Thursday, March 31, 2011

Justice Day

Back in 2009 eagle-eyed Scottish journalist Paul Hutcheon, who is the investigations man at The Herald, cornered Labour’s Jim Devine. His dodgy receipts, VAT numbers and mystery shelving reeked. As the expenses scandal progressed, The Sunlight Centre saw an opportunity to further the exposé and reported Devine to the Met. This morning he is facing a lengthy spell at Her Majesty’s pleasure.

Devine didn’t exactly help his cause before the trial:

It’s taken time, but justice looks set to be served at the Old Bailey – jail for stealing from the taxpayer. Law makers can not be law breakers and should be treated harshly in view of their position of power.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Red Ed’s “Refounding”

Ed Miliband has apparently promised to ‘refound’ the Labour. When he is done with that he is going to town on the English dictionary.

The document is straight out of the Cameron-detoxify playbook but interesting to see the unions being diluted by the public potentially having a say over the leader. It’s lucky for Red Ed that this rule wasn’t already in place. It’s pretty cosmetic stuff…

Guido can’t help think that a lot of these measures would have been unnecessary on a Miliband (D) and Cooper ticket.

Harris Ain’t Happy

Guido saw that this video had only got 2 views and thought it deserved a wider audience:

Though Tom Harris might want to have a quiet word in the ear of his fellow Labour MPs Tom Blenkinsop, Ronnie Campbell, Martin Caton, Katy Clark, Michael Connarty, Jeremy Corbyn, David Crausby, Jim Dobbin, Jim Hood, Kelvin Hopkins, Gerald Kaufman, John McDonnell, Alan Meale, Linda Riordan, Virendra Sharma and Marsha Singh. They all signed up to heap praise on UK Uncut, whose spokesman last night refused to condemn the violence.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

This Stella is a Bit Off

In somewhat poor taste Labour MP Stella Creasy decided it would be a good idea to try to flog the order paper from Monday’s Libya debate signed by Ed Miliband for a Labour fundraiser. Someone clearly pointed out it was a bit off and it quietly disappeared from her website. Google got it though:

Surely a self-proclaimed social media expert should know the internet lasts forever?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

MacShame Shunned

Guido noted last week that Denis MacShane was still sitting in the core rump of Labour MPs, despite having the whip removed. It seems someone has had a quiet word with him though, as today he is sat far away from his party and plonked himself with the nationalists and other opposition types. And rightly so…

+ + + 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.


Seen Elsewhere

Paper Trail Suggests Ashcroft Still Funding Tories | Indy
Bradford Bun Fight Coming | Speccie
Former Minister’s Join ‘Canberra Caterer’ Outcry | The Times
Stop Bercow | The Times
Speaker Cornered | Times
Britain’s Beheaders | Speccie
‘Underclass’ Is Dave’s Fault | Conservative Women
Civil Liberties/Privacy NGO Hires New CEO | Big Brother Watch
Why I Won’t Join UKIP | Dan Hannan
Who Will Stand Up for the Christians? | Ron Lauder
Labour Swing Extends Deep into Tory Seats | Lord Ashcroft


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Westbourne-Change-Opinion hot-button


Lord Glasman tells it like it is:

“The first thing is to acknowledge that Labour has been captured by a kind of aggressive public sector morality which is concerned with the individual and the collective but doesn’t understand relationships.”



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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