Thursday, June 28, 2012

Exclusive: Gordon Disputes Times’s Story
Claims Son’s Cystic Fibrosis Was Not Known

The Times is reporting that News International has written to the Leveson Inquiry asking them to seek further evidence from Gordon Brown over his claim that they illegally accessed his son’s medical records. The move comes after the Dundee-based Sunday Post revealed that they had got a story about his son a few weeks earlier but decided not to run it after contacting Brown. The Sun denied Brown’s claim when he made it last July at the height of the phone-hacking scandal claiming the source was a “dad whose son also has the crippling disease and he wanted to highlight the plight of sufferers”. Claim and counter-claim are being traded.

News International asked the inquiry to seek written evidence from The Sunday Post and Mr Brown. Sources at The Sunday Post tell Guido they only knew that Brown’s son was unwell, not his exact illness. When they contacted Brown’s spokesman and he refused to comment they left the matter there and did not pursue it. Guido sources tell him that Brown’s lawyers will be contacting News International shortly to advise them accordingly in the strongest possible terms. Brown is adamant, and will it appears be backed up by The Sunday Post if required, that his son’s illness was not in the public domain. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

In the Thick of It Loop II

Much excitement today about snippets of gossip from Armando Iannucci’s visit to Parliament last night, where he was previewing his American series Veep. Spilling the beans on what to expect from the next season of the Thick of It, Iannucci coughed that the series would be overshadowed by a judge led inquiry. The Times have done a whole piece on it, despite regular Guido readers learning this back in February. Needless to say, Iannucci was rather sceptical about Leveson: “it’s interesting watching them all swear on oath and then say what they say.” 

The good Lord Justice did not escape criticism either: “When Tony Blair was giving what, at best, we can call evidence  and then that protestor invaded and Leveson launched an inquiry into himself…” An inquiry into ethics and practices of Lord Leveson eh?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Fathers Day: Gay Marriage and Divorce

The progressive chattering classes and David Cameron have got themselves worked up about gay marriage – though as many gays point out, they have already got the same rights via civil partnerships. The Equal Love Campaign says the combination of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 and the Civil Partnership Act 2004 creates a system that segregates couples into two separate legal institutions, with different names but identical rights and responsibilities. It is not a matter of substance.

Where it seems to Guido the gay marriage campaigners have got it wrong is if they intend, as many suspect, to go on to legally force religious institutions to marry them contrary to the teachings of their churches, mosques, synagogues and temples. Legislation forcing people to do something against their faith seems to Guido to be a breach of human rights, not an extension.

Yet there is an almighty Lilliputian row going on over mere nomenclature. If people want to describe themselves as married, partnered, hitched, contracted or whatever, so be it. Live and let live. Hopefully it won’t go as far as Spain where the socialists have, in the name of equality, legislated so that birth certificates read “Progenitor A” and “Progenitor B” instead of “father” and “mother”.   As a libertarian Guido isn’t convinced that the state should be in the marriage/partnering or birth certifying business in any event.

As it is Fathers Day it seems to Guido a good time to bring up a matter of sexual equality before the law that is a matter of substance – fathers and mothers should be entitled to a legally binding “presumption of shared parenting” after separation, whether it is a divorce or un-partnering. You don’t need to be a Fathers4Justice campaigner to see that the current presumption in favour of the mother is unjust. Where is the Campaign for Equality in Divorce?


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Ed’s Evidence Points to Brown’s Perjury

Ed Miliband wasted no time in dumping his old boss in it at Leveson. When asked yesterday whether any of his advisers had briefed against colleagues, Gordon Brown insisted:

“I would hope not, I have no evidence for that.”

Yet Ed says that’s not the case. Asked whether Ed Balls, Charlie Whelan or Damian McBride had ever engaged in negative briefings to the press, he said:

“Ed Balls, no. Charlie Whelan left, I believe in 1999…one of the reasons he left was he briefed. On Damian McBride, when I was a Cabinet minister, I did raise a specific concern that I had with Mr Brown, I believe in 2008, about some of Mr McBride’s activities.”

