IPPR & Morality

Wonks for Sale : One of the most money-grubbing think-tanks in wonkland, the Institute for Public Policy Research is holding a seminar on “morality in politics” today. Guido laughed out loud on reading that, no think-tank could be less qualified to pontificate on the subject.

As a think-tank IPPR is the leading cash-for-access practioner and is without doubt the undisputed master of this wheeze. Never so crude as “give us a donation and we will introduce you to the minister”, but effectively that is the implicit deal offered. IPPR boasts of its “strong networks in government” and the flow of wonks to the civil service as special advisers (SpAds), who later go on to become well paid lobbyists, keeps the corporate cheques coming. IPPR describes it clients as “partners” . The IPPR pitch is careful, but clear: “partners have regular contact with our research directors to discuss the progress of projects relevant to their sector. Partners have the opportunity to get on the inside track of policy development. You bet they do.

It has come to something when a left-wing union, the GMB, has become so outraged with the wonk-SpAd-lobbyist merry-go-round which has IPPR at its epicentre that it was prepared to go to the trouble of producing a revealing report on the subject last week. Only the Brownite Smith Institute gives IPPR a run for it’s money – forinstance when Ed Balls moaned about his penury before becoming an MP, a well paid sinecure at the Smith Institute was found to endogenously wedge him up. The Smith Institute can expect to boost it’s coffers at IPPR’s expense if Gordon becomes PM. The GMB’s 27 page report focuses page after page on the IPPR’s revolving door and people. The New Local Government Network is another bastion of New Labour’s soft corruption – it has replaced the Freemasons as the way to get on in local government (sponsored by Capita). Knowing IPPR, Guido can only wonder who is paying for this “morality in politics” seminar. The press office has been strangely unhelpful so far…

UPDATE : The IPPR press office has just invited Guido to the seminar. No alcoholic enticement has been offered.

Father's Day

EXCLUSIVE : ED BALLS & GEORGE OSBORNEATTEND BILDERBERG CONFERENCE

Guido co-conspirators* infiltrated the shadowy and secretive Bilderberg Conference in Ottawa, they discovered that representing Britain were Ed Balls and George Osborne:

Click to Enlarge

Credit : Guido Fawkes, Order-Order.Com

There were no signs of any lizards (or even chameleons).

*Always tip bell-boys generously.

Blairite Wonk Endorses Cameron

Geoff Mulgan used to be at the heart of Downing Street when he was head of Blair’s policy unit. In an interview for GMTV tomorrow he will say through gritted teeth the usual positive guff about Gordon – a tad insincerely methinks – and then he gets a dig in at the end.

“I think David Cameron is a pretty impressive leader as well. That’s why I think Britain is unusually well placed from the next decade or so in terms of our potential political leadership.”

He is basically saying he won’t mind if Dave not Gordon becomes PM. Mulgan is not some outsider, he is a Blairite wonk who founded Demos and went on to become Blair’s director of strategy at the Performance and Innovation Unit. Is that the first time an über-Blairite has publicly endorsed Cameron?

Pay £2.4m to the LibDems, Go Directly to JailDo Not Pass Go

How unfortunate for the LibDems that their biggest financial supporter could not be with them for their re-launch yesterday. Alas he is being held in Wormwood Scrubs prison on 53 charges and next week Michael Brown faces even more charges. Ming and the LibDems have been implausibly spinning a “it is nothing to do with us guv” line when in fact they are deep in shit. It seems likely they may be the beneficiaries of the proceeds of crime.

Ask yourself, who do you believe – HSBC bank or the LibDems?

That the LibDems are lying about it being nothing to do with them is demonstrated by the fact that the police have now obtained a court order forcing party officials to hand over documents and e-mails regarding the £2.4 million donation received from the jailbird before the general election last year. If they have to repay the cash it will leave each and every LibDem party member liable for £30. Which just goes to show, crime really doesn’t pay.

All Thatcherites Now

Ming Campbell’s makeover today sees him in drag wearing an orange dress with a hint of blue and green for the latest relaunch of the LibDems. Having tried everything else to gain power now they are going to try Thatcherism. Don’t they know? 80s retro is just sooo over.

