Union Boss has Bling Lifestyle

Grandad Fawkes was a Fabian in his youth (we are all allowed a few follies), he once recounted to a young Guido the day he lost his faith in the Labour Party. He was in his mid-twenties, on the lowest rung of corporate management and was delighted to be invited out with his superiors to a fantastically expensive restaurant (on expenses).

This was in the miserable seventies, industrial strife was terrible, strikes and union unrest were marking the decline of the country. Despite all this Grandad Fawkes believed in the ideals of equality and justice for all. On a neighbouring restaurant table he noticed union bosses recognisable from so many television news broadcasts, where they would without fail bemoan the plight of their members. The union bosses were enjoying themselves immensely, ordering the best wines and cigars like plutocrats. In that moment he realised his naivety.

So it is no surprise to learn, that Unite’s Derek Simpson is not satisfied with his annual £150,000 package, nor his £800,000 grace and favour union house. He stays weekdays at the Waldorf, despite living a mere half-an-hour from the office. “Nothing is too good for the workers” they say. Derek Simpson enjoys the use of a luxury suite that usually rents for £500 a night. Unite, his union, is Labour’s biggest paymaster.

Ordinary union members couldn’t dream of the bling chauffeur-driven lifestyle he leads – paid for out of their dues.

Not a Hoon Tall Story

Cambridge educated Geoff Hoon was leaving nothing to chance with his daughter’s own entrance interview. A co-conspirator was surprised to see him back in November (Sunday, 23 November 2008) at the expensive Interview Preparation Day held at King Edward VI High School for Girls in Edgbaston run by Mayfair based Oxbridge Applications. Guido would of course do the same if he thought it would give his daughter an edge, however Guido isn’t an advocate of comprehensive education and egalitarianism like Geoff Hoon. So it is a little hypocritical to see him buying his daughter a private educational advantage.

A Guido co-conspirator writes:

With my (state school educated) son trying for Oxbridge, I decided to give him a better chance against the private school competition by shelling out £295 for an interview training day, held in Birmingham.

As I waited for my son in the foyer, I was suprised to see Geoff Hoon, Minister of Transport, sitting a couple of seats away from me. Labour Minister gives offspring an unfair advantage in applying to top university? Surely not!

Mr Hoon was studiously perusing a sheaf of papers, writing notes in the margin. Perhaps some papers relating to the third runway at Heathrow? Our Transport Minister had to answer a call of nature, and left the room, leaving the pile of papers unattended on his chair. As a loyal citizen, I kept a protective watch over what may have been very important documents. I should have taken a picture too…

In due course his six foot tall daughter emerged from the lecture room and the two left in a hurry.

Miss Hoon is in fact so tall that she was identified by the UK government’s Sport’s “Sporting Giants” scheme. The scheme was launched in conjunction with the English Institute of Sport to identify those tall athletes who have the potential to excel in handball, volleyball and rowing, and at 6ft Miss Hoon was among those attending a Manchester session in the summer of 2007.

Wonder if Hoon got his money’s worth and she got an offer?

Meet the New Deputy Leader of the Commons

Another serious person for serious times. Chris Bryant is the deputy leader of the house. His main qualification for this is that he is a Brown loyalist, one of the curry house plotters who can be relied on to be alert to and determined to frustrate the ambitions of Miliband.

Presumably that is the reason for the installation of the strange Sion Simon as a minister for the crown. Tom Watson also remains close to the centre of power in the Cabinet Office where he can continue to brief against internal enemies of the the Prime Mentalist. Watson will have been pleased with himself having seen off Stephen Carter. Nick Brown as chief whip is the ultimate factional enforcer.

This government intake are the second-raters who would never have prospered during New Labour’s prime. They are distinguished only in the way that Kamikaze pilots were distinguished in their loyalty to the emperor. It is going to be a heck of a lot of fun, and a dirty fight to the death.

Brown Buggered : Latest Poll of Marginals Has Labour Losing 164 Seats

The News of the World’s post conference season poll of marginals shows that things have got worse for Brown since last year – with Labour now looking set to lose 164 marginal seats (full data set pdf).

Can Mandy save Gordon? After taking a post-conference break from politics for a day to reflect and re-charge, Guido can only see this appointment as an act of desperation. Mandelson is despised by three-quarters of his own party. He is a poisonous political operator. He repels voters and represents so much of what is wrong with politics.

The Labour loyalist pundit David Aaronovitch was asked what he made of the return of Mandelson, “I don’t think I understand anything anymore” was his reply. The only way to understand this is to put yourself inside the mind of the politically weak Prime Mentalist. He needed to buy time. Bringing back Mandelson may buy off some of the former Blairites, hugging his enemy close. (Although if there is one person Charles Clarke hates more than Gordon Brown, it is Peter Mandelson). This won’t be welcomed by the voters.

