Wednesday, July 9, 2014

GUY NEWS: When Harman Said Gordon Wasn’t Sexist

Pressed by Iain Dale last night, Harriet Harman was adamant that she stuck by her accusations of sexism levelled against Gordon Brown:

“I think it is unlikely that if one of the men had won [the Labour deputy leadership] instead of me, that they would not have been made Deputy Prime Minister.”

That’s not what she used to say. When Caroline Flint resigned in 2009, accusing the former Prime Mentalist of treating her like “female window-dressing”, Hattie insisted that allegations of sexism against Gordon were unfounded:

“I can understand the frustration of any woman in politics but it’s not true to say that Gordon Brown doesn’t take women in politics seriously.”

So, was she telling the truth then, or now?

Labour’s Lavish Fundraiser Auction: £100,000 Reserve Bids

Labour clucked and screeched last week over a Tory fundraising auction that saw signed Maggie memorabilia go for £45,000 and a tennis match with the PM also up for grabs. Well their own gala dinner tonight will see something very similar, including at least one lot with a reserve price of £100,000:

“We have amazing artwork from Antony Gormley, Anish Kapoor, Grayson Perry, Mark Wallinger and Nicola Green along with an exciting opportunity for you and a chosen team to go head to head with a Shadow Cabinet Five-A-Side All Stars football team which includes, Ed Balls, Andy Burnham, Sadiq Khan, and Jim Murphy.”

The Gormley has a reserve price of £100,000, while the Kapoor work is available for a more ‘in touch’ price of £25,000. Most would struggle to pay for Nicola Green painting “The Struggle” at £6,000. No cost of living crisis there.

Other lots include “Patrick Stewart to record your answerphone message”, and cash-for-access to “Tea at the National Gallery with Tristram Hunt”. It is not believed “the week long stay in a Tuscan villa for 9″ was donated by Polly Toynbee.

Table cost £15,000 and the tickets are a poverty busting £500…

UPDATE: Although Guido didn’t get the story from the excellent Kate McCann, she did run the story in City AM this morning and we are happy to point that out.

Foreign Office Rendition Files ‘Destroyed by Water Damage’

Official documents recording flights in and out of Diego Garcia, the British Indian Ocean Territory where the United States is accused of carrying out ‘extraordinary rendition’ of terror suspects, have been destroyed by water damage. The Foreign Office says that records from 2002, the year in which former Foreign Secretary David Miliband admitted two US rendition flights landed on the island, are “incomplete”. Answering a written question from Tory MP Andrew Tyrie today, Foreign Office minister Mark Simmonds confirms:

“Records on flight departures and arrivals on Diego Garcia are held by the British Indian Ocean Territory immigration authorities. Daily occurrence logs, which record the flights landing and taking off, cover the period since 2003. Though there are some limited records from 2002, I understand they are incomplete due to water damage.”

Diego Garcia has been dogged by allegations that it is used by the US government as a base to torture terror suspects with impunity. The last Labour government was forced to apologise after admitting rendition flights landed there in 2002, despite previous denials. And now files from that year have been destroyed…

Harman’s ‘Deliberate Misrepresentation’

“It’s really a deliberate misrepresentation to have the few Tory women MPs clustered around the Prime Minister so that they can be picked up by the TV cameras while the rest of the government benches are nearly exclusively men.”

- Harriet Harman, 8 July 2014

Now what sort of self-respecting, proud feminist would ever allow herself to be used in a wheeze such as that?

gordonpmqs

- Harriet Harman, 25 July 2007

Oh Hatty.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

LISTEN: Harman Condemns ‘Sexist’ Brown and McBride

Harriet Harman has launched a bitter attack on the former Prime Mentalist, using a speech hosted by John Bercow this evening to accuse Gordon of sexism:

“Imagine my surprise when having won a hard-fought election to succeed John Prescott as deputy leader of the Labour Party, I discovered that I was not to succeed him as Deputy Prime Minister!” she is expected to say. If one of the men had won the deputy leadership would that have happened? Would they have put up with it? I doubt it. And imagine the consternation in my office when we discovered that my involvement in the London G20 summit was inclusion at the no10 dinner for the G20 leader’s wives.”

Harman’s broadside has invoked the wrath of Damian McBride, who hits back: “Have you no sense of decency, Harriet?” McBride blogs that Brown had other ways of discriminating against people other than their gender – “Gordon divides the world into only two categories: useless and not useless” – going on to snipe:

“Harriet seems to think she should have been invited to the leaders dinner instead, or perhaps to the meetings of the G20. To which I’d respectfully ask….erm, why? What on earth would Harriet have contributed to the meetings and dinner where Gordon, Obama, Sarkozy and Merkel were hammering out the global financial stimulus to bring the world out of recession? I mean seriously, what? But if she thinks she was excluded from those discussions because of her gender, Harriet needs to remind herself that Gordon’s key advisor throughout those meetings was Baroness Shriti Vadera. Why? Because she was the world expert on what needed to happen. With all due respect, Harriet was not.”

Ouch!

Safe to say Hattie didn’t take that too well. Here is her riposte on LBC just now:

“Damian McBride, you’ll remember, was sacked from being in the employment of the government for denigrating women, and he’s doing it again right now. It’s why he got fired, he’s learnt no lessons, he’s doing it again. When we have to listen to Damian McBride’s views on women, we really are in trouble.”

Calm down, dears!

