Monday, September 8, 2014

TORY WARS: Home Office Threat Level Raised to Severe

The Tory threat level has been raised to ‘severe’ as the rumbling conflict between the Home Office and Downing Street goes nuclear. Theresa May is struggling to disguise her contempt for the Craig Oliver and, as revealed in yesterday’s Sun, it boiled over recently with the Super Spinner doing himself no favours by going shouty crackers and demanding the Home Secretary show him some respect. Eye rolls all round. “Craig did a great job briefing the counter terrorism statement,” says a Home Office source.

Knittaz With Attitude
Leaked Plan Reveals Left-Wing Charities Target Tory Minister

Brooks Newmark is feeling the sharp end of the needle after commenting that charities should “stick to their knitting” and stay out of politics. Below Guido unravels details of a plot to stitch Newmark up coordinated by Friends of the Earth, spinning a yarn by organising a group letter to be printed in the national press. A conspiracy by left-wing charities to fight the idea that there’s a conspiracy by left-wing charities.

Dear Minister/ Dear editor

It was very ill-considered for you/the Minister for Civil Society to tell charities to “stick to their knitting”.

We are pleased that you have/ he has clarified your/his view that “charities absolutely have the right to campaign but should stay out of the realm of party politics”.

Charities, by law, cannot and do not take part in party politics and it is misleading to suggest this is a problem that needs to be tackled. We are proud to be party politically independent and to speak truth to power – even if that is uncomfortable for politicians.

The Lobbying Act, coming in to force on 19 September, was opposed by over 150 charities and campaign groups – from Cancer UK to the Quakers, Water Aid to WWF. We are concerned that it contains provisions that may well limit the ability of charities and other organisations to speak out on some of the most important policy issues facing the country and the planet.

From women’s suffrage to stopping the sell-off of our forests, campaigning on politically contentious issues is vital to democracy and to Governments making the right decisions. No ill-considered new laws or comments by ministers should stop charities and campaign groups from this important work.

Signed lots of NGOs..

The seamless plan also aims to buttonhole Newmark on social media, in what the charities minister will be hoping is a vain attempt to make him reap what he has sewn:

If you can take a photo of yourself knitting that would be great. (We actually have a box of knitting in the Edinburgh office. It turns out charities really do like knitting!) If you can’t get hold of any knitting a text tweet will do! Just remember the hashtag! Some examples:

In between knitting, I like to help solve youth unemployment in Scotland. #stickingtomyknitting

After a hard day’s knitting, I like nothing better than to help get disempowered people get online #stickingtomyknitting

European Funding Policy is fun and all, but I’d rather be knitting! #stickingtomyknitting

The email has been sent out to left-wing charities by Liz Hutchins, a former CND agitator who describes herself as a “senior political campaigner” and currently works for the Friends of the Earth “Political and Legal Unit”. Somewhat giving the game away. Other proposals of direct action suggested by Liz include turning up at Newmark’s constituency office in Braintree and making him undergo re-education in a meeting at the Cabinet Office. You can read the email in full here and have your say in the thread below…

Saturday, September 6, 2014

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Matthew?

probelm-matthew-parris

Even if they privately agree with him CCHQ strategists don’t appreciate the media interventions by Matthew Parris. Lynton Crosby has decreed that UKIP is to be downplayed and all but ignored insomuch as that is possible. The Clacton bullet is to be bitten and the pain taken without too much complaint or squealing. Hence the lack of Tory MPs in the studios stoking up the row or giving biting anti-Carswell soundbites to be lapped up by the media and inserted in stories of Tory splits and infighting. So in their place we have Matthew Parris, a former Tory MP and the arch voice of the Tory left, on the Daily Politics, Newsnight and in his columns he is stoking up the euro-row, amplifying it and providing soundbites, inventing motives and attributing malice to the eurosceptic wing of the Tories. Matthew’s latest column in The Times paints Clacton as full of people so infra dig that they should just be ignored by the Tories. The column is so patronising and sneering that it could be reprinted by UKIP and delivered as a recruiting leaflet to every former Tory voter in Clacton…

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Tories Implementing iDemocracy in Clacton

clacton-con-ads

There is a certain irony in the Tories holding an internet driven open primary in Clacton to select their candidate and UKIP HQ imposing Douglas Carswell, the prophet of iDemocracy, as their candidate. Carswell will be pleased his ideas are being taken up…

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Charities Minister Warns Third Sector to Stay Out of Politics

A welcome move from the new charities minister Brooks Newmark, who has this afternoon launched a stinging attack on partisan charity sock-puppets:

“We really want to try and keep charities and voluntary groups out of the realms of politics. 99.9 per cent do exactly that. When they stray into the realm of politics that is not what they are about and that is not why people give them money. The important thing charities should be doing is sticking to their knitting and doing the best they can to promote their agenda, which should be about helping others.”

