Monday, October 17, 2011

Pred-Ed: Miliband’s Shady Dinner with Lobbyists and Predators

Given that this is the week that shady chats and hand shakes in private rooms will be coming under extra scrutiny, Guido thought he would give Ed a gentle reminder of his promise to publish a list of attendees at a suspiciously “private and off the record” dinner held for him at the home of lobbyist-spinmeister Roland Rudd last week:

Ed has turned to the corporate lobbyist to boost his severely dented, if ever existent, reputation in the business world. Roland’s known clients include Murdoch, the Daily Mail, not so environmentally sensitive miners like Rio Tinto and African Barrick Gold. Rudd’s client list includes Boots and easyJet, owned by predatory asset stripping private equity companies, the most aggressive takeover group in the world KKR – the original “Barbarians at the Gate” - investment banks like Deutsche Bank and Standard Chartered, UK taxpayer bailed out banks like Royal Bank of Scotland and Greece’s bankrupt Alpha Bank. Glencore the rogue commodities trading operation run out of Switzerland retains Rudd.

Labour’s current favourite targets the big energy companies like ENI, Shell, EON and Centrica could have been sat round the table with Ed. Embarrassingly UK Uncut favourites Vodafone may have passed the port to Ed and given Rudd represents Wonga, which the Labour Party’s Stella Creasey campaigns against, there will be extortionate interest if they were there. Rudd represents hedge fund operators DE Shaw and the London Stock Exchange, currently home to the unwashed 0.99% in occupation. With all these “predators” at his fingertips, which ones did Rudd choose to give Ed “some straight advice”?  No wonder Ed is reluctant to admit who he had dinner with…

Friday, October 14, 2011

Rumour Mill Says Fox Might Go Tonight

And so the “Dear David/Dear Liam” rumour mill begins. Paul Waugh tweets that he is picking up chatter that Fox will walk tonight. It would make sense and take the sting out the inevitable savaging by the Sundays, but then it would also be out of character. Guido did a quick text around to be told the it was a load of cobblers. But then they will say that until they are setting up a microphone…

UPDATE: Speculation mounting. Think it’s Foxtrot Oscar time…

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Michael Hintze: For Whom the Bell Spins

Flying in from China to face the growing music, Michael Hintze, the donor in the spotlight regarding Liam Fox’s shadow operation, is said to have hired Lord Bell to spin for him this morning. Hintze, the chairman of the hedge fund CQS, gave Adam Werritty a desk in his Grosvenor Place office and is one of his key benefactors. Given that the Sunday papers are crawling over anyone who has ever given Fox a penny, it seems Hintze is getting ready for a fight… 

UPDATE: It looks like they are keeping it cosy. Richard Alston the Non-Executive Director of Bells’s Chime Communications (which owns Bell Pottinger,) also sits on the international advisory board of CQS. Bell Pottinger also represent the Sri Lankan government and have worked closely with Liam Fox in the past.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fox Trashes Werritty

Another key development in the fox-hunt from Joe Murphy at the Standard. He has got the text of “friends of Fox” attempting to trash his bestest friend Adam Werritty. Murphy stresses that he believes this is what Fox told GOD:

“It is clear that Werritty was masquerading as something he was not. He was hanging around and popping up in places, trying to be part of a group. This guy was clearly a Walter Mitty figure.

It’s fair to say that he [Fox] was naive about Adam Adam did arrive in certain places and took advantage of his friendship with Liam. It will be a very different friendship in future.”

If the government are calling you Walter Mitty, Guido doesn’t recommend you go for a walk in the woods any time soon…

Exclusive: Cameron’s PMQ Briefer Leaves Downing Street

Today’s PMQs session will be a tough one, unemployment is up, the defence secretary is in the wars and the Health Bill is falling apart. If you notice something a little different about Cameron’s performance at Prime Minister’s Questions later it will be because Peter Campbell, who has been in charge of Dave’s PMQs briefings since the moment he became Tory leader, has joined the Downing Street exodus. He left Cameron’s Private Office last week.

Something tells Guido that this won’t be the last we hear of Mr Campbell. The PMQs briefer is a key job in any leader’s office and it was a fresh faced young Conservative Party researcher called David that used to do the honours for John Major.

He was the future once…

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fox Speaks Out, Sort Of

“Friends of Liam Fox” have been in touch with Ben Brogan over at the Telegraph:

“I gather he is close to a put up or shut up moment about his private life: if his pursuers have something to say they should say it out loud rather than whisper speculation, he tells friends.”

