Friday, February 24, 2012

Tom Watson Ate My Column

Guido has spoken to people in a position to know and it is clear that the Maurice Glasman writing a column for the Sun on Sunday story going round needs comprehensive debunking. Glasman was originally supposed to write a piece for The Sun, the article had been in the offing for a couple of weeks. Stewart Wood, the Shadow Minister without Portfolio who serves as consigliere to Ed Miliband, was aware that it was in the offing and merely asked Maurice to not be negative about Ed.

After this blog reported that Toby Young was going to be the Sun on Sunday’s political columnist the Sunday Mirror’s Vincent Moss tweeted

http://twitter.com/#!/vincentmoss/status/172382036215083008

This led to Tom Watson sending a menacing tweet

Which as Dan Hodges pointed out, meant

Lo and behold Stewart Wood then called Glasman and told him it would not go down well if the article appeared. Glasman then called The Sun and spiked his own article which by now was due to appear in the Sun on Sunday rather than the daily. Guido sources say the article was mildly critical of Ed’s direction but not that disloyal, certainly nowhere near as cutting as his infamous New Statesman article. Guido’s source says money was never discussed, it was always a one off article and not a regular column offer. Something tells Guido that the Sun on Sunday will cope without the author of “Managing Market Utopia” and the “Politics of Paradox”.  It seems bizarrely self-defeating for Labour to block themselves from connecting with 7 million key swing voters.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Heads in the Sand at Labour HQ

The role of Deputy Party Chairman seems to be forcing Tom Watson further and further from the reality based community. When he’s not paying special close attention to candidate selection, he’s in full spin mode. With the Tories regaining the lead with every major pollster, today was going to be a tricky one, but you can’t fault him for his effort:

Careful you don’t get splinters while you scrape that barrel Tommy…

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Watson Apologises to Judge

This was sent to a co-conspirator in response to a question as to why Tom Watson MP isn’t in trouble:

Thank you for your email.

The Inquiry is satisfied that Mr Watson obtained his version of the statement from the Guido Fawkes website, rather than through other means. As soon as Mr Watson became aware that the Inquiry had not released the statement formally, he removed it from his website. He has apologised to Lord Justice Leveson and to Alastair Campbell and the Inquiry does not, therefore, intend to take this any further.

Kind regards,
The Leveson Inquiry Team

The Guardian’s legal eagle Joshua Rozenberg has written an article which is supportive, and reckons Leveson was wrong on the law.

He might say that, but Guido couldn’t possibly comment…

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thurlbeck Turns the Tables

Neville Thurlbeck has lobbed his grenade into the unravelling News of the World saga. He claims that he was continually blocked from showing a dossier of evidence about phone-hacking to senior staff:

“I requested that I be allowed to show my dossier to Rebekah Brooks, the chief executive officer at News International. I do not wish to embarrass the executive who warned me away from Rebekah’s door, for he is still in harness at News International and I regard him as nothing more sinister than an amiable buffoon. A Polonius-type figure in this drama. In short, a ‘yes man’ with a file perpetually tucked beneath his arm.”

Who is the amiable buffoon is the obvious question, as is why didn’t Thurlbeck just walk into Brooks’ office with the damning papers and tapes?

Tom Crone and Colin Myler do not come out of the, somewhat pompous, Press Gazette article at all well though. Thurlbeck lands the blame firmly at their door for hiding evidence from James Murdoch, which ultimately led to the demise of the paper. He has some rum words for Tom Watson too. Well worth a read for one side of the story, but he certainly has an axe to grind…

*For those wondering about where that picture came from, this is also well worth a read. Not safe for work!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Guido is Getting Under Tom Watson’s Skin

For the last few months Guido has been the only one to point at Tom Watson’s new emperor outfit and laugh. Because of his new role as crusher of the press, the papers didn’t report his taxpayer funded PR adviser, nor his hypocrisy on spending, nor his late night antics at this year’s Labour conference. They’re not going to mention the real reason Tom was being watched by the tabloids in Brighton 2009 either…

However, Watson’s reputation took a knock today and the pack dared to criticise the bully for his over the top “mafia” attacks. Sky’s Sophy Ridge tweets that he just refused to do an interview with them because someone, somewhere on Sky News has quoted this blog. Apparently that makes “trivial television”. Not a great day for Tom to call others trivial… 

Guido will have something to say about Watson when he gives evidence to the Joint Committee on Privacy and Injunctions next week. Something tells him that Tommy won’t be repeating that he thinks the blog is “legendary“:

Watson’s Grandstanding Slammed
Won’t Stop TV Headlines Though

Tom Watson created some drama at James Murdoch’s Select Committee appearence with the revelation, clearly not even briefed to the other members of the committee, that he’d met with Neville Thurlbeck. The former Screws Chief Reporter allegedly told Watson that the paper’s legal man Tom Crone had shown James Murdoch the email he denies he ever saw. Watson should have quit while he was ahead…

Instead his “you must be first mafia boss in history who didn’t know he was running a criminal enterprise” triggered groans from his fellow MPs.   The Guardian’s media man Dan Sabbagh wasn’t impressed: “Watson really blew it at the end with over the top questioning pushing the mafia line. His Media Guardian Deputy Editor called it “OTT”, ITV said “Watson fails to land a blow on Murdoch, so resorts to insults…and makes himself look ridiculous.” It’s as if he could hear the movie soundtrack in his head…

Friday, November 4, 2011

Tom Watson Bills Taxpayer For PR Advisors

The latest tranche of expenses data published this week had £652.08 claimed by Tom Watson for “Professional Services (Staff.)” This is the fourth identical claim made by Watson since April, bringing the total bill to £2,639.40. These payments mirror the rise in Watson’s campaign against News International as well as a shake up in his personal image… 

Watson’s local paper the Wolverhampton Express and Star claim that the this money is being paid to Gordon & Badley Communications –a PR company with a track record of providing Labour MPs with consultants. Why are we paying for Tom Watson’s personal aggrandisement? 

