Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cameron’s Irish Mercenaries

What the media in Britain isn’t telling you is how “the rebels of Britain approach Liverpool in hit-and-run battles with Cameron’s brigades and mercenaries from Ireland and Scotland.”

But then again perhaps Libyan State TV has better sources on the ground…

Compare, Contrast and Despair

Fightback Dave has thrown his liberal streak out of the window as he struggles to redeem his reputation. Gone is the pledge to cut back CCTV, and then there was this particularly chilling gem:

“Mr Speaker, everyone watching these horrific actions will be stuck by how they were organised via social media. Free flow of information can be used for good. But it can also be used for ill. And when people are using social media for violence we need to stop them. So we are working with the Police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality. I have also asked the police if they need any other new powers.”

Warsi flagged up Blackberry Messenger in particular on the Daily Politics. A bit like blaming the Gordon Riots on carrier pigeons…

In 2010 the Wall Street Journal reported:

BlackBerry was operating “beyond the jurisdiction of national legislation,” the U.A.E.’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority said in a statement issued on Sunday. “As a result of how BlackBerry data is managed and stored, in their current form, Certain BlackBerry applications allow people to misuse the service, causing serious social, judicial and national security repercussions.” The U.A.E. was working to resolve “these critical issues with the objective of finding a solution that safeguards our consumers and operates within the boundaries of U.A.E. law.”

Judge a man by the company he keeps…

Cameron Under Copper Pressure

When Margaret Thatcher came to power in the 1979, one of the first things she did was to implement the recommendations of the report of Lord Edmund-Davies into police conditions, in full. That immediate 45% pay-rise wasn’t forgotten in the years that followed…

Downing Street is going to come under huge pressure today to reverse on planned police cuts. And rightfully so. Boris and even Ken are outflanking the Prime Minister on the right, and deep down, despite a bit of rain and peace last night, the scenes we have seen over the last five days could come back at any time.

Things aren’t going well for Dave and were he to lose the support of the police, things will be very bleak indeed…

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Boris Slams Dave’s Police Cuts

While Ken shot himself in the left foot with his much derided linking of the riots to cuts, Boris has pointed his gun elsewhere – behind him rather than forwards though. Speaking on Today he knew exactly what he was doing when he said:

“If you ask me whether I think there is a case for cutting police budgets in the light of these event, then my answer to that would be no. I think that case was always pretty frail, and it has been substantially weakened… This is not a time to think about making substantial cuts in police numbers – I’m looking at the country as a whole.”

Given the Mayor didn’t have the greatest day yesterday, yet London was relatively quiet last night thanks to a surge in police numbers, you can see his logic. Though Guido wouldn’t have liked to been anywhere near Downing Street at about 08:20…

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Recall Confirmed: You Read It Here First

Number 10 has just confirmed that if Dave is having his holiday ruined, so is everybody else in Westminster. Technically the Prime Minister has all the powers that he needs to shut down the chaos with the army, yet politically it makes sense to bind in Miliband to any decision to made. It will make it a lot harder for Labour to put pictures of boots on the high street on their leaflets…

UPDATE: Finally the BBC are running the recall, which is pencilled in for Thursday morning at 11:30.

Nearly an hour after Guido broke the news. We were faster than Sky, before well connected GPW, long before C4 News’ Cathy Newman or HuffSlo. That’s why we’re Number 1…

Monday, July 25, 2011

Miliband’s “Staggering” Hyperbole

When Downing Street rushed out their list of media meetings as part of Dave’s fight back at the height of the phone-hacking storm, they missed a couple off. It was typical of the unnecessary communications errors that so often blight this government. With the fact that Miliband hadn’t missed an open goal, a headstrong Labour put the boot in, briefing the Telegraph that a social meeting with Brooks was  a “staggering omission”. “He has got to get a grip on all this and come clean” screamed Ed…

But what’s this from Team Miliband? An updated list this morning. At first glance not much has changed from the first edition, except for, oh yes, previously undisclosed meetings with Screws editor Colin Myler, and one with Rebekah Brooks for good measure. Is this a “staggering omission” as well? Get a grip on this Ed, and come clean et cetera…

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Two Questions That Won’t Go Away

While Dave clearly came out of the blocks hard and seems to have shifted up are gear, the albatross is still there. While he cleared up some of the mess in the House, there are still chinks in his armour that won’t go away. The hysteria will die down as Westminster picks up the bucket and spade, but there were two key points that Cameron was clearly avoiding.

