Monday, March 3, 2014

Where have the Conservative Friends of Russia Gone?

The Conservative Friends of Russia re-branded into the Westminster Russian Forum in 2012 after allegations of homophobic smear campaigns, string pulling from the Russian embassy and Moscow gold. When exposed by the press, the Embassy accused the British press of playing ‘a critical part in engineering the unnecessary Crimean War’ in a long winded statement.

Fast forward 18 months and the new impartial forum for those interested in ‘Russian politics, business, history and culture’ were quick to tweet all about the Sochi Winter Olympics, and announce their new committee line up. Yet they’ve gone very quiet in the last week. And their website is down. How odd…

Julian Lewis Pulls Ahead in Defence Select Committee Bunfight
Old Etonian Baggage Hampering Rory Stewart

It’s fitting that the race to become the next chairman of the Defence Select Committee is shaping up to be a bruising battle. The vote to find a Tory replacement for outgoing James Arbuthnot is still two months away, but already blows are being traded.

Plucky backbencher Rory Stewart has the expertise as a former Deputy Governor of a region of Iraq after the 2003 invasion, but many colleagues are loathe to award a plum job to yet another Old Etonian. While Colonel Bob Stewart’s credentials are obvious, his “another gin and tonic?” club style has put colleagues off the one-time frontrunner.

Now a new candidate has emerged: Bercow’s campaign manager Julian Lewis. A strong campaigner against CND hippies before becoming an MP, Lewis is one of the loudest voices for keeping our Trident nuclear deterrent. His voting with Miliband against intervening in Syria last summer is earning him plenty of crucial support from Labour MPs.

Gentleman, you can’t fight in here, this is the war room…

Friday, February 28, 2014

Knives Out at Westminster Council

The richest council in Britain could soon have a new leader. Philippa Roe’s position as leader of Westminster council is under threat after May’s local elections, with Tory councillors increasingly unimpressed by her inability to get a grip on the job. “Philippa is perfectly nice,” one says, “but she’s not the brightest – she just does what officials tell her.” Adding to her troubles, Downing Street and CCHQ are said to be keen on a change following last year’s PR blunder of publicly accusing immigrants of “defecating on people’s doorsteps”. Worth keeping an eye on when it all hits the fan in May…

Thursday, February 27, 2014

How’s That Tory Manifesto Immigration Pledge Going?

In the 2010 Tory manifesto, the party vowed to reduce net migration to below 100,000:

“Immigration has enriched our nation over the years and we want to attract the brightest and the best people who can make a real difference to our economic growth. but immigration today is too high and needs to be reduced. We do not need to attract people to do jobs that could be carried out by british citizens, given the right training and support. So we will take steps to take net migration back to the levels of the 1990s – tens of thousands a year, not hundreds of thousands.”

Today’s ONS figures show net migration has risen by 56,000, hitting a total of 212,000 for the last year. You don’t need to change the axes on the graph below to show the Tories have failed to keep their pledge:

migrationClick to enlarge.

This is what you get for making promises about something you can’t really control…

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Peter Bone’s Family Actually Trouser £200,000 From Taxpayer

The Times splashes on Peter Bone being questioned under caution over a £100,000 benefit fraud involving Mrs’ Bone’s mum. It is alleged that taxpayers’ money was used to fund her care after her assets were apparently deliberately concealed. The real figure for how much money the Bones cream off the taxpayer could actually be double that at £200,000. On top of Bone’s salary as an MP, Mrs Bone was paid between £45,000 and £49,999 last year. Meaning that between them the Bones are raking in more than £100,000 from the taxpayer a year, on top of the £100,000 Mrs Bone’s mum allegedly swindled. He denies the allegations…

When is a Speech Not a Speech?

It’s safe to say this morning’s ‘speech’ by Grant Shapps and the multi-millionaire wheeler dealer Sir John Major has been a bit of a clusterf**k. In fact there is zero evidence so far that it even took place. There are a couple of quotes in the Mail and on PA but why was no one invited?

This is the press release that went out. Did these mythical candidates even say anything?

As the Tories thought it fit to not invite any press to the event, we have to rely on a stream of verbal diarrhoea from @CCHQPress as evidence it ever happened. Surely they can’t be so worried about a few questions that they would go out of their way to shoot themselves in the foot like this? It’s going to be a long campaign at this rate.

No More Hung Parliament Party

Dave says he will not go into coalition after the election:

“The Prime Minister wants to make a commitment in the Conservative Party election manifesto not to sign a second power-sharing deal with a smaller party in the event of a hung parliament next May, it is understood.”

No.10 are not denying the story, instead saying that the PM is in it to win it. 

