Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Sean Connery’s Revenge

The regulations on donations were originally designed to screw foreign financial backers of the Conservative party. Some bright spark suggested tightening up the rules to exclude support from British expats who were not registered to vote and did not pay UK tax. A clause designed specifically and spitefully to block support from Sean Connery for the SNP.

It is that very same law that has come back to bite Scottish Labour’s Wendy Alexander. Sean Connery will be laughing his tartan socks off.

Monday, December 3, 2007

ICM Poll : 57% Think Brown is Sleazy

The moral compass is lost, his integrity in tatters, Gordon clings on to disgraced ministers out of fear. Three senior ministers are accused of reckless criminality and senior Labour party officials are facing potential jail sentences. Is it any surprise that an ICM Poll for Newsnight shows that 57% of voters think Gordon Brown is tainted by sleaze? The Labour party is now perceived by most people as institutionally corrupt.

Hain Fundraiser : "Small Problem With Donations"

Guido has been running up his phone bill trying to get hold of Labour fundraisers. Peter Hain’s fundraiser, Huw Roberts was kind enough to call back.
HR Hello, I couldn’t make out your message, who is that?
GF I was calling about your undeclared donations to Peter Hain’s campaign
HR Who are you? What are you talking about?

This went on for a bit. During which he claimed to have never met and never even heard of Jon Mendelsohn until this weekend. After some time where he tried to get Guido to tell him what Guido knew, he coughed a confession.

HR There is a small problem with my donation. It is not my fault. He has to declare the donations, not me.

The conversation got a bit confused and fraught at this point, Huw would only concede that he had made a donation, yet despite having held fundraising dinners for Peter Hain, he would not confirm any other donations were undeclared. No donation of any kind is recorded from Huw Roberts…

UPDATE : Have just got off the phone with Joe Carberry, Hain’s SpAd, “what you have written on the blog is not true”. So is Huw Roberts lying? “I am going to put the phone down” said Carberry. Guido gets through a lot of Hain SpAds per annum, so it is understandable.

Scottish Front Pages Say It All for Wendy

Like some desperado besieged by the police, Wendy is shouting that she is not coming out. You may quibble that the Daily Record has right headline, different story, but the point still stands.

Is Roy Kennedy, the Labour Party’s Director of Finance & Compliance, in De-Nile?

Roy Kennedy was the Labour party’s Director of Finance and Compliance when the illegal funding operation was under way. Guido has been trying to track him down with no success, nor can he get hold of his wife Alicia, who just happens to be Labour’s Deputy General Secretary.

Police investigators from Operation Minerva might need to pack some sun lotion, Guido has been told the couple have have taken a month long holiday in Egypt. The detectives will want to know from where the Loot-Was-Coming…

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Bad In Westminster, Worse in Scotland

The press is having a field day with Donorgate, nobody believes that knowledge of the Labour party’s illegal funding operation was restricted to Peter Watt. Jon Mendelsohn says Abrahams was lying when he said Mendelsohn knew about it, and is suing the Evening Standard, Guido doesn’t believe Mendacious Mendelsohn (send writs to the usual address Jonny).
Guido has been trying to get hold of Roy Kennedy, who was the Director of Finance and Compliance when the illegal funding operation was under way, to ask him when he knew about it, with no luck. Presumably the investigating officers from Scotland Yard’s Operation Minerva will have more luck.

In Scotland the situation is even worse, Wendy Alexander has broken the law, apologised, then lied, immediately been caught lying and is only still in position because Brown fears that if she goes others will be toppled. Westminster hacks are not really focusing on the Scottish aspect yet. Guido is because he believes she will be charged, grasp this, the leader of the Scottish Labour party will face criminal charges based on documentary evidence. Brown is so scared of the domino effect of his protege Dougie Alexander’s sister resigning, that he is resisting internal party pressure for her to go. Mad, it will be worse if she is charged in office.

Labour is trying to spread the blame, with “we’re all at it” spin lines. They keep referring to Lord Ashcroft, who makes all his donations to the Tories above board and has actually given less money than Labour’s Lord Sainsbury.

They also keep referring to “a breach of the rules”, no these are criminal acts, a breach of the law is not the same as cheating at Scrabble. They are now hiding behind the “we’re not going to give a running commentary on a police investigation” line (© T. Blair).

Another line they are using is that they have “given the money back”. They haven’t as yet. It is in any event likely to be confiscated by the Electoral Commission.

There is no real need for new laws or reviews, there is a need for politicians to simply not break the existing laws. If Labour figures had not circumvented the existing laws they would not be in trouble. The idea that this situation is just the result of one publicity shy donor is nonsense, it has nothing to do with Wendy Alexander’s problems or Harman’s second problem.

