Sir Michael White Gives Prezza Soft Soap

The Guardian’s Michael White was chosen to provide the outlet for Prezza’s mea culpa this morning. Now why could that be? Why was Michael White favoured out of all the journalists in the lobby?

Guido is not one of those wingnuts who decries all Guardianistas as leftie, anti-American, moonbat al Qaeda fellow-travellers, they clearly are not and produce some of the best serious journalism. So shouldn’t White be embarrassed that his colleagues disrespectfully call him “Sir Michael” behind his back, mock his windbag questions and think he is the government’s patsy? Did he imagine all those years ago when he was young and hungry that one day he’d be seen as an establishment mouthpiece?

When Prescott and Blair go it will be time for White to collect his pension, there are plenty of Guardian journalists willing to “speak truth to power” rather than write excuses for those in power.

See previous.


Razzall Gone Out of Lib Dems’ Campaigns

Unconfirmed rumour that the splendidly named Baron Razzall is out as Chair of the Liberal Democrats’ Campaigns and Communications Committee. Will miss him just because he had a name that sparkled.

Source couldn’t say if he jumped or was pushed, the LibDems flatline local election results would suggest the latter. Any insights co-conspirators? Email Guido.

UPDATE : Confirmed in the comments (can there be anything more reliable in politics than this blog’s comments) that Baron Razzall is now Ming the Mumbler’s personal spin-meister. That will keep him busy. Very busy.

UPDATE : Cowley Street press office professionalism demonstrated by conversation with co-conspirator “Can you confirm that Lord Razzall has been sacked?” other end hesitates, says what sounds like “uh, yeah” and then says “I’ll have to get back to you on that one”.

Nigel Evans, All-Party Groupie

With recess upon us MPs can jaunt off on a foreign freebie courtesy of some obscure All-Party Group. The travel is one of the great side benefits of being a member of parliament and MPs do manage to turn up in very strange places. Some years back Guido was in Angola with anti-Marxist freedom fighters during that country’s bloody civil war. Deep in the bush back from the frontline with my AK-47 carrying friends we met up with another unit of rebels who had, much to my surprise, two posh English MPs with them dressed in full safari outfits. It was a bit like something out of White Mischief, but at least they had some whisky.

So who is the King / Queen of All Party Groups currently? It looks like Nigel Evans could lay claim to that title:

All-Party Parliamentary Ukraine Group – Secretary
All-Party Parliamentary Malaysia Group – Chair
All-Party Parliamentary Group on Identity Fraud – Chair
All-Party Parliamentary Export Group – Chair
All-Party Parliamentary Group on Advertising – Vice Chair
UK-Egypt All-Party Parliamentary Group – Vice Chair
UK-Bahrain All-Party Parliamentary Group –
All-Party Parliamentary Botswana Group – Vice Chair
Associate Parliamentary Manufacturing Industry Group – Vice Chr
All-Party Parliamentary Leisure Group – Vice Chair
All-Party British-Turkish Parliamentary Group – Secretary
All-Party Parliamentary Group for Small Shops – Vice Chair
Occupational Safety and Health All-Party Parliamentary Group – Secretary
Parliamentary Space Committee – Treasurer
All-Party British-North Korea Parliamentary Group – Secretary
All-Party Parliamentary Sports Group – Vice Chair
All-Party Parliamentary Channel Islands Group – Treasurer
All-Party Parliamentary British-Qatar Group – Treasurer
All-Party Parliamentary Theatre Group – Vice Chair
All-Party Parliamentary Music Group – Vice Chair
All-Party Parliamentary Group on Nigeria – Vice Chair
All-Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicles Group – Treasurer
All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group – Vice Chair
British Council Associate Parliamentary Group – Vice Chair
All-Party Parliamentary Vietnam Group – Joint Secretary
All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cuba – Vice Chair
All-Party Parliamentary Drugs Misuse Group – Vice-Chairs
Indo-British All-Party Parliamentary Group – Membership Secretary
All-Party Parliamentary Retail Industry Group – Vice-Chairs
Associate Parliamentary Group on Serbia and Montenegro – Vice chair

That is a hell of a lot of committee meetings to attend as an executive officer. On top of that he is an ordinary member of 69 (at the last count) other All-Party Groups. How he finds the time to attend them all, particularly when he has to fly off on so many resultant overseas freebies, is baffling. The list of junkets he has been on goes on for pages (he is not shy of freebie upgrades either). Guido can’t help but feel that he is putting himself about a bit too much for the voters of the Ribble Valley.

