The only attempt at a solution to Europe’s doom seems to be the EU forcing out democratically elected leaders and replacing them with trusted stooges who are loyal to the project. In Greece the incoming Prime Minister Lucas Papandemos was Vice President of the European Central Bank from 2002-10. Mario Monti, who is favourite to take over in Italy, was a European Commissioner in the nineties. Not a referendum or election in sight…
Luckily for the UK our cost of borrowing has dropped to a record low. Ten-year gilt yields fell to 2.106% yesterday. If however the UK was in the €urozone and things took a turn for the worse about now the European establishment elite would be forcing Peter Mandelson on us as PM. Or Clegg…
Now Saif Gaddafi is beyond his help, Mandy has turned back to domestic affairs to dispense advice. And it’s not good news for Ed.
Pitching his stall behind the pay wall over at The Times, the Dark Lord declares that there isn’t much that Labour can do about the riots, given how recently they were in power. Instead of working out a strategy around this, Mandy instead dissects the problems barring the coalition from being a “joined up government”. Looking at the inter, and internal, party problems. Many in Labour will be upset that he looks to be offering the government, not Ed, help to get out of their problems:
“The coalition’s programme will hardly be advanced if every time a Tory minister floats ideas of reform it draws an indignant riposte from a Lib Dem colleague who feels left out of the discussion.
Since May, Mr Clegg has succeeded in looking less meek and hard done-by. He has found a stronger voice and has benefited from this. But if he and his colleagues forget their collective responsibility to make the coalition work, and that government by hissy fit is not the way to make good policy, they will be as much the losers as everyone else.”
Telling Team Ed that they can do nothing but attack cracks in the government is just what the Labour leader needs in the run up to increasingly difficult looking conference…
Guido’s critique of Miliband’s handling of the first days of the Libyan uprising upset some of his apologists, who dispute the fact that the Labour Party are losing an ally today. In order to put this to rest once and for all, Guido thought he would take a last look at Gaddafi, his family and the key players in the last government.
In September 2009 Gordon Brown told the Andrew Marr Show “there was no deal” to have the Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi released early on compassionate grounds. Two years later the convicted terrorist was seen cheering on Gaddafi from the comfort of sunny Tripoli. “So if you’re suggesting there was any deal, there was no deal. There was no conspiracy, there was no attempt to make anything conditional on anything else” Brown promised. The line was pushed the next day by Ed Balls, when he told the Today program“none of us wanted to see the release of al-Megrahi.” However we know now that this is just not true…
Far from it in fact. A Cabinet Office report in July 2010 revealed that the Labour government did “all they could” to get Megrahi released. And it wasn’t just the Cabinet Office blowing Gordon’s line out of the water. Guido brought you leaked emails from former Blair adviser John McTernan that explicitly mentioned a deal. Jack Straw let slip that British trade had been a major factor in the release. As Guido reported back in February, the Scottish nationalists tried to line their pockets too.
“Scot’s justice was bought and the Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill’s price was £100 million. The Labour government in Westminster brought forward legislation to get the SNP government in Scotland off the Somerville judgement hook in June 2009, two months later Megrahi was released.”
Far from Gordon’s line that the decision was made in Scotland and that he couldn’t of possibly have had anything to do with it, a dirty deal was concocted at the heart of the British government. It involved Downing Street, the British intelligence services and BP. In September 2009 Guido brought you the players:
“Nick Butler is the Economic Adviser brought into Downing Street when Gordon became Prime Minister. Prior to that he was a senior strategist for BP. He joined the firm in 1977 and helped to develop close links between BP and New Labour in the 1990s.
Incidentally Butler is a mate of Peter Mandelson who has also been treasurer of the Fabian Society for more than 25 years. He helped to bring close to half-a-million into Brown’s coffers from his city chums.
“Sir Mark Allen is a Special Adviser to BP. Before that he was the senior MI6 officer who negotiated with Saif Gaddafi to end Libya’s international isolation in 2003-04…”
It was these two men, one ex-BP then at the heart of government, the other ex-MI6 and then at the heart of BP, who conspired to give Gaddafi what he wanted for access to Libya’s oil. Less than twenty-four hours after Guido revealed the cast more details began trickling out. Allen had called Jack Straw twice in November 2007 to put pressure on him for a deal. Despite initial denials, BP also coughed that they had lobbied the government over the slow progress of the deal, highlighting that there would be “negative consequences for UK commercial interests”. And what was Peter Mandelson’s disingenuous take on these allegations? “It’s not only completely wrong to make such a suggestion it’s also quite offensive…”
No doubt Mandy had plenty of time to make up his mind as to what is offensive whilst he spent a shooting weekend with Gadaffi’s son and Nat Rothschild. A tight and close gruesome threesome. There is no denying the closeness of the upper echelons of the last government to the murderers currently being hounded out of Tripoli. Just last year Gaddafi was asking the Libyan people to “pray for Gordon Brown”, but it’s the hand of Gaddafi’s “good friend” Tony Blair which is never far away. The deal was concocted on Tony’s watch and he even approved the training of Gaddafi’s special forces by the SAS. So close were they that it was Blair that Gaddafi phoned to seek advice on how to deal with the uprisings. Mandelson was keen to help out too – speaking of Saif Gadaffi’s chilling threats to slaughter the rebels, Mandy thinks he could have spun it better:
‘I’d rather have had a couple of minutes with him beforehand to say that you know this sort of performance in a very clumsy and ham-fisted way is not going to get you anywhere.’
