Gore for Beginners

Since losing his day job Al Gore usually speaks to audiences of depressed left-wingers and sometimes higher up the food chain to school children. Tonight he is speaking at a Smith Institute organised bash. For those of you without an invite to the Gordon/Gore fest tonight Guido presents “Gore for Beginners.”

Hat-tip : Milky Bar Kid

Sing-Alonga Sleazy Levy

Lord Levy is giving evidence to the Constitutional Affairs Select Committee today in closed session. In an effort to be helpful*, here is Guido’s musical legal advice to the Sleazemaster General…
click above to listen
Co-conspirators can help the Committee by suggesting suitable questions to be put to his Sleazeship in the comments below.

*Have you noticed the scandalous total blogging blackout from the likes of Recess Monkey and Bloggers4Labour? Downing Street is being investigated by the police, the Labour party’s chief fundraiser is set to face charges, the man with responsibility for their flagship Academy Schools policy has been arrested and what do they have to say? Not a thing.

Webmonging Miliband Stretches Guido’s Blog Story

Minister and blogger David Miliband is an avid reader of this blog and has even been known to post in the comments. It appears his webmonging has finally paid him dividends. He has picked up on Guido’s story from last month (and here) about the Tories obscurely (and possibly in most cases unknowingly) voting to make British law take primacy over EU law. The boy Miliband has managed to twist it into an article for the Guardian claiming that the Tories are all anti-EU extremists.

Bill Cash’s amendment to the Regulatory Reform Bill was supported by 130 Tory MPs, including most of the front bench. This seemingly obscure proposal is a dagger pointed at the heart of Britain’s EU membership: it means withdrawal.

Tory daggers leading to withdrawal? No it doesn’t mean that David, it would mean that the British would make their own laws and the Commission would have to like it or lump it. What are they going to do, throw the third biggest economy out of the EU because we won’t regulate the bends in bananas to EU standards? Come off it.

We have heard all this silly scaremongering before regarding not joining the Euro. Miliband was at that time putting it about that this could spell the end of the world for the City and bring on the collapse of the British economy. His latest dire warnings should be taken with a pinch bucket of salt. In reality Italians today look at the free floating pound jealously whilst hedge funds in Mayfair and St James’ alone control more capital than the Paris and Frankfurt combined Euro-Finanzplatz which was supposed to crush the Square Mile. The mighty Deutsche Bank has humiliatingly even moved most of its trading activities from Frankfurt to London…

See The Pattern?

Gordon and Gore are going to the NFT tonight at a Smith Institute organised screening of Gore’s film of his bonkers book An Inconvenient Truth. Described as a “passionate and inspirational look at one man’s commitment” – not words usually associated with Al Gore – “to help save the planet from irrevocable change”. The blurb continues “Gore is funny, engaging, open and downright on fire”. Al Gore on fire? If you believe that you’ll believe anything.

Gore is advising Gordon, who is also being advised by Bob Schrum (pictured), the famed Democrat pollster who masterminded Gore’s presidential run. Schrum advised Kerry as well. Gore lost, Kerry lost, and in truth Bob Schrum’s clients have a habit of losing expensively. Schrum was blamed for a lot of the chaos in Kerry’s presidential campaign. In fact in the eight presidential elections he has been involved, he has won precisely none. Great choice, go for it Gordon!

Sleazy Levy Secret Testimony Thursday

The BBC is reporting that the Sleazemaster General himself will give evidence to the Constitutional Affairs Select Committee on Thursday in closed session. Extraordinary. Guido is sure information will leak out…

You make this blog happen. Sources are anonymous (unless you want credit*). If you know “the line” is a lie, ask yourself why you got into politics; was it to cover up the truth or tell it?
Guido’s blog relies on you for information.

Voicemail : 0709 284 0531
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Elite Titles

“Snouts in the Trough”Get Your Nominations In!

Don’t forget to send Guido your nomination for the politician with his or her snout deepest in the taxpayer’s trough. A number of you have nominated Cherie Blair – alas Guido has decided she is in a different category since she claims her hairdressing and travel expenses from charities and Labour party members. Strictly the nominees should be MPs, MEPs or Peers.

Email nominations to : Pork Busting, giving the name of the politician and the reason. Guido will compile from the emails a list of politicians with their snouts deep in the public trough and then organise a readers poll. There will be a prize of a copy of bestselling The Bumper Book of Government Waste to the person who makes the best nomination.

