Thursday, June 12, 2014

Tory Tension Reaches the Heart of Downing Street

Tory division has surfaced yet again, with the Conservative MEP group denying Cameron’s explicit orders not to side with Merkel’s rival Alternative For Germany in the European Parliament. The real Osborne/Cameron power struggle has spilled into the street though…

Watch your back, Lola.

Pic via @PoliticalPics.

Sham Tory Europe Bill Back

Here we go again. Having sacked him at the last reshuffle, the luck of the draw means that Dave is going to be very nice about Bob Neill now. The Bromley MP has agreed to take on the Wharton Bill mantel as the highest ranking Tory in the Private Members Bill ballot:

“One of the first votes I ever cast was on EU membership  in the 1970′s . Now as I pick up my bus pass I am getting the chance to work with colleagues to  secure a referendum for the British people. Britain needs a new deal with Europe and the Conservatives have a plan for change in Europe – renegotiate, reform and put the deal to the British people in an in-out referendum by the end of 2017. Parliament now has the chance to pass my backbench bill and guarantee that the British people have the final say.”

If Cameron had really wanted to lock a referendum into law he could have exercised his authority over the LibDems and put it in the Queen’s Speech last week, forcing the other two parties to vote against it. Nick Clegg is hardly in any position to complain after his Europe-specific drubbing at the ballot box earlier this month. Let the spin begin.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Adventures of SuperSoubs

By day she goes about her unassuming office job as the mild-mannered Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Defence, but when her ‘Soubry-sense is tingling’  the glasses come off and she turns into a Woman of Steel. Customers at a Pret-a-Manger were left bewildered as to the identity of the ‘bloused-crusader’ who saved them from the latest violent menace striking fear into the streets of Westminster. The crime fighter extraordinaire, who goes only by the name of SuperSoubs, used her powers of ‘Super Stern Shouting’ and glaring to fight off an attack on two innocent sandwich shop workers. She told reporters from the Daily Planet:

“I always pop into this Pret to pick up a coffee in the morning. I know the barrista well and he’s a nice guy. I just shouted at the drunk guy, ‘stop it, stop it now’, and put myself between them. They often listen to women because they don’t expect it from you. If you’re a man you’re more than likely to get smacked.”

And with that she was up, up and away. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s SuperSoubs…

Tory Wars: Long Term Inter-Galactic Plan

It is a period of civil war. Rebel spaceships, striking from a Home Office base, have won their first victory against the evil Govian Empire.

During the battle, Rebel SpAds managed to leak secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the PREVENT STRATEGY, an armored space station with enough power to drain an entire swamp.

Pursued by the Empire’s sinister special advisers, Princess Maya races home aboard her starship, custodian of the stolen letter that can save her people and restore freedom…

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Growth will be back, and in greater numbers too. George Osborne has announced that a new Star Wars film will be made in the UK, or as he calls it “a long term economic plan in a galaxy far far away”. Sajid Javid is more of a Trekkie but adds “the force is strong in this one”. Now the Chancellor just needs to strike down May and Boris and he will become more powerful than he can possibly imagine. Help me OBR, you’re my only hope…

Monday, June 9, 2014

Tory MP Slams “Disgraceful, Dishonourable” Bercow

Tory MP Michael Fabricant has been tweeting about another spat he has had with the Speaker this afternoon. Guido asked him what it was all about, and here is Fabbers’ side of the story:

“After our spat in the chamber before prorogation, the Speaker called me to the chair and apologised. He said he hadn’t heard what I’d said, he had a cold. But that wasn’t my problem, he said, it was his. He said that next time I wanted to get in he’d call me early – given that I wouldn’t tweet about it.

Today, at the UQ I wanted to get in. He called me at the very end. The very last. I raised the matter of my constituents persecuted by Islamic extremists, and all the time I was speaking, Bercow was pulling faces at me.

“I went up to him afterwards. He leant away from me hoping I’d go away. ‘Mr Speaker,’ I said. ‘I thought you were going to call me early?’

‘I don’t remember saying any such thing.’

‘I don’t believe you can’t remember!’ I said.

‘You can believe what you like,’ he said.

‘Well, I think it’s disgraceful behaviour,’ I said to him. And as he’d broken the deal we’d struck I did tweet about it, to show him as the dishonourable person he is.’”

He adds:

“Bercow’s been good in bringing more power back to Parliament but he lets Parliament and himself down by his temperament, along with his behaviour both inside and outside the House. Eventually, for instance, we’ll find out why the Clerk, in good health, retired early.

It’s not just Conservatives who are becoming impatient with his erratic behaviour. I know colleagues on both sides of the House who feel enough is enough.”

Strong words…

Trojan Horse Row: Where’s Warsi?

Guido is wondering where the government’s faith and communities minister Sayeeda Warsi has got to. With the Birmingham Trojan Horse row rumbling on, we are yet to hear from the usually vocal Baroness on an issue well within her purview. Are we expected to believe that nobody has called Warsi or complained to her? Is the Senior Minister of State too important for such trivial bickering, or has she been gagged?