Harman’s re-mortgage of £40,000 is an illegally undeclared loan – made against her home’s presumably joint mortgage – to her leadership campaign. Technically the loan is in equal part her husband’s loan. Her husband is Jack Dromey, the Labour party Treasurer, so he has permitted an undeclared loan to be made to the Deputy Leader of the Labour party, a loan from him. That is prima facie an illegal loan by two of the very highest ranking officials. She broke not only the spirit but letter of the law – in two instances – the loan and the proxy donation. Harman, the former Solicitor General, should face charges as a consequence.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Is Harman Trying the "If I Go, You Go Too" Defence?

Guido is having difficulty understanding the maneuvering of the various Labour party players in the scandal. Dizzy is hinting that the source for the Evening Standard’s writ attracting story on Mendelsohn is the Harman nominating MP, Kevan Jones. He was seen dining with the journalist who wrote the article in Shepherds the night before. Not conclusive, but interesting nonetheless.

Another Labour source tells Guido plausibly that when Mendelsohn was appointed, Watt (a Blairite sympathiser) offered his resignation. When the Abrahams shit hit the Mail on Sunday fan, Watt was the Brownies designated fall guy. A political firebreak. Harman was to be kept in reserve in case the fires licked at the door of No. 10, hence the noticeable lack of support at the PM’s monthly press conference.* So did Harriet encourage Kevan Jones to drop Mendelsohn right in it, thereby protecting herself by linking her fate to Gordon’s fundraiser? Not sure if it makes sense, but it makes more sense than the Telegraph’s bonkers hint that Abrahams might be a conduit for Mossad money.

With Mendelsohn feeling the intense heat and Brown’s campaign manager Chris Leslie giving a bizarre explanation that he tore up a cheque from Abraham’s proxy because he thought it dodgy, yet recommended the donor to Harman’s people anyway. It gets better, Harman still has campaign debts, which are presumably financed with undeclared loans. Which is dodgy.

Hain’s campaign, which according to the wife of a well connected SpAd was derailed by Guido (it was a pleasure), forgot to declare £5,000 given by Mendelsohn. That is Hain’s story and he is sticking to it. For now. The police are really going to have their work cut out methinks. At least we have settled one thing, the consensus is that the name for the scandal is “Donorgate”.

*The transcript of which on the Downing Street website is suspiciously heavily redacted “on party political grounds” something Guido does not recall happening in the Blair era. Also the usual video record is not available. Guido of course has his own copy to use to highlight a few of Gordon’s untruths.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sainsbury v Ashcroft

It is worth noting when Labour MPs in marginal seats start bleating about Ashcroft’s money being a threat to democracy that they never mention Lord Sainsbury. He has actually given the Labour party, one way or another, some £15 million. Far more than Ashcroft has given the Tories.
Sainsbury has in the past given under-the-counter money to Blairite modernising groups as well. The odd £250,000 here and there to groups like the Progress faction. Guido thinks that he was overall a force for good in the Labour party, bringing them into the real-world. Lord Drayson bought his peerage off Blair, he too has become an effective minister – probably because of his business background. Similarly, probably because of his business background, Ashcroft forces Tory candidates to come up with a serious business plan. The sharpening up of their campaign objectives is probably worth more than the £10,000 to £30,000 he gave them in the past. Now the party has adopted what was his freelance system at CCHQ and brought him back inside.

Don’t forget incumbent MPs have voted themselves an extra £10,000 of taxpayers money for propaganda and already have well funded office teams of staff. They have all the incumbent advantages and they are up against candidates who invariably have jobs to do as well. To lever out an incumbent MP takes some doing…

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Seen Elsewhere

The Most Politically Cynical Speech I Have Ever Seen | Dan Hodges
Full Sunday Sport Style Guide Email | MediaGuido
What if a Hamas Rocket Hit a BA Plane? | Richard Littlejohn
Sunday Sport Swearing Style Guide | Popbitch
Tory MP’s Love of Astrology | BBC
No.10 Shouldn’t Get Excited at Growth Figures | Mark Wallace
Feminist Lobby Killing Meritocracy | Kathy Gyngell
David Ward is a C**t | Iain Dale
Britain Should Follow Kansas’s Tax Cutting | Jeremy Warner
Dave’s Chums Who Made Millions From Putin | Mail
Now Osborne Must Cut Taxes | Mail


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New Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has big ambitions in his first meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu today:

“I came to bring this conflict to an end.”



Flight Watch says:

Russia Today is a cauldron of bullsh*t. The only people that take it seriously are deluded conspiracy theorists. Other RT journos have resigned citing the same reasons.

It’s about as believable as Press TV, KCNA of North Korea or the Daily Mirror.


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