And now we know why he doesn’t go to the pub…
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”.
He doesn’t half pic ’em.
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 vulture funds who have the power to call in Labour’s loans, but don’t because they act more ethically than the previous management.
But you want more.
Okay, let’s have the outgoing chairman of the ethical bank to be a most complete representative of the Labour movement – a Co-op member for years, a Methodist minister who could be your dad, who gives money to Labour from Co-op funds. How much?
Half a million! Why half a milion? It’s a smear, make it a million!
Let’s have him only being an amateur in banking with no qualifications except “a professional requirement to be charitable”, and he gives a million to the party generally and also smaller donations to – who do we hate most? – Ed Balls.
Let’s get this perfect Labour guy who looks like your dad to give, what’s a really large private sum, fifty thousand pounds to Ed Balls’ office. Perfect.
But you want to have him personally corrupt? Is that really necessary? What, watching porn on his work computer as a Labour councillor? Okay, it’s a Harriet Harman sort of crime but –
You want him to be contracting rent boys? The chairman of the Co-op bank hiring rent boys? I guess it’s not imposs-
You want him to be doing DRUG DEALS? Now it’s too much. What sort of drugs? CRYSTAL METH?
You want him to look like everyone’s father, chair a Labour bank, give money to Labour shadow cabinet names, and be a rent-boy-seeking Labour councilor buying CRYSTAL METH in a car? It’s too much.
Smear-wise it’s beyond anything previously attempted.
More seriously, it will damage the whole smearing industry.
After Balls’ revenge attack on Monday revealed that the Labour leader doesn’t like the pub, Miliband’s spinner’s told the Sun: “Ed does go to the pub and regularly to Askern Miners Welfare Club in his constituency. He’s a moderate drinker.” That would be the Askern Miners Welfare Club that doubles as a burlesque venue for cross-dressing corset-clad middle-aged men, hosting regular nights for Ed’s transvestite constituents:
See the photo evidence here, if you dare…