Tuesday, May 17, 2011

There’s More Than One Cunning Fox

Once again one of Liam’s little letters has made its way into the papers. Again he is protesting his innocence, and this time he’s not the only suspect.

“A source close to Dr Fox” said “the Defence Secretary fully supports the principle of a 0.7% target on international aid.” Yet his letter will be seen, by the Tory right and grassroots, at the very least, as a rejection of what a growing number believe to be an absurd policy. While we scrap aircraft carriers, we thank Pakistan for all their help recently by sending them hundreds of millions….

But who else would benefit from this row being out in the open? Which ambitious and restless colleague was consulted and is mentioned in the first sentence of the letter:

Dear David Cameron
I have considered the issue carefully, and discussed it with Andrew [Mitchell] and William Hague, but I cannot support the proposal in its current form….

Could maneuvering Mitchell be doing a little fox-hunting?

It’s clear Mitchell would have known the letter was coming and he has a stake in the fight, but could it have been even more Machiavellian? Downing Street don’t want a reshuffle just yet, and this debate has distracted nicely from Huhne’s problems for a couple of hours. Who knows, maybe this is even the beginning of another government u-turn. This time to throw a bone to the Tory-core vote, that held up, rather than the electorally decimated LibDems.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Leader Slams Huhne

Not his bosses yet, but a damning leader in tomorrow’s Telegraph:

“Did he, as his wife apparently alleges, ask her to accept a speeding penalty on her driving licence on his behalf? Mr Huhne, who left Vicky Pryce for another woman, says this version of events is “simply incorrect”.”

Why did he say “incorrect” instead of “not true”? Did his lawyers advise him to give that wriggle room?

“He is, in other words, calling his estranged wife a liar. Yet to admit she is telling the truth is to confess to a criminal act. It could be argued that if Mr Huhne is in the right then he is entitled to save his own political skin by accusing the woman he abandoned of lying. But it still looks pretty caddish. It is worse if he is in the wrong and knows it – but thinks it can’t be proved. Either way, a thorough police investigation is required.”

One angle missed out is what if Huhne filled in the form without his wife’s knowledge, and she was in London as today’s digging proved that she was? Newsnight, hot on Guido’s tail, will be touching on this issue tonight. Either way a Secretary of State has been “the story” for near on 8 days. And it’s not going to go away tomorrow…

UPDATE : It looks like it will be a head-on car crash.

Guido imagines Huhne’s bill with Mishcon de Reya just soared…

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Heffer Sacked From the Telegraph

There will be champagne glasses chinking in Downing Street tonight as the news emerges that the Telegraph have sacked Simon Heffer. No friend of Dave, the conservative journalist is apparently off to “pursue a role in journalism and broadcasting that will allow him to complete a major literary project while developing his academic interests.” Will that be at the better-off-out Express or better-off-out UKIP, or both?

Telegraph sources say the “column had got into a rut.” Officially editor Tony Gallagher said “While I am sorry to see him depart, I fully understand his reasons and he leaves with everyone’s best wishes.” And a very large cheque Guido hears.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Calamity Chris

Chris Huhne has a track record of both dishonesty and blaming minions:

His career depends on one former aide and the size of the papers’ cheque-books. No doubt Huhne will be fighting these allegations with “the simple sword of truth and the trusty shield of British fair play” though.

Anyone For A Spin?
Hiding Huhne Sends SpAd To Spin a Mess

The last thing that a Special Advisor wants to do is become the story, but that is exactly what cowardly Chris Huhne has tried to do with his SpAd Joel Kenrick. This weekend Huhne faced allegations from two papers, the Mail in Sunday and the Sunday Times that he cajoled another former political aide into accepting his penalty points for speeding to avoid losing his licence.

Before Huhne became an “eco-warrior” he used to, according to his wife, “drive like a maniac” in his gas-guzzling personal number plated 5 Series BMW.  The allegation dates back to 2003 and mysteriously appeared after a week of manoeuvres against his supposed political allies. Huhne spent the weekend hiding from the Sunday Times and Mail on Sunday and has not personally categorically denied the allegation. Why not?

Instead he sent his barely shaving SpAd out to be savaged by the hacks. Joel claimed his boss was “uncontactable” all Saturday, which is a little odd for a Secretary of State. This doesn’t quite add up either, not least because Huhne was briefing the Indy on a different story on Saturday afternoon. But hiding Huhne didn’t stop there. Why, if the allegation is “unfounded”, did Joel, presumably following orders, go on a naked fishing trip asking specifically which car it was and who the person pressurised was? If the allegation was untrue then what relevance would these questions have? Word around Westminster is that this is a repeat offence.

If Huhne knows the story is true but doesn’t think the papers have the evidence, yet, then he is playing a very dangerous game. This is a jailable offence.

Joel hasn’t got his strategy right today either. The latest quote is “These allegations have been made before and have been shown to be untrue”  A classic spinner’s trick  to make it sound like an old story. Guido isn’t sure when 24-hours became old. More importantly there is a very big difference between “unproven” and “untrue” Joel. Guido’s going Huhnting and he isn’t alone…

Friday, May 6, 2011

CCHQ Kick Miliband in the Back

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ed Won’t Dance When Thatcher Dead

Yesterday it was three cock ups, but today John Humphreys only managed to call Ed Miliband “David”. Guido is sure that’s just what a leader struggling to define his image wanted. He was more interested in the comment Ed was forced to make later over on 5 Live after Guido’s story yesterday:

“We would strongly advise him not to wear that T-shirt. I don’t like that T-shirt. I meet hundreds of people up and down the country and I don’t inspect every T-shirt, but I deplore the sentiments. I don’t think you should dance on anyone’s grave … We have talked to him and he knows it is not the kind of T-shirt we want our councillors to be wearing.”