Senior Welsh Minister Sacked Over Smear Emails
Read Bombshell Emails That Exposed Labour ‘Cabinet’ Member

The one party state of Wales has sacked one of its most senior cabinet members, condemning his “unacceptable” behaviour. Environment minister Alun Davies ordered non-partisan civil servants to use taxpayer-funded resources to dig up dirt on his political opponents. In emails produced here by Guido, Davies told his private secretary to send him details of payments made to the leader of the Welsh Conservatives, leader of the Welsh LibDems and a senior Plaid Cymru politician, in breach of the ministerial code:

The civil servant then emailed the, hilariously titled, ‘Welsh Cabinet Secretary’ to raise concerns that Davies’ request was “for party-political purposes” and that “I do not think it is appropriate”. He goes on to report that despite advising Davies that he was not allowed to release the information, “he has now requested this information verbally again”.

The Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones said Davies’ actions were “poorly judged” and “inappropriate”. And he’s just been fired.

Bigmouth Strikes Again: Classic Hodge PwC Dodge

Question-dodging Margaret Hodge chaired a panel discussion in parliament this morning on tax transparency, wasting no time in piling into the ‘Big Four’ professional services companies for failing to use “copper bottom schemes” to prevent tax avoidance. Awkward then, that sitting two seats along from Hodge the Dodge on the panel is Shadow Exchequer Secretary Shabana Mahmood, who has just hired a new technical support analyst paid for by Big Four firm PriceWaterhouse Coopers. Indeed, a grand total of three Labour Shadow Treasury ministers have just brought in PwC staffers, paid for by the company, to help them with the Finance Bill. Not to mention Ed Balls, Chuka Umunna and a host of other Shadow ministers hiring from PwC in the past. The same Pricewaterhouse, of course, that Hodge herself used to work for. She really isn’t very good at this whole tax-y moralise-y thing, is she…

Monday, July 7, 2014

Margaret Hodge’s Double Standards on Abuse

It wouldn’t be a row without an unprompted contribution from Margaret, Lady Hodge, rent-a-quote extraordinaire. Today’s Morning Star reports:

‘Senior Labour MP Margaret Hodge condemned the “veil of secrecy” that has shrouded the Establishment for far too long. “Now the Establishment who thought they were always protected find actually they are subject to the same rigours of the law and that’s right”’

Could that be the very same Margaret  Hodge who was forced to apologise for branding a sex abuse victim as ‘extremely disturbed’, and was accused of failing to act on child abuse claims as leader of Islington Council. As the BBC points out:

“Mrs Hodge led Islington Council from 1982 to 1992, when it emerged that children in the council’s care had been abused. She has been accused of failing to act, despite receiving warnings – an allegation she denies”

A veil of secrecy…

Friday, July 4, 2014

Who Said It: Miliband or Kinnock?

Which Labour leader responded to a major continental showdown involving a Tory Prime Minister by warning: “Is it now clear that last weekend the Prime Minister managed to unite the rest of the European Community against [them]? Not Ed Miliband, that was actually Neil Kinnock to Maggie in 1990.

Ed’s own response to Dave’s Juncker defeat was almost exactly the same: “He started with a divided Europe over the Juncker candidacy, and he ended with a united Europe against him. That’s not the only similarity…

Which Labour leader asked of the PM: isn’t the answer that [their] combination of threats, insults and disengagement turned out to be a master class in how to alienate your allies and lose the argument for Britain? That was Ed on Dave this week.

Eerily similar to Kinnock on Thatcher 14 years earlier, when he asked: “Does the Prime Minister not understand that, with her method of conducting affairs, she is throwing away that sound argument and losing both potential allies and necessary influence?” More evidence that Miliband is the heir to Kinnock…

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Dugher and Dougie Rearrange Deckchairs

Superficially it looks like Michael Dugher has been elbowed out to some degree as the party rearranges the deckchairs this afternoon. Wee Dougie has three brand new campaign deputies to work under him as chair of election strategy: Gloria De Piero will work with broadcasters, Jon Ashworth with candidates and Toby Perkins with the Parliamentary Labour Party. They all receive warm words from their new boss:

“Gloria, Toby, and Jonathan have all contributed significantly to our work in recent months and I’m pleased to now formalise their places within Labour’s election team. I’m delighted to appoint them to key roles as Labour gears up to fight the next General Election.”

A footnote to Labour’s announcement is that Dugher “will continue to oversee communications and will lead negotiations for Ed Miliband on the TV Leaders’ Debates”. And Dougie has no kind words to say about him either. Ouch…

Alternative Kremlinology is that Gloria, Toby and Jonathan are actually Dugher’s allies and that they will act as a buffer between him and Wee Dougie – given they are barely on civil terms. Dougie, according to this analysis, is now encircled by deputies who are loyal to Dugher. And the band plays on…


Seen Elsewhere

Labour Failed Those Victims | Labour Uncut
We Cannot Ignore the Race Issue Here | Dan Hodges
74 MPs Who Back Stop Mills Motion | Speccie
Milibande | Ian Birrell
The True Meaning of Political Correctness Gone Mad | Speccie
Nigel, Nigel, Nigel! | Bloomberg
Bercow Blinks | Guardian
Speaker on the Ropes | Indy
Outgoing Clerk Slams Bercow – Row Goes Very Public | BBC
Darling Was Wrong on OBR | Speccie
Climate Change Cools Off | Washington Times


VOTER-RECALL
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Shaun Wright’s understatement about the Rotherham child abuse scandal…

“..I could have taken more action and probably dealt with this issue better.”



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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