Back in October last year Guido wrote of Tom Watson:-
“was overheard telling senior party officials in his constituency recently that he expects “to be back in government” after Gordon takes over… Gordon wouldn’t reward the treachery that he has publicly disavowed advance knowledge of and claimed he would have advised against. Would he?“
Tom got very upset and posted in the comments
For the record: I do not want to go back into government whoever leads the Labour Party. I’m very happy being a constituency MP.
10:28 AM, October 26, 2006
He went on to write
I’m an overweight opinionated member of parliament, I embarrass my relatives all the time. That was the only accurate bit of your post. But you know this.
The bit about returning to government is the inaccurate part of your post. But then I suspect you know this too. You are asking people to comment on a story that isn’t true. It doesn’t do you or political bloggers any service. Then again, why am I bothering to say this to you? You know all this as well.
11:15 AM, October 26, 2006
So it is a bit of a coincidence that Lord Haskell, chairman of the Board of Trustees gave a five grand donation to Gordon’s leadership campaign. Even more of a coincidence that another board member, Mr Paul Myners, gave twelve grand. Surely he can’t remain mere “mister” Myners for much longer. It was Myners of course who provided the implausible story to cover-up the Treasury’s direct payment to the Smith Institute.
You won’t read about this in the Guardian, because although it likes to advertise that it has no press baron owner, Myners is chairman of the Guardian Media Group as well as being a Sith board member. Another fortunate coincidence…
A co-conspirator writes
On Sunday in Oxford Gordon referred to ‘party reforms’ to make Labour a 21st Century party. The few proposals he listed were all pretty dull.
I also managed to catch two party officials ‘helping a questioner’ with the question they had submitted for gordon to ask. She turned out to be a young NEC member, and when it got around to her she asked about making anti retroviral drugs more widely available to HIV/aids sufferers in Africa.
They were cagey when I pointed out I had seen them talking to her, going over the written question and they seeing her write another question on the back of the paper.
It really does beggar belief, he can’t lose because there are no votes, yet the Stalinist still rigs the questions to make himself look good. There are grim days coming..
A civil liberties group, Liberty and Law, has reported the speech to the Commission for Racial Equality, saying “He must be aware that non-British citizens from the European union have an absolute right to live and work in this country without being subject to discrimination by employers. His speech appears to be xenophobic and gives reason for foreigners to fear for their … employment rights, apparently facing a government under his leadership that will attempt to discriminate against them.”
Guido made a formal complaint under Section 8 of the Charities Act. The Charity Commission indicated that it would consider taking action. It leaked out before the official announcement was made that they would commence a formal inquiry. This led to a flurry of activity at the Smith Institute and HM Treasury. Their response was transparently choreographed in the knowledge that a statutory inquiry under the Charities Act would bring previously suppressed documents and information into the public domain.
After months of pressure it was suddenly revealed that nearly two hundred meetings had been held by the Smith Institute (free of charge) at No. 11 Downing Street with the permission of the Chancellor. Guido had been alleging that the use of the building effectively amounted to a subsidy of the Smith Institute’s activities by HM Treasury. It was literally an abuse of office in all senses of the word.
In those circumstances if it were to be revealed that the Treasury had made direct payments to the Smith Institute, Gordon Brown’s political front group, it would have been extremely damaging. The charge against Brown that he was corruptly financing his political ambitions would be hard to defend.
Amazingly a letter dated February 1, 2007, and written by Paul Myners was produced to explain away just such a payment. Myners is a Smith Institute trustee, a Treasury appointed veteran of various Gordon created quangos, who is considered a safe pair of hands by Brownites. He is also a wealthy donor to Gordon’s leadership campaign.
It explained that two years previously the Treasury had paid the Smith Institute £11,750 to hold two seminars on behalf of the Myners Review into the financial sector for Gordon. It went on to claim (without explanation) that the Treasury had paid the money by mistake. That it was always Myners’ intention to pay the cost himself. That he had now, over two years later, paid the sum personally.
If the Charity Commission investigation was not going to bring knowledge of this payment into the public domain, there is no doubt that the Treasury payment to the Smith Institute would have been kept well hidden with no danger of it being discovered or repaid.
The Myners letter is here. The explanations given by Myners are frankly incredible. He is expecting us to believe that the Smith Institute accidentally invoiced HM Treasury and that HM Treasury accidentally paid the invoice. We are asked to believe that suddenly two years later he decided to pay the bill having told his “team that I would be happy to personally contribute some or all of the costs of the seminars”. But he didn’t actually do it at the time, did he?
Could it be that the imminent and inevitable exposure of the payment by HM Treasury to the Smith Institute during the course of the Charity Commission’s investigation was the real and only reason the payment was now refunded by Myners to the Treasury? It was a plain and simple cover up – long after the event – by Myners to help his friend Gordon Brown out of a politically difficult situation.
“You Decide” what his website will discuss. New politics! Open! Listening! Interactivity! Digital not Analogue! Yeah Groovy! This week thousands voted to discuss “The NHS”. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and finally today Friday – Guido checked for the discussion.
Nothing but tumbleweed blew across the site.
Even checked out Oona’s blog on the site “following Gordon around the country listening to the people”. Nothing there either, she last mentioned the NHS on May 12.
Guido called up the campaign press office:
Guido Fawkes “Where is the discussion this week about the NHS?”
Press Officer “Errr, errm, I only deal with the website”
GF “Yes, this is a question about the website”
PO “Can I get Tony McElroy to call you back”
If they start a “You Decide” discussion this weekend it would still be this week, technically…
The PM-to-be then had a hissy fit and stamped his feet saying “shan’t, shan’t, you can’t make me…”
An extraordinary attitude.
PM Tweets About Ant & Dec While Giving Mandela Tribute | Express
George Osborne: Action Chancellor | Speccie
DfE Taking Children for Poodles | Laura Perrins
Man Locked Up For Telling Mandela Joke | Star
Gordon Brown Debt Buster | Kebab Time
Five Arguments Against Paying MPs More | Left Foot Forward
BBC Must Be Held to Account Over Savile | Trevor Kavanagh
Guido’s Column | Sun
Safe Seat MPs Will Be Paid More Than Marginal MPs | Alex Wickham
Judging Blogs By Their Comment Threads | Dan Hannan
Labour Select Union Candidate in Falkirk | Guardian
The Belgravia Gallery reports:
“Having been asked by Nelson Mandela’s art publisher to represent his work,drawings mainly of Robben Island, we had the privilege of spending a morning with Mandela when he was signing the lithographs at his home in Johannesburg in December 2002. He delighted us with stories about a number of well known British personalities over the years when he was president. Perhaps the most surprising was his description of Margaret Thatcher as “Motherly” and he remembered how she had poured him tea and they had discussed various ailments and how after he returned home, she had sent him herbal remedies.”