Mili-Xmas Child Abuse

Over at the Mili-Blog we learn that for Christmas he got “a pencil case for my godson made out of an old tyre – better than it sounds”. Hmmm.

Imagine the scene on Christmas day:

David Miliband “Here you go.”
Godson “Thanks Uncle David!”
DM “You’ll really like it, it is environmentally sound as well.”

[sound of enthusiastic tearing of recycled paper]

GS “A sodding pencil case made out of an old tyre? You tight, four-eyed twat.”

Bet the kid really did think that. Poor lad, probably bullied in the playground, mocked for bringing his pencils inside a bit of old tyre. What kind of godfather is Miliband?

Obviously no Nintendo Wii’s were bought for the tragically deprived kids of wonk families. Guido, coincidentally, got his godson a traditional handcrafted toy made from all natural materials – wood and rubber. The lad lives in Hampstead and so will probably be able to shoot carbon rocks at Miliband’s godson with his new catapault. Perfect.

New Year Resolutions

To focus more attention on the next generation of politicians; Miliband, Balls, Benn, Osborne, Cameron, Clegg, Laws, Davey and the other ones who’s names Guido can’t remember.

In an effort to halt the development of a second chin Guido has resolved not to drink before midday or after midnight and not at all Monday to Thursday*. Which means from noon till midnight, Friday to Sunday could be messy.

To say nothing more about Ros Taylor. Zippo.

*Apart from medicinal purposes and on the day charges are made for Loans for Lordships.

Snouts in the Trough : MPs’ Expense Fiddles

Sir Philip Mawer, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, reckons that “the sharp differences in expenses claims among MPs were not easily explicable.” Guido can explain it easily. Loads of MPs are on the fiddle.

“The degree of variation in the spend on stationery and allowances, and in some aspects of the travel regime, are not easily explicable,” he says tactfully. “It is so marked that it is bound to give rise to questions about Members’ practice.” Ahh, he does realise they are fiddling.

He intends to press for MPs to pay for at least one of their own homes out of their own pockets. So that will bugger up Geoff Hoon forinstance, who claims at the taxpayer’s expense for his constituency home, despite owning it outright with no mortage. Senior Labour figures like David Blunkett, Jack Straw, John Prescott, Ruth Kelly and Margaret Beckett have fiddled between them hundreds of thousands of pounds in unjustified expenses. Dole cheats go to jail for far smaller frauds.

Backstage at Labour Conference During Blair’s Speech

Drop the Dictator : Saddam Swings

Dave : Brown is the Dark Side

The Smith Institute exposés last month evoked from the co-conspirators an analogy with the evil Sith cult in Star Wars. It’s catching, Dave’s New Year statement too uses the imagery of the force;

“2007 will be the year that Labour’s dark side comes to the fore. With Blair going and Brown coming, we need to prepare ourselves for an onslaught of negative campaigning and the politics of fear and division.

The real battle for Britain’s future begins: Labour’s state control versus Conservative social responsibility.”

Guido’s Predictions for 2007

With a better track record than some pundits, Guido looks into his crystal ball;

  1. Lembit Opik will be involved in a front-page scandal.
  2. Following a surge to the SNP in local elections the Conservatives will finally move away from Unionism and towards spinning off Scottish and Welsh sister parties as part of their localism agenda.
  3. Multiple charges will be brought against Downing Street characters in the Loans for Lordships scandal. Evidence of profiteering by Labour donors with government contracts awarded in dubious circumstances will surface. The fall-out will be politically devastating for Labour.
  4. Informal Tory approaches will be made to leading LibDem figures as to discussions on the shape of the future governing coalition.
  5. New Media outlets will start to go mass market, disrupting the established politico-media nexus and terrifying old media owners.

Guido fully expects to be right on the majority of his predictions…

Cheeky Christmas

Surprise! Smith Institute Plans More Meetings at No. 11

On Friday Gordon complained about smears in a statement where he denied that the Smith Institute had any formal link to him. Sure he is not on the board, but the board is Brownite.

