Thursday, August 14, 2014

Mrs Danczuk’s Now and Then Bikini Snaps

When Labour wife Karen Danczuk isn’t tweeting photos of her baps on sale at her Rochdale deli, she spends her time giving MP husband Simon plenty of support online. Karen has delved into the archives however to mark Throwback Thursday, a Twitter hashtag where people share old pics of themselves. Lucky followers have been treated to a past poolside holiday snap:

And then a more recent selfie:

Still got it…

Burnham ‘Owes’ Tax Efficient Lobbyist Aide £20,000

The Times and Mail are on the case of Andy Burnham’s health lobbyist aide Kevin Lee over his tax arrangements, a story Guido broke over two years ago. Readers will remember how back in 2011 this blog revealed how Lee was being paid as Burnham’s spinner not on a normal PAYE contract, but through his company, Lee Communications. Since Labour advisers are paid for by taxpayer-funded ‘Short Money’, this seems particularly creative. And the murkiness doesn’t end there.

When Burnham was Health Secretary, Lee Communications raked in hundreds of thousands of pounds in NHS cash, which is somewhat ironic given Burnham’s apocalyptic warnings about the Tories privatising the health service. Lee also splashed himself all over the internet boasting about his connections with Burnham and his expertise in public affairs. He was a health lobbyist with NHS clients.

As if Burnham employing Lee’s company and giving him a parliamentary pass permitting a health lobbyist access to parliament was not suspicious enough, Lee also “loaned” £20,000 to Burnham’s failed leadership campaign. Burnham has never managed to explain why he gave a lobbyist donor unfettered access to the parliamentary estate. As for that £20,000 loan, did Burnham ever pay it back? Let’s see if he can clear it up once and for all two years on…

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Tories Thrash Labour in Donation Stakes: Q2 Figures in Full

Electoral Commission figures out this morning show the Tories are amassing a decent pre-election war chest, raking in £7,185,709 in donations in Q2 of 2014. That’s almost double Labour, who banked just £3,761,615 by comparison. The biggest single donation was given to UKIP, £1,079,567 from Paul Sykes’ Highstone Group.

Those posters don’t pay for themselves…

Hapless Tristram’s 14 Corrections and Clarifications

Tristram Hunt, one of the great minds of this or any other generation, showed just how clever he is last night by publicising a correction about him printed by the Mail. The story was about Michael Gove finding 14 historical errors in Tristram’s new history book, so it was a double win that the Mail had withdrawn the claims.

If you read the actual correction, however, poor Tristram is left red-faced once again:

“A comment article on 14 July repeated unsubstantiated claims that Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt’s new book contained certain errors. We are happy to clarify that the error referred to appeared only in the uncorrected version sent to reviewers and apologise accordingly.”

The explanation that the errors “referred to appeared only in the uncorrected version sent to reviewers” and not in the final version found on the shelves hardly does his reputation for historical accuracy any favours. Not only that, it suggests Tristram’s publishers had to rewrite his book to correct the errors pointed out by Gove. Well done him for pointing that out…

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Spinners “Hit Hardest” By Labour’s Unimaginative Slogan Crisis

Labour’s uninspiring Shadow Treasury minister Shabana Mahmood didn’t really have her heart in it when she gave the government a limp-wristed slap today: “While millionaires have been given a huge tax cut families with children have been hit hardest…by the cost of living crisis.” Where has Guido heard that before?

Lazy Labour spinners have thrown the “hit hardest” line into just about every quote they have sent out recently. It isn’t just families with children who have apparently been “hit hardest”, but also: the self-employed, mothers, women, Londoners, ethnic minorities, the elderly, the disabled, the north-east – and Guido’s personal favourite – Women in Rutherglen and Cambuslang. Make your mind up…

Crook Who Took Looks to Get Off Hook While Plugging Book

Jailed expenses cheat Denis MacShane couldn’t stop himself from trying to weasel out of admitting he thieved from the taxpayer as he plugged his book on Channel 4 News last night. “I have no problems at all with what happened to me,” he began, before trying to convince viewers that actually he had been terribly hard done by and didn’t deserve to spend Christmas in the clink. Quelle surprise.

“I claimed money back, all of it expended. Unlike some of my other former colleagues there isn’t a single bit of personal profit for me. As several prisoners said to me, ‘You’re the only guy who’s in here from parliament who didn’t make any money’. But I’m not complaining about it, I’m really not.” 

