Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Which 2 Have Written to the ’22?

Melissa Kite’s Telegraph story claiming that “At least two MPs, and possibly as many as half a dozen, have written to Sir Michael Spicer, the chairman of the 1922 Committee, to call for a vote of no confidence, it can be revealed today” is a little less precise than her much derided prediction of a senior treasury role for David Ruffley in the Tory reshuffle.

Who are the two who want Dave to go?

Surge of Net-Roots Support for a Private Prosecution

Since yesterday pledges of support for a private prosecution have come in thick and fast on the main PledgeBank website and a few via Facebook. You can even text ‘pledge cash4prosecution‘ to 60022 from your mobile phone. One substantial financial pledge via email will hopefully not be the last.

At this preliminary stage the intention is to convene a legal conference before the end of the month and go through the issues and examine the possible approaches including the establishment of a vehicle with a legally qualified advisory committee.

Guido is keenly aware of potential hurdles and risks. Surely the Attorney General will not be able to argue that the public interest is best served by turning a blind eye to what was manifestly an attempt to circumvent the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 Act? How will the public interest be harmed by testing in a court before a jury the legality of the Loans for Lordships scheme?

One example will give you a flavour of the Loans for Lordships scheme – Gulam Noon has publicly stated that he made a £250,000 donation to the Labour party, which he correctly submitted (via Downing Street) on his vetting papers for the House of Lords Appointments Commission. Two days later on October 5, 2005 Lord Levy, Gulam Noon reportedly claims, telephoned him and referred to the £250,000 donation as a “loan” which need not be disclosed on his vetting papers. The Levy-intercepted and revised vetting papers were submitted to the House of Lords Appointments Commission, now without mention of the £250,000 “loan” / donation. When the Commission independently discovered the existence of the “loan” / donation they blocked the peerage – as presumably Lord Levy knew they would – why else would he intervene in the process? What was the Labour party’s chief fundraiser doing intervening in the honours process anyway? Prima facie there is a case to answer. If the CPS won’t bring it, they should at least not attempt to block others from doing so.

UPDATE : The first target of one hundred people making pledges of financial support for a private prosecution has been met in less than 24 hours.

Private Prosecution : Pledge Support

Graphic courtesy of Beau Bo D’Or

Guido has been in discussion with some of m’learned friends after a careful reading of the CPS statement. The CPS has decided on a bar set very high to justify not prosecuting under the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925 (‘the 1925 Act’).

The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act, 2000 (‘the 2000 Act’) was dealt with far too perfunctorily in the CPS statement. More than one legal authority consulted by Guido thinks that there are avenues open to a private prosecution via the 2000 Act which have the advantage of not requiring the proving of a conspiracy.

The weakest part of the CPS statement is point 30:

In relation to possible breaches of the 2000 Act, we are satisfied that we cannot exclude the possibility that any loans made – all of which were made following receipt by the Labour Party of legal advice – can properly be characterised as commercial.

There are a number of related suspected offences under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 governing the evasion of restrictions on donations which provide a firm and clear basis for action. Crucially, a prosecution on this basis would avoid the difficulties of having to prove a conspiracy. It would also have the advantage that there are statements from donors already in the public domain which, contrary to the stated view of the CPS, exclude the possibility that the loans were made, or intended to be made, on a commercial basis.

The attempt by Levy et al to portray themselves as the victims of an over zealous policeman are contemptible. They deliberately subverted the law in a secret attempt to cover up donations made by persons they later put forward for honours. A fact they deliberately and disingenuously hid from House of Lords Appointment Committee. If you want to see justice done and the law upheld, pledge your support for a private prosecution here.

Rumours of CCHQ Recriminations

Guido is trying to get confirmation of senior Cameroonie quitting / threatening to quit. Wasn’t this scripted for Cowley Street not Millbank?

UPDATED : George Bridges has quit according to unofficial but reliable sources.

Full text of the CPS Decision


Full text PDF here.

Friday Caption Contest

Do You Believe there is No Connection Between Cash and Honours?

Tony Blair created 292 peers. Millions were raised from the recipients of those honours.

The correlation between making large donations to the Labour Party and receiving an honour is extraordinary. Statistical analysis shows that 58.54% of all donors giving more than £50,000 to the Labour Party receive an honour. This compares to just 0.035% of non-donors. Large Labour Party donors are 1,657 times more likely to receive an honour than a non-donor and 6,969 times more likely to receive a peerage. It is almost impossible to avoid the conclusion that the Labour Party has been selling honours, including places in the House of Lords. An analysis of all donations over £50,000 since 2001 reveals that Honour certainly has its price. We publish below the average amount donated by the recipients of various honours – an “Honours Price List”. Those receiving a Peerage have given £1.07 million on average, and a Knighthood £747,000…

Source : The Price of Dishonour

Funding Facts:

  • 80% of Labour’s election funding came from the covert Loans for Lordship program.
  • Every donor who has given the party more than £1 million has been given a knighthood or a peerage.
  • Three quarters of those individuals who have given more than £50,000 to the Labour Party since 2001 have received an honour.