Gordon says he knew nothing about the dark arts of Whelan and McBride, but Ed says he personally told him about it in 2008. Brown was on oath…

UPDATE: 

Mr Jay’s Miliband Conflict

As Guido reported in the Daily Star Sunday at the weekend, there’s a bit of a conflict of interest coming up at Leveson this afternoon:

“The inquiry’s chief inquisitor Mr Robert Jay QC might have to miss out on two of the biggest names though. He’s the boss of the 39 Essex Street chambers where Justine Thornton, also known as Mrs Ed Miliband, works. This apparent conflict of interest should see someone else interrogate the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition.”

It would be a shame to miss out on a Mr Jay showdown with Dave on Thursday, but Guido can’t really see how he can question Ed.

UPDATE: It’s Jay. Imagine the fuss if Jay was Sam Cam’s boss…

UPDATE II:

UPDATE III: As reported by the Guardian:

“Jay reopens the inquiry by confirming he is head of chambers at the law firm where Miliband’s wife works. However, he says he has not met Miliband outside the circumstances of this inquiry.”

Monday, June 11, 2012

He Lied and Lied and Lied

Guilty, m’Lord.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Huhne in the Dock

Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce are up at Southwark Crown Court at 9.30. A full trial is expected to take place in the autumn. Huhne has consistently denied the allegations, but were his ex-wife to plead guilty, he could be in extremely sticky situation. What a lovely sunny morning…

Friday, May 25, 2012

Leveson Headliners Take to Stage

Next’s week witness list for Leveson is a fiery one. Blair is is all day Monday and Hunt all day Thursday. Cable, Gove, May and Ken Clarke will also face a grilling. If this is the calibre of witnesses this week, expect the PM and Brown to be called in the first week of June. The Inquiry is not sitting in Jubilee week which gives the PM plenty of time with his lawyers and coaches…

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Huhne’s Bi-Sexual Lover Loses Court Case

Carina Trimingham has lost her case against the Mail and Mail on Sunday. A judge has ruled that acccurately describing Huhne’s then mistress as bi-sexual is not a misuse of private information. As you were…

UPDATE: Sky are reporting that Trimingham has to pay a quarter of a million in costs within fourteen days. Ouch…

Friday, May 11, 2012

Watch Brooks on Dave’s LOLs
“Fair” Hunt Chat Details Emerge

The Guidoisation of the Leveson Inquiry is complete…

On a more serious note Brooks has spilled the beans that a discussion about the fairness of Jeremy Hunt took place on the infamous 23 December dinner. This is more than a passing chat now and links the Hunt mess directly to Dave. Brooks also revealed she saw Cameron again on the Boxing Day 2010. That’s new, is it not?


Seen Elsewhere

Mirror’s ‘UKIP Goggles’ App Backfires | Press Gazette
Woolas Agent Standing for UKIP | MEN
Compassionate Left in Action | Mark Wallace
Sainsbury’s Distance Themselves From Sick Cam Tweeter | Speccie
Elites Pay Price for Killing Grammar Schools | Jago Pearson
Thornberry Makes Burnham Leadership Favourite | Matthew Norman
Guido’s Column | Sun
BBC Still Ignoring Savile Evidence | Telegraph
Politicians Brought Down by Twitter | CityAm
Ed the Biggest Loser in Rochester | Trevor Kavanagh
A Just Way to Manage Migration | Mats Persson


Find out more about PLMR AD-MS


Boris on his fellow Islingtonista Emily Thornberry:

“It was an entirely run-of-the-mill English townscape, with some straightforward words to go with it. There was no obvious insult, no abuse, no overt sneering. She might have got away with it entirely, had some alert blogger not spotted it. He instantly detected the coded message that Emily Thornberry was sending to all her right-on, bien-pensant, Labour-luvvie friends in Islington, or wherever else it is that they follow her on Twitter.”



Left on Left says:

The lefties are attacking because the panellist is a millionaire and lives in a London home worth upwards of two million. Someone had best tell them he’s called Ed Miliband.


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