“Whitehall and Westminster must regulate less, legislate less and tax less. Fewer ministers, fewer MPs, fewer special advisers, fewer civil servants, fewer departments, fewer quangos”.

So it seems the Orange Bookers have finally started advancing their modernising agenda. Guido gets two or three press releases a day from Cowley Street, in them LibDem front-benchers always demand “something must be done” and it must be done by government. That statist reflex is illiberal, so we shall see how going forward their new Thatcherite agenda matches up to their press released demands for legislation. Guido will be watching.

Policy wonks will point out that there is the obvious conflict between a deregulation agenda and an environmental agenda, how they advance green goals with the problem of the commons remains to be seen.

A more libertarian LibDem party might even be worth joining now the Tories have dropped dropping taxes and are learning to love the state sector. Dramatically raising the personal allowance threshold for paying income tax is as much a vote winner as council house sales were to C1 / D1 voters.

Might however require the frontbench team to read a rather more hardcore liberal Orange Book. Wonder if they will have Guido as a member now?

Action Replay : Ming the Meandering Mumbler

Watch the look on Vince Cable’s face – is it pity or contempt? Ming checking his notes to remind himself which department he was talking about was a touching moment. Blair’s exasperated disdain is the perfect ending. Is Ming on medication?

Courtesy of Biased BBC.

Tennis

Some of the Beautiful People on the Tory A-List

Louise Bagshawe, Adam Rickitt, Julia Manning, Zac Goldsmith

UPDATE : Guido’s man with the multi-coloured tie says C4 News have got hold of Adam dancing naked in a pop video. Class “A” indeed!

Muppet Ming Muffs PMQs Again

It is painfully cringe-making watching Ming at PMQs. His confidence is shot to pieces, the house enjoys mocking him, he is failing and he himself knows it. Today Blair checked himself as Ming went off notes and mumbled his question, Blair struggled to suppress a smirk. So bad was the meandering question that Blair restrained himself and didn’t counter-punch. Professional politicians on all sides recognised that as a merciful professional courtesy to a man in deep difficulties. The LibDems need to pension Ming off on “health grounds” and draft Clegg in sharpish.

A-List News Today & Tomorrow

There will be tears in Tory households today as people find out they are too un-hip to be one of Cameron’s chosen Conservative candidates. Only the gayest, youngest, funkiest types are destined to be chosen for sure. These new beautiful people will be the next generation of Tory MPs.

Where does that leave the mass of right-wing, ex-public school-boys who used to once dominate the ranks of the approved candidates list? Unhappy, that is where it leaves them, and ready to cause trouble. The candidates list is the bedrock of campaigning activism, if hundreds of them are thwarted and believe they are permanently blocked they could be a source of trouble. The screams of the ambitious will be heard in Notting Hill. Guido expects there will be promises of the prospect of jam tomorrow, how else will the malcontents be kept in line?

Compass Bearings

Guido has had email exchanges from Compass supporters who deny it is some kind of pro-Gordon operation agitating to get rid of Blair. They point out that the upcoming Compass conference has now added Blairites to the speaker list – the Blairdroid herself, Hazel Blears is speaking, Oona King as well. If Compass is not about getting rid of Blair, what is it all about? Neal Lawson asks “At what point does Brown move, or a stalking horse emerge?” Guido thinks some of the necessary plotting for that move, certainly amongst Labour party activists, will take place at his conference.

Maybe Guido is wrong and Blears will be greeted with a standing ovation, perhaps Oona King, a good friend of Jack Straw and a supporter of the war in Iraq, will be cheered by conference attendees? Maybe not.

Let us examine the evidence; the keynote speaker at its inaugural national conference was Gordon Brown. Past Compass event speakers include Douglas Alexander and Ed Balls – Brownites to the bone. What does Blair himself think? At yesterday’s prime ministerial press conference, he said, “If you go into an election with Compass, you will lose”.

LibDems Embarrassed

Labour’s disaster was expected, the failure of the LibDems to make significant progress is a bit of a surprise, it will be a cause of great satisfaction in CCHQ and for the Cameroonies. It will be a great cause of excuse making in Cowley Street. The truth is the LibDems have got a lemon for a leader.

