Monday, July 8, 2013

Drenge Turn on Watson

Poor Tom Watson. His oh so funny resignation letter has upset the cool kids. Drenge, the band he name-checked as part of the wider diversion tactic over the real reasons he was quitting, have hit back:

“I’m not totally overjoyed that it happened but at the same time I don’t really care. I’m glad he’s a fan and that other people have discovered us through it. We’ve kind of been shown to a load of people who don’t really care which is fine. I’d rather that we hadn’t and people had discovered us in their own way rather than through a news story.”

Watson should stick to the day job… Oh wait.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Karie Murphy Suspended From Labour Party

karieKarie Murphy, Tom Watson’s office manager who also happens to have been Len McCluskey’s girlfriend, has been suspended along with Labour member Stephen Deans over Falkirk. Labour has also banned unions from paying new members’ subs. Developing…

Via @tnewtondunn

UPDATE:

Tom Watson Resigns Over Falkirk Scandal

Dear Ed,

I said that I’d stay with you as general election co-ordinator within the Shadow Cabinet as long as I was useful. I think it would be a good idea for you, and me, if I stood down from the role now.

As you know, I offered my resignation on Tuesday and you asked me to reconsider. I’ve thought about it and still feel it is better for you and the future unity of the party that I go now. There are some who have not forgiven me for resigning in 2006. I fully accept the consequences of that decision and genuinely hope my departure allows the party to move on.

Yet it’s not the unattributed shadow cabinet briefings around the mess in Falkirk that has convinced me that the arrangement has run its course (though they don’t help). I believe that the report should be published – in full – and the whole truth told as soon as possible so that the record can be made clear. I’ve still not seen the report but believe there are an awful lot of spurious suppositions being written.

I wish to use the backbenches to speak out in areas of personal interest: open government and the surveillance state, the digital economy, drones and the future of conflict, the child abuse inquiries, the aftermath of the Murdoch scandal and grass roots responses to austerity.

Having resigned a couple of times before, I know how puckish lobby hacks might choose to misconstrue the departure. So to make it harder for them let me say this: I’m proud of your Buddha-like qualities of patience, deep thought, compassion and resolve. I remain your loyal servant. I’ll always be on hand to help you if you need me. I just don’t think you need me in the Shadow Cabinet any more. After nearly thirty years of this, I feel like I’ve seen the merry-go-round turn too many times. Whereas the Shadow Cabinet’s for people who still want to get dizzy.

You have it in you to be an outstanding Labour Prime Minister. The road ahead is always rocky but I will be with you all of the way, cheering you on from the backbenches. You’re my friend and leader, and I’m going to do all I can to make sure you win in 2015.

Here’s my parting thought:

John Humphrys asked me why you were not at Glastonbury this weekend. I said Labour leaders can’t be seen standing in muddy fields listening to bands. And then I thought how terribly sad that this is true. So: be that great Labour leader that you can be, but try to have a real life too. And if you want to see an awesome band, I recommend Drenge.

Yours sincerely,

Tom Watson

It was Hodges wot won it…

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Watson’s Chickens are Coming Home to Roost

A bad day for Tom Watson, as his role in Labour’s current woes emerges. Guido has been saying it for weeks. As the Telegraph points out this morning: “If Ed Miliband wants to become prime minister in 2015 he needs to sack Tom Watson.” They lift the lid on how toxic the Mafia-man works behind the scenes. When he takes time out of tweeting pictures from Glasto, that is:

“Part of Tom Watson’s problem is that he is a man in the right place at the wrong time – an old-school Brownite machine politician in an era when the political machines are grinding to a halt. “I was in the room at the first meeting Tom had with us after being appointed campaign coordinator,” says one party insider. “His first words were, ‘You’ve got to understand, I know more about political campaigning than any of you’. You just can’t do that. No one’s impressed by that talk any more.” Which isn’t strictly true. Ed Miliband was impressed by it, which is why Watson was given carte blanche to expand his influence over selections, campaigns and broader political strategy.”

The BBC’s James Purnell put it, Watson is a “cancer at the heart of the Labour Party”. As Rachel Sylvester says in the Times, Miliband “must prove that he is strong enough to stand up to the macho politics of fixing and back-room deals. The world has moved on. Labour must adapt too — or it will die.” A good start would be for Ed to release the full Labour inquiry into what went on in Falkirk. If Watson will let him…

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Whittingdale Speaks Out Over Half-Brother’s Arrest

Media Select Committee Chairman John Whittingdale has spoken out about the arrest this morning of his half-brother Charles Napier, who was nicked by the Met investigating 80s abuse at Elm Guest House in Barnes:

“I am aware that my half-brother was arrested at our mother’s home. I have absolutely no idea about the claims but if allegations have been to police they should be investigated.”

