+++ Gordon’s Non-Partisan, Non-Political Charity Paid forU.S. Pollster to Formulate Anti-Cameron Strategy +++

Bloomberg News is reporting that Bob Shrum, the veteran U.S. pollster and campaign adviser, was paid by the Smith Institute to formulate an anti-Cameron campaign strategy for Gordon Brown.

They have obtained a transcript of a speech given to a private Smith Institute invited audience, which included Brown acolytes Ed Balls and Douglas Alexander, as well as other media allies. Shrum advised the Brownites to brand Cameron as “an empty opportunist who will do anything to win”.

The event was held to review Cameron’s first 100 days in March 2006.

Guido understands that a formal complaint to the Charity Commissioners requesting a full-scale investigation of the Smith Institute under Section 8 of the Charity Act will be considered by the Charity Commission today.

++ more follows ++

Sith : Going In…

Quote of the Month, comes by kind permission of the left-wing broadcaster Michael Crick, from the dark side’s Wilf Stevenson, director of the Smith Institute. After the third phone call from Newsnight’s Crick last week Wilf yelled “This is disreputable journalism, you are following the agenda of Guido Fawkes” … before slamming down the phone.

Gordon and the Explosive Power of Bloggers

Speaking in Davos this morning, Gordon Brown, sitting next to Rupert Murdoch, said:

“A few years ago the debate was about whether the media controlled politicians or whether politicians controlled the media. Now it is about how we are all responding to the explosive power of citizens, consumers and bloggers.”

The Smith Institute dossier requested by the Charity Commissioners is being delivered on Monday.

Growling Chris Grayling MP has also written to the Chancellor requesting answers to some pertinent questions:
  • Will you publish a full list of all events held at Number 11 Downing Street by the Smith Institute?
  • Have any costs for Smith Institute events held at Number 11 been subsidised by you or the Treasury in any way? If so, what has been the total cost to the taxpayer of hosting these events?
  • What are the criteria by which applications to hold events at Number 11 are judged?
  • What is the number of applications you have received to hold events at Number 11; the number accepted and the number declined?
  • Will you list those charities that have been refused permission to hold events at Number 11?
  • Have any other Treasury facilities been provided for the purpose of hosting Smith Institute events?
  • On how many occasions have you personally attended Smith Institute events?
  • Has the Smith Institute ever provided you with any personal benefits? If so, have you declared such benefits (a) to the Register of Members Interest and (b) to the Electoral Commission
  • Have you ever solicited donations for the Smith Institute?
  • Can you provide assurances that there is no conflict of interest between anyone who has donated to the Smith Institute and your actions as Chancellor of the Exchequer?
Come Monday morning the Charity Commissioners will, Guido strongly suspects, be adding some of their own questions about his “non-political, independent charity”. Guido loves the smell of gunpowder in the morning…

Sith for Beginners

++ Smith Institute Exposé ++ Newsnight Tonight ++

Guido knew something was up when the Charity Commissioners contacted him this week asking for evidence regarding the Smith Institute. When Guido said he was still compiling his dossier they warned that they could “legally compel” Guido to provide evidence.

Guido retorted that they should fufil an outstanding Freedom of Information request. This evening out-of-the-blue at 5pm the Charity Commission’s Senior Manager for Compliance personally handed Guido a revealing two inch dossier. In an enclosed written request he asked Guido to provide all relevant information “by the close of business Thursday 25 January 2007”. All the bits of the puzzle have yet to be assembled.

Guido understands that tonight Newsnight’s Michael Crick intends to run an exposé of the Smith Institute, which is already under investigation by the charities regulator (for a second time) over allegations of political activities in breach of the Charities Act. The Charity Commission was due to issue a report shortly, they may soon have to revise their findings. The Sith are unavailable for comment.

++ More to follow ++

Konrad Still Sulking

Guido called the Sith office today a few times, with no reply. So he decided to call Konrad Caulkett, (remember last time we spoke). Guido called him on his mobile directly with a simple question for the Smith Institute events organiser.
GF Hi Konrad, what is Ed speaking on tomorrow?
KC Err, who is this?
GF Guido.
KC I’m not talking to you.
GF But you are now aren’t you?
click… brrr…

Using only the power of the good side of the force, Guido has divined that the Sith are holding a meeting with Ed Balls, the master’s apprentice, as the speaker.

This is the non-political, non-partisan, Treasury hosted and rebated, tax-deductible-donationswelcome “public educational charity” holding a meeting it wants to keep secret. Maybe one of the co-conspirators knows the details. Is it at No. 11 again? What is the topic? Most think-tanks want to publicise their events openly, the Sith acts like a secretive cabal. Which in many ways it is…

More about the Smith Institute.

Cover Up : The Sith’s Use of No. 11 Questioned Again

Iain Dale alerted Guido to this PQ a few days ago:
Mr Keith Simpson (Con, Mid Norfolk): To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which charities have held meetings at 11 Downing Street since December 2005.

Mr Keith Simpson (Con, Mid Norfolk): On how many occasions since December 2005 the Smith Institute has held meetings at 11 Downing Street and who attended each.

