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…

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…

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.

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

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?

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…

Shagger Strathclyde Seven-Year Affair With Old Flame

Sunday Sleaze

Lord Strathclyde is a legend at Tory party conferences, the Leader of the House of Lords throws a decent party and is famous for trying it on with the ladies. With more success than you might imagine…

Birgit Cunningham is older than some of Shagger Strathclyde’s previous conquests.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Disgraced Handy-cock Triggers Council Chaos

Guido told you yesterday that Portsmouth LibDems were making noises about their disgraced MP and councillor Mike Hancock, but it seems the local Tories are even more outraged by, not only the sex scandals, but also the potential breach of national security over his employee and suspected spy, Katerina Zatuliveter. […]

+ READ MORE +

They're All At It Together

While the the likes of Mike Hancock are flying the flag for Members’ late night shenanigans, Guido had to laugh when he heard that a particularly nasty bout of the clap is doing the rounds of parliamentary researchers and bag-carriers.

In these times of coalition there has apparently been a lot more, er, cross-party integration amongst the new boys and girls compared to the very tribal liaisons in the last Parliament.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Hancock Hanging On – But For How Long?

Guido understands that the plates are starting to move within the Portsmouth LibDems concerning the disgraced Mike Hancock, who is not only their MP but also a senior councillor. The LibDem Council Leader Gerald Vernon Jackson was said to have been rallying support for the battered MP at his Christmas Party on Saturday night.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Hancock's Sex Scandals Coming Out in the Open

There must come a point when even the LibDems, as tolerant of sexual straying as they are, must accept that Mike Hancock is a liability. The papers have even more on him this weekend. What the papers don’t mention is that allegations of serious sex crimes were made before the general election, “Handycock” sued the accuser and then dropped the case afterwards – with substantial costs awarded against him.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Saturday Seven Up

7upThis week the most popular stories were about Jeremy Hunt, Denis MacShane and Mike Hancock – the c***t theme being common to them all.

Guido’s favourite story of the week (which got no follow up in the Dead Tree Press) was an extract from Steve Hilton’s policy grid.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Hancock Withdraws from Russian Support

As Guido highlighted the other day, Mike Hancock was one of only two signatories to an Early Day Motion congratulating his beloved Russia for winning the World Cup bid, in what the rest of the world saw as a  total stitch up:

Funny that Mike has suddenly removed his name from EDM 1137.[…]

+ READ MORE +

+ + + No Hoon-Time for Five Years + + +

Hoon has been banned from holding a parliamentary pass for five years, Byers for two and Richard Caborn for six months. All three former Labour will have to apologise to the House in writing. If you want an end to the revolving door, why give former MPs passes anyway?[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Heather Wheeler talks to Burton Mail about her tweet…

“It was a tongue in cheek pop after the European Parliament tweet – it was purely that. I also wanted to congratulate Team GB on a brilliant result and thirdly congratulate the Commonwealth countries who also did very well. Fourth, I am also looking forwarded to establishing new trade agreements. That was it – nothing more. Let’s just enjoy the summer!”

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