Happy New Year to you all

May I wish you all a Happy New Year. Guido will be disappearing into alcoholic oblivion watching Ken Livingstone’s fireworks and listening to Big Ben chime midnight at his party. I do however have a much better idea for using gunpowder by the Thames… if only…

Out With the Old – 2004 Year of Political Liars

As Guido gets older he gets increasingly weary of lying politicians, Jeremy Paxman famously said that when he interviews a politician he wonders “why that lying bastard is lying to me.” Lying seems central to modern politics. Politicians have such contempt for us that they lie to us without flinching.

We went to war and lost a hundred soldiers lives on the basis of lies, from the prime minister down lies were told, Tony Blair is the Liar-in-Chief. The Tory leader is no better, why does he tell us complete bullshit like “we are united” on the issue of ID cards. Does he think we can’t read about the shadow cabinet dissent in the papers or that we can’t count the number of Tory MPs who failed to vote for ID cards?

Charles Kennedy (although to be honest I don’t pay him much attention) seems to be more honest. Voters would find that attractive if were not for the endless examples of LibDem dishonesty and duplicity in local government.

The expenses fiddles at Westminster may be small change compared to the dodges of MEPs, but it matters. We elect politicians on the basis of trust, we trust them to do what is right and we hold them to the highest standards. We do not expect them to be fiddling the postage and claiming tens of thousands of pounds for travel costs when they live a few stops away from Westminster on the tube.

But worst of all its the corrosive lying on a day-to-day basis, spin may embellish and put policy in the most advantageous light, but when spending plans are announced repeatedly as new spending, it is lying. Blunkett pathetically lying to hold on to office when he is in charge of the justice system is unacceptable. The collective amnesia of the civil service was a disgrace, John Gieve should be sacked, not knighted. Labour MP Tony Clarke, active in the politics of football, lied about his hooligan past. He could have come clean and said he was a naughty boy in his youth, but he lied because it was easier. From the top to the bottom lying is acceptable.

If politicians could make one collective New Years resolution it should be to tell the truth.

What Goes Around, Comes Around…

Simon Hoggart, who once dubbed working class wit Dennis Skinner “the beast of leg over” after an amorous endeavor became public, was welcomed back when he entered the press gallery by Skinner – “aye, ‘ere comes the shagger!”

Security Blunkett

Lying Blunkett has, Guido notices, managed because of “security reasons” to hang on to his Belgravia des res & chaffeur driven car, all at our expense, despite being relegated to the back benches. A consolation prize from Blair. How many previous Home Secretaries get bodyguards, chaffeur driven cars and a Belgravia home courtesy of the taxpayer? None.

Jowell: “I talk bollocks”

Tessa Jowell, culture secretary, tells the FT in an interview today that ministers are talking too much meaningless government jargon that “real people” do not understand. Tessa reveals she keeps a “little book of bollocks” listing the gobbledegook spouted by her and her colleagues. She calls on the government to “cut the crap” and reconnect with the public in the forthcoming general election campaign. “I have what I call a bollocks list where I just sit in meetings and I write down some of the absurd language we use – and we are all guilty of this, myself included. The risk is when you have been in government for eight years you begin to talk the language which is not the language of the real world,” or the truth, eh Mr Blunkett?

“Reprofiling expenditure”, “sustainable eating in schools”, “regional cultural data feedback rollout”, “strategic objectives for evaluation”, and “weaning the profile”, are some of the more unintelligible catchphrases on Ms Jowell’s hit-list.

Saying that bureaucratic language has become a “barrier” between ministers and the public, she urges the government to reach out to voters in the run-up to the election. “It’s cutting the crap, talking directly to people and facing their anger, their optimism, their frustration, their enthusiasm.” Hmmm, I would love to see a few ministers reaching out to hunt supporters.

Pollard: “Preposterous… Pull the other one”

Polly has yet to call Blunkett a liar, but he does say on his blog

… there is already one element of the affair which is self-evidently preposterous. According to Mr Blunkett’s explanation, he forgot putting into his red ministerial box a letter about the visa application for his own son’s nanny. I am unable to comprehend how such an explanation is remotely possible. This is a man who can recall trivial conversations from 20 years ago with constituents about refuse collections; with a memory so powerful, its like has never before been seen in politics. And yet he forgot, he says, that he put his son’s nanny’s visa application into the system.

Pull the other one.

On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me,

One incriminating fax…

The Big Blunket Lies

Amongst the many untruths and deceptive statements identified and alluded to by Budd in his report, two key issues jump out. Blunkett’s explanation that his only involvement in backing the application for Kimberly Quinn’s nanny was to check over the form in his private office was originally central to his defence.

It was a lie.

Budd’s report bluntly contradicts that claim and concludes:

“Neither Mr Blunkett nor anyone in his private office was involved in providing the application form, checking it or delivering it to the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) in Croydon.”

Blunkett and his spin doctors changed tack altering the story to claim he used the letter only to illustrate the policy issue of processing delays, not to fast-track the Nanny’s particular application. That transparent lie is now proven false. Within two weeks of Blunkett getting the letter she got her passport back with the visa. What was the average time for processing applications for a nanny not working for the Home Secretary’s mistress?

“The average time for processing extended applications for ILR for domestic workers at the time of the application was 172 days.”

So those denials were also lies.

So when Blair said “You leave government with your integrity intact” that wasn’t really true was it? He lied, spinning furiously, misused public funds, and fathered a child by another man’s wife. Only an arrogant deluded politician would claim in the face of that record “I have built my political career and earned the trust of the people I have served through being honest and truthful.”