After their best result for a quarter century, the Tories are now favourite at the bookies to be the biggest party at the general election, but such are the quirks of the electoral system it will probably still require the support of the LibDems to form a government. Ideally from the Tory perspective the LibDems limp to the election, undermining the electoral support of Labour oop North and in Scotland. Then an Orange booker takes over the LibDems and sits in a Tory cabinet.

Of course Cameron could lead the greatest revival of a political party in modern history and form a True Blue government, but Guido isn’t betting on it.

UPDATE : Yates of The Yard’s Notebook

  • Des Smith
  • Nick Bowes
  • Sir Cyril Taylor
  • Lord Adonis (Andrew)
  • Amanda Delew
  • Jeff Shear
  • Ruth Turner
  • John McTernen
  • Peter Watt
  • Ian McCartney
  • Matt Carter
  • Lord Levy (Michael)
  • Jonathan Powell
  • Tony Blair
  • Peter Hain


Who do you believe? Peter Hain or Peter Laws’ widow? Exactly.

How Blogging Will Save the World

We Media was as expected about Media Tarts and people who want to be Media Tarts. The wannabees are all earnest types who want to change the world and the suits run the world, or at least know the people who do.

Checking the audience, Guido asks “Who knows the blog?” Half the suits put up their hands, together with the political bloggers and the BBC types. Those saving the world and wanting to be proper Media Tarts look blank. Conclusive proof that monging on this blog will not help save the world, which is a relief.

Ran through the presentation, cracked a few Rosie Winterton jokes. Argued with a drunk Tim Ireland. Got introduced to Mr BBC, Mr Yahoo and Mr Other Important Suit. Mr BBC was a Guido RSS subscriber and everyone else’s boss, Mr Yahoo had windswept hair and looked like he had badly overdone the sunbed. Clearly had no idea where he was or why. Perhaps he was fire damaged. Judging by the simpering of Media Tarts around them, these were important suits.

Note to Biased BBC, you are getting under their skin. You will be pleased to know you are the recognised enemy. BBC types representing all shades of opinion spoke at length, from those that want to extend the licence for another decade, to those that want to increase the licence merely in line with inflation and those that think it is a disgrace that we even have to discuss the hallowed licence fee. One speaker talked entirely about the disgusting idea of advertising. He thought it would be a threat to the BBC’s impartiality.

Things Guido learnt : Some people think blogging will change the world. They each have blogs read by 7 other world-changing type people. They think Reuters, News Corp. and the BBC will be dethroned from the elite heights of Media Tartdom by using trackbacks and through backpacking American undergrads taking pictures of demos in Nepal, which they upload from their digital cameras to the internet. Bloggers will especially dethrone Murdoch and the bad King of Nepal (possibly not in that order). The Media will be better for it. The suits were very quiet during these bits. Blogging about blogging will save the world. Some of the world-saving bloggers intend to make money from this. They are the suits of the future.

Yates of the Yard Quiz Starting Soon

The Political Quiz Show to end careers begins soon. Nervous millionaires are consulting their solicitors and getting their stories straight. Theatre producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh is widely quoted as saying he was offered a peerage in return for a loan – he wisely turned down the opportunity. Yates is likely to add him to the list in his notebook.

Guido understands that interviews, under caution, will begin next week, tactfully after Thursday’s local elections. Rumour has it that one donor in particular may cough, if the right assurances are given.

Guido is lovin’ it.


Elite Titles

Lord Levy’s Tragic Fire Loss

Peter Oborne in the Spectator tells us of a tragedy that has befallen the Sleaze Master General:

…it emerges that the Marylebone offices of the New Labour treasurer, Lord Levy, have been devastated by a mysterious fire. This took place last November, well before the police investigation began and around the time the House of Lords Appointments Commission raised the first queries concerning Tony Blair’s list. When I rang Downing Street for a reassurance that no papers relevant to the police investigation had been destroyed, I was informed that ‘that is a matter for Lord Levy’.

What a tragic loss that must be for Lord Levy, no doubt losing important documents will complicate things for those trying to piece together his dealings. Guido thinks that the fire stinks, and that the smell isn’t smoke.


