Guido ran out of time to do this yesterday, but it is well worth coming back to. Wearing nothing but his underpants, Turkish bodybuilder ‘Volkan T’ managed to sneak his way onto Angela Merkel’s empty government jet clutching a bag of marijuana and a handful of ecstasy pills, proceeding to hold what by all accounts sounds like a spectacular party-for-one. He even released the inflatable emergency slide. Angela must be kicking herself she missed out…
Good news reported in the Sun this morning: Dave is ditching the nannying plans for plain cigarette packaging. Like minimum pricing, it was probably doomed from the start; plain packs would have cost the Treasury billions, alienated the half a million who said “hands off our packs” and was opposed by MPs of all parties. March’s Guardian scoop on the subject, will remain an exclusive…
Copious booze, staff nicking mementos and partygoers scoring in the studios; the Beeb’s Television Centre goodbye party sounds like a night to remember. Or, more likely, forget:
Meanwhile today half the hacks in the BBC’s swanky new studio are on strike over job cuts. Happy Easter weekend…
Guido has spoken to witnesses about last night’s fracas, this is what he has pieced together from various accounts.
At about 10.15 pm last night Eric Joyce’s researcher Martin Brown (pictured on the right above) exchanged words with Louise (an MP’s researcher, whose surname is known to Guido) outside the Sports and Social in the area where people smoke in the Commons Inner Court. In the ensuing altercation Louise was knocked to the ground.
Alex Cruz Vidal (pictured, right), a researcher for deputy speaker Nigel Evans, intervened to protect Louise and restrain Martin Brown by wrestling him to the ground and sitting on him. The administrator of the Sports & Social came out and with Alex’s help manhandled a shocked Martin Brown into the bar’s little cupboard sized office and locked him inside until the police arrived. Police came to arrest Brown and Eric Joyce showed up shouting at the cops.
Joyce – who had already been involved in some argie-bargie in the Sports and Social earlier that night – is said to have arrived at the scene and reacted angrily to being told by a copper about the incident – he pushed the copper, who came back to restrain him, whereupon Joycey threw a punch at the copper. At this point another copper joined in to restrain him, resulting in the Honourable Member for Falkirk ending up on the floor being handcuffed before being taken away into the back of a police van.
By this time there was a large crowd and around a dozen policemen outside the Sports & Social – including PoliticsHome’s Tony Grew – who only saw the second altercation involving Joyce not the original altercation involving Martin Brown that kicked the whole thing off. Police closed the Sports & Social and the Strangers Bar early…
Police have this morning contacted those witnesses who had their names taken last night, to tell them they will be required to give full statements in due course. Charges will almost certainly follow…
Coincidentally Joyce’s 12-month community order for his last brawl expired six days ago. Two things that are clearly reinforced by this brawl; we need to end the obscene taxpayer subsidy that means the Commons bars are the cheapest pubs in Central London, secondly we need a real power of MPs’ recall. As we were promised by the coalition parties after the expenses scandal…
During his keynote speech at Lib Dem conference this weekend Clegg seemed to do some K-pop moves:
This genius observation was made by the Daily Mail’s Francesca Infante.
The Guy Newsroom salutes you Francesca…
Before Christmas the PM rejected calls for a royal commission on drugs, arguing somewhat unfeasibly that the current policy was “working”. Despite that Clegg has moved in the right direction coming out as pro-liberalisation, packing off Jeremy Browne “Sugar” to Amsterdam on an, ahem, “fact-finding mission”. Tonight a new Ipsos Mori poll shows that 53% support either the legalisation or decriminalisation of cannabis.
Two thirds want a review of all policy options, rather encouragingly that figure increases to 70% among Conservative supporters. A Portuguese-style decriminalisation of drugs is also backed by just under half of the population. Dave is resisting the British public’s freedom to party…
Guido is preparing to relive his more youthful days as Fat Boy Slim is playing in Parliament on 6 March, thanks to the Last Night A DJ Saved My Life Foundation. Norman Cook is excited too: “I’ve played some exciting and unique places around the world from Bondi Beach to The Great Wall of China to an Igloo but playing in the House of Commons might be the most unique to date.” See you at the “House The House” event.[…]
If you take a stroll past Chuka Umunna’s constituency office in Streatham today, you are greeted by this message:
And where is their saviour when you need him?
His villa in Ibiza perhaps?
No, in fact he’s hosting another one of his parties tonight for media types instead of being there for his constituents.[…]
Coming out as pro-liberalisation if not pro-drugs legalisation, at least Nick Clegg is moving in the right direction this morning. There is much talk in Westminster, surely not rooted in jealously, of his announcement that Jeremy Browne will be sent on an all-expenses paid “fact-finding mission” to Amsterdam, Portugal and Latin America.[…]
Farewell then Prince Roy of Sealand, leader of the free micro-state based seven miles off of Suffolk coast. The pirate radio guru, former British Army Major and libertarian poster-boy Paddy Roy Bates has died aged 91. Prince Roy seized Sealand in 1967, and declared it an independent nation in 1975.[…]
If you missed the much-maligned Professor David Nutt on Radio 4 this morning, then Guido would highly recommend catching up on the interview here. His research into using drugs like ecstasy and magic mushrooms to treat depression or to allow victims of trauma to open up about their experiences was fascinating.[…]
Last night Guido infiltrated the Russian Embassy for the Conservative Friends of Russia launch party. The vodka was flowing as lobbyists, businessmen, wonks and Conservative MPs mingled with Russian diplomats and pals of Putin. Guido gathers that the decision to set up Conservative Friends of Russia was not taken lightly, with the Tory hierarchy expressing concerns that the group was being established the week after the Pussy Riot girls were imprisoned.[…]
A Labour MP’s son charged with selling legal highs has failed to turn up at court…because he was on holiday. Sean Ellman, the son of Liverpool MP Louise Ellman, was supposed to appear in the dock yesterday but his barrister told the court he was abroad with his “respectable family“.[…]