Monday, September 1, 2014

LibDems Select Hancock Cover Up Ally to Fight His Seat

Nick Clegg said that the LibDems had had a long hard look in the mirror after the recent sex scandals that have plagued the party. But has anything really changed?

They’ve welcomed back handsy Lord Rennard into the party fold after he apologised for ‘inadvertently’ ‘invading the personal space’ (knickers) of female activists and party aides. Now a row is brewing over their candidate selected in Portsmouth South, the seat vacated by pervy MP Mike Hancock who apologised and settled out of court after admitting inappropriate behaviour towards a mentally ill constituent. Portsmouth Council fought tooth and nail to protect Hancock: initially dismissing the allegations and refusing to properly investigate. Hancock’s oddball ally Gerald Vernon Jackson was the council leader at the time – and will now fight to keep his seat yellow. It’s a gift to UKIP, who made huge gains on the council in May. Another target seat for Farage…

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Clegg Spins His Own Rennard Failings

The restoration of Lord Rennard’s LibDem membership card, and neutering of Nick Clegg, as gone down like a cup of cold sick with almost everybody except the pervy peer’s mates. The Deputy PM and LibDem leader – in office but out of power – is left to bleating about long hard looks in the mirror.

Clegg outrider Sean Kemp spins to the Times RedBox:

“The Lib Dems’ absurdly complex disciplinary system has meant the only person being punished for the Rennard affair is Nick Clegg. The party’s leader was left unable to take charge of the issue, even while it badly damaged his party’s reputation.That system has now been changed, but that will do nothing for the people who wanted to see the party take tougher action.”

Clegg could have ‘taken charge of the issue’ when the allegations first surfaced internally before the last election. Or when he was told about them in 2010. Instead, like with Mike Hancock, he chose to ignore the problem and hoped it would go away.

Guido has zero sympathy.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

LibDems Clear Rocket Man David Ward

In the least surprising news of the summer, the LibDems have cleared David Ward of bringing his party into disrepute after he said he would fire rockets at Israeli civilians were he a Palestinian. Impotent Chief Whip Don Foster bleats that he will take no action:

“David has subsequently repeated his apology and placed it and his explanation on his website. 

In light of that apology, the assurance by David Ward that he would do all he could to ensure comments he made would be in a form that would be difficult to misinterpret, and that he will continue – in relation to the Israeli//Palestinian situation – to condemn violence on both sides and support moves for a cease fire, I do not intend to take further action in relation to the tweet.

I am conscious that this decision will not satisfy some people. To them I would say, at a time of considerable international unease in the Middle East, comments have been made by politicians from all parties that have been unwelcome by some or other section of society. 

The question I have had to answer is not, did the comments by David Ward cause offence to some people (within the party or outside), but did they bring the party into disrepute?

David accepts that his tweet did cause offence to some people. He recognises that the use of Twitter as a form of communication can lead to misinterpretation and accepts the need for greater care in the future. However, I do not believe it was in any way anti-Semitic or motivated by anti-Semitic intentions and I do not believe his tweet brought the party into disrepute.

I believe that his statement including an apology on 23rd July should draw a line under this matter.”

It goes without saying that Ward was not “misinterpreted” as the LibDems are claiming, even people within his own party were calling for him to be booted out. The line that politicians from all parties have made similar comments during this conflict is patently untrue. The same LibDems who will stop Britain from arming Israel if Hamas strikes again have backed their MP who expressed sympathy for Hamas rocket attacks…

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Loony LibDem Candidate Boycotts BBC Over Gaza

Where do the LibDems find ‘em? The party’s ambitious candidate to be Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands, who was given a glowing reference on LibDemVoice just a few weeks ago, is something of a wannabe David Ward. Ayoub Khan has shown his campaigning genius by boycotting the BBC over their “biased” coverage of Gaza:

FROM: Ayoub Khan
TO: Kathryn Stanczyszyn
11 August 2014

Whilst it is in the interest of any candidate to promote themselves and attract voter support on mainstream media, particularly in a by-election, I have decided not to do this with the BBC because their broadcasting of the Gaza situation has been biased. One has to live with ones own conscience and I refuse to participate with organisations such as the BBC who in the view of so many, have acted in such an unfair manner.