John Healey (Financial Secretary to the Treasury): I will let the Honourable Member have a reply in due course.

Perhaps Guido, as always, can be helpful here. Previously when a similar question to this was last asked, the Sith and No. 11 went into a minor panic. Konrad Caulkett, events coordinator for the Sith, compiled a comprehensive list of all meetings and events held at No. 11. When the Sith realised that confirmation of over a hundred events being held by a “non-political” charity on Gordon’s premises at the taxpayers expense would look bad, they decided on an outrageous cover-up. The official response made was that the information was not available – despite the Sith having already compiled the now readily available answer. Guido presumes that the civil servants were kept in the dark, no civil servant would lie, would they? So if any of Gordon’s civil servants really want the to obtain the answer this time, Konrad is only a call away. He won’t talk to Guido, maybe he will talk to you…

Incidentally as any political lobbyist or campaigner will tell you, hiring a prestigous address in Westminster for a seminar, providing coffee and croissants for the attendees is no cheap affair. It can easily work out at £50 per head per day. Smith Institute events at No. 11, like the one Guido infiltrated, can have in the region of a hundred attendees. How much do the Sith pay for holding events at No. 11?

I feel a few Freedom of Information requests coming on…

Birds of a Feather

The Smith Institute, that non-political charitable think-tank which has nothing to do with Gordon Brown, is holding a seminar later this month on “economic opportunity”. Despite being currently under investigation (for the second time) by the Charity Commissioners over all-too-close links to Gordon Brown and allegations of blatant political activity, the event is being held at No. 11 Downing Street.

Guido has in the past suggested that the Sith is basically a platform for the greater glorification of Gordon, which allows him to rub shoulders with plutocrats and corporate CEO titans whilst simultaneously providing photo opportunities leading to donations.

True to form, the keynote speaker will be a CEO of a U.S. multi-national, Lewis Booth, the Chairman of Ford Europe. He will tell the iron chancellor how to “shape global policy for economic opportunity”.

Globally Ford lost $8.5 billion last year and has announced that it aims to close 12 plants and cut 40,000 jobs. Like the UK public sector it has massive “legacy costs” of pensions and lifetime healthcare, expensive deals with unions and ever-increasing debts.

Its share price has dived from $18 to a low of $6 just as Labour has recently polled the lowest since 1992. So he is obviously the best person to guide Gordon, they have so much in common…

Dave : Brown is the Dark Side

The Smith Institute exposés last month evoked from the co-conspirators an analogy with the evil Sith cult in Star Wars. It’s catching, Dave’s New Year statement too uses the imagery of the force;
“2007 will be the year that Labour’s dark side comes to the fore.


Surprise! Smith Institute Plans More Meetings at No. 11

On Friday Gordon complained about smears in a statement where he denied that the Smith Institute had any formal link to him. Sure he is not on the board, but the board is Brownite.

Remember Wilf Stevenson, the institute’s director, both denies it is political (which would put it in breach of charity law) and that it is a Brownite front.



Ferret Watch : Brownites V Blairites

When Guido read the headline about the “Shambles” memo on Iain’s blog on Saturday his first thought was “Gould”. Gould tried to work with Brown some months ago as part of the perparation for an “orderly transition”, but the short-lived co-operation fell apart in mistrust.[…]


Friday Caption Contest (Sith Edition)

This is a picture taken at a closed meeting held by the “non-political”, tax subsidised, “public educational charity”, the Smith Institute. In the middle is Wilf Stevenson, the institute’s director, on the left of him is James Purnell, Minister for Creative Industries.[…]


C4 Tonight : Gordon “Cash for Honours”

Guido has just been tipped that C4 News is going to do a “Gordon in Cash for Honours” story tonight.

Co-conspirators and readers of this blog will have heard about Ronnie Cohen months ago.

Tomorrow :

Guido will be exposing evidence of how the Brownite Smith Institute’s “Cash for Access” machine became a “Payments for Policy” racket – with Gordon Brown delivering the policy.[…]


Konrad is Not Speaking to Guido…

… and no-one else at the Smith Institute is answering questions, so Guido will just pass this one straight to the Charity Commissioners for their investigation into if the Smith Institute has crossed over into “politics”.


  • During the 2005 election campaign when you went up to the Normanton constituency to help Ed Balls’ election campaign, were you still being paid by the Smith Institute?



Comrade Konrad, the Sith Apprentice

Eagle-eyed co-conspirators will notice the line-up on this regular feature’s Smith Institute banner has changed, out goes Gordon’s pollster Shrum, in comes curly haired Konrad, the man who could not remember how he got his job. Guido had no idea how widely disliked Gordon’s little helper is until he mentioned him earlier this week.[…]


Sarah Who?

Guido called up the Smith Institute this afternoon to get an invite to go to a Bob Shrum talk he had heard they were hosting. The S.I.’s Konrad Caulkett was a bit evasive.

KC “No.”
GF “Why?” ,
KC “You’ve missed it” he said gleefully, “we had it this morning”.



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