Ann and Nick Winterton, the husband and wife couple who are both Tory MPs have been nominated for their sterling work in double claiming their mortgage allowances to a total of £33,351 last year – just to show it is a bi-partisan thing they were beaten by Labour MPs Ann and Alan Keen who were nominated for scrounging a tax-free £35,338 off the taxpayers to allow them to enjoy their Covent Garden pied a terre conveniently close to the Opera House – equivalent to over £1,000 a week in subsidy if it were taxed.

More than enough to pay the interest on a £1 million mortgage, no wonder they are laughing…


Coincidences

George Schultz, secretary of state under Ronald Reagan, was chairman of the Neo-Con Committee to Liberate Iraq, he also sits on the board of Bechtel Corp.

Riley Bechtel, billionaire boss of the war-profiteering corporation has gained hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts to rebuild Iraq, has also won big transport and nuclear contracts in Britain. After making a killing from the Iraq war he was secretly awarded a CBE in 2003. His award was for “services to UK-American commercial relations”.

Bechtel is represented in the UK by LLM, the sleazy PR firm set up by New Labour insiders which boasts to clients it can get them in front of anyone in government. Wonder if these facts are related?

Holiday Shop

Jane Hogarth Departs the Labour Party

Guido wrote back in March that Jane Hogarth was being set-up to take blame for some of Levy’s Loans for Lordships shenanigans. Much safer if she takes the flack because she worked for the Labour party not Downing Street. At all costs the blame must be kept well away from Tony, although as we all know in reality it was his fund-raising operation run out of Downing Street.

Is it really so surprising that she has taken “voluntary” redundancy now?

Guido understands that the Labour party is due to repay some £3 million over the next 3 months. Will these supposedly commercial loans be rolled over or written off? We were assured when the story first broke that they were to be repaid on a commercial basis. Whatever happens we will find out now that the Electoral Commission has belatedly got tough on loans. Lord Sainsbury may yet again be called upon to prop up the party which he has supported to the tune of £15 million, not counting the money he gives to New Labour supporting groups.

It is going to be a long, hot sweaty summer for a lot of Labour party apparachtiks. Yates of the Yard is conducting interviews with witnesses and suspects. Guido has received mixed messages about the timing of any action, some say it will be before the party conference, some say after. It willl overshadow September’s conference deliberations. C’mon coppers, give us the perp walk…

N.B. The above image of a handcuffed Levy doing the “perp walk” is, Guido has been advised by media lawyers and concerned journalists, potentially defamatory. Guido thinks not. Sleazy Levy would have to be innocent with a good reputation to damage.

LibDem Radioactivist

Ming is asking a lot of anti-nuclear questions of Blair to highlight the LibDem’s green credentials, he has even written a letter to Blair complaining that Tony, gasp, fibbed to him at PMQs. Ming could save himself a lot of time by asking these anti-nuclear questions of Kingston LibDem councillor Simon James. Simon was a staffer for Paddy Ashdown when he was leader and until recently worked for Ed Davey.

He now spins for the Nuclear Industry Association. Nukes are “climate friendly” says the LibDem with the mission to promote the commercial performance of the UK nuclear industry by assisting and supporting member companies to develop their businesses in the UK and internationally”. Guido hears Iran is a growth market.

LibDem Press Releases More On Message

Ming’s call to regulate less, legislate less and tax less seems to be seeping through to his frontbench. Whereas there were six press releases from his frontbench team on the day of the re-launch contradicting his slogan, today only two frontbenchers call for higher government spending. Baroness Miller actually opposes some over-regulation and Nick Clegg opposes another useless piece of legislation in their respective press releases. Guido makes that a 2-2 score-draw.

Best Odds

Nominate MPs with Snouts in the Trough

Two years ago when this blog got started one of the main motivations was how much Guido detested the venality of politicians politicising all aspects of our lives at our expense. They talk about the public interest when really they are more concerned with their own self-interest. This applies to them all, George Osborne as much as Gordon Brown. In the U.S. über-blogger Glenn Reynolds regularly highlights examples of politicians with their snouts in the tax trough. Guido is sure therefore that he won’t mind the borrowing of his Pork Busters logo for a good cause.

So nominate a politician with his “Snout in the Trough”, perhaps Prezza with his grace and favour homes springs to mind, or maybe Michael Foster, the MP who wasted £3,818 on an unwanted annual report to constituents.*

Email nominations to : Pork Busting, giving the name of the MP and the reason. Guido will compile from the emails a list of MPs with their snouts deep in the public trough and then organise a readers poll. There will be a prize of a copy of bestselling The Bumper Book of Government Waste to the person who makes the best nomination.

