-Fly Zone, took to the airwaves to claim Blair was right to make friends with Gadaffi, even after he had begun slaughtering his own people. With such a shameful past you would think the “next generation” of the Labour Party might have been more careful to keep their distance from the Mad Dog of the desert. But no…

As the crisis kicked off in February Guido brought you the Miliband family’s own connections to Saif Gaddafi. LSE Professor David Held, who is seemingly in charge of desecrating Ralph Miliband’s memory, welcomed Saif to LSE as a “representative of the Miliband program” - a series of lectures in memory the Labour leader’s father. Held failed to mention the £300,000 he had taken off Gaddafi in his sycophantic introduction. Showing his trademark judgement, it turns out Ed is a very big fan of Professor Held.

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 + + +

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.


Seen Elsewhere

Even Ed’s Friends Call Him ‘Bad Luck Magnet’ | Mail
BBC: It Was Guido Wot Won It | MediaGuido
Nick Robinson’s Britain First Selfie | Metro
Dyson: Leave German Dominated EU, Join EFTA |
How UKIP Won Rochester | Seb Payne
Labour’s Islington Problem | Harry Phibbs
Ed Lost More Than a By-Election | Labour Uncut
Labour the Biggest Losers in Rochester | Speccie
Thornberry a Gift to Farage | Nick Wood
Is Left Finally Turning Against EU? | Dan Hannan
Labour Votes Going Green | Guardian


Find out more about PLMR AD-MS


Ralph Miliband on the English…

“The Englishman is a rabid nationalist. They are perhaps the most nationalist people in the world.”



Left on Left says:

The lefties are attacking because the panellist is a millionaire and lives in a London home worth upwards of two million. Someone had best tell them he’s called Ed Miliband.


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