Dave Dines With Deripaska's Spinner

Will caveat this story with a warning that no one concerned has confirmed (or denied) the veracity of the story. Did try to confirm it with Cameron’s spokesgirl, but she is probably too busy with Twatgate…

According to an impeccable source, Roland Rudd had David Cameron over to his Holland Park mansion for dinner at the beginning of the month. Rudd is the spinmeister for Oleg Deripaska, Nat Rothschild and a few nationalised and bailed out banks, including if Guido’s memory serves him right, Lloyds and RBS.  (Rudd is also a good mate of Robert Peston, who coincidentally had the inside track on those same banks during the banking crisis).

Didn’t the Tories claim recently they were telling lobbyists to “back off”?  Odd therefore that the party leader is dining with Rudd.  Guido hopes he supped with a long spoon.  Rudd represents a number of corporate interests critically exposed to government regulation – BSkyB, BAA, and telecoms companies like Cable & Wireless and Vodafone.  No doubt his clients at the bailed out banks are critically keen to protect their interests and bonuses as well.

We seem to be on the path to transparency in politics – the incoming Tory administration is committed to opening up the workings of both  parliament and government to sunlight.  Fine words and promises…

What about the shady world of political lobbying?  People like Roland Rudd, Matthew Freud and Alan Parker are not in favour of an open democracy.  When they lubricate corporate deals with politicians behind closed doors, or nowadays more likely on private beaches, on behalf of their clients you can be sure that the interests of the taxpayers and voters are not on their minds.  Osborne has learnt his lesson with Yachtgate, Cameron should likewise distance himself from these corporate schmoozers. 

Guido’s five year Porkbusters campaign against troughing by MPs is now winding down.  Guido’s new campaign over the coming years will be to highlight the fat cats of spin and their hidden hand in politics, in particular how they corrupt and seduce politicians.  Ironically Cameron is an ex-corporate spinmeister himself.  Guido thinks it extremely unhealthy for democracy that the next Prime Minister is hitching freebie lifts on Matthew Freud’s jet to Santorini, or taking a beach holiday in South Africa with Brunswick boss Alan Parker.  It is human nature to be helpful to people who have been generous hosts towards you.  That politeness is ruthlessly exploited by the likes of these spinmeisters: there is no such thing as a free ride on a jet…

UPDATE : Cameron’s office have got in touch to say it was more like a year ago rather than a month ago that he last dined with Roland Rudd.




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Jeremy Corbyn in the Evening Standard

“… we must also face the uncomfortable fact that a small number of our members and supporters hold anti-Semitic views and attitudes, which need to be confronted and dealt with more rapidly and effectively.

The evidence is clear enough. Labour staff have seen examples of Holocaust denial, crude stereotypes of Jewish bankers, conspiracy theories blaming 9/11 on Israel, and even one member who appeared to believe that Hitler had been misunderstood.

So let me be clear. People holding those views have no place in the Labour Party.

… we have not done enough to get to grips with the problem, and the Jewish community and our Jewish members deserve an apology. My party and I are sorry for the hurt and distress caused. … We must strive to understand why anti-Semitism has surfaced in our party…

… when criticism of or opposition to the Israeli government uses anti-Semitic ideas — attributing its injustices to Jewish identity, demanding that Jews in Britain or elsewhere answer for its conduct, or comparing Israel to the Nazis — then a line must be drawn.  Anti-Zionism is not in itself anti-Semitic and many Jews themselves are not Zionists. But there are also a very few who are drawn to the Palestinian question precisely because it affords an opportunity to express hostility to Jewish people in a “respectable” setting. Our movement must not be a home for such individuals.

Second, there are people who have come to see capitalism and imperialism as the product of conspiracy by a small shadowy elite rather than a political, economic, legal and social system. That is only a step from hoary myths about “Jewish bankers” and “sinister global forces”.

These views do no service to the struggle for a just society.”

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