*The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner Sir Philip Mawer criticised the Worcester MP Michael Foster for using free stamps and stationary when he wrote to tell people on a mailing list that his office address had changed. The free postage is not meant to be used for circulars of any kind and Mr Foster later used his expenses allowance to pay for the letters. MPs on the Commons Standards and Privileges Committee cleared him, but the parliamentary authorities are going to ask him to repay some of the money. MPs increasingly use the allowance for publicity mailshots rather than casework.

SMF Renounces Blair

Propeller-Head Wonk Watch: The Social Market Foundation was the creation of SDP Owenites financed by Lord Sainsbury. With the election of Blair it became Blairite after losing a few wonks like Danny Finkelstein to the Tories. It was never as “in” as the IPPR and Demos, only producing worthy dull stuff on the welfare state.

Guido wonders what Lord Sainsbury, Tony Blair’s biggest sponsor, will make of the event they are holding today in the House of Lords; The Tragedy of Tony Blair“. This following on from Demos renouncing Blairism with the appointment of Madelaine Bunting points to the beginning of an intellectual trend in Wonkland. The distancing of think-tanks from their Blairite third-way policy failures could become a theme over the next year or two. Not sure Lord Sainsbury will be too chuffed, still he can just bung even more money at Progress, the last redoubt of Blairites.

Demos Goes Bunting

Propeller-Head Wonk Watch: Madeleine Bunting is leaving the Guardian to become director of Demos in the autumn. The Guardian columnist and associate editor also writes for the Catholic Tablet. She is somewhat off-message for Blair and her appointment is yet more evidence that the era of New Labour is coming to an end.

If a think-tank like Demos is no longer in safe hands for New Labour it can only underline that the advance of Blairite ideology will definitely end when his premiership ends.

LibDem Bromley Ben’s Shady Secret

Nowhere on Ben Abbots’ website does it mention his day-job. Guido is willing to be corrected but he cannot find his occupation mentioned anywhere on his campaign site. There is the traditional “it’s a two horse race” claim, there is the traditional dubious bar-chart showing the LibDems neck and neck, yet no mention anywhere that he is a spin merchant. Even by the low standards of spin-merchants his employers LLM are considered to be among the sleaziest, infamous for being founded by New Labour insiders who offered (and were caught offering) the prospect of access (for cash) to government ministers. To this day they are known to be the grubbier members of a pretty grubby profession. No wonder he describes himself merely as “a campaigner”.

For whom and what does LLM campaign?

  • Southern Water & Anglian Water – against regulator fines and for higher consumer charges.
  • Bechtel, The Campaign for More and Better Homes, George Wimpey plc, National House Building Council – to build more houses in Bromley.
  • Capita – crap services, million quid bungs to Lord Levy and administrative cock-ups costing millions for the taxpayer.
  • Orange – mobile phone masts.
Given the Nimbyism of Bromley voters it is hardly surprising that he keeps quiet about his “campaigning”.

UPDATE : According to a co-conspirator Ben was once a leading member of the University Of Bristol Labour Club.
UPDATE : He apparently describes himself as a “political consultant”. No Ben, you are a grubby lobbyist for one of the sleaziest firms in a sleazy business with clients that are unpopular with voters. That is why you hide the truth on your website.

Bilderberg Again

Knowing how reluctant politicians are to put their hands in their own pocket for expenses, who actually paid for Ed Balls and George Osborne to travel to Ottawa and stay in a five star spa? The Bilderberg meetings are closed to the public with the proceedings kept secret. Since this was after all a private meeting the use of taxes or party funds would be inappropriate. Guido finds it hard to believe that Ed Balls, whose tightness with money is more than prudent, would actually pay for it himself. So we can expect a full declaration in the interests register soon.

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?[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

John Curtice on fiscal policy:

“Attitudes to taxation and spending are basically counter-cyclical. If a government comes in and tries to reduce spending and taxation, after a while people will get worried about the state of public services. If a government increases taxation and public spending, after a while they’ll get concerned about increasing taxation…. In as much as there are lots of ideologues out there who think the state should be this proportion of GDP, they’re all wrong. Because the public’s view is counter-cyclical to the recent experience. It’s basically impossible to satisfy the public.”

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