Most surprising to Guido was the declared complimentary membership of Stringfellows lapdancing club. Obviously Nigel will be supporting Guido’s Campaign for Sir Peter Stringfellow.

Rickitt’s Wit and Wisdom

The Torygraph is reporting that Adam Rickitt has applied for Michael Howard’s old safe seat. Adam is getting a lot of stick as the A-list’s ingenue “mincing metrosexual” par excellence. Guido has to his surprise had a few emails, from people who should know, saying that this is being unfair.

Guido is admittedly judging Adam on the basis of his single Question Time appearance and his pop video, which may not be representative. Certainly his QT analysis of Rwanda’s plight – ‘tootsies vs hootsies’ – suggested his foreign affairs knowledge was a little shaky. Having asked around however, a few people insist he is as smart as he is pretty.

Guido fears his first impression might be like judging Ronald Reagan on his appearance in Bedtime for Bonzo. So can any co-conspirators send Guido evidence of Adam’s wit and wisdom, his political judgement, any issue based campaigns he has been attached to, any evidence of political activism? What exactly is on his political CV? Adam, what have you got to say for yourself?

New Tasteful Alastair Campbell Auction Fundraiser

Alastair Campbell is always ready to lend a hand at auctions when not signing death warrants for Dr David Kelly, sexing up dossiers and generally doing his bit. Twisted Genius Tim Ireland has a little wheeze to finance his sifting through the Labour party’s election receipts.

The manic prankster is auctioning Campbell’s telephone and fax numbers. The auction finishes next week. Don’t worry about missing it, Guido will warn you when there are 45 minutes to go.

Rebekah Takes Bit ‘o Posh to Posh ‘n Becks’ Party

Some snide and ill informed commentators claimed that Cameron’s office had gatecrashed Posh ‘n Becks party – begging them for an invite to get himself pictured with some street credible footballing heroes. Guido understands that Dave was actually the guest of Rebekah Wade. That would be the former New Labour loving Sun editor, now rapidly becoming cheerleader-in-chief for her new best friend, Dave.

Wondering where Blair is currently? Guido understands he sneaked off to suck up to Murdoch whilst in the U.S. en route to holidaying with former Italian PM Berlusconi. Don’t worry Prezza is in charge…

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Were you up for Twigg?

Guido bows to no-one in his mocking of the Cornerstone crowd of head-banging, Christian, old school Tories. Yet their latest publication (Were you up for Twigg?) seems eminently sensible – local candidates do better than A-list mincing (or otherwise) metropolitan metrosexuals foisted by CCHQ on constituencies.
Exhibit A is Andrew Rosindell, a campaigning machine in Romford, a local champion who defied the trend in 2001 winning Romford from Labour. He is “Mr Romford” in tune with his voters and viewed as a local son and “our MP”. He is as far from being an identikit A-lister as it is possible to get.

It is all very well Dave and Frankie changing the Tory party’s face, but if they really want the Tories to be more representative of Britain and in tune with their voters, maybe local candidates should be the emphasis?

Now We Know What Prezza’s SpAds Do

A few weeks ago Guido asked : “Any idea what Joan Hammell and Mick Halloran, Special Advisers to the DPM do for Prezza?” Now we know. In the case of of Joan Hammell she plays croquet with him. (See there how Guido resisted the temptation to mention balls – that would be cheap).

This could be interesting, if they get rid of Prezza, it will weaken the security of Blair’s own position. Brownite Harriet Harman’s suggestion that the next DPM must be a woman was as subtle as Prezza’s chat-up lines.

Lib Dem MP in Heterosexual Affair Shocker

It is almost boring to record that buried on page 94 of the News of the Screws today goodie-two-shoes LibDem MP Matthew Taylor admits he is at it with someone else’s wife. Remember how censorious and “holier than thou” he was about Charlie’s personal problems?