Video: Dolly and Watson Sing the Blues

A Friday treat for you from last night –  an “absolutely totally brilliant” butchering of a Dylan classic “Forever Young” by our old friend:

Despite Gordon Brown saying  there was “no place in public life” for him, Draper is back in the fold and singing his heart out as his old chum Tom Watson looks on at last night’s fundraiser for Ed Miliband’s Political Adviser Polly Billington’s shoo-in selection bid for the Thurrock constituency. As he can’t be seen in shot, presumably McBride is holding the camera…

With the Labour bloggers taking their lines from direct meetings with Ed Miliband, Political Scrapbook doing the red-raggy ones and Left Foot Forward and LabourList parroting press releases, it is as if Draper’s vision has finally been achieved. Only after he got out of the way…

UPDATE: Amusing snippets coming in from last night from all sorts of places. Apparently Polly and Ed Balls sung Endless Love and Dolly did three songs. Who knew Like a Rolling Stone had thirteen verses…

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Watson Criticises Sam & Dave’s £30,000 Refurbishment
Labour MPs Tom & Iain Claimed £100,000 for Lavish Flat

Former Minister for Dirty Tricks Tom Watson thinks he can redeem his past sins on the back of pummelling Murdoch. The media are too terrified to say a negative word about him, so not for the first time it falls to Guido to highlight some hypocrisy ignored by the craven Old Media. A Labour Party press release in Watson’s name yesterday bleated:

“At a time when David Cameron is squeezing the income of millions of hard working families, he has decided to show off his grace and favour accommodation which he has lavishly and unnecessarily refurbished at the taxpayers’ expense. £30,000 of taxpayers’ money was reportedly spent on refurbishing the flat – more than most workers earn in a year… This is blatant hypocrisy and shows just how out of touch Cameron is.”

What our Tommy fails to mention, “wilfully” you might say, is that the refurbished flat will last far longer than Cameron’s premiership and will remain the property of the people. Unlike someone else’s lavishly fitted out residence…

The personal flat that Watson shares with fellow former Minister Iain Wright has seen them claim over £100,000 for refurbishments and such like for their pad including their shares of the legal costs involved in buying it, as well as the fees to buy the freehold. Unlike the PM he will be able to sell and keep the profit from his taxpayer feather-bedded nest. Interesting to note that Watson is suddenly willing to bring Cameron’s family into play. Given that the Watson clan have collectively taken £300,000 off the taxpayer you might wonder whether Tom is really one to be criticising anyone…

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rupert Murdoch Won By Bigger Margin Than Tom Watson

The News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch was up for re-election by shareholders last week. Tom Watson MP led a campaign, backed by commercial rivals The Guardian, to unseat him from the board. Tom travelled to Los Angeles (courtesy of union subs) to vote union pension fund proxy votes. Watson’s attempt failed with Rupert Murdoch getting 86% of the shareholder vote, which compares favourably to Watson’s mere 46% of the vote in his West Bromwich East constituency at his re-election (his share of the vote sank 9.2% at the general election). To add insult to injury, News Corp shares have rocketed up 16% this month alone. Hold on to those shares comrades, no one went poor betting on Murdoch…

Never mind, in consolation he got a night out partying on tequila and singing “Come on Eileen” in La La Land…


Seen Elsewhere

Why Newmark Story Was Not Fishing Expedition | David Banks
Longlist to Succeed Hague | ConHome
Newmark Nonsense An Excuse to Bash Tabloids | Spiked
Kay Burley’s Top Twitter Zingers | Buzzfeed
Why Tory Tax Cut Pledge is Good News | Allister Heath
ONS Admits Economy Stronger Than It Thought | Speccie
Cameron’s Concessions to UKIP | Nick Wood
#TM4PM: It’s On | Speccie
Path to Defeat Obvious for Both Labour and Tories | Rafael Behr
It’s Boris v May | Sun
Farage is Outflanking the Tories | Guardian


VOTER-RECALL
Find out more about PLMR


David Cameron on political promiscuity…

“On May 7 you could go to bed with Nigel Farage and wake up with Ed Miliband. Not one bit of that works for me.”



cynic says:

Can anyone help me? I went on holiday a week ago and returned to find someone has pulled out the stake and Gordon Brown is back and acting as Prime Minister. What did I miss? Has there been a snap election?


Tip off Guido
Web Guido's Archives

Subscribe me to:






RSS


AddThis Feed Button
Archive


Labels
Guido Reads
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,480 other followers