Predictably a minister daring to suggest anyone in the third sector might possibly do anything wrong has gone down like a cup of cold sick among charities themselves. Newmark is however making an important point and speaks from experience too, having himself set up his own charity in Rwanda. Guido has written previously on how sections of the third sector are stuffed full of Labour acolytes, spin for Labour and even write policy for political parties. Good to see the new charities minister is on board with the campaign to get charities out of politics…

PMQs Order Paper: Quitting Chris Kelly to Question Cam

Douglas Carswell’s decision to do the honourable thing means we will likely be denied a box office showdown with the PM for a few more weeks. There is however a question for the departing Chris Kelly on today’s PMQs order paper:

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Eric Joyce (Falkirk)

Q2 Mr Jim Cunningham (Coventry South) 

Q3 Stephen Metcalfe (South Basildon and East Thurrock) 

Q4 Kerry McCarthy (Bristol East) 

Q5 Mr Tom Watson (West Bromwich East) 

Q6 Ms Diane Abbott (Hackney North and Stoke Newington) 

Q7 Richard Drax (South Dorset) 

Q8 Dr Matthew Offord (Hendon)

Q9 Dr Alasdair McDonnell (Belfast South) 

Q10 Lindsay Roy (Glenrothes)

Q11 Jim Shannon (Strangford) 

Q12 Karl Turner (Kingston upon Hull East)

Q13 Mark Menzies (Fylde) 

Q14 Chris Kelly (Dudley South)

Kelly famously denied bursting into tears during his last showdown with Dave in 2010. And emotions are still running high among Tory backbenchers…

Monday, September 1, 2014

ConHome Calls for Bercow’s Head

John Bercow is facing growing calls to resign, with Conservative Home calling for his head in a blistering criticism of his failings his afternoon. The party’s in house journal argues “the Speaker ought to resign, for the good of the Commons”, that today’s “imitation of a u-turn… isn’t sufficient to save him”, and that following his statement today “Bercow’s position has become untenable”.

“His authority over the House as a whole has evaporated. In his statement this afternoon he was openly heckled by various MPs. His declaration that “a number of colleagues have expressed disquiet” about Ms Mills, when in reality at least 84 MPs are in open revolt on the matter, elicited a loud “Ha!” from Michael Fabricant. His proposal of a “modest pause” has been met by rebel demands for a full debate on his conduct of the affair. It’s no use suggesting this is a group of usual suspects who dislike him personally – the objectors have visibly multiplied in proportion to his misbehaviour. This is an unsustainable state of affairs, and his failure (or refusal) to satisfy his critics now threatens to disrupt the running of parliament.”

The damning piece concludes:

“He ought to go of his own accord or be made to go by MPs. We need a new Speaker who can live up to the job and restore the role to its former standing.”

If this were to snowball…

Will the Last Tory MP Standing Down Turn Out the Lights?

Tony “Baldrick” Baldry, Tory MP for Banbury since 1983 and parliament’s most senior Freemason, has announced he is off:

“After careful thought over summer recess & discussions with my family, I have decided to stand down at the next General Election. It is an enormous privilege to represent the people of N.Oxon. I’m grateful for the friendship & support from constituents over so many years.”

Baldry has an 18,000 majority so it will be hard to spin it as a conspiracy, unlike with last night’s resignation of 2010 intake right-winger Chris Kelly, whose 3,800 majority was under threat in the UKIP target seat of Dudley South. Kelly says he’s not joining UKIP but wishes Carswell the best…

Presumably standing down to spend more time with Nadine Dorries’ daughter.

Friday, August 29, 2014

8 Tory MPs Headline is 2012 Re-Run

If the eight Tory MPs weighing up defection headlines sounded a little familiar this morning, it’s because they were a rehash from an old story that was debunked at the time. Here is what Stuart Wheeler told the Telegraph way back in 2012:

“I have had lunch secretly if you like, in a completely confidential way, with eight different Tory MPs. Each was promised by me that I would not tell any of the others, or anybody else except Nigel.”

While it makes for a nice story, Guido suspects Carswell is flying solo for the foreseeable future due to the unique circumstances of his own politics and seat demographics. He’s also set the bar very high as the precedent for any future defection from any political party to another – it must now come with a by-election.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

WATCH: Tanned Dave Responds On Camera to Carswell

He should have stayed on holiday… 


Seen Elsewhere

English Democrats Accidentally Celebrate Yes Victory | Pink News
Union In Its Current Form is Dead | Janan Ganesh
Labour Could Be Split in Two | Sun
Ashcroft Poll: Why Scotland Voted No | Buzzfeed
Boris: Change Barnett Formula | Sun
Cameron is Back | Dan Hodges
What Happens Now | James Kirkup
Cairo of the North | Quentin Letts
Labour are the Biggest Losers | Phil Collins
Westminster Will Never Allow Referendum Again | Daily Mash
Yes Scotland’s Geo-Targeting Advertising Fail | MessageSpace


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The Prime Minister feels the pressure:

“I have to say that after the events I have been facing over the last few days, assassination would be a welcome release.”



It was only a tiny tiny collision.


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