UPDATE : Have just noticed, and this must be a first, that Kevin Maguire shares Guido’s analysis: Gordon Brown’s Bonkers Moment of Mandy Madness“. Glad to see Kevin, just like Polly did, is finally coming round…

Whatever Happened to an "End to Spin"?

The return of a troika of three New Labour high priests of spin is striking. Draper is never off the airwaves, Campbell is popping up more and more often. Now the Prince of Darkness himself returns to Westminster from across the sea. New Labour lives!

UPDATE : Am beginning to think that Brown has been quite clever, with the return of Mandelson, he will no longer be the public’s most hated Labour politician. This is going to be more fun than an Irish wake.

The Labour Left Looms

The lumpen left of the Labour Party reckons the answer to voter disenchantment is to abandon the centre and turn back to the old ways. A fish rots from the head, the weakness of the party leader makes it more likely that this rot will take hold.

Paul Mason, Newsnight’s shop steward, could barely contain his excitement last night reporting the prospect of a battered Brown introducing higher taxes on high earners, windfall corporate taxes and the expected soon to be announced “equality agenda” – in other words leveling down. This will be kamikaze left-wing stuff. Britain is already sliding down the economic competitiveness league, the Irish are welcoming FTSE 100 companies making the taxodus from HMRC’s demands. Gordon will now be weighing up a shift leftwards, to shore up his position within the party, giving some red meat to the activists and pundits like Polly Toynbee. It will be a change of policy direction based entirely on self -preservation.

He could survive the party conference whatever the polls by promising a left-wing lurch…

+++ Dougie Apologises +++

Just in from the Press Association:

“I, of course, apologise for any actions or omissions on my part which contributed to the problems encountered in the Scottish elections…”

A sign of the underlying weakness of his position.

When in trouble apologise and try to move the story on. Rule 3 from the Blair/Mandelson/Campbell Media Play Book.

UPDATE : The Lobby today asked the PMS again “if the Prime Minister had full confidence in Douglas Alexander”. This is the formula the Lobby uses when they mean “is the PM going to sack ‘im”. Two days in a row, not a good sign…

Dougie Alexander is a Liability

The damning conclusion of the Scottish Election Review, commissioned by the Electoral Commission was that ‘both the Scotland Office and the Scottish Executive were frequently focused on partisan political interests in carrying out their responsibilities, overlooking voter interests and operational realities’ and that ‘characteristic of 2007 was a notable level of party self-interest evident in Ministerial decisions-making’.

That should be a resignation issue, but if one thing is key to understanding New Labour at the highest level, it is the putting of party interest before the national interest. That is a given in all circumstances. Soldiers die because of political expediency, hospitals are photo ops, school children are leadership campaign props and spin is the narrative reality.

Dougie Alexander is Gordon’s election co-ordinator, he co-ordinated the recently and expensively lost non-election, he directed the disastrous campaign that led to the loss of electoral control in Scotland by the Labour party for the first time in living memory. He writes pamphlets for think-tanks on how to win elections by turning political parties into “community hubs”. In his spare time he is the Minister in charge of DFID, where he oversees electoral assistance to developing countries – beyond satire.

He is an asset to Labour’s opponents and a liability to Gordon according to Labour colleagues. Hopefully Gordon will ignore the criticism because he so values Dougie’s loyalty.

Labour Base Not Happy With Gordon’s Transvestism

One of the key reasons given by Brownites for their long putsch against Blair was that Tony was resented by the activist base and traditional supporters. Some of the Labour base see Brown’s co-opting of the three Tory “useful idiots”

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Tom Watson Breaks His Promise, As Predicted

Back in October last year Guido wrote of Tom Watson:-

“was overheard telling senior party officials in his constituency recently that he expects “to be back in government” after Gordon takes over… Gordon wouldn’t reward the treachery that he has

[…]

+ READ MORE +

PMS First Briefing : The Spin Begins

We must now learn to call the PMOS the PMS, he is no longer the PM’s Official Spokesman because that would imply an Unofficial spokesman doing off-the-record spin. That is apparently not going to happen anymore in our changed spin-free-Brownite

[…]

+ READ MORE +

No Cabinet Minister Has the Experience to Run A Whelk Stall

The cabinet re-shuffle analysis in the press will be detailed, so Guido will skip it. One blogger’s analysis struck Guido as critical – not a single member of the cabinet has had a business career. Absorb that fact.

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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