Monday, January 20, 2014

Quote of the Day

LibDem MEP Chris Davies doesn’t really get it:

“A good man has been publicly destroyed through the media with the apparent support of Nick Clegg. It is completely out of proportion, nonsense and outrageous.This isn’t Jimmy Savile. This is touching someone’s leg six years ago at a meeting through clothing. This is the equivalent of a few years ago an Italian man pinching a woman’s bottom. How much more must this man be made to suffer through the media condemnation that comes out day after day fed by the party leadership? I’ve known Chris since he was 17, his wife for about the same time… I can’t believe how much they’ve suffered in the past year. And these people just want to go on and on. For what? I mean haven’t they had their pound of flesh?”

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Quote of the Day

Nick Clegg’s former aide Bridget Harris quits the party over its handling of the Rennard scandal:

“You go into politics and you accept the notion of a collective agreement for the greater good. After the 15 years I worked in the Lib Dems I realised there is no greater good, just everyone doing a s**t job.”

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Impotent Clegg Repeats Broken Rennard Promise

Nick Clegg took a pasting over Rennard on LBC this morning. Judging by the ensuing silence when asked why he doesn’t just boot the pervy peer out, Clegg clearly wants to get rid but is impotent to do so. Instead all he would commit to is banning Rennard from working on the LibDems’ election campaign:

This is a promise the LibDems have made before and – shockingly – broken. Back in 2010 when Rennard resigned over expenses, though citing ill health, their official line was exactly the same: “he is not part of our campaign team”. Only for him to soon be back spinning for Clegg at the leadership debates and be seen popping in and out of the party’s Cowley Street HQ. Which is strange, because it is unlike LibDems to go back on their word.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

LibDem Women Condemn Party

Rennard says in his statement: “I now look forward to resuming my roles within the Liberal Democrats.” Without so much as an apology…

LibDems Won’t Discipline Rennard

Cathy Newman reports that the LibDems are to take no disciplinary action against Lord Rennard. Worth remembering what Clegg had to say following the Rennard Report last summer:

“It makes sobering reading. It shows that stretching over a 20-year period a series of mistakes were made which left a number of women feeling seriously let down and for that there is absolutely no excuse whatsoever.

The report also shows that the individuals who dealt with their complaints had the right motives, but there weren’t the right processes in place to support the women who’d come forward. And as leader of the Liberal Democrats I take responsibility for that.”

And yet he is doing absolutely nothing about it…

All our Rennard stories can be found hereThe old perv still hasn’t sued Guido for calling him a corrupt sex pest.

UPDATE:

Party president Tim Farron has called on Rennard to apologise. If you’re a LibDem you can harass women again and again and it’s fine so long as you say sorry.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Detective of Baker Street

Has Norman Baker given up on his mad Dr David Kelly conspiracy theories? Guido hears that the loopy Home Office Minister has a new bugbear now he is in government. As revealed in yesterday’s Sun, Baker’s request for an extensive briefing by officials on the locations of the police and the exact angles of the bullets that killed gangster Mark Duggan were politely rebuffed last week, given that they were trying to prepare him for his appearance on Question TimeIs he planning another book?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Gordon Plotting By-Election With Balls
Shadow Chancellor Lovebombs Clegg, Who Hates Him

Leaving aside the naked positioning and re-writing of history by Ed Balls in his New Statesman interview, there was one line that the fearless interviewer did not pick up on. When asked when the Shadow Chancellor last spoke to his political father Gordon Brown, Balls replied: “he actually emailed me today about a by-election coming up in the next couple of weeks”. Well we are certainly overdue one in Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath…

The other line that made Guido chuckle was Balls’ claim:

“I can disagree with Nick Clegg on some of the things he did but I’ve no reason to doubt his integrity, we’ve never, I don’t think, ever had a cross word.”

Which will come as news to the Deputy Prime Minister, who said over Christmas:

“I always try to keep a good sense of humour, and if I have an argument with someone to keep the argument about what the argument is about and not allow it too often to become sort of personal. I make one exception, for a man named Ed Balls. But other than that I try not to make it about insults and stuff.”