Blogging Budd Live

The full report is here

Blogging Budd Live

“People have not been able to recollect” But they have been able to operate a shredder!

Blogging Budd Live

“Not been able to discover the precise link” – Budd says no smoking gun, but he was looking for one. Croydon IND department exonerated.

Blogging Budd Live

Budd does not clear Blunkett! Press pack is sceptical. Looks like Budd is saying “I can’t prove anything”.

Blunkett : Warrant

So he was officially a naughty boy to have given his mistress a ticket, but something odd in the Committee on Standards and Privileges Conduct of Mr David Blunkett Second Report of Session 2004–05. The warrant in question has never been found despite a systematic search.

The shredder again? Did the warrant go into the same shredder as the fax? Was the aborted cover up responsible for that as well?

The debate

The modern state has been seeking to number, identify and control us effectively since the national registration of births was introduced in 1837 Guido reckons. A lot of guff was talked last night but the gist of it was that the Liberals are implacably opposed, as are the Labour left but the government is going to try and steam roller it regardless. The Tories are going along with it up until the election at least, but with no real conviction even from David Davis. They will try to gut the bill in committee and drop the plan in government.

Almost half the Tory parliamentary party did not vote for the bill.


A total of 19 Labour MPs voted for the rebel amendment seeking to block the Identity Cards Bill. They were:

Michael Clapham (Barnsley West & Penistone)

Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North)

Gwyneth Dunwoody (Crewe & Nantwich)

Neil Gerrard (Walthamstow)

Ian Gibson (Norwich North)

Kate Hoey (Vauxhall)

Kelvin Hopkins (Luton North)

Glenda Jackson (Hampstead & Highgate)

Terry Lewis (Worsley)

John McDonnell (Hayes & Harlington)

Alice Mahon (Halifax)

Robert Marshall-Andrews (Medway)

Clare Short (Birmingham Ladywood)

Dennis Skinner (Bolsover)

Llew Smith (Blaenau Gwent)

David Taylor (Leicestershire NW)

Robert Wareing (Liverpool West Derby)

David Winnick (Walsall North)

Andrew Bennett (Denton and Reddish) was a teller

The 10 Conservative MPs voting for the rebel amendment and against the party’s stance on ID cards were:

John Bercow (Buckingham)

Angela Browning (Tiverton & Honiton)

William Cash (Stone)

David Curry (Skipton & Ripon)

Nick Gibb (Bognor Regis & Littlehampton)

Damien Green (Ashford)

Edward Leigh (Gainsborough)

Peter Lilley (Hitchin & Harpenden)

Richard Shepherd (Aldridge-Brownhills)

Douglas Hogg (Sleaford and North Hykeham) was a teller

72 Tory MPs, almost half the Tory parliamentary party, did (as advised by Tory whips) their Christmas shopping instead of voting. So the Tories were hypocritical, unlike the 55 Liberal MPs who lived up to there party’s name for once.

Christmas Quiz (1)

Some years ago a young attractive up and coming research assistant informed Neil Kinnock’s office that an MEP had offered her money for sex. Kinnock took it seriously and found out the offer was actually for her to work as a researcher for the MEP who probably did actually lust after her. Further inquiries were to be made. Alas the Welsh Windbag had to call off the inquisition after he found out she was in Spain on an EU junket and sharing a hotel room with the MEP.

Q. Can you name the MEP? (We all know who the research assistant is already.)

Wo sind Ihre Identifikation Karten?

Thatcher has described ID cards as “a Germanic concept completely alien to this country”. The Tory whips have said you can do your Christmas shopping if you don’t want to vote for ’em. Howard is back-pedalling, Redwood is posturing he might quit. David Davis is signalling he is against the policy which he is publicly advocating and Howard says “David Davis and I are committed to an incoming Conservative government undertaking a complete review of Labour’s proposals.” Translation: We’ll dump the ID cards plan in government, but we can’t U-turn now or I’ll look a complete pillock.


Guido has been mocking the mess that the Tories are making of things on ID cards and failing to nail the government for the shambles they are in the public mind.

But the Indy’s latest poll shows the Labour lead over the Tories narrowing by 6%. LAB 39 (-3): CON 34 (+3) LD 19 (-1). Statistical abberation or Blunkett fall out?

Opus Dei and Missed Votes

Good to see a fellow member of the one true apostolic church in charge of the education of the nation’s children. Ruth Kelly follows the true church’s teaching on contraception, hence her four children (Eamonn, Sinead, Roisin and Niamh) in rapid succession, three of which were produced in one parliament. Kelly opposes abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research, rumour has it she takes these issues so seriously that she will not take a post at DfID or Health because it may require her to condone that which her faith forbids.

Last week she somehow avoided the three-line whip vote on living wills that so upset the Cardinal. She has also missed votes in June 1998 and February 2000 to lower the age of consent for gay sex to 16. She did not vote in an amendment to require single faith schools schools to take in non-believers in 2002. She also forgot to vote for the government plan to allow gay couples to adopt children in 2002.

With all those children it must be hard to find the time, what with attending meetings of Opus Dei as well. It’s not for me to gossip about God’s work…

Hoggart’s Sloppy Seconds

Simon Hoggart was also bonking Mrs Quinn, who was three timing her husband with Blunkett. What do they put in the water at the Speccie? Hoggart, sketch writer par excellence at the Grauniad, is also the Speccie’s wine writer.[…] Read the rest


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Quote of the Day

Tory MP Nick Boles says what everyone thinks…

“There is a timidity and lack of ambition about Mrs May’s Government which means it constantly disappoints. Time to raise your game, Prime Minister.”


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