Barrister Khan’s other credentials include being accused of lying in court, while on his website he modestly says: “Some people call me a hero, but I just did what anyone would do.” You have to wonder what BBC journalists risking risking their lives in Gaza think about being called Israeli propagandists by armchair activists back in Britain…

Friday, August 8, 2014

LibDem Losers in the Lords

Hats off to the LibDems for managing to choose the six most boring people they could find to go to the Lords today. The only really interesting thing about them is that they are perennial losers – five of the six tried to become MPs and failed. First, Barbara Janke failed to be elected as the Lib Dem candidate for Surbiton in 1992. Then Chris Fox failed in Windsor in 1997. Kath Pinnock lost in Batley & Spen in 1997 and 2001, and Paul Scriven got beaten in Sheffield Central in 2010. Poor old Julie Smith tried to become the candidate for Cambridge in 2010, but didn’t even get selected. Rejected by the voters, the only hope these failed politicians ever had of making it to Westminster was in the Lords…

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

AUDIO:  Ward Refuses to Apologise Over Rocket Row

David Ward has told BBC Radio Leeds that he will not apologise for last night’s comments, insisting he is only sorry “it people misinterpreted” his admission that were he a Palestinian he would fire rockets at Israel. Ward confirmed he had spoken with the LibDem chief whip this morning, and that a statement from the party can be expected this afternoon. A mealy mouthed apology for ‘causing offence’, like last time, is unlikely to be enough…

Incidentally, Guido is too hungover to do a proper BBC rant, however, the soft line of questioning and the fawning thanks from the presenter in that interview was pathetic. Get Ward in front of Kay Burley, pronto.

Coalition Rift: Tories Ratchet Up Ward Rocket Row

This one is a kite, but the story is not going away. The Tories have grassed Ward to the old bill for “encouragement of terrorism as defined by Section 1 (2) of the Terrorism Act 2006.” In a letter to Bernard Hogan Howe, Nadhim Zahawi writes:

“I am writing in respect of a number of statements made by Mr David Ward, the Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Bradford East, on Twitter on the evening of the 22 July 2014. Mr Ward made a number of comments about the ongoing conflict in Gaza. Tragically the most recent flare up has caused deaths on both sides. However, Mr Ward went on to suggest that if he lived in the region he would wish to contribute to the violence saying he would ‘probably’ ‘fire a rocket’. I attach copies of the Tweets in question (Annex 1).

Freedom of speech is an important right, but it is not an unqualified one. This is especially true for public figures who have the capacity to influence the actions of others. Mr Ward’s tweets would appear to be prima facie evidence that he has committed the offence of encouragement of terrorism as defined by Section 1 (2) of the Terrorism Act 2006. Mr Ward may or may not have intended this statement to encourage others to fire rockets from Gaza into Israel, but regrettably he would appear to at least have been reckless as to whether others would be encouraged to commit such acts.

Of course Mr Ward must apologise for these statements, but this alone may not be enough. Mr Ward has encouraged the use of violence and may have put further lives at risk. I hope that you will begin investigating Mr Ward’s actions as a matter of urgency.”

While the letter is unlikely to come to anything, it’s interesting to see the coalition partners finally putting the boot into each other.

Another LibDem Scandal, Another Warning Letter Ignored

Last time David Ward hit the headlines for his comments about “the Jews”, the Fink wrote this letter to Nick Clegg warning him “Mr Ward will make another offensive remark, probably worse than this one. It’s just a matter of time”.

November 29, 2013

Dear Deputy Prime Minister,

As I hope you know by now, I have great respect for you. I believe it took substantial courage and imagination to agree to the coalition deal and to see it through in the way that you have. So I write now in full confidence of your goodwill and your willingness and ability to do what is right. It’s about David Ward, your MP for Bradford East. You’ve got to do something and you need to get on with it.

At the beginning of the year, Mr Ward told Holocaust survivors like my mother that they had failed to learn the lesson of experience. They should treat people better and they don’t. He kept pressing this opinion, and talking about Jews, until you felt that you needed to withdraw the party whip. However, as a compromise, the whip was taken away from him only while the House wasn’t sitting. I was a bit disappointed by this, but I saw the problem. You didn’t want a huge party row with him about Israel and you didn’t want to lose an MP. You thought perhaps that a warning would do.

Mr Ward will make another, probably worse, remark. It’s just a matter of time. Fair enough, I suppose. Not heroic, but fair enough. The point of my letter is to urge upon you the thought that this approach, however reasonable you thought it was, hasn’t worked. Mr Ward has now given himself of the opinion that the Board of Deputies is powerful and well financed. Your party has dismissed this as a flattering observation but I think we both know better than this. It is a classic and freighted description of a Jewish lobby that reflects Mr Ward’s view that, for financial reasons, Jews have acquired great power.