Well we can forgive him that…

Monday, January 6, 2014

200 Ministerial Car Journeys Taken Without a Minister

More than 200 government car journeys were undertaken last year without a Minister in the car. After George Osborne pledged this morning to make government smaller and leaner, Guido suggests the Chancellor has a look at the government car data for 2012/13 that was quietly published today. In 2012 the government car pool was broken up and a vehicle given to each department, yet a small pool was kept for ‘top up journeys’. Hidden within these additional rides is some very poor planning, or very lazy Ministers, who are using this service to ferry their red-boxes unaccompanied around the country. And we’re paying for the pleasure.

The Deputy Prime Minister is amongst the worst offenders, using empty cars to ferry his boxes 52 times. Hague relied on this trick 41 times and Gove 23. While the worst offender was former Trade Minister Lord Marland, who clocked up a bizarre 61 extra journeys on our tab for his boxes, the LibDems seem to have a particular penchant for this perk. David Laws managed it 21 times, Sarah Teather 14 and Danny Alexander 22 times. That is one cut the Chief Secretary to the Treasury has not managed to find. 

Transport Minister Stephen Hammond is clearly struggling with the 5.7 mile commute from his constituency in Wandsworth to his desk in Westminster; he has got his box sent over 19 times on top of the 138 ‘top up’ journeys he took himself. By comparison Cabinet Ministers such as Osborne, Maude, Greening, Clarke, Shapps and Hunt managed to organise their departmental business with zero such trips. No costs for these journeys were published. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Sir Ming Coughs Coalition Divorce Plan

Sir Ming has given an interview to Total Politics, where the closest the LibDems have to an elder statesman reveals the depth of thinking in the party at the coming divorce:

“I have a theory, which so far I have not been able to persuade anyone to accept. It is that Clegg and Cameron should choose three people each who have not been in government – and this is not a job application – and send them off into a room to work out how we have a dignified, non-acrimonious division. The ministers will have to keep going to the very end. Why? Because the country has to be governed. But I think we should accept that the point’s going to come at which politically we may be together governmentally, but politically we’re going to start – well it’s started with differentiation – moving away from each other. And we should do that without recrimination or acrimony or intimidation or anything of that kind. Why? Because it is very damaging for both parties if it breaks up in a row, or a series of rows. But more to the point, it would have a considerable impact on the creditability of coalition. If people enter into it and then by the end of it get at each other’s throats, that would be the worst possible outcome, in my view. So I adhere to my view, six wise men and women, in a closed room, with instructions not to come out until they have a solution. This idea does not yet seem to have any traction.”

It’s  not an entirely daft idea…

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

When Simon Hughes Said He Would Not Take Government Job

A very mini LibDem reshuffle this afternoon as Simon Hughes replaces Lord McNally as Minister of State for Justice. Conveniently forgetting the time he said he would not take a government job so he was free to speak his mind. This is what he told HuffPo last year:

“He tells me that one of the reasons he didn’t accept a job in government in the recent reshuffle so that he is free to speak his mind to “any [Lib Dem] minister from Nick downwards”.

In the days after the general election, says Hughes, he had a conversation with Clegg and Cable – the then deputy leader – and the three of them agreed it would be “sensible” for the Lib Dems’ deputy leader to be outside of government, in order to “hold the party together”

Interesting too that Vince Cable resigned as deputy leader when he went into government. Will Hughes do so as well?

UPDATE: He’s gone:

Team Jezza…


Seen Elsewhere

Guido’s Column | Sun
NUT’s Loony Defence of Status Quo | Jago Pearson
A Dozen Reasons to Be Cheerful | John McTernan
Political Bloggers Are Equal Opportunities Attackers | ConHome
Michael Gove Should Resign | Conservative Women
Sarah Wollaston’s Naming and Shaming of Bloggers | LibDemVoice
Fraser Nelson: Put Your Money on Ed Miliband to Win | Guardian
Guido Fawkes is Too Aggressive | The Times
Ditch Tobacco Plain Packaging | Grassroots Conservatives
What Farage, Boris and Rob Ford Have in Common | William Walter
Labour Spell New Adviser’s Name Wrong | ITV


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Kevin Maguire on the less than electrifying Ed Miliband…

“I bet if you went into a pub tonight and started a conversation about ­politics you’d hear strong opinions. David Cameron would be out of touch and Nick Clegg despised while Nigel Farage would divide people sharply. Miliband? In a lot of boozers he’d be the fourth most interesting man in British politics.”



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It’s money innit.


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