From the Leicester Mercury:
From the Leicester Mercury:
Three of the most vocal Labour MPs sticking up for the Co-op are the ones who have had their pockets lined by the group. Ed Balls isn’t giving back that £50,000 cash bung, though he did his best to repay them in kind by loudly asking if Cameron had ever done cocaine at PMQs.
Balls has once again sent out poor little Chris Leslie to fight his corner this morning. The deeply unimpressive Shadow Chief Secretary tried to spin with a straight face (and fear in his eyes) that “there are now serious questions for George Osborne to answer about how the Co-operative Bank got into trouble on his watch”. The Co-op have given Leslie’s local party £3,040 in the last two years. More of a wet fart than a bang for their buck.
Co-op MP Jon Ashworth fresh from paternity leave has penned an article defending the mess. It goes without saying that he is also in their pay. Labour owe the Co-op millions so should be glad the group are only calling in favours rather than the actual cash.
You would need a heart of stone not to laugh at the irony of Miliband launching his “Real Change” campaign to clean up banking straight from the Co-op crack den last summer. Standing proudly in the headquarters of Labour’s ethical bank, Miliband set out his vision to stop all those other big, nasty banks from behaving badly:
“I think that the thing the British people want most of all is banks which reflect their values – responsibility, integrity, reward linked to effort… You [the Co-op] have always understood that ethics of responsibility, co-operation and stewardship must be at the heart of what we do.”
Fast forward a year and a half and Labour stands accused of covering up a raft of gay porn allegations against crack-smoking Rev Flowers back when he was a councillor. And not a Miliband call for an inquiry in sight. How’s that whole responsibility and integrity thing going, eh Ed?
After Balls’ revenge attack on Monday revealed that the Labour leader doesn’t like the pub, Miliband’s spinner’s told the Sun: “Ed does go to the pub and regularly to Askern Miners Welfare Club in his constituency. He’s a moderate drinker.” That would be the Askern Miners Welfare Club that doubles as a burlesque venue for cross-dressing corset-clad middle-aged men, hosting regular nights for Ed’s transvestite constituents:
See the photo evidence here, if you dare…
Parliamentary history made at today’s PMQs, with Dave reading out the live tweets of a former Labour minister, who lost his seat in the wake of the expenses scandal:
Public desperate for PM in waiting who speaks for them – not Leader of Opposition indulging in partisan Westminster Village knockabout.—
Tony McNulty (@Tony_McNulty) November 20, 2013
A note was passed in the middle of the session from a sharp eyed backbench MP. Presumably a big glass of claret this lunchtime for Cameron’s new PPS Gavin Williamson for that little hit.
Immediately Ed’s outriders kicked off. Here is what the Labour leader’s former Chief of Staff had to say:
Just when Labour appeared to be making an interesting intervention into the debate about how we reduce the welfare bill, Rachel Reeves shoots down the proposal. IPPR, Labour’s favourite think-tank, are displaying a rare flash of common sense with their idea to restrict benefits to under 25s. Despite Labour appearing to brief the Telegraph that they were looking at the policy, they’re now claiming they are not. The left flipped out at the idea; Owen Jones got on his high horse and Reeves quickly distanced herself. Guido can’t wait to read the Labour manifesto if every policy must have the blessing of some moany, hand-wringing Twitter users.
So Reeves’ pledge to out-tough the Tories on welfare is going well then. Guido is all for the plan – they just need to raise the age threshold to 65.
The Reagan Doctrine rolled back communism across the world, now we have what LabourList has – with a straight face – dubbed the “Dugher Doctrine”, which presumably consists of polluting Twitter with North Korean-style synchronised tweeting.
Miliband attack dog Michael Dugher is in charge of sorting out Labour’s social media strategy, or “transforming the party for the digital age”. The competition is weak, he will have to go some way to do worse than the Tories’ current standard of hashtags and videos. Though the first signs of the “Dugher Doctrine” are hardly encouraging either. As much as Labour talk about how many people their online campaigning has reached, Guido does not really think preaching to the converted while annoying everybody else is a well thought out strategy. If they think getting MPs to obediently tweet a slogan simultaneously will win an election, go ahead, tweet. Seal Team, engage…
Co-conspirators searched far and wide for a photo of Miliband drinking in a pub, and on the evidence above it seems pint-less Ed isn’t too keen on the stuff. That is unless the pub in question stocks Lanson champagne. These pics were taken at the Old Star pub in St James’ Park, where Ed spoke last month to a fitting backdrop:
Labour have this afternoon suspended coke-snorting Rev Flowers from the party.
Since they are taking such a tough line, Guido wonders if there is a precedent for such action against known cocaine users?
Readers will remember how Hugo Chavez fanboy Owen Jones flew to Venezuela with Diane Abbott to oversee his re-election, all paid for by the socialist regime of course. Impartial observer Owen was just the man to make sure the elections were free and fair:
“Hugo Chavez was a democrat, not a dictator, and showed a progressive alternative to neo-liberalism is both possible and popular.”
Now the serial human rights abuser is dead, Nicolas Maduro, his chosen successor, is in charge and Diane is a big fan:
Well this week Maduro passed an Enabling Act permitting him to govern by decree, then announced that “we have more than 100 of the bourgeoisie behind bars at the moment”, as part of an “economic war”. As socialist Venezuela descends into tyranny, Owen Jones and Diane Abbott have gone rather quiet.
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.”