Tucker Max Strikes A Blow for Online Freedom

My drinking buddy Tucker Max has won a breakthrough ruling (DiMeo v. Max. [PDF]) exempting a website owner from legal responsibility for comments made by third parties. Would any of the many expensive lawyers who read this blog care to reflect for free in the comments. The web scrolls reveal that loafing lawyers from Carter-Ruck, Clifford Chance and all the other City law firms are heavy readers, no doubt padding out their chargeable time . Lawyers please note – Guido’s website is hosted in California. Mrs Fawkes (a lawyer) refuses to give an opinion for free.
The implications of this are it seems that Guido need no longer worry about what people say in the comments, on the plus side it would save wearing out the delete key, on the downside it would lead to even more moronic comments if, as Guido favours, a laissez faire policy were to be adopted.

Fifty Tory Applicants for New Seat

Shussh, don’t tell anyone, but this is the full list of Tory applicants for the new South Northamptonshire constituency:

Simon Walker
Mel Stride
Amber Rudd
Alexandra Robson
Jason Steen
Adam Rickitt
Kulveer Singh Ranger
Heather Kay Wheeler
Margaret Alison Punyer
Mark Pawsey
Priti Patel
Emma Moffett
Ali Miraj
Cordelia McCartney
Amanda McLean
Paul Christopher Maynard
Melanie Lylla McLean
Julia Manning
Kit Malthouse
Katharine Annabel Lindsay
Brandon Kenneth Lewis
Dr Phillip Lee
Andrea Leadsom
Pauline Elizabeth Latham
Margot Cathleen James
Katherine May Hemmings
Chris Heaton-Harris
Rebecca Elizabeth Harris
Hannah Hall
Samuel Phillip Gyimah
Laetitia Gunn
Vicky Grace Ford
Ashley Gray
Andrew Griffth
Caroline Flynn-MacLeod
Jane Ellison
Peter Jonathan Cox
Timothy Richard Coleridge
Matthew Collings
Tim Collins
Damian Collins
Pamela Chesters
Conor Burns
Jonathan Bullock
Dr David Richard Bull
Sibby Buckle
Fiona Claire Bruce
Karen Anne Bradley
Harriet Baldwin
Louise Daphne Bagshawe
Tariq Mahmood Ahmad

Totty count includes Louise “Barker” Bagshawe and Adam Rickitt. The Coronation Street star played a metrosexual in a gritty Northern town. He was acting.

Lib Dem’s Lord Rennard Complains to Guido

Somebody claiming to be Lib Dem Chief Exec. Chris Rennard has contacted Guido about the last post to complain about the coverage of the Lib Dems and Ming – don’t know why he didn’t just contact the Blog Complaints Commission.

“Most of these claims about polls etc. are wrong or ridiculous… In relation to the Liberal Democrats, it should be noted that three months after Paddy Ashdown became Leader the average Lib Dem poll rating was 8%. Three months after Charles Kennedy became Leader the average Lib Dem poll rating was 14%. Three months after Ming Campbell became Leader, the average Lib Dem poll rating is 20%.”

Except it isn’t. Ming’s Lib Dems are polling a little less than 20% on average (16% was the latest figure). Only 8% of YouGov’s sample would like to see him in Downing Street. According to Anthony King that is the lowest recorded for any Lib Dem leader since the Liberal Democrats came into existence in 1990. (Source The Guardian.)

Some Labour comment makers refused to accept that the Tories are ahead on issues, but according to ICM the Tories now lead Labour by 2% as the party with the best policy on the NHS. That compares with a 14% Labour lead at the general election.

On education, Labour now lags behind the Conservatives by 2% versus a 10% Labour lead at the general election. As you’d expect the Tories lead on law and order and asylum and immigration in the wake of problems at the Home Office.

Polls Give Cameron Good Reason to Smile

After six months Cameron’s Conservatives have good reason to smile;

