Over £100, 000 was raised last night at the Sixteenth Annual Macmillan Cancer Support’s Parliamentary Palace of Varieties. The Daily Politics were there, though they missed Guido losing a bet to LibDem MP John Hemming that Fabricant, Gillan and Binley would slag off the PM in their turn. They didn’t, Hemming got Guido’s money which he very sportingly spent on brandy and port. Glasman and Jesse Norman were blowing their own trumpets once again, yet the star of the night was Lord Dobbs of Gilbert and Sullivan. Michael Fabricant in bunches is a sight you will struggle to forget…
“Last week, Nick Clegg returned from a trip to South America. Goodness knows what he smoked out there, because he actually made a couple of smart points. First, the so-called War on Drugs isn’t working. Second, we should appoint a royal commission to look into the alternatives. The fact is our current approach to drugs is neither practical nor effective. I strongly believe in promoting individual freedom – but I also strongly believe in reducing the public harm caused by drugs. As a parent as much as a politician, I say we have to accept that current policy has not achieved the reductions in crime or consumption that we’d hoped for. I know he slagged me off in this newspaper yesterday, but on this one I agree with Nick.”
Finally a politician with an interesting line.
Who is the mysterious man Sally is straddling here?
Guido has many fond memories of the Red Lion, not to mention the many more he can’t remember…
Labour MP Toby Perkins may well be simple, but that does not excuse his attempts to re-write history. The “Shadow Pubs Minister” has sent out a ham-fisted attack about the “great pub scandal”:
“Labour is forcing a Parliamentary debate on backing local pubs, pressing the Government to act as research shows 26 pubs are closing every week. Too many pubs across Britain are closing their doors and we urgently need action but ministers are dragging their feet. Pubs are vital hubs in communities up and down the country.”
Perkins, a renowned wally, has accused BIS of “dithering”. But lets just rewind a little…
The real “great pub scandal” was that Labour did more to hamstring the pub industry than any other government. At one point under Gordon, according to the BBC, 56 pubs were shutting a week. Then there were the former Chancellor’s crippling 60% rise in booze taxes, as well as the smoking ban destroying thousands of businesses. The ballooning in pub companies was a direct consequence of Brown’s tax relief for breweries introduced in 2002. Labour have some cheek in blaming Vince Cable for a problem they created. By all means highlight the concerns, but Perkins seems to have spent a little too long in the pub.
Yesterday Guido brought you Tom Watson’s Damascene conversion over fixed odd betting terminals, which he had backed while on the CMS Select Committee, but has recently taken up as his latest cause. Last night the people’s champion accidentally voted the wrong way – against restrictions – on the machines:
“So I supported the government on their report into Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. On most days few would notice this act of tiny rebellion. Except this was the day in which I made the front page of the Daily Mail, leading the campaign against FOBTs. This week I’ve spent sleepless nights drafting campaign packs, model letters, petitions and press releases in order to gather support for the campaign against FOBTs and their corrosive impact in every High Street in Britain. So basically, this was about the most embarrassing vote I could make a mistake on.”
One in the eye for that image of a super-campaigner he has spent so long cultivating. A long lunch?
Nigel Evans was looking on the bright side when Guido bumped into him last week.
“Whenever I get down, I just think it could be worse. I could be Reverend Flowers.”
Although, unlike the party-loving former boss of the Co-op Bank, Evans told Guido: “I’ve never smoked crystal meth, mind. I have drunk Cristal, though”.
We’re making up a Labour smear story.
We’re going for their most cherished example of mutual, collective endeavour. The Co-op. Ethical, modest, decent. Let’s make it go bust through filthy capitalist greed. And let’s get it taken over by US […]