Incidentally, Warsi has been causing trouble in Sajid Javid’s back yard. The first big intervention as Culture Secretary from Britain’s first Asian Secretary of State was to declare that all immigrants should learn English to try and integrate themselves into British society. It seems Warsi did not get the memo though…

Just a week later, she conducted a meeting in Javid’s neighbouring constituency of Stourbridge entirely in Urdu. English speaking local residents complained that they could not understand what was going on, telling Warsi “I think it should have been translated into English as well.” Is this standard practice for a Minister of the Crown? 

May SpAd Drove Dre Mad

may

It’s increasingly rare that Craig Oliver has anything to smile about, but he’ll be happy with the exit of Fi Cunningham, who vocalised what most of the SpAds think about the Downing Street Director of Comms. One ‘pal’ told this morning’s Sun: “She thought he was an idiot.” Another described Mr Oliver as “a Grade A ****”.’ As someone with all the authority of a boy scout, who struggles to command respect at the best of times, Cunningham’s attitude drove poor Craig round the bend.

In Sunday’s Sun Guido recounted his favourite tale involving Cunningham repeatedly fobbing off his orders to report to Downing Street for a bollocking. Seeing the No. 10 switchboard number when her phone rang again, she answered: “Sorry, Craig, I’m really busy.” “Get… here… now!” said a voice. She replied: “Right away, Prime Minister.”

Friday, June 6, 2014

Clegg’s Recall Porkies

Fair to say the Tory backbenchers who have campaigned for a genuine recall bill didn’t take too kindly to Nick Clegg telling LBC that the Queen’s Speech fudge was all their fault. Zac Goldsmith offers Guido his thoughts:

“Clegg told listeners that he and I are ‘at one’ on the issue of Recall, that he supports ‘radical’ Recall but has had to compromise because of the Conservative backbenchers. I wish that were true, but it is the opposite of the truth. I have debated the issue with him many times, and until very recently, he was vehement in his opposition to a proper Recall system.

Nick Clegg is the architect of the current Recall Bill. It is a disgrace even by the standards of modern politics – and it will be rejected by Parliament, as it has been rejected by every single democracy campaign group in the UK. It is nothing more and nothing less than a con. Bottom line is that even after his ‘Recall’ is introduced, it would still be possible for an MP to join the BNP, fail to show up in Parliament, fail to speak to constituents, break all promises, even take a 5-year holiday without qualifying for Recall.”

Douglas Carswell is even less forgiving:

“If I can be blunt, it’s bullsh*t and he knows it. It’s straightforward deceit and he has said this simply for effect. The truth is that on the Conservative backbenches there is strong support. Where there is kickback it’s coming from people holding red boxes and people in the Cabinet Office. I wouldn’t hold it against Clegg if he opposed he idea, but what’s absolutely unforgivable is that he opposed it but pretends to be in favour.”

Who do you believe?

WATCH:  Farage Concedes – ‘Tories Will Win by 3,000 Votes’

“The Conservatives will hold this seat but what UKIP will do is score their best ever percentage score in a by-election. It’s going to be over 30%. [The Tory majority] will be two or three thousand. It will be very difficult to think we could have done much better. It’s been a very short by-election, we couldn’t really mobilise anybody until after the European elections. The Conservatives have probably put more into this than any by-election they’ve ever fought in their history. All round, I can assure you that the People’s Army will be very happy with this result tonight.”

If Farage is right and UKIP polled over 30% that will be very uncomfortable for the Tories…

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Gove: I Am Not at War With May

Michael Gove was in a conciliatory mood this morning after receiving an ear-bashing from the PM over his very public falling out with Theresa May. Doorstepped and asked if he is at war with the Home Secretary, he said:

“Certainly not, Theresa May is doing a fantastic job. There’s a lot going on. No, absolutely not. She’s doing a very fine job.”

The dispute is splashed across the papers this morning. The Guardian reports that Dave rounded on the Education Secretary in a meeting at No. 10 yesterday when he admitted being the source for the Times story earlier this week. May’s retaliation came after she got wind of Gove’s lunch with the editor. The Mail takes a look at the relationship between May’s SpAd, Fiona Cunningham, and the Home Office spook who Gove has criticised, Charles Farr. Ben Brogan reports Cunningham came close to being fired for tweeting out May’s letter to Gove yesterday. It’s all smiles from Gove this morning…


Seen Elsewhere

Don’t Underestimate Philip Hammond | Nick Wood
Labour Council Collaborates With Pro-Hamas Group | Breitbart
Qatar Sugar-Daddies of Islamist Financing | Left Foot Forward
Guido’s Column | Sun
Miliband Drawing Attention to His Mistakes is Madness | Lord Bell
Another Renewable Myth Goes Up in Smoke | Matt Ridley
Ed’s Problem is His Policies | Trevor Kavanagh
Ed’s Image is All He Has Going For Him | Boris
Labour a Risk to the Economy and Jobs Growth | Leo McKinstry
UKIP Will Make Miliband PM | Tele
Tories: Ruffley Critics are ‘Minority Feminist Groups’ | Buzzfeed


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New Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has big ambitions in his first meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu today:

“I came to bring this conflict to an end.”



Christie Malry @fcablog

Ed Miliband does photo oops, not photo ops


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