Balls’ Second Choice Brownite Fixer Labour Sources: “Pretty Much a Declaration of War On Ed”

Intriguing news tonight via Paul Waugh: Balls has brought in Gary Follis to be his new Chief of Staff. Before a brief stint in the real world, Follis was SpAd to Nick Brown (Gordon’s Chief Whip and Commander of the “Forces of Hell”). As talk of the Balls’ lasagne plots spread, Guido has to wonder how Miliband feels about “Nick Brown’s boot boy” returning to the fold. It could have been worse though, one exhasperated Labour staffer coughs “it’s the job he wanted to give to Damian. It’s still pretty much a declaration of war on Ed though…”

UPDATE:

While Guido was over at PoliticsHome, laughing at that development, he noticed that the latest chapter in the Aidan Burley Nazi-gate story didn’t take very long to fall apart. Burley was accused by a teenager on Twitter of sleeping during a Holocaust lecture. It turns out that the teacher who organised the trip, on which said teenager conveniently managed to recognise Burley, is a Labour councillor:

“After the lecture, Ms Reeves confronted Dr Smith and Burley and (wrongly) assumed the doctor was a Tory aide. Ms Reeves is then alleged to have told Smith and Burley that she knew Ed Miliband…”

Playing politics on a trip to Auschwitz. Stay classy.

Tory Whips: Follow These Rules or Avoid Twitter

Dear Colleagues

Please see below a link to some good advice from Grant Shapps about how to get the best out of Twitter.

http://ow.ly/1FKxcb

For those in doubt, the best advice is to maybe avoid it altogether.

Enjoy the recess,

Stephen Crabb MP
Assistant Government Whip

Sky News would be proud!

Max Clifford says…

“Most people want to read nasty things about people, not nice things.”

Heather Mills Drops Piers and Mirror Right In It


Not a good week for Mirror Group newspapers. Yesterday Guido repeated to Leveson exactly what he has blogged previously, the editor of the Sunday Mirror, Tina Weaver, authorised phone-hacking and blagging according to two journalist sources. Today Heather Mills told Leveson that Piers Morgan could only have listened to her voicemails as a result of illegality.

The BBC’s Newsnight has heard the same stories and probably from the same sources:

When Guido met Lord Hunt he brought up the subject of Weaver sitting on the Press Complaints Commission, he looked uncomfortable and squirmed without giving an answer. Guido told him to get his own house in order. It is a sick joke that Tina Weaver still sits as a member of the Commission.

Propaganda Priorities

The Peoples’ Republic of Lambeth seem to have their priorities right:

No cut in the advertising budget then…

Via LewisCPS

Did the BBC Fix It For Jim? Awkward Questions for Director General Mark Thompson

Guido got wind of this yesterday, but this week’s Oldie magazine is out, and has more details about a possible BBC cover up after Newsnight unearthed allegations of child abuse by Jimmy Savile on BBC property. The report was spiked, leaving a host of unanswered questions:

“The Newsnight investigation uncovered information of which Surrey Police was not aware, and moreover allegations were made about living people. Surely the BBC had a duty to inform the police about these disclosures? Yet there is no indication that it has done so, and the BBC has refused to answer questions about this. Furthermore, given that Savile was on the BBC’s payroll for more than 25 years, and along with the other celebrities who are still alive, is alleged to have abused minors on BBC premises, shouldn’t the Corporation have launched an in-house inquiry?

When asked if BBC Director-General Mark Thompson knew of the Newsnight report, the BBC refused to comment. But a source has told me that Thompson was tackled about the axing of the report at a pre-Christmas drinks party, so he cannot claim to be ignorant of it.”

Dark stuff…

No Sorry From Ken

True to form, Ken popped up on LBC this morning and refused to apologise for his comment that the Conservative Party was “riddled” with gays. Half an hour later a caller was still angry about it and Nick Ferrari seemed to imply that Ken’s position as a DJ at the radio station was “under review”. A coincidence?

Or has Ken’s big mouth blown him one of his most useful campaign tools?

Guido is trying to confirm the situation now…

UPDATE: The transcript:

Nick Ferrari: Judy from Brent is on the line now

Judy: What an offensive person he really is. You know, I really do think that LBC should take him off on a Saturday morning until the election

NF: Well I’m sure that is under review and we’ll let you know just as soon as possible

UPDATE II: LBC say “Nick was referring to the pending period before the Mayoral election, when Ken’s position at LBC 97.3 will be under review, rather than about the comments Ken made yesterday.” Something for that review to note perhaps…



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Quote of the Day

The FT’s Wolfgang Munchau on the “fake maths” of economic forecasts:

“The truth is that our ability to forecast the future beyond the current quarter is limited… The curse of our time is fake maths. Think of it as fake news for numerically literate intellectuals: it is the abuse of statistics and economic models to peddle one’s own political prejudice… The fakeness of the maths lies in an exaggerated inference. Economic models have their uses, as do opinion polls. They provide information to policymakers and markets. But nobody can see through the fog of the future.”

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