Tom Watson Breaks His Promise, As Predicted

Back in October last year Guido wrote of Tom Watson:-

“was overheard telling senior party officials in his constituency recently that he expects “to be back in government” after Gordon takes over… Gordon wouldn’t reward the treachery that he has publicly disavowed advance knowledge of and claimed he would have advised against. Would he?

Tom got very upset and posted in the comments

For the record: I do not want to go back into government whoever leads the Labour Party. I’m very happy being a constituency MP.
10:28 AM, October 26, 2006

He went on to write

I’m an overweight opinionated member of parliament, I embarrass my relatives all the time. That was the only accurate bit of your post. But you know this.

The bit about returning to government is the inaccurate part of your post. But then I suspect you know this too. You are asking people to comment on a story that isn’t true. It doesn’t do you or political bloggers any service. Then again, why am I bothering to say this to you? You know all this as well.
11:15 AM, October 26, 2006

With a reputation for accurate and balanced reporting to protect, Guido was troubled by this, perhaps Tom Watson was not a treacherous, lying plotter who met and connived with Brown on the eve of his coup attempt against Blair. Maybe he was not going to return to government under Brown. Guido offered to retract the allegation if he promised not to return to government.
Tom said…

It shouldn’t be neccesary but to amuse you: I promise never to return to government.

Good enough?
11:26 AM, October 26, 2006

Tom Watson rejoined the government as a whip today. But we never really believed him did we? Nor did we really believe that he only chatted to Gordon about the kids. As politicians go, Tom Watson is one of the most mendacious shits in parliament. The thing is, he is proud of it.

Smith Institute Board’s Financial Backing for Gordon

The Smith Institute’s director, Wilf Stevenson claims that it is an independent, non-partisan charity and has no direct links to Gordon Brown.

So it is a bit of a coincidence that Lord Haskell, chairman of the Board of Trustees gave a five grand donation to Gordon’s leadership campaign. Even more of a coincidence that another board member, Mr Paul Myners, gave twelve grand. Surely he can’t remain mere “mister” Myners for much longer. It was Myners of course who provided the implausible story to cover-up the Treasury’s direct payment to the Smith Institute.

You won’t read about this in the Guardian, because although it likes to advertise that it has no press baron owner, Myners is chairman of the Guardian Media Group as well as being a Sith board member. Another fortunate coincidence…

The official position, as of this afternoon, is the “The Charity Commission’s inquiry into the Smith Institute remains open and ongoing”. How much longer can the investigation go on? It is a pretty open and shut case.

PMS First Briefing : The Spin Begins

We must now learn to call the PMOS the PMS, he is no longer the PM’s Official Spokesman because that would imply an Unofficial spokesman doing off-the-record spin. That is apparently not going to happen anymore in our changed spin-free-Brownite era.

But lo, the age of spin may not be completely dead. At Michael Ellam’s first briefing as Brown’s mouthpiece on Wednesday, he announced the symbolic first move in office: stopping Alastair Campbell and Jonathan Powell from telling civil servants what to do. When sharp-eyed and unusually on the ball Lobby hacks pointed out that neither man still worked in government, Ellam, suffering perhaps first-day nerves, conceded: “It is a meaningless gesture.”

This is not quite how the exchange is reported on the No. 10 website, though:

“Put to him that the Orders of Council applied to just two people, one who had already gone and one who effectively went today, and did not actually apply to anyone else, the PMS replied that while this was technically correct, this was not a meaningless gesture.”

If Mr Ellam dares to contradict Guido there is a recording…

Friday Caption Contest (Isaby Edition)

No Cabinet Minister Has the Experience to Run A Whelk Stall

The cabinet re-shuffle analysis in the press will be detailed, so Guido will skip it. One blogger’s analysis struck Guido as critical – not a single member of the cabinet has had a business career. Absorb that fact. Is it any wonder that Gordon felt the need to draft in Digby Jones?
Digby Jones is a talented operator and he will no doubt do a good job as minister for trade promotion. He is not however a new face, Guido recalls that the then Chancellor used his pre-budget report to announce Digby’s appointment as his “skills envoy” only six months ago. So he is being re-announced as a Brownite ally. Ironically he always struck Guido as a business leader with a libertarian streak – see his pronouncements on taxation, regulation and political correctness – perhaps that is why he won’t be joining the Labour party.

Gordon’s offer of a peerage was enough to get him go over to the dark side and join a government with no business nous whatsoever.

Prezza Who?

A co-conspirator emails:

Spotted last night – Prescott strutting into a parliamentary party dinner with a cabal of confidantes, then second later re-emerging in full tantrum, confidantes in hot (though somewhat bothered) pursuit, complaining “Not one of them stood up when I entered the room! I was deputy prime minister only four hours ago!”

Could be worse, ask Tony…

++ YATES QUESTIONS BLAIR AGAIN ++

Not long now.. Guido said on Monday.

July 19 By-Elections Confirmed

LabourHome confirms that the Labour Chief Whip has moved the writ for Ealing Southall and Sedgefield by-elections this morning. Gordon wants to move quick to prevent any ability for the opposition to build momentum in what should be nominally safe Labour seats.

Shirley Williams : No Brown Job

LibDem Voice reports Shirley stating “I met Gordon Brown at 6:30pm on Wednesday evening. We had a friendly and constructive discussion. I was not offered a Ministerial position and would not have accepted one.”