Such a promise reminds Guido of a remarkably accurate election broadcast from the Tories just before the last election. Who remembers The Hung Parliament Party? The broadcast went out while the Tories prepared for a Con/Lib government:

Is that a ‘cast-iron guarantee’ Prime Minister?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Tory Spin-Doctor Bites Back: I’m No Cannibal*
*Bit Only In Self-Defence

After saying all day he would not give us a statement, Adrian Yalland has released a statement:

There are two sides to every story – especially this one. The video shows only three things clearly.

1. Me repeatedly walking away from an aggressive and abusive man who admits to mental health and anger problems, on whom I had just served legal papers relating to a libel action.

2. The same man stealing the phone from my outstretched hands on which I had just taken a photo of the house I just served papers at.

3. Me picking myself off the floor.

After having been pushed to the floor, I was punched in the back of the head by a second individual, and had a hand forced over my face, whilst I believe a second attempt was made to steal my phone. Whilst pinned down, and fearing further attack, I acted proportionately, in self defence, and only to allow me to escape – which I did immediately. The only person punched was me.

I am pleased a witness came forward to confirm my version of events, and I therefore look forward to the police concluding their investigations with interest, particularly their view on whether there is a case for perverting the course of public justice by making false allegations in order to cause an arrest.

Yalland admits to biting one of his alleged assailants, he is counter-claiming that he is the victim who was attacked. Guido is inclined after hearing his side of the story to give Adrian the benefit of the doubt. Though amusingly, Yalland did once organise a junket for Tory MPs to Equatorial Guinea, where the local tyrant has been accused of… cannibalism

Tory Spin-Doctor Arrested Over Alleged ‘Cannibal’ Assault
Two Men Bitten in Bloody Hampshire Brawl

Adrian Yalland, a former Tory candidate and fixer for various Tory MPs has been arrested for assault after apparently biting two men during a brawl in Hampshire. The video below is alleged to show Yalland, formerly a spinner for spin shop Chelgate, attacking a man on a quiet street in Stockbridge:

Hampshire Police confirmed in a statement to Guido: “Police were called at 4.10 p.m. on Thursday, February 20 following a report of a dispute outside an address on Stockbridge High Street. A 56-year-old man and a 46-year-old man both from Stockbridge suffered minor injuries. A 44-year-old man from Marchwood was arrested on suspicion of assault. He has been bailed pending further enquiries until March 27.”

Yalland handled the press for Nigel Evans when he was charged and has worked with various MPs including Andrew Bridgen and Nadine Dorries.

  • A Tory spokesperson says: “This is a matter for the police.”
  • Nigel Evans’ office says: “I don’t think we can make any comment.”
  • Adrian Yalland was not answering his phone today.

Not the best PR spin strategy…

Video via Nadine O’Connor.

Government of the Etonians, by the Etonians for the Etonians

tory-etonian-manifesto

The FT has a great spot this morning:

“There are six people writing the manifesto and five of them went to Eton; the other went to St Paul’s,” one Conservative MP in a marginal constituency told the Financial Times. A senior minister said the make-up of the prime minister’s team was a bad advertisement for social mobility.

The authors of the next Tory manifesto are, according to the FT; Cameron himself, Jo Johnson, Ed Llewellyn, Dave’s old school friend and chief of staff; Oliver Letwin, minister for government policy and Rupert Harrison. The male-only team are all former Etonians, except in a nod to social mobility George Osborne, who was educated at St Paul’s in London, has been allowed to join the Eton Fives team. Floreat Etona!


Seen Elsewhere

Establishment Times Chums Appeasing Tory Europhiles | UKIP
Andrew Pierce v Owen Jones | MediaGuido
Last Person the Leave the EU Please Turn Out the Lights | Speccie
Porn Without Borders | The Local
Why Tax Cuts Pay for Themselves | Nick Wood
North Korean Heavies Target Ealing Hairdresser | Standard
Tax Cuts Make Us All Richer | Alex Brummer
Sex, Booze and Power Play | Sophy Ridge
Deferential Democracy is Dead | Douglas Carswell
Clegg’s Taxpayer Funded Strategist | Sun
Farage is Still a Politician | Times


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Cathy Jamieson MP, Labour’s Shadow Treasury minister, commenting on Treasury analysis of the economic impact of tax changes…

“If the Treasury is looking at the economic impact of tax changes, then surely it should examine the impact of the rise in VAT and cuts to tax credits? George Osborne’s £12 billion VAT rise knocked confidence, helped to choke off the recovery and has cost families £1,350 over the last three years.”



orkneylad says:

What’s he been doing FFS, mining bitcoins?


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