Remember Wilf Stevenson, the institute’s director, both denies it is political (which would put it in breach of charity law) and that it is a Brownite front. Nevertheless we discovered recently that Gordon pushed to have Wilf made a working peer.* That would have meant that Brown had made him a Labour working peer for his Smith Institute work. How in any sense therefore is he non-political and non-Brownite?

This is all a “Mandelson smear” the Sunday papers were briefed. Guido has no formal link with Mandelson, but he has been digging into “the Sith” sleaze for months. When is a smear not a smear? When it is the truth.

Guido has obtained this list of events being held by the Smith Institute. You have just missed “Shaping Global Policy” – which seems an odd subject title for a non-political public charity. Isn’t policy formation a bit political?
Are these meetings open to the public in line with the charity’s charter? No. Are they anything to do with Brown’s current imperative to repaint himself as Green? They are all being held at No. 11, what do you think?

*So, yes, he would actually have become the Dark Emperor’s very own Sith Lord.

“It’s Gotta Be Worth a ‘K’!”

Rumour going round that a showbiz figure is prepared to testify that Sleazy Levy offered him a “K” for a donation.

Ferret Watch : Brownites V Blairites

When Guido read the headline about the “Shambles” memo on Iain’s blog on Saturday his first thought was “Gould”. Gould tried to work with Brown some months ago as part of the perparation for an “orderly transition”, but the short-lived co-operation fell apart in mistrust.

On Friday the Brownites believed the weekend would see a smear operation on Brown, Gordon’s spin-meister Damian McBride put out an extraordinary statement dealing with three issues – Gordon’s knowledge about loans, his lobbying for peerage on behalf of his two cronies, Ronnie Cohen (whom he secured a knighthood) and Wilf Stevenson, director of the Smith Institute, which serves as Gordon’s private political secretariat.

The “McSnide” statement:

Rather than respond in piecemeal fashion to these unfounded allegations and smears, we wish to make the Chancellor’s position absolutely clear – on the public record:

Neither is there any formal position for the Chancellor in the system of nominations for Labour working peers. And the Chancellor has never made any such submissions nominating an individual or individuals in letters or statements.

When asked to give his opinions informally about potential working peers to be nominated by the party, the Chancellor has, of course, been happy to give them on the basis that eligibility should naturally be based on service to the community and country, present and in the future.

Mr Stevenson, former director of the BFI and now director of the Smith Institute, and Sir Ronald Cohen of the Portland Trust are known by the Chancellor and he respects their service to public life and has no hesitation in saying they would have made valuable working peers.

But the fact is that no nomination has been made for either individual to the political honours committee, nor has the Chancellor ever submitted any letter or statement of nomination. In Sir Ronald’s case, it is understood anyway that Sir Ronald has made it clear he would not wish to be considered.

We understand that neither Mr Stevenson nor Sir Ronald has ever made loans to the Labour party.

We also know that if any donations have been made they are anyway a matter of public record under the rules and neither individual has ever discussed any such donations with the Chancellor.

And, as the register of Members’ interests confirms, at no time in Opposition and, of course, never subsequently have either of them made any donations to Mr Brown’s political office.

And in respect of the Smith Institute, set up in memory of his friend, the late John Smith, Mr Brown welcomes and encourages the work they do and their contribution to the intellectual and policy debate of the country but Mr Brown has no financial nor any formal relationship with them.

Guido thinks Brown really wasn’t involved in the Loans for Lordships scam, but McSnide does not really deny that Gordon lobbied for Ronnie and Wilf to get peerages to become working peers. Odd because Wilf protests that he is non-political and has no relationship with Brown, who in turn claims no formal relationship with the Smith Institute. A patently false claim, since we all know that it is a Brownite operation and that if Gordon had his way his friend Wilf would now be a Sith Lord…

Friday Caption Contest (Sith Edition)

This is a picture taken at a closed meeting held by the “non-political”, tax subsidised, “public educational charity”, the Smith Institute. In the middle is Wilf Stevenson, the institute’s director, on the left of him is James Purnell, Minister for Creative Industries. On the right of Wilf is Eric Nicoli, Chairman of EMI group, a business regulated by the Minister. Around the table are industry lobbyists and vested interests.
At the meeting, according to a transcript obtained by Guido, Eric Nicoli told Wilf “We have the problem that the political agenda is, on average, about two years out in terms of the time horizon because of elections and so on, yet we are here trying to develop something for the longer term. So I agree, not least because prime ministers and chancellors seem to last a bit longer than the average minister, that we should go after them and be relentless in our pursuit of our objectives.