By themselves it would be easy to dismiss the comments, but the comments are not made by themselves. They form part of a pattern of remarks deeply offensive to Jews. I am sure you would never conclude that Jews don’t matter because there aren’t many of us and we don’t live where you need us. Or that Mr Ward’s constituents will support him, and Jewish feelings are collateral damage in his election campaign. But perhaps you think this a niche problem that will go away. This is an error.

Mr Ward will make another offensive remark, probably worse than this one. It’s just a matter of time. He will do it closer to an election, in a more highly charged atmosphere, and you will be put in a very difficult position. He may also tie his remarks closely to his view of Israel, making action just as necessary but more awkward. Your problem will be less the comments themselves than that you will be made to look weak. You will get stuck between the media on the one side and your local party organisation on the other. It will be very uncomfortable indeed.

I am not suggesting that acting even now is easy. The Board decided not to complain and you may feel it is difficult to act unilaterally. So I am sympathetic. Yet it is far better to make a choice now, while you are in control, while the decision to escalate is yours, than to leave it until later when it is likely to be more difficult. It is a mistake to contract this out to the Board, because your problem is not this incident. It is Mr Ward’s pattern of behaviour.

If these strategic thoughts don’t convince you, let me try something a bit more direct. Mr Ward’s comments are simply not acceptable. You didn’t go into politics, surely, to stand by someone saying that Jewish money makes them powerful. Or to compare Jews to Nazis. You can’t allow yourself to be responsible for that. And you don’t have to. Because, guess what, you are the leader.

Daniel Finkelstein

Once again, Clegg received a letter warning him that a prominent member of his party was behaving inappropriately, and was likely to re-offend. Once again, Clegg ignored the warnings…

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

ROCKET MAN: Cross-Party Condemnation For David Ward

A LibDem spokesperson said:

“We utterly condemn David Ward’s comments, they are not representative of the Liberal Democrats. The party takes this matter very seriously and will treat it as a disciplinary issue.”

A Labour spokesperson said:

“At a time when all sides should be working for a ceasefire and a peaceful settlement, it defies belief that a Liberal Democrat MP should tweet something so vile and irresponsible. Nick Clegg must act immediately to disassociate his party from this comment.”

Tory chairman Grant Shapps said:

“Appalling: No MP should tweet what’s essentially incitement to violence. Mr Ward must withdraw now. Completely irresponsible.”

Last time Ward timed his comments just as MPs were heading off on recess, guaranteeing him a recess-only suspension. He has done the same this time round, so will Nick Clegg step up and give him the punishment he deserves?

ROCKET MAN: LibDem MP Backs Hamas Terror Attacks

David Ward, the disgraced LibDem MP who was shamed for his rant against “the Jews”, has said that were he a Palestinian he would fire rockets at Israel:

“I think it’s gonna be a long, long time, before David Ward comes back again…”

UPDATE: A Labour spokesperson says “This is a vile tweet.”

UPDATE II: The LibDems have now condemned their MP. A party spokesperson tells Guido his comments are “vile and crass”.

UPDATE III: Tory chairman Grant Shapps: “Appalling: No MP should tweet what’s essentially incitement to violence. Mr Ward must withdraw now. Completely irresponsible.”

UPDATE IV: Tory source: “He is a determinedly appalling man who says deliberately awful things, over and over again. You know, a Lib Dem.”

UPDATE V: The Fink last year wrote to Nick Clegg that “Mr Ward will make another offensive remark, probably worse than this one. It’s just a matter of time.” The LibDem leader ignored him…

UPDATE: VI:


Seen Elsewhere

Cam Cannot Stem EU Immigration | David Keighley
9 Mansion Tax Questions for Ed Balls | TPA
Politicians are Lying to You About Immigration | Alex Wickham
Give Journalists Public Interest Defence in Law | Guardian
Cameron is Going to Have to Deal With UKIP | Dan Hodges
Opinions on Key Issues By Constituency | Red Box
Britain Irrelevant Inside EU | Dan Hannan
Cameron Heading for Fall on Europe | Rachel Sylvester
Lords Speaker Spends £350 on Two Mile Limo Ride | Sun
Shapps Slaps Down Barroso “Propaganda” | City AM
Bookies v Pollsters: What We Learned From IndyRef | Paddy Power


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Chris Bryant talks to the Times Diary about a famous gay actor:

“I don’t think I’ve had sex with him. He says we had sex in Clapham. I’m fairly certain I’ve never had sex south of the river”



Progressive Inclusion Champion says:

Great to hear Carswell call for inclusive policies and that UKIP must stand for first and second generation immigrants as much as the English.


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