Wednesday, March 23, 2011

+ + + Chaytor Loses Appeal + + +

James Sturman, convicted fraudster and ex-MP David Chaytor’s QC, argued in the Court of Appeal yesterday that he could not receive a fair trial because of media scrutiny. The briefed claimed that the 18 month sentence failed to take into account the public vilification Chaytor had been subjected to in some quarters of the media, and particularly in the blogosphere.“Calls for his death, pictures of him mocked up being hung – it really was quite a horrendous time” said the silk.

The judge didn’t agree and refused to reduce the thieving bastard’s sentence. Oink oink!

Labour’s Leaky Legacy

The word has gone out from Labour to moan about the number of Budget leaks that have happened. It’s easier than offering up real arguments. MPs and the dutiful Twitterati have fallen in line and are evoking the spirit of Hugh Dalton, the Chancellor who resigned in 1947 after briefing the Lobby before his Budget speech. But when did that precedent go out the window?

The BBC noted back in 2008:

“During former Chancellor Gordon Brown’s time at Number 11, he installed a system of briefing for the press around his pre-Budget Statement.”

In 2005 the entire Budget made it into the first edition of the Standard before Gordon had even started his speech. Amazing how quickly a party can develop a new set of principles once it is in opposition…

UPDATE: Leaks to Labour are of course in the public interest:

Monday, March 21, 2011

Murphy’s Law

When Wee Dougie stands up there is something about him you just cannot quite take seriously. When monotone Jim Murphy stands up, you are normally asleep before such a judgement can be passed. The dour Scot, who makes Gordon look like Cicero, hasn’t had a very good day. When doing the rounds of Millbank this morning he dutifully stood by the government’s intervention and held his tongue if he had any complaints. It’s odd that Labour, and their sympathisers in the media, aren’t using Tom Baldwin’s “Tory-led” government this week.

Sky’s new political correspondent Sophy Ridge tweeted a few minutes later:

Anyone with an eye on the clock would have immediately worked out which Shadow Cabinet Minister had just walked out of the studios. If Murphy wanted to put Fox back in his box why didn’t he just say so? If he wanted to try to politicise the issue, why was he too afraid to put his name to it? Murphy ended up having to out himself as the the source after a hoohaa, on his normally neglected blog of all places. Hardly a master of the dark arts. Any credibility he might have had in his brief has been shot to bits.

Labour’s Offshore High Net Worth Fundraiser

At last count 88% of Labour donations came from the unions, up from 36% in the same period a year ago. You would be right to think Miliband might be targeting High Net Worther’s personal donations for some big money to reduce his dependency on the brothers. They’ve found plenty of innovative ideas in the past; “loans” that never have to be repaid, peerages for sale…

Reliable senior Labour sources say that Development team staffer, Amy Fowler, she of targeting cancer sufferers with scaremongering leaflets fame, is in charge of bringing in the big cheques from High Net Worth millionaires. Our source told us Amy was soliciting millions for Labour from Estonia. Guido put a call in to Labour HQ:

GF: Hi can I speak to Amy Fowler please…
LPHQ: Err… she doesn’t work here anymore.
GF: Oh really?
LPHQ: Yeah she’s moved on
GF: Oh…Where’s she gone?
LPHQ: Err… Estonia?
GF: Oh right. What’s she doing there? I thought she was still working for the Party?
LPHQ: Yeah well she sort of does. Well she does. But it’s on like a freelance basis…

Apparently her boyfriend moved to Tallinn and Deputy General Secretary Chris Lennie has, to the consternation of other Labour staffers, let Amy carry on doing her job from there.  Political fund raisers often work on commission. Guido hopes she will be paying her UK taxes for the work originating here rather than at the more attractive 22% flat tax rate in the Baltic state…

Friday, March 18, 2011

Why Is MacShane Fund-raising For Labour?

Tomorrow disgraced Rotherham MP Denis MacShane is hosting a conference about how the Labour Party can get out of opposition. Ticket sales are obviously very low as a last minute desperate PR job is currently going on and the requirement to pay in advance has been lifted. MacShane is using his constituency office to organise the event and all profits are being donated to the Rotherham Labour Party. Yet MacShane has been given the boot as a Labour MP.

His taxpayer funded office being used for blatant party political uses:

Why are the likes of Polly Toynbee, David Walker, Jessica Asato, Tristum Hunt and a host of other Labour figures willing to turn a blind eye to the fact MacShane is currently under police investigation for corruption and help raise funds for him? If they are wondering why Labour were booted out of office, perhaps some soul-searching would be a good place to start.