  • Tories are polling as good as they have since White Wednesday
  • The LibDems are polling the worst since they were founded
  • The Tories are ahead of Labour on schools and hospitals – even Thatcher didn’t achieve that
  • Crucial women voters are attracted to Cameron more than Brown or Ming
  • The Sun has abandoned Blair, gone cold on Brown and warmed to Cameron
  • The old Tory right is mutely eclipsed as “Project Cameron” makes progress
  • After 9 years New Labour is mired in sleaze and Lord Levy will probably be arrested by the end of the year
  • Blair is loathed by much of his own party and may face a divisive challenge at the party conference
  • Labour’s much vaunted “Chameleon Cameron” attack gambit backfired, a campaign upon which senior Labour strategists had pinned their hopes
  • Local Elections saw 316 Tory gains, Lib Dem’s flatlining and Labour losing everywhere
  • The polls say that a Brown v Cameron head-to-head will see Cameron win
  • Donors are giving generously to the Conservative Party as the Lib Dems look in financial trouble and could be forced to repay £2.4m given by a fraudster. Labour has had to repay secret loans from disappointed wannabee Lords and sell it’s London HQ.
  • The bookies are making the Tories favourite to be the biggest parlaimentary party after the general election
The siren warnings that Blair would make minced meat of Dave at PMQs look a little ridiculous now. Week after week Blair falls back on blaming the past and reeling off statistics that no one believes. Even The Telegraph and the Daily Mail have forgotten their early sceptical concern as “Project Cameron” delivers progress. Is there any wonder why Dave is grinning?

Pity Ming, Be Charitable

Ming’s poll numbers are the worst since the Lib Dems were founded, his performance at PMQs is painfully embarrassing (as is his feeble line that he trots out repeatedly – “If leadership was all about performing at PMQs, William Hague would be PM”, oh purrleease…)

Puja Durbari has been brought in to spin for him, remind him what day of the week it is and administer his medication. She has relevant PR experience working for the party in parliament and for Oxfam. So she knows all about hopeless charity cases.

Did the Tories Really Vote to Abolish EU Primacy?

Have the Tories voted for UK independence? What exactly is Bill Cash on about? In the FT he had a letter claiming:-

“The Conservative party as a whole last week voted to support my backbench amendment to the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill, expressly to override the European Communities Act 1972 by providing the legislative means to deregulate European burdens on British business and make this binding on the British judiciary. The bill has now gone to the House of Lords.”

Did Guido miss something?

UPDATE : It appears that 128 Tories did indeed vote to abolish the primacy of the EU over British parliamentary sovereignty. Did they all understand that they were so voting is debatable. Bill Cash is to be congratulated for his ingenuity.

Hat-tip : The Purple Scorpion

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Labour Now Say They Won’t Take Auction £400

Always on message James Purnell told BBC News 24 that they wouldn’t be adding the £400 to the party’s coffers raised from selling Cherie and Alastair Campbell’s autographed Hutton Report. He wouldn’t say who bid for it, or what has happened to the money. Nor do we know if the copy was actually stolen government property or purchased for £70 from HMSO.

You are only a mere citizen and voter, so you don’t need to know how or who secretly funds the governing party. Sometimes the arrogant audacity of these people is infuriating.

This petition is worth signing.

Political Pulling Power

Pulling Power Launch Party – tonight, 7:30pm, downstairs @ the Red Lion Pub.

This is the new dating service for political singles. Guido would like to go (just to report on the totty situation). Alas, Mrs Fawkes says no.

Email camera-phone pictures of love’s young blossom to :

White On Ming

The Guardian’s Michael White in this week’s Backbencher mailout;

Everyone is keeping a death-watch eye on Ming at the moment because he is doing persistently badly at PMQs. Did he do better? No. He asked about Dunblane, the school massacre of 10 years ago, and why hadn’t a national gun register been kept? Well, Mr Blair said handguns had been banned, just as he said later to other questioners worried about stabbing, after the London schoolboy’s murder last week, that steps had been taken.

Strange to say, Sir Ming Campbell, sticking to his script, regardless of the fact the question had already been asked, then said: three weeks ago the PM said the Home Office was fit for purpose, John Reid says it’s not. Who’s right? Which is it? Interesting here, Mr Blair is quite gentle with Ming Campbell, and went through it all quite kindly. It’s as if it suits him to keep him where he is, rather than cudgel him into the ground, as he did with Charles Kennedy and Paddy Ashdown.

White hits the bullseye, Blair is either showing his tender caring side for aged opponents or he wants to keep Ming in place and flatlining the Lib Dems for as long as possible.

Blair’s Selective Education

Guido is reliably informed that the value of Euan Blair’s scholarship is approximately $100,000. A generous scholarship for a middling ability student with an upper second from Bristol. Playboy Euan will fit in at Yale, alma mater of his dad’s buddy George Bush, who majored in drinking with a specialism in chasing girls.[…] 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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