Click Here to shop at eBay.co.uk

Loans for Lordships : Property Developer Boss Quits

First Capita’s boss Rod Aldridge quits, now another friend of Lord Levy has jumped. It is getting pretty nerve wracking for friends of the Sleaze Master General. Police are investigating the £1m loan to the Labour party made weeks before John Prescott approved plannning permission for his firms £500m property development. Andrew Rosenfeld is to be interviewed by the Yard’s sleaze busting team of detectives about the circumstances of his generosity and fortuitous planning approval.

Pure coincidence says Prescott. No comment says Blair.

Luntz Looks at Leaders

Newsnight tonight will have another dose of Frank Luntz, the US pollster whose conference-time leadership poll gave Cameron the focus group mo’ that Tory activists realised Basher Davis lacked.

He will be doing all three party leaders (and grumpy Gordon). Will Ming have mo’?


Yates of the Yard’s Notebook

  • Des Smith
  • Nick Bowes
  • Sir Cyril Taylor
  • Lord Adonis (Andrew)
  • Amanda Delew
  • Jeff Shear
  • Ruth Turner
  • John McTernen
  • Peter Watt
  • Ian McCartney
  • Matt Carter
  • Lord Levy (Michael)
  • Jonathan Powell
  • Tony Blair

Will Blair’s Sleaze-Master General Be Next?

The Sleaze Master General himself will be worried that his former minion, Des Smith, is helping police with their inquiries.

Des Smith, a secondary headteacher who was also a council member of the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT) which was the camouflage operation under which peerages were doled out to the Labour party’s secret lenders.

The president of the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust is, of course, Lord Levy.

That perp walk is getting nearer…

+++ FLASH +++ Arrested Man Not Lord Levy

+ READ MORE +



Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

IDS responds to Juncker’s pints analogy earlier:

“Mr Juncker knows a little bit more about the bar than perhaps many of us do.”

Sponsors

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.
Davis: Brake Leaked His Own Letter Davis: Brake Leaked His Own Letter
Brake Misleads Bercow About Guido Story Brake Misleads Bercow About Guido Story
Labour Charge Electric Campaign Vehicle in Parliament Labour Charge Electric Campaign Vehicle in Parliament
Mr Rayner’s Alternative to Badger Cull Mr Rayner’s Alternative to Badger Cull
Sir Cover-Up, Sir Craig and the Curious Case of His Memoirs Sir Cover-Up, Sir Craig and the Curious Case of His Memoirs
Alun Cairns’ Tippy-Toes Pose Alun Cairns’ Tippy-Toes Pose
Pidcock Publicly Owned Pidcock Publicly Owned
Young Labour: Leave NATO, Abolish the City and Reject Two-State Solution Young Labour: Leave NATO, Abolish the City and Reject Two-State Solution
Salmond and Tasmina’s Boozy City Break Salmond and Tasmina’s Boozy City Break
Sunday Show Highlights Sunday Show Highlights
Tory MP’s Two Nicknames for Hammond Tory MP’s Two Nicknames for Hammond
Sadiq: “I’m an Uber Man” Sadiq: “I’m an Uber Man”
Tom Brake’s Epic Legatum Whinge Tom Brake’s Epic Legatum Whinge
Juncker: Thanks For Saving Us in The War, Now You Must Pay Juncker: Thanks For Saving Us in The War, Now You Must Pay
Tom Brake’s Epic Legatum Whinge Backfires Tom Brake’s Epic Legatum Whinge Backfires
Starmer Admits Public Clueless as to Labour’s Brexit Policy Starmer Admits Public Clueless as to Labour’s Brexit Policy
Melania Sports Sam Cam’s Cefinn Melania Sports Sam Cam’s Cefinn
Mounting Buzzfeed Losses as Staff Salaries Average £60,000 Mounting Buzzfeed Losses as Staff Salaries Average £60,000
Vince Welcomes LibDems’ Harvey Weinstein Back Into Fold Vince Welcomes LibDems’ Harvey Weinstein Back Into Fold
74% Say No Deal Better Than A Bad Deal 74% Say No Deal Better Than A Bad Deal