  • Is “no inappropriate conversations” about the BSkyB deal the same thing as “no conversations”? Obviously not by the way he dodged the question half a dozen times.
  • Secondly, and perhaps more damaging, is the fact that Dave said very clearly that he received no specific warnings about Coulson while he was working at No. 10. Enter stage left Tom Watson who was able to immediately cite a letter he sent in 2010. He received no reply.

Later on in the debate Cameron stated that he sees all letters that are sent to him by MPs. Except this one it seems. The Prime Minister told Miliband to stop “stop hunting feeble conspiracy theories”, yet he hardly shut them down today…

UPDATE: This evening Downing Street have released a letter which was sent in reply to Tom Watson on October 20,2010.

Buckingham Palace Is Not On Dave’s Side, This Time

The story goes that when a young Oxford graduate, with all the right connections, applied for a job at the Conservative Party Research Department in the early nineties, a mysterious phone-call was received that was traced back to Buckingham Palace:

‘I understand you are to see David Cameron, I’ve tried everything I can to dissuade him from wasting his time on politics but I have failed. I am ringing to tell you that you are about to meet a truly remarkable young man.”

The rest they say his history…

Fast forward twenty years and someone in the Palace has dipped in a less welcome oar into Cameron’s darkest hour. Though denied officially by both the Royal household and Downing Street, Palace sources are letting it be known that they were “gobsmacked” when Coulson was taken into the Tory fold and ultimately into government. Not least because it was Prince William’s phone messages that triggered this entire mess. There would be a certain, though still highly unlikely, irony if the someone in the Palace was to both make and break Dave…

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Hunt is On

The correct technical term for what’s currently going on in Number 10 is “a flap”. Sir Paul Stephenson claimed early in his evidence that a “senior Number 10 official” advised, or even asked, the Met not to reveal information about  former News of the World deputy editor turned spinner Neil Wallis, due to the fact it would embarrass the David Cameron and Andy Coulson. The hunt is on and Downing Street is being bombarded with calls. The hunger for a political scalp that Guido mentioned earlier has shot up. Sir Paul Stephenson suggested the committee asked Mr Yates who it was. We wait with baited breath…

About That “Little Local Difficulty”

It’s not just the left that are putting the squeeze on Cameron. Yesterday Guido noted the dearth of Tory MPs coming out to support the PM, and though Nick Boles was put on Newsnight, he didn’t exactly cover himself in glory by describing the government’s current problems as a “little local difficulty”, though he did give Harman as good as he got. This morning ConservativeHome launched a tirade against the Tory leadership, slamming their handling of the crisis:

“The Downing Street team isn’t hanging together to push the Prime Minister’s case.  And they don’t hang together, they’re in danger of hanging separately.”

The Telegraph’s leader this morning said Cameron “has not been frank with the public”. Though there is no love lost between the Cameroons and the paper, their allegation has not gone down well. It’s ironic that the PM  has had to cut short his trip to Nigeria, of all places, to come back and fight corruption allegations back home. Tories are openly questioning whether jetting off was the wisest move in the first place. It’s hard to find anyone enamoured at Craig Oliver’s attempts to put out the flames licking the No.10 door and suggestions are floating around that he is a little out of his depth in the current crisis. It is so bad that some of his former detractors are joking that they wish Andy Coulson was back. Oh wait…

Given the fact heads have rolled in the media and the police already, there is a growing hunger to see a political scalp. Cameron’s Chief of Staff Ed “I didn’t tell the boss” Llewellyn is looking increasingly vulnerable, but surely Steve Hilton’s reputation is forever tarnished if he didn’t see the need to tell Cameron directly what he had heard about Coulson. As he claims. Knowledge is power in politics, and thus it seems a little odd that these two were so muted…


Seen Elsewhere

Bercow ‘Wounded’ | Speccie
This Goes Further Than Rotherham | Simon Danczuk
Bercow Mocked | Times
Indy Deletes ‘Jewish Lobby’ Headline | MediaGuido
Cracknell v Boris | Sun
British Muslims are Failing to Integrate | Dan Hodges
Dear Sarah Wollaston… | ASI
Treatment of Ashya King’s Family Authoritarian | Brendan O'Neill
Stop the War Should Disband | Rob Marchant
State Should Not Act as Parent | Kathy Gyngell
Guido’s Column | Sun


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Douglas Carswell…

“I stab people in the front, not the back.”



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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