Monday, March 17, 2014

Stella Faces Parliamentary Standards Investigation
#BiscuitGate Leads to Funding Complaint from Local Opponents 

Following Guido’s story about Stella Creasy’s £31 junk food bill on expenses, the posh Labour MP suggested that the Jammie Dodgers, chocolate fingers and Starburst sweeties were for non-partisan community volunteers in her Walthamstow constituency. It turns out St. Ella wasn’t being entirely truthful…

stella-movement-for-change

Creasy’s #7Days4Stow campaign is advertised on her party website with Labour Party branding, uses Labour Party slogans and is backed by her local Labour Party, the campaign group Movement for Change set up originally by David Miliband – which describes itself as “the home of community organising in the Labour Movement” – is at the centre of Stella’s community volunteering. As if that didn’t make it clear enough that this is a party political operation it is backed by the General Secretary of the Labour Party. After seeing Guido’s report about #Biscuitgate the chairman of the Walthamstow Conservative Association has today written to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards asking her to determine whether taxpayers’ money is being used to support community campaigning at the behest of the Labour Party:

To those who say it isn’t much money, this is just the tip of the iceberg in how political parties abuse taxpayer funding and an important principle is at stake – partisan political campaigning should be paid for out of party funds – not out of funds earmarked for the benefit of all constituents. If only Stella had just ‘fessed up at the beginning and said, “yeah, that probably isn’t a proper use of taxpayers’ money” and straight away paid the money back when it was drawn to her attention she would have avoided a full investigation from the authorities…

Free Coffee for Labour’s Mr Bean

Goofy shadow communities minister Andy Sawford became a laughing stock after demanding Waitrose stop handing out free coffees to their loyal customers. You have to wonder about the motives of an MP backed by a rival supermarket group, though Sawford might just want the public to pay for their brew. That has not stopped him from getting his own free fill though – charging the taxpayer £22 in expenses for – you guessed it – a tin of coffee. No Costa living crisis for Andy…

Friday, March 14, 2014

Newsnight Hire Pro-Labour TUC Wonk as Economics Editor

newsnightStephanie “Two Eds” Flanders used to annoy Tory MPs when she was the economics pundit on Newsnight, before her the quasi-Marxist Paul Mason had them shouting at the telly. Well imagine how they are going to react to the news that the TUC’s senior economist Duncan Weldon has been hired as her replacement. Weldon is a former Labour Party staffer who has blogged for the Fabian Society, Left Foot Forward and written a series of posts praising Labour politicians and attacking the Tories on LabourList. If that were not enough he also writes regularly for the Owen Jones launched and Unite-funded CLASS think tank. Guido looks forward to his fair and balanced reporting…

BBC sources say that it would be unfair to blame the former Guardian deputy-editor Ian Katz who is now Newsnight’s editor for the hire as James Harding (ex-Times editor) signs off the hires. Katz seems sensitive to complaints about the politics of Newsnight:

It is clearly provocative in a pre-election year to hire a well known Labour Party advocate for the position when the economy is going to be the central election issue. The BBC’s Charter is up for review in 2017. Conservative HQ will be as suspicious as ever of the BBC…

UPDATE: Livid Tory spokesman: “Highly questionable appointment. Arthur Scargill would be a more objective appointment.”

UPDATE II: Duncan Weldon ran as a candidate for the Labour Party in Crouch End, Haringey in the 2010 elections.

UPDATE III: Duncan Weldon was the economic adviser to Harriet Harman when she was acting leader of the Labour Party. This might just lead some to question his objectivity in reporting on Labour’s forthcoming 2015 manifesto.

UPDATE IV:

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Labour Claim Dirty Tricks at All-Party Russia Group Election

It’s all kicking off at the election of the chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Russia this afternoon. Tory John Randall has beaten Labour’s Chris Bryant after a huge scrum at the ballot box. Now Bryant’s backers are claiming the Tories tried to stitch up the vote. Labour MP Stephen Doughty tells Guido:

“It was chaotic. The room was absolutely packed with a line out of the door when Claire Perry starting saying “I’m shutting the door, I’m locking the door.” She was standing in front of the door and blocking people from going in. There were a lot of Tory whips there. I asked her on what authority she was doing it – the door was bulging. Eventually she gave up.”

Defeated Bryant described it as a “positively Russian style election” and shadow foreign affairs minister Ian Lucas claims “Tory Cabinet Ministers [were] trying to stop Chris Bryant from being Chair of APPG on Russia”A coup worthy of Khrushchev’s fall from the Politburo?

UPDATE: A Randall supporter insists it was “just a major whipping organisation by some Tory backbenchers.”

Chuka Umunna Economics 101

Chuka Umunna seemed to have had some difficulty with the basic facts during his interview on the World at One this lunchtime. Somewhat worryingly for a shadow business secretary, Chuka reckons:

“Most of our thirteen years in office we didn’t have a debt, er, a deficit, because we hadn’t had the financial crash.”

