Thursday, March 24, 2011

Why the Leicester LibDem Was “Resigned”

Just six days after being selected to fight the Leicester South by-election for the LibDem’s Parmjit Gill declared:

“Given much reflection and after talking with my family, it is with regret that I have decided to stand down as a candidate for the by-election. I remain committed to the people of Leicester and am proud to represent the Liberal Democrats, but I have a very young family and I fear the toll that fighting the by-election with all the commitment and dedication it deserves would be too much.”

Gill was the MP for the seat after the 2004 by-election, but lost it in the 2005 election. Despite being a MP for just under three hundred days, he managed to rack up a huge £185,089.00 in expenses. A glorious £682.98 per day on top of his salary.

But it gets murkier. The internal LibDem Returning Officer for the 2005 General Election selection process, won by Gill obviously, sent the following memo to Cowley Street. It mysteriously reappeared in the comments section on LibDemVoice in the last couple of days:

“I think it is apparent that there are a large number of members, mostly if not wholly from the Sikh community, who have a strong personal loyalty to Parmjit Gill, even though some of them don’t seem to like him very much, and may not actually share the aspirations of other members. There are some anomalies in the membership: there were two dead people (who had been dead for over a year) on the list of 88 members whose subscriptions were renewed by telephone last April using Parmjit Gill’s credit card. There are also two people who have, according to Sumal Fernando, given him a signed statement, which he has passed to me, which states that they are not Liberal Democrats and have never been members of the Party, but their names are on the same list. There is some suspicion that some members are not in possession of membership cards, and have not themselves paid a subscription.”

Or maybe he just completely forgot he had a young family before he put himself up for selection again…

UPDATE: Word is that the powers that be at Cowley Street told Parmjit to “quit or be fired”.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Scandal is Back

From behind the pay-wall, the seasoned Sunday Times stingers have blown the doors off three cases of old-fashioned bribery in the European Parliament. Despite scalping one MEP from Austria, there has been very little follow-up. The ease at which these Members were willing to table amendments for cash and the channels by which they were paid, point to systematic and wide-spread corruption. As Dan Hannan said, Labour’s own Cash for Amendments scandal pales in comparison and this blows the duck house out of the water. However there is the inevitable “it’s just Europe” dearth of coverage.

Closer to home we learn that MPs here are to have IPSA’s rules relaxed. Claiming for second homes again if you a London MP? Why not! Also Illsley could be out in eight weeks and guess what, government plans to freeze MPs pay is facing a backbench rebellion. All very new politics.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Labour Tapping Up City Donors In Parliament

Remember when Tim Yeo was caught out definitely not using Parliamentary facilities to help fundraise for his green investment firms? Well like with so many sleazy tactics, Labour have taken an idea and perfected it to an industrial standard. Balls and Brown may still be dirty words to most people with a wallet, but that hasn’t stopped Miliband attempting to branch out to some big city donor types.

Here he is hobnobbing with the Labour Finance and Industry Group, aka LFIG, aka city donors:

Miliband meets the Labour Finance and Industry Group, aka LFIG, aka city donors

Despite their rhetoric and bashing, at the end of the day Labour is broke so last night the House of Commons Terrace Dining Room B played host to an LFIG dinner. Money men were invited to cough up eighty pounds for the pleasure of dining with John Denham. Initially Guido’s interest was piqued by the cost, which is a little on the steep side for subsidised Commons grub. The rules are very clear:

5. Use of Private Dining Rooms

5.1 Subject to the exclusions in 5.2, the private dining rooms are not to be used for direct or indirect financial or material gain by a Sponsor, political party, or any other person or outside organisation.

However with wines factored in, Guido is prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt that no profit was made. However that’s not to say the seeds of indirect gain have not be sown. LFIG have channelled the Labour Party £147,155 in the last five years. Where exactly are those sort of donations tapped up? Well on Parliamentary property it seems…

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Lobbying Register Warning Bells

Guido has to laugh at the audacity that some of the more brazen members of the lobbying community have shown in defending the new voluntary register of “political consultants”. As Spinwatch said, this is no more than a “PR stunt from PR experts”.

As the new UK PAC site with public registers went live this week just 251, out of an estimated 14,000 spinners, had  voluntarily signed up. A further 1,362 were put on the list automatically by their companies, but where are the big hitters? Search the register for power-lobbyists like Roland Rudd, Tim Bell, Alan Parker or Matthew Freud and you get “Your search did not return any results.” Francis Ingham, spinmeister for the widely discredited PRCA trade body, makes hyperbolic claims for the nascent self-regulator: “It provides a foundation on which to grow self-regulation. It is – though doubtless our detractors will dispute this – a good thing.” It is an abject failure, with an estimated 90% of lobbyists ignoring the register.

Guido is no fan of government regulation of the private sector but the political lobbying industry thwarts democracy and pollutes the body politic to such an extent something has to be done. Guido’s idea is that all politicians and civil servants should be required to transparently publish all details of meetings with lobbyists – Cameron’s government ministers and Downing Street SpAds already have to do this. The idea should be rolled out as a requirement for all those paid by taxpayers and involved in influencing legislation. Obviously this means the question of identifying political lobbyists will have to be addressed.

To avoid any confusion by ministers or civil servants when unknowingly or inadvertently meeting lobbyists socially, taking up tickets to the opera or lunching at Michelin-starred restaurants and the like, registered lobbyists should make themselves easily identifiable.  The historically tried and tested solution for just this problem springs to mind. They should be made to wear bells around their necks, like lepers…

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Hancock’s Lolita Was Barely Legal

Regular readers will remember all of this:

And now sleazy old perv Mike Hancock has admitted on the stand that he “kissed and cuddled” a 17-year-old and had a string of extra-marital affairs which he had previously denied.

