Berlusconi Bunga Bunga Come Back Tour

Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera is reporting that everyone’s favourite teen-loving tan-admirer Silvio Berlusconi will run for Prime Minister again next year.

They claim that lovable lothario has been studying opinion polls over recent weeks and has come to the conclusion that he is the man Italians want to lead them through their economic woes.

This must call for a bunga bunga party!

Labour's Karl Turner is an Expert in Public Aggression

Labour’s wannabe attack-dog Karl Turner has had a good day. His eyewitness tweets of the PM apparently dressing down Jesse Norman have nudged this dreary non-entity out of total obscurity. Last night he reported that a “very angry… finger pointing and prodding” PM had “lambasted” Norman in “animated and clearly aggressive” way. He went on to lecture about how un-statesmanly the affair had been.  Those words like “angry” and “clearly aggressive” got Guido thinking though. He remembered a story from January 2011:

Turner was travelling on the train to Hull and the guard politely asked him not to steal newspapers:

“Witness reports say the usual “don’t you know who I am”… “no” routine was deployed when the train manager had to intervene and “a very unpleasant scene” prevailed which saw Turner “draw himself up to his full 5’6 ins and launched into a tirade of abuse against the man”. The wobbler apparently continued on the platform after arrival at Hull station, with Turner claiming he wanted a written apology from the train company. “A self-satisfied, obnoxious, patronising bully who can afford a quid for The Times” was one of the more delicate descriptions of his behaviour.”

Sounds “animated and clearly aggressive” to Guido. Takes one to know one, eh Karl?

Brendan O’Neil ponders:

“Consider how the term “trolling” itself has been expanded in recent years. It is now used not only to describe weirdos like Frank Zimmerman, who was given a two-year suspended prison sentence for sending vile and threatening messages to Conservative MP Louise Mensch, but also journalists and bloggers who express political views that don’t conform to mainstream thinking, which rile the Twitterati.

Everyone from the loner with violent fantasies to the hack who does some far-out political thinking is now labelled a “troll”, a scourge on the internet which must be cleansed by respectable, right-thinking journalists “above the line”. A divide is being created between the plebs below the line, who think and say the “wrong” things, and the righteous guardians of internet culture above the line, who now frequently make an ostentatious display of their right-on credentials in order to distinguish themselves from the politically uncouth, keyboard-smashing hordes.

One is forced to ask: who is really being intolerant here?”

Hain v Gove

Guido has always found that Peter Hain’s side of the story is never spun…

Milk Minister Creamed

The farmers are agitating, so it’s the perfect time for the farming minister to have blundered spectacularly by admitting that he doesn’t know the price of a pint of milk. Jim Paice was asked by Radio 4 if he knew how much milk cost, to which he replied: “No, because my wife buys most of it“. As if that wasn’t enough, Paice then put his foot in it again by mistakenly joking that the gaffe had got him on Page 3 of the Sun:

Dave might want to put him out to pasture…

Jesse's Back

It was a nice jibe from Ed that the posh boys had banished Jessie Norman from the House. He was in fact welcoming the Queen to his constituency. Whoops…

Video: Anne Marie Morris' PMQs Shouty Crackers Question

No, Guido isn’t sure what she’s saying either…

PMQs LIVE: Big Jesse Edition

Mirror Man Nicked

Two more hacks have been nicked this morning as part of the police investigation into press corruption, with one of them named as the Mirror‘s crime reporter Justin Penrose:

That’s the same Justin Penrose who told Leveson in January: “The main ethical issue is that we never pay police officers for stories“. He was on oath…

Things are also starting to look pretty awkward for former Mirror editor Richard Wallace after he admitted to Brian last year:

To the best of my knowledge I have never made, authorised or been privy to any payments to members of the police. However, on occasion we have paid public sector employees (connected with the health and prison services) for information about prisoners or prison conditions.

Guido wonders who will be next to hear the doorbell ring at five in the morning…

UPDATE: The other hack arrested is said to be the Daily Star Sunday’s Tom Savage. His identity was revealed after his own website “where am I?” feature pointed to Dulwich nick.

Light Whipping in Osborne's Office

As the 10pm vote deadline approached last night, Francis Maude was celebrating his birthday with a soirée in George Osborne’s offices in Parliament. Guido understands that Mad Frankie was slightly upstaged by his then PPS Angie “they’ll have to sack me” Bray. Sources in the room whisper to Guido that Whip Mark Francois made no efforts to cajole Bray at the party despite being there and chatting to her for some time. So much for that aggressive whipping…

Apparently Maude was angry though, not at the fact his PPS was rebelling, but concerned about finding a decent replacement for Bray given that almost all of the potential talent pool had rebelled.

At least any replacement will be über-loyal.

If they voted with the government last night, they’ll vote on anything…

Vince Cable Comes Out Against Gay Marriage

Just days after Nick Clegg flew the rainbow flag and declared a “new era of pride” in Britain, Vince Cable has announced that he considers changing the law to allow gay marriage “unnecessary“. Despite committing to voting for the government’s proposals, Vince told a constituent: “on the issue of same-sex marriage, my own personal view is that the status quo is fine, with same-sex couples being able to commit in a civil partnership.Free vote for the Tories, whipped for the LibDems…

Nick Clegg spins LibDem members…

This is a huge triumph for our party, and a clear mandate to deliver much needed reforms to the House of Lords.”

The Delusion of Nick Clegg

This was sent out to LibDem members last night:

Dear Guido,

This evening we overwhelmingly won an historic vote on the Second Reading of the House of Lords Reform Bill – a Bill that will finish something our party started a century ago.

This is a huge triumph for our party, and a clear mandate to deliver much needed reforms to the House of Lords.

As David Cameron and I have both repeatedly made clear – in the Queen’s speech, in May 2011 in the White Paper and in May 2010 in the Coalition Agreement – the Coalition Government is committed to reforming the House of Lords. And we have every intention of delivering it.

The Liberal Democrats have worked closely with our Conservative partners to bring forward a Bill they could support. We have been reasonable and looked at acceptable compromises at every stage. That is why we agreed to withdraw today’s timetabling motion, to allow the Conservative team in Government take more time over the summer to talk to their backbench colleagues.

When we return in the autumn to vote on this again, we fully expect the Conservatives to deliver this crucial part of the coalition deal – as we have delivered other coalition policies. At the same time, we will increase the pressure on Labour to, as the Guardian put it this morning, ‘simply stand up and do the right thing’ and support these reforms in votes in Parliament when it really counts.

We have been waiting for Lords Reform for 100 years. Today we took a huge step towards delivering it. There will be many more tests ahead, but with your help we will continue to make and win the case for reform.

Best Wishes,

Nick Clegg

Leader of the Liberal Democrats and Deputy Prime Minister

Nevermind the ninety Tories and twenty odd Labour rebels who consigned the bill to the dustbin…



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Quote of the Day

Michael Crick on Safe Seats:

“In effect, new MPs are being elected day by day now, as, amid huge secrecy, small cabals of party bigwigs pick candidates for safe seats.”

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