Dave Looking Blue

The Prime Minister looked like he had plenty on his mind as he recovered from Boris Mania on holiday in Majorca today. Dave and SamCam were dressed in matching moody blue attire, though the PM guarded against the Spanish sun with a long-sleeved shirt while tanned Samantha flashed some leg in a fetching knee-length dress. Guido is wondering what they did with the kids…

Labour MP’s Nazi Meltdown

Jamie Reed is normally known as one of Labour’s best tweeters. His wit deserted him last night however when he well and truly lost his rag with some online critics:

Labour MPs really should be more careful when talking about Nazi uniforms

Pippa and the Lobby’s Big Night Out

Find out why the Lobby were out with Pippa Middleton last night…

…Over on Media Guido

Bradby Goes to Hollywood

The Lobby hacks were in esteemed company last night as they attended the premiere of ITV Political Editor Tom Bradby’s new film with royal rose Pippa Middleton. Shadow Dancer is coming soon to a cinema near you…

 

Poll: Britons Say Bye Bye to Brussels

A majority of Britons think that joining the European Union has been harmful for the UK, and almost half want Dave to say goodbye to Brussels. That’s according to a new poll from Angus Reid, which has found 54% see EU membership as having had a negative impact. If a referendum were held tomorrow 46% of Britons would vote to leave, compared with just 29% who want to stay in. The people have spoken, but will Dave listen…

Expenses MP’s Son: Media Twisted Truth

Back during the expenses scandal it was revealed that Labour MP John Healey helped himself to £1,500 to replace his front door, £7,000 for a brand new set of windows and over £400 for two televisions. That’s not to mention the £88,000 profit he made from selling the flat he renovated with taxpayers’ money. Now Healey’s son Alex has done a Bercow, slamming the media for reporting the truth on Reddit:

The press can be so unfair…

Bercow Bashes Boo-Boys

The Speaker has had some less than complimentary things to say about his fellow MPs on the World at One:

People who never wanted me to win in the first place and, in many cases, strove very hard to stop me winning have tended to feel a lingering sense of grievance. Just as I don’t bear a grudge against anyone who did not vote for me, I would argue that if people are fair-minded they should not three years on be sulking about who won. They have either vocalised their opinion in public or have constantly briefed against me behind the scenes. I have of course an idea about who some of these people are. And I think it is a sadness, a sadness for them that they are so embittered and resentful.”

The press were on the receiving end as well:

I’m supremely uninterested as to what is written in many of the newspapers. Their utterances are absolutely of no interest to me whatsoever. I’m sorry to disappoint them, but they’re just not important.”

Methinks he doth protest too much…

Usain Bolt indicates Britain’s oppressive taxes are a deterrent…

“As soon as the law changes I’ll be here all the time. I love being here.”

Oxford Tory “Used BBC Show to Smear Opponents” Joe Cooke Solicited TV Documentary

It seems that there is more than meets the eye to last week’s BBC2 hatchet job documentary exploring the life of former Oxford University Conservative Association (OUCA) president Joe Cooke. Guido has learned the camp silver-suited boy-of-the-people is facing claims that he personally and deliberately organised the programme in an attempt to smear his political opponents. The dirty tricks start at a young age.

When OUCA were originally approached on behalf of the BBC the response was an unequivocal “no“. Cooke himself warned that it had the “potential to be a disaster“, while another Oxford Tory says: “the overall verdict was that they’d make us look like tw*ts“. However, Guido is told that Cooke then independently emailed the television company to suggest making a programme focusing on himself. His motivation has come into question from those involved:

Cooke wanted to use the BBC to attack his potential successors in the national press, it was more than coincidence that a camera crew turned up as soon as he became president. He has a history of smearing his opponents, you can see from the show he how he attacked his predecessors. He was also after a safe seat in Yorkshire.

That despite Guido seeing an email from Cooke in which he warned his colleagues: “we must not allow vanity to harm the association“. Says the boy with the silver-topped cane…

CNN Put Piers on Probation

Piers Morgan is fighting for his job as CNN bosses look to revamp the beleaguered network’s prime time line up. June saw Piers drag the channel’s viewing figures to a 21-year low, while ratings plummeted again last month. Now, according to reports, CNN chiefs have put him on probation:

Anderson Cooper — CNN’s only claimant to real TV star power — appears to be the only one safe in the network’s primetime lineup, say those who have talked with programming officials there.”

 The pressure is on…

Benefactor Bails Out Bankrupt Bloggers, But Still They Beg

Last week Guido revealed how bankrupt bloggers Left Foot Forward were in such dire financial straits that they had resorted to advertising for slave labour interns. After managing to raise only a third of their target since the online busking began, a “generous donor” has now agreed to match every pound given in a double-your-money guarantee. Judging by the furious reaction of their readers to the news that they were refusing to even pay for lunch and travel expenses for their unpaid young staff, it’s hardly surprising they are relying on a wealthy individual to keep them afloat. Maybe if they paid their interns people would be more willing to part with their cash…

LibDems Offer Tax Avoidance Legacy Scheme

Back in July Guido revealed how both the Tories and Labour were advising their donors how to avoid tax through controversial inheritance schemes. Now it appears the LibDems have followed suit. Right at the beginning of this year’s conference guide yellow benefactors are encouraged to sign up for their new “legacy fund campaign“, where donors “leave a sum of money or a share of your estate to the Liberal Democrats“. Generous participants even get the chance to meet Tim Farron…

The LibDems have been slightly more subtle than their Coalition counterparts – rememberClick here to see how a gift to the Conservative Party can reduce your inheritance tax bill” – but it would appear that the boundary reform busters are up to the same trick. They note that “legacy income provides an important part of the funding for most major charities, and so it should for us too“, hinting that they will take advantage of inheritance tax loopholes to help their donors avoid tax. What was that about morally repugnant…

Jobcentre Plus Dole Fraud Exposed

Yesterday evening Guido reported that Jobcentre Plus officials had sent a desperate email to Department of Work and Pensions staff after learning that Dispatches were set to make a series of embarrassing revelations about their inability to crack down on benefit fraud. Now that the programme has aired, it’s not difficult to see why they were so worried.

Dispatches‘ allegations include:

  • A Jobcentre Plus adviser signed off a claimant’s unemployment benefit application despite him actually submitting a shopping list.
  • Another claimant remained on benefits despite writing “Please don’t give me a job” on his CV.
  • Jobcentre staff failed to question whether a JSA claimant wearing paint-splattered overalls was actually in work.

Ruth Owen and co might be signing on themselves soon enough…

BBC Buys the Guardian More Than Any Other Paper

A Freedom of Information response obtained by The Commentator website has revealed that the BBC buys more copies of the Guardian than any other national newspaper. Nearly 60,000 copies of Rusbridger’s rag could be found in Beeb buildings between April 2010 and February 2011, over 10,000 more than the Daily Mail. That’s despite the Mail having a circulation approaching ten times that of the Guardian. The FOI response and all the BBC‘s newspaper stats can be seen below:

Guido is interested to hear how those who dismiss accusations of the Beeb‘s left-wing bias will spin the latest revelations. For the rest of us, should we really be surprised?



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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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