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?

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?


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.”

He Lied and Lied and Lied

Guilty, m’Lord.

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…

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…

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…

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.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Guido Fashion: Brooks at Leveson Edition

Guido’s can’t help but notice Rebekah Brooks has gone for the classic Salem Show Trial chic for her turn on the stand…

UPDATE:

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce to Enter Pleas Next Month Carina Admits to High Court Invading Privacy

Reports suggest that Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce will enter their pleas to charges of perverting the course of justice on June 1.

Meanwhile Chris Huhne’s bisexual lover – who is suing over invasion of privacy – admitted giving newspapers tips about the sex lives of Hollywood stars and senior politicians. […]

+ READ MORE +

Ben Bradshaw’s Campaign Coordinator Defects From Labour Yet More Young Conservative UKIP Jumpers

Tristan Pithers, who was the organiser of Ben Bradshaw’s re-election campaign “We’re Backing Ben 2010”, has defected to the Lib Dems stating:

“The class-warfare that the Labour Party is launching on the Government is shameful. It is not the kind of politics a serious Opposition should be engaging in.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Margaret Moran’s £80,000 Sick Note

PA reports:

Dr Philip Joseph said Moran, 56, was suffering from a depressive illness and extreme anxiety and agitation, and the stress of the proceedings and allegations she was facing made it impossible for her to participate in court proceedings.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Bryant Caught With Pants Down

When Guido leaked information before it appeared at Leveson, it had not been obtained via special access to the Inquiry, instead it had been acquired through good old-fashioned journalism. When Lord Justice Leveson tried to make him sign a confidentially agreement he refused.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Crony Crow Sues Over “Not Ken Again” Poster

Bob Crow, the RMT union boss hated by London’s commuters, has put the union’s money behind an attempt to stop theNot Ken Again advertising posters attacking Ken’s cronyism. He is wasting the RMT’s money because all the evidence is that he is Ken’s crony.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Motorman: Britain’s Biggest Establishment Cover-Up Thousands of Crimes Committed By Over 300 Journalists Protected from Exposure by a Judge and Newspaper Editors

If a police-led investigation uncovered thousands of crimes committed by over 300 suspected serial criminals, you would expect the editors of newspapers to be screaming at their journalists to get to the bottom of the story to splash across the front page. […]

+ READ MORE +



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Owen Smith backs one hour contracts but wants to abolish zero hours contracts:

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