Wilf, who says the institute is non-political and “has no direct relationship with Gordon Brown”, told Eric at the meeting “What you are going to say will have a great impact on the government’s thinking”.

EMI then paid £29,375 to the New Statesman, owned by Geoffrey Robinson, the former paymaster general. The Gordon Brown backing New Statesman rents office space to the Smith Institue at below market rates. EMI has also made undisclosed*, but substantial donations to the The Smith Institute. Nor is this the only Smith Institute/New Statesman event organised by Konrad Caulkett and sponsored by EMI over the last two years.The Smith Institute held a seminar on copyright reform at No. 11 just before Gordon’s big PBR speech last week. It was a happy affair. Later, in his PBR speech Gordon went outside his usual brief to announce reform of copyright legislation.

So co-conspirators, what was Eric Nicoli really saying to the Smith Institute meeting?

*Neither EMI or the Smith Institute were willing to make a comment.

Get Your Own Blogs


When this blog got started the aim was to have fun at the expense of politicians, cause mischief, entertain and amuse Guido primarily. The readership was in the hundreds, the regular comment makers were witty or contributed gossip.

Now the daily readership is 10,000+ plus, and a good proportion of them seem to be total loons, it is getting tedious to have to delete dozens of comments a day. There also appears to be some kind of misunderstanding about the blog’s purpose – it is not a public service.

So for guidance here is a reminder of the somewhat arbitrary comments deletion policy:

    • If you want to libel someone – get your own blog.
    • If you want to abuse Guido, get your own blog (unless you do it wittily).
    • If you want to complain about Muslims, Jews, blacks, lizards, little green men in your head etc. Get your own blog.
    • If you want to complain that it is biased, get your own unbiased blog.
    • If you want lengthy discussion about policy, bore on your own blog.
    • If you get offended easily, don’t complain, don’t come back.

Comment moderation is a lot of hassle, but always an option.

UPDATE: As of 2016 the daily readership is over 100,000 plus a day.

C4 Tonight : Gordon “Cash for Honours”

Guido has just been tipped that C4 News is going to do a “Gordon in Cash for Honours” story tonight.

Co-conspirators and readers of this blog will have heard about Ronnie Cohen months ago.

Tomorrow :

Guido will be exposing evidence of how the Brownite Smith Institute’s “Cash for Access” machine became a “Payments for Policy” racket – with Gordon Brown delivering the policy.

Guido will name the the donor the institute’s director, Wilf Stevenson, told at a Smith Institute meeting “what you are going to say will have a great impact on the government’s thinking” – two months before Gordon announced the policy change wanted.

Spin Cycle : LLM Not Celebrating Christmas

Staff at LLM, the sleaziest lobbyists in London, will not have much to celebrate this Christmas. The close-to-New-Labour firm born at the beginning of Blair’s reign is increasingly finding that nobody wants to be close to New Labour. The firm has told staff there will be no annual bonus this year since the firm has not made any money for the second year running. Oh dearie me…

Guido is Giving Yates a Book for Christmas

Demos think-tank founder Geoff Mulgan was Tony Blair’s chief policy guru from 1997 to 2004. He has a book out Good and Bad Power – The Ideals and Betrayals of Government.
The title is apt – flick to page 84 for an interesting admission from a man who, when he was at the centre of government, is known to have seen the odd honours list in his time “In later years the scarcely concealed sale of peerages to wealthy party donors, and the appointment of the party’s top donor – Lord Sainsbury – to ministerial office, did little to restore the British public’s confidence.” Oh really?

Clearly a copy of this admission should be sent to Scotland Yard sharpish. Any other suggestions for books for Yates of the Yard? Guido sent him the The Little Red Book of New Labour Sleaze months ago. Now what is Yates going to give Guido in return?