Darling Bangs Eds Together

Guido has a feeling that history will judge Alistair Darling far kinder than any of the other bunker dwellers. With his new book coming out, apparently we will be hearing more about the Prime Mentalist and forces of hell, and the Sons of Brown too.  Darling barely disguises his dig at his Labour successors in the Indy:

“It is not enough to say this Government is not doing well and say it is damaging important things in this country. We have to show we have a vision of what Britain can be that is better. If we don’t establish in the public mind we are more competent [on the economy] than the Tories, then we won’t make any headway.”

Looks like Darling is as unimpressed with the blank sheet of paper as David.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Baldwin At It Again

Man of letters and Labour spinner extraordinaire Tom Baldwin has penned another of his now infamous rants to the media with a host of outlandish demands and decrees.  Labour are too broke for a proper spring conference, instead their one day event in Nottingham next week looks set to achieve all the press coverage it deserves. Baldwin has other ideas though. Writing to the broadcasters he demands:

“We are keen to resolve this amicably and would suggest a couple of options to you going forward… give us coverage of this event with no comment from other parties… Alternatively, you could reflect the fact the Conservative-led Government has thus far been given far more coverage, given the two party political conferences covering four days in total, and restrict the air time given to the government parties in the run-up to the balance period.”

Clearly designed to rile Guido and everyone else in order to generate coverage and get people talking, the tactic seems to work though Baldwin hasn’t got  a leg to stand on. A quick peek through the weekend telly round ups from the weekend of the Tories conference found on the Saturday, Channel 4 News covered Miliband’s speech to Labour councillors on the squeezed middle. Sky had the same speeches live. The BBC trailed an interview with David Hansen on fuel duty. On the Sunday David Miliband was on Marr while Alistair Darling did Sky.

Fair and balanced…

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The MacShane Mystery

Denis MacShane found no sympathy from the Labour hierarchy when it was announced that the Met was investigating his rather controversial expenses claims. He instantly had the whip removed and was hung out to dry. However that was the last we heard…

Since then he has slowly crept back closer and closer to the central hub of Labour MPs in the House and was sitting comfortably this afternoon with Chuka Umunna, Chris Byrant and Rachel Reeves. If he has been suspended, why do his former colleagues at best turn a blind eye, or at worst keep him in the fold despite the fact he has disgraced himself? It’s been over five months since his file was passed to the CPS…

Will Labour still be so welcoming if he goes to trial?

Mrs Balls Loses Out Again

It must be quite frustrating being Yvette Cooper. She’s more far more talented, liked and respected by her colleagues, yet has to live in the shadows of her bruising husband. It was apparently over a service station Costa Coffee that they decided Ed would run for the leadership, though Guido has his doubts that Yvette took to the idea of stepping aside immediately. Now despite the prominence of her ShadCab job, it seems Ed has barged his wife out of the way again.

Doorman to the Home Office team Vernon Croaker was heavily promoting Yvette’s planned debate about police cuts over the last few days. Tomorrow is Labour’s Opposition Day Debate, and the parliamentary plan was in full swing – speeches written and hacks briefed. Yet late last night the whole thing was scrapped. Balls came barging, ripped up the script and demanded he have the session for a debate of fuel duty. One day it will be your turn Yvette, one day…

Monday, March 14, 2011

Balls Nearly Apologises for Being Chancellor

Guido would like to savour this moment as he reckons it’s the closest we are going to get to an apology. Balls finally coughed it:

Blinky Balls“Did we spend every pound wisely? Of course we didn’t”

As Paul Waugh noted, Balls was in quite a candid mood. He responded to a point with “You learn about being Chancellor…” De facto perhaps, but was there something Guido missed?


Seen Elsewhere

Labour’s Plan to Attack Part-Time Boris | Standard
Ex-Sun Hack Cleared After 582 Days on Bail | MediaGuido
11 Times Boris Denied He Would Stand for Parliament | Buzzfeed
Attacking UKIP’s Posters is Counter-Productive | Guardian
Sarkozy Tried it on With Hollande’s Ex | Times
Another Spare Room Subsidy Cut Success | Harry Phibbs
Rich Now Have Less Leisure Than Poor | Economist
UKIP’s Immigration Policy Promotes Migrant Entrepreneurs | Breitbart
Another Feminist Lecture | Laura Perrins
UKIP Posters Bad Economics But Good Politics | James Delingpole
Tories Losing to UKIP in Scotland | ConHome


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A confused Nick Griffin says Nigel Farage is a shill for the City, forgetting that City banks want to stay in the EU:

“Farage is a snake oil salesman, but a very good one. His supposed anti-immigration stance is all smoke and mirrors, as is his carefully cultivated image as a ‘man of the people’. The truth is that UKIP is a pro-immigration party that exists to lobby for the interests of the City of London.”



Alexrod says:

It’s money innit.


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