Hancock was in court to testify against his election opponent and anti-child abuse campaigner Les Cummings, who has just been found guilty of spreading false information during an election period because he alleged the girl was 14.

It may be legal, but is fondling schoolgirls really conduct befitting a Member of Parliament?

A Wee Bit Off

Denis Macshane and Douglas Alexander are attempting to politicise the Libya situation. Macshane, who despite losing the whip, still falls into line to spin for Labour just told Jeremy Vine that he thinks the government had their eye off the ball. Alexander says they haven’t reacted to the situation quickly enough, which is odd given that he didn’t suggest the UK should be doing more when he appeared on Newsnight just two nights ago. A swift and convenient change of heart.

And do these two really want to open up that particular can of worms? When it comes to throwing blame around for this mess, Labour have a bit of a moral deficit on this one. Lest we forget it was Wee Dougie’s government that did “all it could” to get Megrahi released. It was Wee Dougie’s preferred choice of leader that was “working discreetly” to see the Lockerbie bomber returned to Gadaffi’s warm embrace. It seems Wee Dougie has forgotten also that it was Labour Minister Bill Rammell who was giving Libya legal advice too. And it didn’t just stop with Megrahi – throughout 2008 Lord Jones,­ Bill Rammell and Dawn Primarolo all popped into Tripoli for a cup of tea and a chat about trade. Perhaps Wee Dougie should have a quick quip at them for not acting swiftly enough.

It seems Labour very much had their eye on the ball, of sorts.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Judge a Man by His Friends

Blinky BallsA pattern is emerging, every time a Labour Party figure ends up in disgrace, Balls is never far away. Yesterday he was launching Labour’s coronation in Barnsley Central, as its previous Member of Parliament was preparing for a year in prison.

‘Eric was a good friend of mine, one of the first MPs I met when I first came into the House of Commons. I think he fought hard for this constituency and did a good job and I think people respect that. But he also made a mistake, a big mistake and he’s paying a big price for that, and I think that’s right’

A bit like another good friend Balls thought it appropriate to salute in November when he “led a round of applause for Phil Woolas & his dedicated service to his constituents and the Labour party”. His dedicated service to the truth too.

And what was it Balls said about Damian McBride back in the day? He was another good friend who made a mistake:

“Asked whether he had been in contact with Labour’s most notorious pariah, Balls confirmed that he had, but suggested it was purely social: “I certainly wished him a happy birthday. As I said [when he resigned], Damian did a very stupid thing, he’s paid a very heavy price, but we all get on with our jobs”

Ed Balls is the man who wants us to trust him with the nation’s finances, they say you should judge a man by his friends, his seem to be liars and crooks who cheat the taxpayers. Perhaps they will all end up on the same the pub quiz team

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friendly Printers

Tom Watson has been in Court today as a witness in Jim Devine’s fraud trial,  The Telegraph reports that Devine alleges that Watson and Labour whip Steven McCabe told him when “merry” in the Strangers Bar that he could take money from his office allowance to resolve his staffing problems. All he would need is a “friendly printers” to knock up the receipts. Not an excuse in law and both men deny the conversation ever happened, but it was the mention of “friendly printers” that got Guido thinking. What is a “friendly printer”?

Surely an organisation that was run by former Labour staffers and with a willingness to send differently worded invoices for the same product must be a “friendly printer”. Public Impact Printers are a “friendly printer” who were so helpful to the current Shadow Justice Secretary. Chris Huhne knows a thing or two about “friendly printers” too. Especially that one based in the same building as his constituency office.

Hancock Handles Brown Envelope

Sleazy sex-texter and employer of Russian spies Mike Hancock has been keeping his head down since the near weekly scandals that hit him last year. So hence Guido’s surprise when he read the other day that “Handy-cock” had been EyeSpyed handling brown envelopes. A picture of the incident landed in his inbox this morning. Can anyone out there explain what the dodgy member for Portsmouth was doing on Wednesday afternoon in Victoria Gardens and who the envelope was for?

Friday, January 28, 2011

CCHQ on “Bimbo Eruption” Alert

Guido hears that CCHQ are bracing themselves for more revelations about the amorous Lord Strathclyde in this weekend’s newspapers. As Leader of the Tories in the Lords, Tommy is responsible for fixing the AV mess that could well see the referendum delayed, if he were to be forced out this weekend it could be very messy. The punters over at Smarkets have Strathride at 2/1 favourite to be the next cabinet minister to walk…


Seen Elsewhere

Ruffley Must Go | Guardian
Political Correctness Breeds Extremism in Schools | Chris McGovern
Ruffley Faces Crisis Meeting | ITV
I Sang “Maggie Out” (When I Was 7) | Liz Truss
UKIP Have Learnt How to Street Fight | Dr Rob Ford
Now Labour Want to Tax Sports Betting | BBC
Farage: Dave, Griffin, Rory, Lord Ashcroft, Beer & Fags | Sun
Ruffley Lawyers Issue Apology | Standard
Dave Donor’s Husband is Putin Crony | Mail
UKIP Reshuffles | James Forsyth
David Ruffley’s Future Under Discussion by Tories | BBC


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New Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has big ambitions in his first meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu today:

“I came to bring this conflict to an end.”



Flight Watch says:

Russia Today is a cauldron of bullsh*t. The only people that take it seriously are deluded conspiracy theorists. Other RT journos have resigned citing the same reasons.

It’s about as believable as Press TV, KCNA of North Korea or the Daily Mirror.


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