They tried to deny it as a fake first. Guess that line didn’t work…

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Blame Game Briefing Begins

And so it came to pass, the Yes campaign are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel of their campaign. Unfortunately it’s an oncoming train. 

Their people, most likely to be spinner Jon Bartley, have already begun briefing against Chris Huhne and his political game playing:

“Nothing Chris Huhne has done in the last few weeks was authorised by us or useful to us. The difficulty from day one was that we didn’t want the referendum to be seen through the prism of the coalition.”

Looks like the number one slot on the Guilty Men list has been filled.

UPDATE: Turns out that it’s everyone hates Chris day, as Osborne’s scathing put down from the Cabinet duff-up has mysteriously found it’s way in to James Forsyth’s ear:

“This is the Cabinet, not some sub-Jeremy Paxman interview.”

Looks like Osborne wouldn’t mind Huhne walking…

Huhne’s No Tarzan

Chris Huhne’s posturing at Cabinet has been well reported elsewhere. Apparently he cares so much about the AV campaign that he openly challenged the Prime Minister at Cabinet. He then fully briefed hacks within minutes that he’d done so.

He certainly seems wound up, and there is even speculation that he could walk on Friday when the LibDems are decimated locally and in all likelihood the “Yes to AV” Campaign is defeated. This anger feels fake to Guido though. Perhaps Huhne’s mistress, Carina Trimingham. who is on the “Yes to AV” campaign, has him on a Lysistrata-like no-win-no-lay policy. 

There wouldn’t be much love lost if the manoeuvring Huhne did walk. It would solve the where to put David Laws problem in one. Though Huhne could stir from the backbenches, he should remember that Helseltine was actually popular and liked before he wielded his knife. And he had better hair too…

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Council Pilgrims

Tory MP Alok Sharma has been digging into the union officials that are paid full time by the state. Basically local government versions of Nurse Pilgrim, whom Guido exposed last week.

Sharma asked the number of council-paid employees working full-time on trade union business, as well as the aggregate bill and the estimated cost of any other resources used by these officials

319 of 429 councils responded to the FOI request. 132 had a paid full-time union official in at least one of the last 3 years, whilst 187 did not. As yesterday, 110 councils had not responded including the  slashing Labour controlled Manchester City Council.

The total salary bill over the last three years for full-time union reps was £35 million. This does not include the cost of employing someone else to do the job vacated by the union reps. The unions should be paying for these staffers, not the taxpayer.

Meanwhile our favourite Nurse Pilgrim is causing trouble again. Outraged that the hospital she works at won’t be shutting down for the Royal Wedding she is organisng an official complaint

From: Jane Pilgrim [mailto:Jane.Pilgrim@███████.nhs.uk]
Sent: 26 April 2011 16:48
To: ████████████████
Subject: RE: royal wedding
Sensitivity: Confidential

Dear All,

It seems that the Trust are putting up stiff resistance to our various letters,

It does now seem that a collective grievance would be appropriate. UNISON has agreed to this..

Please let me know if you wish to be part of a collective grievance by 11th May,

Many Thanks

Jane Pilgrim ( Staff Side Secretary)

Guido wouldn’t have had this “peace and love” hippy squatter down as an arch-monarchist. Especially as she has now joined the Green Party who are abolitionist. Heaven forbid she might actually have to do a days work though. How exactly is Jane expecting lives to be saved if everyone at the hospital gets the day off?


Seen Elsewhere

Fraser Nelson: Put Your Money on Ed Miliband to Win | Guardian
Guido Fawkes is Too Aggressive | The Times
Ditch Tobacco Plain Packaging | Grassroots Conservatives
What Farage, Boris and Rob Ford Have in Common | William Walter
Labour Spell New Adviser’s Name Wrong | ITV
Dave Stung by Jellyfish | Sun
City Minister’s Inheritance Tax Dodging Trusts | Indy
What I Would Have Done if I was Sarah Wollaston | Iain Dale
Boris is an Epic Europhile | Louise Mensch
Warsi Got PM to Confront “Secular Fundamentalism” | Fraser Nelson
Guardian April Fools Apology | Press Gazette


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Rod Liddle on the loony UN sexism special rapporteur:

“There is more sexism in Britain than in any other country in the world, according to a mad woman who has been sent here by the United Nations.

Rashida Manjoo is a part-time professor of law at Cape Town University in the totally non-sexist country of South Africa (otherwise known as Rape Capital Of The World).

Mrs Magoo has been wandering around with her notebook and is appalled by the sexist “boys’ club” culture here, apparently.

I don’t doubt we still have sexism in the UK. But is it worse than in, say, Saudi Arabia, d’you think, honey-lamb? Or about 175 other countries? Get a grip, you doolally old bat.”



orkneylad says:

What’s he been doing FFS, mining bitcoins?


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