Allow Guido to explain slowly. As this handy graph from the Spectator shows, the last government spent more than it was bringing in from 2002 onwards.

defici

Chuka’s claim that Labour did not run a deficit for most of its time in power is patently untrue…

H/T @roxley

Labour React to Referendum Fudge

The more sensible Labour MPs don’t exactly sound delighted about having to explain Miliband’s yeah-but-no-but referendum position to voters.

Graham Stringer is most damning, telling Ed “I am very disappointed by this… shoddy compromise,” and that the fudge is “impossible to sell on the doorstep.”

Level-headed Kate Hoey adds “I think it’s meant to be a clever compromise, I don’t think it’s going to end up as one,” confirming that a referendum under a Labour government is now “almost impossible”.

John Mann wrote to Miliband just yesterday asking for an EU referendum so he was disappointed within hours. Mann says Labour’s announcement is “a significant move in the right direction but I would encourage him to go further than he’s gone today… Labour voters want to see their voice being heard. They want to be trusted.”

And Labour donor John Mills ain’t happy given he has campaigned for a referendum and now won’t be getting what he wanted for his money: “The growth of the EU’s influence over Britain warrants a referendum regardless of future events.”

Still at least Mandy’s happy. This all could have been avoided so easily…

Miliband Bottles EU Referendum

Back in 2011 Guido recommended that Miliband call for an in/out EU referendum. It would have helped him make an impact with ordinary, sensible voters, distanced himself from Brown and Blair and wounded “cast iron” Cameron over his failure to keep his own referendum promise. Today’s announcement confirms that an in/out referendum would be “unlikely” under a Labour government. Miliband is ruling out a vote unless “significant” treaty changes are proposed. The Labour leader had the chance to lead on this issue, to outflank the Tories and offer voters something clear and definitive. Instead he has given them a deliberately vague fudge. Miliband says this morning that “you can’t trust the Tories on Europe”. He is the man who doesn’t trust the people on Europe… 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Yet Another Dodgy Labour Selection
Keith Vaz ‘Trying to Overturn Result in Favour of Friend’

Strange goings on down in Enfield Southgate, where Labour have chosen Bambos Charalambous over Ibrahim Dogus in a fiercely contested battle for the selection. Labour sources on the ground tell Guido that Dogus is furious at the result and is throwing around claims that there were voting irregularities concerning postal voting. Guido is told that Keith Vaz is leaning on the national party to look into the result. Surely nothing to do with Vaz being a long term friend of Dogus and being his main endorser during the selection. Or the fact that Dogus has been doing the legwork for Vaz’s £1,000-a-ticket Labour Sports Dinner, the party’s annual flagship fundraising event which brings in thousands in donations. In an email seen by Guido, Vaz even let slip that one of the main reasons for his endorsement was the fact that Dogus is an “amazing fundraiser”. Now he’s still trying to get him selected as a candidate even though he was beaten. Vaz has not responded to a request for comment. Fishy…

Picture of the Day

Labour MP Ian Lavery with his son Ian Jnr, blacked up and dressed as Michael Jackson. Oops.

Via Telegraph.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Stella’s Junk Food Binge on Expenses

Her jealous Labour colleagues call power hungry Stella Creasy “St. Ella”, however when it comes to expenses Stella is no saint. Guido has come across this recent Tesco expenses claim submitted by the Labour MP:

How does she keep her slim figure?

*Artist’s impression.

UPDATE: Stella would like to make clear the snacks were for her volunteers. She has generously invited Guido to Walthamstow for a biscuit. Though the taxpayer will be paying.


Seen Elsewhere

Labour’s Teachers Trained in the Art of Brainwashing | Jago Pearson
R.I.P. John Blundell, Former IEA Director General | Atlas
UKIP Hasn’t Gone Away | ConHome
Ward: I’d Be a Terrorist if I Lived in Gaza | Breitbart
Ruffley Faces Deselection | Times
Ruffley Faces Crisis Meeting | Mail
Ruffley Told to Consider Position | BBC
LibDem MP in Israel Twitter Row | Sky News
Ward Faces Disciplinary Action | Guardian
I’m Scared to Talk About Israel and Gaza | Emma Barnett
Sack David Ward | LibDem Voice


new-advert
Westbourne-Change-Opinion Guido-hot-button (1)


Sarah Vine writes of Esther McVey…

“McVey told Grazia that she hasn’t married or had children because she ‘never found anyone to wind her biological clock’ … If I remember rightly, half the current Cabinet would have cheerfully ‘wound her clock’ if she’d given them a glimmer of a chance.”



Flight Watch says:

Russia Today is a cauldron of bullsh*t. The only people that take it seriously are deluded conspiracy theorists. Other RT journos have resigned citing the same reasons.

It’s about as believable as Press TV, KCNA of North Korea or the Daily Mirror.


Tip off Guido
Web Guido's Archives

Subscribe me to:






RSS


AddThis Feed Button
Archive


Labels
Guido Reads