Given that it’s Liam’s “friends” that have got him into this mess in the first place, Guido would take what they say with a pinch of salt, but he’s certainly surprised that Fox would take that high-risk route. The last roll of the dice?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fox: “Why Don’t You Just Say What You Mean, Kevan?”

Labour’s Chris Bryant did his part to muddy the waters around Liam Fox this morning by tweeting: “I’m perplexed by this smear and innuendo about ‘smears and innuendo’.” An infinite loop of smear and innuendo…

There is a rumour doing the rounds that the Guardian have been sitting on some rather saucy details about Werritty and Fox since last Thursday, with the editor believing that Fox’s position is untenable without the need for the full picture being disclosed. In the mean time the rest of the media seem to be trying rather hard to get a message out there…

Sky News defence correspondent Niall Paterson said in a live broadcast that the Defence Secretary is “not normal”. He later sent a tweet presumably in an attempt at clarification claiming “’twas in the context of making clear that secs of state don’t usually bring their pals on trips”. Quite.

The Mail have a bit of a mixed message. Political Editor James Chapman has gone on the attack, implying that Labour are playing dirty:

“Last night, for instance, Labour’s defence spokesman Kevan Jones, responding to Dr Fox’s apology, declared: ‘This is a man in denial.’ Why don’t you just say what you mean, Kevan?”

Yet his Mail colleague Peter McKay has gone the furthest of any hack yet, pushing the same idea as Kevan Jones:

“There is a final, delicate reason why Cameron and Co might have shied away from dealing with Fox’s private and public association with Werritty. Although Fox has denied rumours that he is gay, his friendship with Werritty seems to go beyond what many might consider is normal in male friendships. But the more-inclusive-than-thou Cameron would instinctively steer clear of querying it.”

“Querying”, eh?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Osborne Responds to QE Announcement

George Osborne told the BBC:

“I don’t think anyone should be pleased that we have reached this point. It is an admission of failure and carries considerable risk. Let us hope that this approach taken by the Bank of England does lead to an easing of credit conditions. This is a leap in the dark and we will see whether it works.”

In 2009

Red Ken Reignites Catfight

Yesterday Ken Clarke told the local press “I expect I will have to wear body armour the next time I meet Theresa. She was at the thing I was at last night but I thought it was too soon to go over and greet her and say ‘it wasn’t my fault.” However he seems to have allayed his fears this morning and has come back out on the attack against his Cabinet colleague. He has said May used “laughable child-like” examples that were a “parody” of court judgements. After Cameron went out of his way to try to take the heat out of the row with a joke and even a song after his speech yesterday, it’s as if Ken Clarke is trying to get reshuffled. 

2,000 Jobs To Go at the BBC -
White City to Become Ghost City

It seems the BBC are at least beginning to wake up to reality. 2,000 jobs are to go and White City could be completely abandoned. You have to chuckle at the mindset though. In justifying the cuts, Director General Mark Thompson told the 25,000 staff that the Beeb is “still the biggest employer of journalists, outside of China.”

As if that isn’t the problem…


Seen Elsewhere

Compassionate Left in Action | Mark Wallace
Sainsbury’s Distance Themselves From Sick Cam Tweeter | Speccie
Elites Pay Price for Killing Grammar Schools | Jago Pearson
Thornberry Makes Burnham Leadership Favourite | Matthew Norman
Guido’s Column | Sun
BBC Still Ignoring Savile Evidence | Telegraph
Politicians Brought Down by Twitter | CityAm
Ed the Biggest Loser in Rochester | Trevor Kavanagh
A Just Way to Manage Migration | Mats Persson
Farage is Right | Lord Ashcroft
Give Miliband a Darwin Award | Boris Johnson


Find out more about PLMR AD-MS


Boris on his fellow Islingtonista Emily Thornberry:

“It was an entirely run-of-the-mill English townscape, with some straightforward words to go with it. There was no obvious insult, no abuse, no overt sneering. She might have got away with it entirely, had some alert blogger not spotted it. He instantly detected the coded message that Emily Thornberry was sending to all her right-on, bien-pensant, Labour-luvvie friends in Islington, or wherever else it is that they follow her on Twitter.”



Left on Left says:

The lefties are attacking because the panellist is a millionaire and lives in a London home worth upwards of two million. Someone had best tell them he’s called Ed Miliband.


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