Of course you’re not, Denis.

Asked repeatedly by Cathy Newman if he accepted he stole from the taxpayer, MacShane refused to show remorse: “No, I was reimbursed for money expended, alright, you can trundle around this as much as you like.” Worth watching the interview just to see MacShame’s face when Cathy reads his charge sheet to him…

Vid via @liarpoliticians.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Welsh First Minister Embroiled in ‘Malvinas’ Row

Slow clap for the Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones, who for some reason thought it would be a good idea to get pally with loony tune Argentinian ambassador Alicia Castro this week. Predictably, the Argies wanted to score points about the Falklands. Less predictably, Jones went along with it. This is from the press release sent out by the Argentinian embassy after the meeting with a chirpy-looking Carwyn:

“Alicia Castro praised the integration of the Welsh community in Argentina as an example of the hospitality that Argentina affords British descendents, which refutes the propaganda from a sector of the Malvinas Islands’ inhabitants portraying Argentina as hostile, in an attempt to justify the UK government’s refusal to resolve the sovereignty dispute.”

Wonder how well this will go down with the Welsh Guards and survivors of the Sir Galahad bombing, which saw 48 men killed in an Argentinian attack…

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Walking in the Air (Of Superiority)

Meet Aled Jones, 20 year-old namesake of your mum’s favourite Welsh ex-choirboy and star of this pre-election Labour campaign video:

Aled shares the heart-warming story of his humble beginnings, how he grew up on his family’s sheep farm in rural Wales, and why “I’m Labour because I believe in a society where no one falls behind”. But Aled’s meek backstory isn’t all it seems.

What Labour don’t tell us is their new poster boy is actually a law student at Oxford, co-chair of Oxford University Labour Club and former intern for several Labour politicians. Presumably his commitment to “a society where wealth doesn’t just trickle down from the top” stems from his experience working for Shell oil company and Magic Circle law firm Slaughter and May. And, like any aspiring socialist, he also has a penchant for champagne and white tie:

The revolution is safe in Aled’s hands…

Thursday, July 31, 2014

You’d Have Thought Eid Have Checked First
Labour MP Accused of “Racial Profiling” By Constituent

How thoughtful of Labour’s Andy Slaughter to send out cards to those of his constituents who have been celebrating Eid this week. Since MPs are banned from sending out Christmas cards on expenses, let’s hope he paid for them out of his own pocket. Here’s the card received by one less than impressed constituent and Guido co-conspirator:

Javid does not celebrate Eid as he is not a Muslim, yet he was still sent a card. Replying to his MP, he accuses Slaughter of “racial profiling”:

What could possibly have made Slaughter think his constituent Javid was a Muslim?

Labour Distances Miliband From Dodgy Bercow Donor
Denial that Sassoon is “an Adviser” to Ed, Despite Her Claims

cash

A spokesman for Ed Miliband tells Guido that Ed has met Farah Sassoon on several occasions “socially”, but that she is in no way an adviser to the Labour leader, despite her claims to the contrary.

Sassoon says she does different things when she meets different people, at different times in the evening. Yet one fact is very clear…

The Labour donor and business woman has been given a pass personally by John Bercow, who now admits she is funding his re-election campaign.

That does not pass the smell test. Pun intended…


Seen Elsewhere

Why Newmark Story Was Not Fishing Expedition | David Banks
Longlist to Succeed Hague | ConHome
Newmark Nonsense An Excuse to Bash Tabloids | Spiked
Kay Burley’s Top Twitter Zingers | Buzzfeed
Why Tory Tax Cut Pledge is Good News | Allister Heath
ONS Admits Economy Stronger Than It Thought | Speccie
Cameron’s Concessions to UKIP | Nick Wood
#TM4PM: It’s On | Speccie
Path to Defeat Obvious for Both Labour and Tories | Rafael Behr
It’s Boris v May | Sun
Farage is Outflanking the Tories | Guardian


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David Cameron on political promiscuity…

“On May 7 you could go to bed with Nigel Farage and wake up with Ed Miliband. Not one bit of that works for me.”



cynic says:

Can anyone help me? I went on holiday a week ago and returned to find someone has pulled out the stake and Gordon Brown is back and acting as Prime Minister. What did I miss? Has there been a snap election?


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