Laughing at Chris Bryant

Croydonian draws Guido’s attention to Chris Byrant’s question to Michael Wills, the new Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice “Does he believe that one of the most important British values is our ability to laugh at ourselves.”
That would be the same Chris Bryant who won £10,000 off the Guardian for parodying him, threatened Iain Dale with a writ and told a Press Commission sponsored event that Iain and Guido would get a kicking in the courts soon. Chris Bryant strikes Guido as someone who does not have much of an ability to laugh at himself.

Though, as this picture illustrates, he has provided us with a few laughs over the years…

CameroonHome

Last week Guido reflected on Fiona Melville’s planned rival to ConservativeHome.com known as Platform 10. Guido jokingly described it as potentially CameroonHome.com. So it was with some amusement that Guido learnt from a co-conspirator that Fiona had taken note of the suggestion and registered the name.

Domain Name: CAMEROONHOME.ORG
Created On: 17-Jul-2007 22:18:07 UTC
Last Updated On: 18-Jul-2007 00:37:28 UTC
Expiration Date: 17-Jul-2008 22:18:07 UTC
Registrant Name: Fiona Melville

Coincidence? Get in touch Fiona…

BBC – Criminal Conspiracy?

If BBC staff knowingly deceived viewers into believing that they could win a prize by calling a premium rate phone number when they knew they could not, isn’t that a conspiracy to defraud?

What do m’learned friends think?

Been a Bit Busy Today

To those complaining in the comments about the lack of activity today, Guido does have some extra new family commitments who take priority over entertaining a load of webmongs.

Bought a new Citroen people carrier* this morning to transport the expanded brood around in. Five years ago, a bachelor Guido was zooming around in a Lotus sports car with his stereo blasting, now he drives a lemon with wailing in stereo. C’est la vie…

*We’re in the South of France for the summer.

Ali Campbell Diaries Pirated In Digital Format

Guido has, almost daily for the last week been sent, from different sources, a pirated PDF digital version of the Ali Campbell Diaries print manuscript. Saves buying it and putting money in the f*****s pocket.

Couldn’t happen to a nicer chap…

One of Guido’s corresponding co-conspirators did a search of the PDF file for swear words:

There are, unsurprisingly, 135 references to the word “fuck”, more, infact than in Dr. Dre’s seminal gangsta rap album “The Chronic”.

There are also 38 uses of the word “shit”, 5 “cunts”, 2 “bitches”, 13 “wankers” as well as 1 “collective wank”, 29 “dicks” but only one obvious “penis”.

Has Campbell got a form of Tourettes to add to his depressive tendencies?

UPDATE : Comments are closed and Guido has deleted comments linking to the online pirated version. Even Alastair Campbell has property rights.

Snouts in Trough : Cash for Passes

Sam Coates in The Times has a piece on Lords lining their pockets with lobbying consultancies and doling out handy Westminster security passes to lobbyists in return. These Cash for Passes deals mean that some of the bars in the Palace of Westminster are packed with twentysomething lobbyists who do nothing but lubricate the Mother of Parliaments for vested interests.

In the U.S. lobbyists have to register and publicly declare their clients. We need a similar system that also forces them to declare any payments to lawmakers.

Boris : School Days

Why Boris Will Win

Turnout was 36.95% in the 2004 Mayoral elections. Ken actually got the support of only 10% of the potential electorate. The Tories are more popular now than before and they have in Boris a likeable candidate. Is that alone enough for him to win? Maybe.
Party Name 1st choice
Votes
1st choice
%
2nd choice
Votes
2nd choice
%
Labour Party Livingstone, Ken 685,541 35.70% 250,517 13.04%
Conservative Party Norris, Steve 542,423 28.24% 222,559 11.59%
Liberal Democrats Hughes, Simon 284,645 14.82% 465,704 24.25%

He is extremely popular with the Conservative grassroots and if Boris just succeeds in motivating them to go out and vote, he will win. On the basis of the last election’s results Boris needs to get an extra 1 in 5 Tory sympathisers in London to go to the polling station. This is without the extra oomph from the Conservatives nationally polling better than in 2004. Boris inspires a great deal of enthusiasm, he will without doubt energise that base. He also has first-name brand recognition. If Labour tacticians think they can fight him as a posh buffoon they are making a mistake just like the Tories made in thinking they could portray Gordon as a left-winger. Boris will never appeal to a certain type of left-winger, but he doesn’t have to, he just has to get the stay-at-home Tories down to the polling station.

People seem to forget that Boris got to Eton on a scholarship, not because he was a toff, the buffoon tag can be shaken off easily.

Boris Campaign Under Way

Guido hears that Dan Ritterband, who was key in Cameron’s leadership campaign, has switched from backing Nick Boles (pulled out due to serious illness) to campaigning for Boris. A campaigning web-site will be live soon…

UPDATE : BackBoris.Com is live.

Boris! Confirmed!

There is joy unabounded in Guido’s cellar.

In fact this calls for a drink…

UPDATE : You can call Tory Radio now on 0845 257-0-427 and leave a message of support for later broadcast – “I’m Backing Boris because…”

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

E-Oh, Stand-Up, Speak Up

Is it just Guido, over-exposed to two-year-old Ms Fawkes’ television viewing choices as he is, or does the new Stand-Up, Speak Up site look like it was based on the design for the Teletubbies?

The glossy new Conservatives.Com website looks a bit more groovy and blog-like as well.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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