Even Douglas Alexander, Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary who was so keen to talk down the threat of No-Fly Zone, took to the airwaves to claim Blair was right to make friends with Gadaffi, even after he had begun slaughtering his own people. With such a shameful past you would think the “next generation” of the Labour Party might have been more careful to keep their distance from the Mad Dog of the desert. But no…
As the crisis kicked off in February Guido brought you the Miliband family’s own connections to Saif Gaddafi. LSE Professor David Held, who is seemingly in charge of desecrating Ralph Miliband’s memory, welcomed Saif to LSE as a “representative of the Miliband program” – a series of lectures in memory the Labour leader’s father. Held failed to mention the £300,000 he had taken off Gaddafi in his sycophantic introduction. Showing his trademark judgement, it turns out Ed is a very big fan of Professor Held.
Mandelson told a Progress faction seminar at Portcullis House last night some home truths. “People will not support further tax and spend unless they can see clear value for money. Further enlarging public sector employment is not an option in the coming decade and we need to look to the real economy, to the private business sector, to deliver sufficient numbers of decently paid skilled jobs.”*
Among the Blairite acolytes (Rentoul was in the chair) was Guido’s old friend Dolly Draper. Westminster is seeing too much of Dolly. Mandelson told the Progress crowd “If I talk about the past it is to learn from it, not to go back to it.”
We can but hope…
*A co-conspirator points out that in an oddly Orwellian piece of censorship this “money quote” is missing from the official report on the Progress website.
Osborne must be getting used to his regular jaunts to Switzerland, but something tells Guido, despite the juicy details, that this weekend’s trip won’t be splashed across the papers. Once again George is heading off for a mini-break with his old friend Mandy, to the über-secretive Bilderberg Group annual get together.
Rubbing shoulders with the great and good from the financial and political worlds, Guido was a little surprised to see one of the new intake making the list. What could possibly have secured the enigmatic Rory “not a spook” Stewart an invite?
Lord Mandelson says in the intro to updated “The Third Man“…
“I took easily to standing in queues, shopping at the supermarket, doing my own correspondence on my laptop… Bit by bit, I was becoming a more normal human being again. It felt a little strange at first, but it actually began to grow on me.”
Lord Mandelson told ITV1’s Daybreak that Ed Miliband is…
“…so quick to say he’s not New Labour, he’s not Tony Blair and the rest. Well, it’s fine to be something different but you’ve also got to make clear what that something else is, and I don’t think he’s done so yet.”
Investment bank Lazard have confirmed Guido’s story from Monday:
“London, 21 January 2011 – Lazard Ltd (NYSE: LAZ) announced today that Lord Mandelson, former Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulation, effective immediately. As a Senior Adviser, he will provide independent strategic counsel to the firm and its clients.”
Clients like Kraft, who took over Cadbury, on Mandy’s watch. You read it here first.
Guido was the first to report the rumour that Mandy is eyeing up some sort of role with Lazards and according to the FT the investment bank has not denied the speculation. Still one good turn deserves another – Lazards advised Kraft about their controversial buying of Cadbury, something the government didn’t block…
Guess who was the Business Secretary at the time…
Boris Not Moving to Uxbridge | Scrapbook
Cameron Toast if Scotland Votes Yes | Isabel Oakeshott
How to Spin the Referendum Result | Rob Hutton
Anti-Immigration Party Lets Left Into Power | Mark Wallace
Tories Well Ahead on Economy | Standard
Madrid Unveils Margaret Thatcher Plaza | Breitbart
Journalists Are Not Above Criticism | Media Guido
Guido’s Column | Sun
Carney is a Feminist | Kathy Gyngell
Middle Class Moralism of Owen Jones | Spiked
Booze-Fuelled Fight at Palin Party | Times
Gyles Brandreth writes in his memoirs:
“Sunday, May 10, 1998
Early start: appearing on Breakfast With Frost, to be broadcast from 11 Downing Street. The Chancellor [Gordon Brown] is grouchily amiable, but so earnest — and still biting his fingernails to the quick.
After the show, he took us upstairs to his flat. He lives above No 10, while Blair and family are in the No 11 duplex, which is bigger and more like a proper house.
I was intrigued that, when he took us into his bedroom, the Chancellor rather ostentatiously opened the built-in wardrobes, as if he wanted us to see the women’s frocks that were hanging in there.
They looked quite large, but I don’t think they belong to Gordon. I assume they belong to his girlfriend [Sarah Macaulay, who he later married].
I presume he was keen for us to know that he has one — and that she’s not a ‘beard’. I don’t think he does anything without calculation.”