Monday, December 10, 2012

Home Office Using Labour Lines on Snooping Law

Tomorrow two parliamentary inquiries are published into Theresa May’s internet snooping plans and are expected to be grim reading for the Home Office. One of the main criticisms set to be levelled by both the Joint Committee on the Draft Communications Data Bill and the Joint Intelligence Committee, is that the evidence provided by the Home Office has been “fanciful” and “misleading.” Too add insult to injury, Guido can this afternoon reveal leaked CCHQ documents that show how before the election the Tories were not quite as enthusiastic about the plans, refusing to legislate before an evidence-based review of current powers and data was undertaken and calling Labour’s argument that it was all about “maintaining capabilities” ostentatious:

Conservative Campaign Guide, 2010.

Collection of Personal Details.
In April 2009 the Government announced that it had dropped proposals for a central database to collect details of email, phone and internet communications. However it published a consultation on plans to collect details about all our personal communications ostensibly on the grounds of maintaining existing police and security service capabilities to counter serious crime and terrorism.

Threat to privacy.
Instead of a central database, the Home Office now proposes requiring each service provider to collect and store information on calls, texts, emails and website visits so that the security service and other public authorities can access it when needed. The information will include who is contacting whom, when and where and which websites are visited, but not the content of the conversations or messages (Home Office, Protecting the public in a changing communications environment, 27 April 2009). The Information Commissioner responded by saying that ‘this proposal represents a step change in the relationship between the citizen and the state’. He also criticised the Government for not providing sufficient detail of its proposals (Information Commissioner’s response to Protecting the Public in a Changing Communication Environment – A consultation by the Home Office, 15 July 2009)

Communications Data Retention Reviewed.
A Conservative government would conduct an evidence-based review of the retention of communications data. It would look at how useful existing powers are to law enforcement and intelligence authorities before suggesting that even more communications data should be collected. If there is a capability gap a Conservative government would investigate how much data should be collected and for how long, and look at the rules that should govern its exploitation.

No such review took place, and exactly the same argument of “maintaining capability” has been used by the Home Office for this Bill. Sir Humphrey the spook is alive and well…

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Guido’s Column in the Daily Star Sunday

Also how Denis MacShane’s “red herring” proved what a slippery fish he was, Luciana Berger’s back-firing question, George Galloway’s support for Syrian butcher Bashar al-Assad. 

Just 90p…

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Full BBC Savile Cover-Up Email to Grant Shapps

Thursday, October 11, 2012

CCHQ Tell Tory MPs: Don’t Mention Mitchell

This was sent around by CCHQ yesterday to Tory MPs

From: Park, Nick

Sent: 10 October 2012 11:28

To: Park, Nick

Subject: Andrew Mitchell

There is a journalist ring round under way asking MPs for their opinions on Andrew Mitchell. Please do not respond to these surveys – they are very unhelpful.

The line to take remains that Andrew Mitchell has apologised and that apology has been accepted by the Police and the Prime Minister; Andrew Mitchell is getting on with his job.

Nick

The PM will have to make up his mind before Monday. Surprising how many MPs and even Cabinet Ministers are openly sceptical he can survive…

Via: Jon Craig

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Shapps Launches Poster Attack on Ed Miliband & Ed Balls

Thursday, September 27, 2012

How To Lunch Discreetly

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Leaked Tory Memo: Cable “Roasted” and “Damaged Lib Dems”

As the fallout from Clegg’s singing dominates Westminster, Vince Cable’s own positioning on the mea culpa has been forgotten. One line of CCHQ’s internal press summary for last night really sticks out. The internal blue verdict on Vince’s Newsnight appearance is stinging:

“Cable was serious [sic] roasted and further damaged the Lib Dems in an attempt to cover himself.” 

No sympathy there it seems…

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Grant Shapps’ How to Guide for CCHQ Team Reshuffles

Have you ever landed a fancy new job and then got stuck wondering just how you are going to reshuffle the team below you? Well fear not, internet guru Grant Shapps has just the solution for you. Watch with amazement as the new Tory top dog announces his beefed up team:

Deputy Chairman:

  • Sarah Newton MP

Vice Chairmen:

  • Alok Sharma MP – BME Communities
  • Richard Harrington MP – Campaign Finance
  • Bob Neill MP – Local Government
  • Michael Fabricant MP – Parliamentary Campaigning
  • Nicola Blackwood MP –  Social Action
  • Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP – International Affairs
  • Alan Lewis – Business
  • Andrew Stephenson MP – Youth

With rebellious LibDem getting promoted, note Blackwood and Clifton-Brown keep their jobs despite voting against the whips on Lords reform. No such luck for Conor Burns and Angie Bray…

Friday, September 7, 2012

Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss

If Grant Shapps’ first press release is anything to go by, not much has changed in the Party Chairman’s office over at CCHQ. Tory spinners are keen to point out that he has been kicking some arse in his first few days. Unhappy with the thumb-twiddling Corby campaign that he has inherited, the new Chairman has been sending out overly optimistic memos to all approved candidates compelling them to come and meet him on the front-line this weekend. “He’s not giving them much of a choice, it’s a clear sign of a new regime at CCHQ.” Same old lines being pumped out though…

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Shapps Tie Was No Lie

Guido called BS on Grant Shapps’ claim yesterday on the Daily Politics that his tie cost £4, but low and behold the new Tory Chairman has published the receipt:

This sartorial butchery shows just how much the party has changed.


Seen Elsewhere

What Did Britain Really Look Like in 1930s? | CapX
Who Is Steering Labour’s Strategy? | Ballot Box
Greens are UKIP for Young People | Telegraph
Short-Termism of CCHQ | ConHome
May Aide: CCHQ Are Being Misleading | Telegraph
Tories Planning For Second Election | Guardian
We Are Losing Cyber War | Fraser Nelson
Osborne Aide Lands Pay Rise | Mirror
The Sick Of It | Sun
UKIP MEP’s Welfare Hypocrisy | Channel 4
Rise of Angela Merkel | New Yorker


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The Economist asks Tony Blair about Wendi Deng:

“Mr Blair roundly denies any impropriety. Asked whether he was (at least) careless about his reputation, he says calmly that it is “not something I will ever talk about—I haven’t and I won’t”, and then bangs his coffee cup so loudly into its saucer that it spills and everyone in the room jumps. But did he find himself in a tangle over his friendship with Ms Deng? A large, dark pool of sweat has suddenly appeared under his armpit, spreading across an expensive blue shirt. Even Mr Blair’s close friends acknowledge that the saga damaged him—not least financially, since Mr Murdoch stopped contributing to Mr Blair’s faith foundation and cut him off from other friendly donors in America.”


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