So far Watson has refrained from attack, publicly…

Via Standard.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Another Watson Ex-Staffer Sews Up Labour Selection

Guido hears that Tom Watson did not take too kindly to his story about the heavy support Labour’s campaign guru has been giving their prospective parliamentary candidates yesterday. Now another of Watson’s WAGs* has sewn up a selection. Former Phil Woolas staffer Mari Williams, who boasts that she used to work for Watson at Labour HQ, will run in Cardiff North. It’s becoming a meme…

* Women and girlfriend.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Watson’s WAGs*

Another day and another Labour selection overshadowed by the heavy hand of Tom Watson. Congratulations to Stephanie Peacock the trade unionist of no distinguishable career, who has managed to get selected in the marginal seat of Halesowen and Rowley Regis. Regular readers will remember that Ms. Peacock is romantically linked to Watson and at just 25 is on rather the young side, to be a candidate. Peacock will receive a lot of heavy support from Labour’s Vice Chairman for Campaigns, no doubt.

Elsewhere, the fallout from Watson’s attempt to get his close personal friend and staff member Karie Murphy the seat of Falkirk continues to unravel. The Mail didn’t name the “senior Labour figure”, though it’s clear Watson is in this one up to his waist. Not only have there been allegations of block buying membership for union heavies, now someone has been threatening the employer of Murphy’s rival:

“The Labour whistleblower told The Mail on Sunday: ‘I was shocked to be told a senior Labour figure told Blue State Digital that unless Poynton pulled out of Falkirk, the company could lose contracts with Labour.’”

He sent congratulations to Joan Ryan too; the expenses fiddler was selected in Enfield North in an equally dodgy selection process. Guess who visited the seat hours before the dodgy goings on began?

*Women and Girlfriend.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Stranger Things Have Happened…

… Though not many. The baronetcy heir apparent tests the effects on the working man of his 1p cut to the price of beer, pulling a pint for Tom Watson in parliament’s Strangers bar last night. Sampling the latest from his local brewery, called Pennies from Eleven apparently. Must not make eye contact…

Via @michaeldughermp

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tom Watson Fingered Over Plotting Dinner

Last month Guido reported that Joan Ryan, former Labour MP expenses piggy turned wannabe candidate in Enfield North, was trying to stitch up a seat for a pal in a neighbouring constituency. She brought along dozens of new members to Enfield Southgate CLP’s AGM in order to back Ibrahim Dogus, though for some reason didn’t want to answer Guido’s questions about the little trick.

Guido has now seen an official complaint from the secretary of the local party to Labour HQ alleging the new members had joined the party the previous day. Crucially the secretary suggests the fishy plot was dreamt up at a dinner with Tom Watson:

What’s going on, Tommy?

Monday, May 13, 2013

No Such Thing As a Free Lunch

As Guido reported in his Sun on Sunday column, the Labour triumvirate of Tom Watson, John Spellar and Michael Dugher are being remarkably tight-lipped about what was discussed over lunch with Lord Ashcroft last week, and who picked up the tab. A friend points out that “Tom Watson’s credit card hasn’t been seen in 25 years” and Spellar is a notoriously “careful with his money” Yorkshireman. Presumably that means Aschroft made his first donation to the Labour Party by footing the bill.

And it’s paying off: the flirting continues this morning, with Ashcroft gleefully retweeting Watson’s digs at Gove and Watson laying on the praise for Ashcroft’s polling. It seems Watson can be bought off with food…


Seen Elsewhere

Polling Averages Trend | PoliticalBetting.com
Speaker Faces Questions Over Pass for Donor | Sun
Tory MPs’ Visit to Israel Condemned | Guardian
Labour Was Too Slow for the Squeezed Middle | FT
Papers Pan Cam’s Immigration Pledge | ConHome
Deane of St Edmundsbury? | Times
Pay Volunteers and They Become Cheap Labour | Jill Kirby
UKIP Fundraiser Was Jailed for Running Brothels | Times
Bercow Faces Probe Over Pass Mystery | Mirror
Harman Breaks Rules on Paying Staff | Express
Labour Whinge About Sandi Toksvig Joke | Mail


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John McTernan told Channel 4 News

“You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, you don’t win in politics without breaking legs.”



Rob Wilson says:

Without Predujice

Darling

What time will dinner be ready this evening?

Yours

Rob Wilson MP

In the interests of me I am placing a copy of this email in the public domain.


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