Konrad is Not Speaking to Guido…

… and no-one else at the Smith Institute is answering questions, so Guido will just pass this one straight to the Charity Commissioners for their investigation into if the Smith Institute has crossed over into “politics”.

Konrad:

  • During the 2005 election campaign when you went up to the Normanton constituency to help Ed Balls’ election campaign, were you still being paid by the Smith Institute?
  • Was it in your capacity as “events coordinator” for the Smith Institute that you blew up balloons for Balls?
  • Who does actually pay your salary? The salary sums don’t add up.

Isn’t it odd that a public charity, subsidised by the taxpayers through the treasury, refuses to answer questions about funding?

What has Gordon’s little helper got to hide?

Comrade Konrad, the Sith Apprentice

Eagle-eyed co-conspirators will notice the line-up on this regular feature’s Smith Institute banner has changed, out goes Gordon’s pollster Shrum, in comes curly haired Konrad, the man who could not remember how he got his job. Guido had no idea how widely disliked Gordon’s little helper is until he mentioned him earlier this week.

Now bear in mind that according to Wilf Stevenson, the director of the institute “it has never had and does not currently have a direct relationship with Gordon Brown.” (Incidentally, how does Wilf, never in the office, run a Westminster focussed think-tank from the Lake District?)


Some of the comments about Konrad were just unprintable so Guido has stored them in his files. Essentially Konrad is said to revel in the cloak and dagger aspects of running Gordon’s slush fund and the proximity to power it provides. He enjoys being the secret Sith apprentice to Gordon’s Emperor Palpatine.

To understand how Konrad joined the independent, we-are-not-political, never-heard-of-him-gov-honest-institute, we need to go back to 1999 when New Labour was just starting to look less whiter-than-white. Sarah Macaulay was part of Hobsbawm Macaulay, the PR operation that was the spin-shop of choice for New Labour, and as such had as its client the then struggling New Statesman. Struggling to some extent because the owner (Gordon’s paymaster general at the time) Geoffrey Robinson was paying £100,000 to the future Mrs Brown’s firm. This caused some outrage at the time. As PR to the magazine she became friends with the lowly marketing and promotions employee – Konrad Caulkett. He was forever complaining to Sarah about his low pay and she supported his demands to the managment for a raise. Alas, the till was empty explained the management. Sarah suggested to him that he come work for the Smith Institute for more money, she would have a word and arrange it.

Konrad moved his desk from one side of the New Statesman’s office to the other side. This is the bit they call the independent Smith Institute.* Not so independent that it doesn’t still share the tea kettle with the New Statesman.

Hopefully this will jog Konrad’s memory as to how Sarah Macaulay got Konrad his job. Hobsbawm Macaulay went bust and Sarah became Mrs Brown. Guido wonders if she has a “direct relationship” with whomever she “had a word” with?

UPDATE : The press interest is on Ed Balls’ £100,000 bung for 8 months “work” in 2005. However a co-conspirator points out that if in 2004 the Smith Institute’s 100% owned S.I. Events Limited paid no remuneration to employees, and the S.I. charity only had a wage bill of £48,278 they must have been getting below minimum wage. Four staff; Wilf Stevenson, Konrad Caulkett, Ben Shimshon and assorted £7-per-hour interns presumably had to be paid. So where did the money come from? Over to you Konrad…

More next week.

*Guido’s co-conspirators have renamed the institute “the Sith” after the evil cult devoted to the dark side of the Force. In Star Wars they attempt to overthrow the legitimate elected political leader and replace him with an unelected dictatorial emperor Gordon Brown Palpatine. It is a fantasy.

Labour Lawyer’s Looking to Knock Party’s Debts?

The Guardian’s David Hencke has a story which seems speculative, is unattributed and improbable (he really should get a blog). He claims that disgruntled Labour supporting lawyers and activists are contemplating a judicial review of the loans that could have them ruled ultra vires.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Tory MP Nick Boles says what everyone thinks…

“There is a timidity and lack of ambition about Mrs May’s Government which means it constantly disappoints. Time to raise your game, Prime Minister.”

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