Hence the cosy pictures of Mandela with his feet up with Dave, but none such with the Prime Mentalist…
He is rumoured to be a possible replacement for Alistair Darling at the Treasury. Clearly not something that will please the City’s moneymen….
So the Indy’s owner actually made money from Mugabe’s poster advertising campaign for the election. Stick that on your front page…
UPDATE : A co-conspirator points out that Baroness Jay and Ken Clarke are non-execs on the board of INM plc. In Baroness Jay’s case it seems particularly difficult to reconcile her chairmanship of the Overseas Development Institute with personally profiting from the firm that profits from Mugabe’s election advertising campaigns.
CPS Study Abrahams ‘Dodgy’ Donations Dossier from Police – Sky
It ain’t over until it is over.
MEPs’ Champagne ‘Study Days’ Cost Taxpayer £200,000 – Sunday Times
Champagne swilling luxury junket taking the piss out of taxpayers as per normal.
How MPs Claim for a Second Home – Sunday Telegraph
Simple explanation of the mechanics of the fiddle.
Wintertons to Cost Taxpayers Thousands More on New Flat – Mail on Sunday
Continuing tale of the troughing Tory twosome. Why don’t they live in their own now mortgage-free luxury flat? The taxpayer has bought it for them and fitted it out already. They are a troughing disgrace.
Labour Mired in Sleaze Claims as Scots Leader Quits and MPs are Accused of Homes Tax-Dodge – Mail on Sunday
Scottish Leader and Scottish MP go in disgrace.
‘Over 100 MPs’ in Multi-Million Tax Dodge Over Second Homes – Mail on Sunday
A specific capital gains dodge used by the likes of James Purnell and many others.
Scots Labour Leader ‘Confident of Being Cleared’ after Resigning – Mail on Sunday
No chance Wendy.
Marshall in Shock Resignation after Rumours Over Expenses – Mail on Sunday
End of the gravy train for one MP.
Paul Green also admitted that he gave two personal cheques of £950 which would have put him over the £1000 barrier and shown he was an impermissible offshoredonor.
Guido predicted that “there is no wriggle room. She is on the hook completely”. So it turned out, eventually.
*N.B. Incidentally, Guido was accused by Labour supporters of forging the letter.
The paper’s editorial line is confusingly mixed, for a paper that was once considered the house paper of the Conservative Party it harbours a number of hacks who are determined enemies of Cameron. It is seeking to gain readers from the Daily Mail by emulating the Daily Mail. The only problem being the Mail does it so much better.
The other problem is the problem faced by all newspapers worldwide. Office based readers increasingly read their paper online and do not buy the inky dead tree version for the commute. They are also more promiscuous in their reading choices. The better the website, the less attractive the paper. Guido spoke last night at the journalist’s Frontline Club on a panel with digital hacks from the Press Gazette, Guardian and the Telegraph. As digerati they were a bit more clued up than most hacks – so they were very pessimistic. Guido of course cheerfully reminded them that he was the only one on the panel from a profitable publisher…
Tomorrow will be my last day as Gordon Brown’s Political Secretary. It has been a privilege to work for Gordon and the wider team here at No 10 and I consider myself very fortunate to have had the opportunity. It has been a fascinating and hectic year.
I have also been lucky to work closely with you, not only in my current post but as the first women PLP Secretary. I will be taking away very many happy memories, particularly of the evening we gathered in the Chamber for the photograph to mark the Centenary of the PLP.
My next venture is to start my own communications business which I am very excited about.
My mobile number will remain the same xxxxxxx, my new email address is firstname.lastname@example.org Joe Irvin has been appointed to replace me. Joe has for the past year worked as a special adviser to the Prime Minister on trade union, employment and housing issues.
He is a lifelong Labour Party member and previously worked as special adviser to Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott 1996-2001, and was for many years a trade union official. I know you will give him all your support.
With my best wishes
There are by-election losses and there are by-election losses, Labour coming fifth behind the BNP and Greens made losing their deposit that much worse. Backbench MPs will be studying Charles Clarke’s doomsday list (download here) a little more intensely. They will be looking at the crumbling Gordon and wondering to themselves how the party might fare without the millstone of a voter repelling weirdo up front.
UPDATE : A co-conspirator points out that Chris Rennard’s post match spin is ambiguous:
“We increased our vote…”
- LibDem Henley vote 2005 General Election – 12,101
- LibDem Henley vote 2008 By Election – 9,680
An increase of minus 2421 votes!
There is a ridiculous whispering campaign to make this a mother versus misogynists issue. It is actually an anti-corruption issue. The Spelmans are a wealthy couple, they could easily afford a nanny – they chose to fiddle the cost from the taxpayer. Plenty of low income mothers on benefits have gone to jail for fiddling the sums we are talking about here…
UPDATE : Two-thirds of grassroots Conservatives polled by ConservativeHome say Spelman should quit.
Guido gave a former senior LibDem apparatchik 9/1 on the LibDems winning. So they are still optimistic…
Downing Street’s Jeremy Heywood has written to Whitehall’s mandarins euphemistically seeking someone for ‘a high profile and demanding post involving daily contact with the Prime Minister… I would be grateful if you could each put forward the names of one or two individuals who would particularly excel in this role.’ An ability to duck under fire would be useful.
Fiona Gordon has already given her notice, Spencer Livermore went in March. The captain will be alone when the ship goes down…
My wife and I were coming out of a house in Camden where we had been viewing a flat to rent. Standing on the steps with us, the owner of the flat suddenly saw the retreating rear of his moped, two boys aboard and half a dozen of their friends pelting along behind.
Like the pair of prats we were, the owner and I tackled youth crime. When we caught up with the pedestrians, we received between us a black eye (owner) and cut lip (me), and no moped.
My main memory of this incident is rather horrid: the spit-filled mouth of the little rat-faced boy who punched me. Short, white, in a grey hooded tracksuit, he shouted at me with all the rage of Cain: the most astonishing indignation.
A rise of 218% in ten years.
*Not including travel, source: Select Committee on Members Estimate Committee Third Report
Perhaps the magnitude of the moment we face is too great for us collectively to bear. Shortly there will be an election, in which Labour will increase its majority, and in so doing utterly shatter the glass paradigm of cyclical politics which has contained us for the century since 1906. This ought to herald another decade of strong, confident, consensual Labour government. Which will finally and irrevocably transform the nature of politics and civic life in Britain.
That is a frightening responsibility. The young princes who now stride the parade ground with the confidence born of aristocratic schooling can never be afraid. They never have been. Like latter day Pushkins drilled in the elite academy of Brownian blitzkrieg, they are bursting with their sense of destiny. It’s not the Milibands, the Ballses or the Burnhams who are unconsciously nervous. This is the moment for which they were created. They are ready.
But for the rest, the officer class as much as the rank and file, it’s a daunting inheritance. The decade to date has been a long march to sustain. Those who led it have changed and re-changed, been shuffled and sidelined, died and retired from the field. But we – the poor bloody soldiers – are still here. Our boots are fresh and our uniforms re-supplied. We are rested and invigorated. Morale, if it anywhere was, can only be high. Yet still it’s a decade since we have been home. As we prepare to strike out again from our camp, we don’t wonder which army will triumph, but begin to ask what we will do if this march never ends.
Guido is moist-eyed with laughter. Sion Simon really does have exceptional judgement.
Hat-tip : Dominic Fisher