Sieghart Says Times Colleagues Craven to Brown

Startlingly candid admission in farewell column:

As this is to be my last regular column for The Times, I am in a different position today from other commentators. I don’t have to worry about whether the new regime at No 10 will return my calls, at least until the autumn. I don’t have to curry favour with anyone or worry about giving offence. Instead I can give you an unvarnished prediction of what the next few years of a Gordon Brown premiership will be like.

She has, it is rumoured, taken up the offer of a redundancy payout in the latest round of News International job cuts. Last time Guido indulged in a bit of Times-bashing they got very upset. Peter Riddell even called up an associate to tell him to stop associating with Guido, there was talk of them getting Guido back with an “exposé”. But here you have it from someone who knows; Peter Riddell, Phil Webster et al suck up to Brown and Balls out of fear. It must be true, it is printed in The Times…

Fancy a Bet George?

The Sun’s George Pascoe-Watson, author of this famous front page prediction, says we may have an election in October, but most likely next June. Guido is offering 2/1 against George, if you are interested.

Talking of betting with journalists, Mark Townsend, the Observer hack who wrote in the loss making Sunday paper that the CPS would wind up their inquiry into Loans for Lordships last October with nothing doing and wagered with Guido accordingly, still has not paid up.

Phone calls and emails go unanswered. Guido strongly recommends that he pays up this week.

Is It All Balls? Who is It?

Tory and LibDem HQs are more fearful of defections today than the Soviet Olympic Team Coach used to be. Benedict Brogan says it is not going to be Rifkind. Some are worried about Patten. Still no public denial by Bercow, who incidentally backed the expansion of grammar schools last month.

LibDems should be aware that Shirley Williams was apparently spotted going into Gordon’s Commons office. She incidentally closed down grammar schools. So presumably her talent would cancel out Bercow’s talent.

Is it all just to destabilise the opposition? Of course, but it goes both ways, Frank Field was spotted chatting to David Laws, his brow furrowed. You never know…

UPDATE : Adam Boulton is reporting “Strong rumours that the Lib Dem peer and QC Alec Carlisle will be appointed Attorney General.”

Scholar’s Hands-On Attitude to Staff

As Guido and others predicted, Gordon Brown has recalled his former private secretary from the IMF/World Bank in Washington to become his Chief-of-Staff.

The Downing Street secretaries should be aware that his last girlfriend, a junior employee at the Bank, prospered very well during his time as a Board member. There were allegations made of favouritism in that scurrilous gossip rag The Wall Street Journal – which were subsequently denied. Still girls, it is worth knowing…

The Big Red Story of the Day

Of course the really big story of the day is that today sees the launch of the Big Red Book of New Labour Sleaze updated to include all the latest shenanigans and with a bit more of a focus on Gordon Brown.

It has been written by bloggers with contributions from across the spectrum of the political blogosphere. It is in the bookshops this week or you can buy it online by clicking on the picture. And you can expect a little viral advertising campaign with a difference soon…

The Guidoisation of European Politics

Guido was thumbing through his builder’s reading material when he noticed this on the cover of Wprost, Poland’s answer to the Economist.

German politicians have lost it over the montage of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s bare breasts suckling Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski and his twin brother, President Lech Kaczynski under the headline “Stepmother of Europe”. The Hun seem to be a little lacking in a sense of humour here. Seems harmless enough to Guido, attractive even…

++ Bercow Pulls Out of Party Parliamentary Dinner Tonight ++

Usually reliable sources…

John Bercow’s Office : Rumours Absolutely Untrue

Guido called and got an “absolutely untrue” response from John Bercow’s office about rumours that he will cross the floor tomorrow. Of course if you were about to cross the floor you would hardly broadcast it…

Guido and the Monkey interviewed Bercow for one of our infamous pubcasts last year and he was effusive in praise of Dave, and damning of Gordon. Relevant is his total avowal of any interest in any other party than the Tories. Hear the interview here.

UPDATE : Some are pointing to this speech last week by Bercow, formerly an avowed Euro-sceptic, with particular interest.

Lobby Slower than Guido Again

Yesterday morning Guido reported that Blair would resign as an MP. Today the rest of the Dead-Tree-Press is catching up and reporting that he will do so this afternoon. Tory party Chairman Frankie Maude put CCHQ on by-election alert after reading the story here yesterday morning.

Guido even managed to beat blogging Benedict Brogan, which is becoming increasingly difficult to do nowadays. Do keep up the rest of you…

Look Who Flew in to Say Goodbye to Blair

Yates of the Yard is still chasing down evidence and statements to tighten up the case against Sleazy Levy.
Police flew in Ms Courtney Coventry yesterday to question her again about her dealings with Blair and Levy. In April 2004 she was canvassed by Jane Hogarth, the Labour party’s former head of high-value fund raising who supposedly has been made redundant – but is actually still working as a “consultant” to the party.

Lord Levy introduced Courtney, as a potential donor, to Tony Blair. The police want to know what Levy promised in return for a donation.

Quentin Quits

Quentin Davies has flounced out of the Tories. Odd. He accuses Cameron of “superficiality, unreliability and an apparent lack of any clear convictions”.
He describes Gordon as “a leader I have always greatly admired, who I believe is entirely straightforward, and who has a towering record, and a clear vision for the future of our country which I fully share.”

So which person of clear conviction said

“the Chancellor has been losing control… His projections… have been consistently wrong.

[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Alan Sugar on Jeremy Corbyn:

“It’s clear you alluded to students refunds to get votes from young impressionable people. You are a cheat and should resign.”

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