Guido has been told by sources that the Smith Institute is the tip of the iceberg for Gordon’s secretive ways. Guido’s attention has been directed towards the Political Research Taskforce (PRT) run out of 39 Victoria Street. This is the shadowy nerve centre of the Brownite party-within-a-party.
Ex-alumni of the PRT include its former leading light, Spencer Livermore*, who is now Gordon’s chief political and strategy adviser.
Sources tell Guido that Gordon’s dozen SpAds (compared to the usual ministerial 2 and not forgetting the 8 civil servant support staff) cost the taxpayer well over a £1 million a year. The SpAds liase closely with the PRT team at 39 Victoria Street. Brownite ministers even have their spin lines co-ordinated by the PRT. Wary ministers will nervously check with the PRT to find out what the correct Brownite, as distinct from party, line is on an issue before going on Newsnight to parrot the approved formula. Such is the paranoia of the Brownites and the fear of his wrath amongst junior ministers.
Strangely the cost-cutting redundancies at Labour HQ have left the PRT largely unscathed…
++ Developing ++
*Spencer knew about the Loans for Lordships scandal during the 2005 election period. A memo emailed to him and obtained by the Observer in November outlined the situation. So presumably his master, who was running the election campaign, also knew about the secret loans.
“This is, at its heart, a matter of public trust,” he told the PM, concluding: “I cannot reconcile the terms of the proposed deal with the promises we made to the country in our manifesto at the last election… I believe that the regulatory regime proposed for Northern Ireland presents a very real threat to the integrity of the United Kingdom. I cannot support an indefinite backstop arrangement, where the EU holds a veto over our ability to exit…”