“Would you like a think-tank to write about your product? Hey, would you like a think-tank to endorse your product in exchange for a fee? If so, have you thought about approaching Demos? “How can values-based products make the transition from the niche to mass market?” asks the latest Demos newsletter. “Why does increasing awareness rarely lead to changes in our consumption patterns?” Why indeed? If only our great thinkers had tackled that paradox. “This project will explore how Collaborative Brands can help values-based products make the transition, by connecting large numbers of individuals through a brand…”
“With reference to the item about Demos in last week’s edition, the think-tank has asked the Backbencher to make it clear that it is “plain wrong” to imply that it offers product endorsement in return for payment.”
As wonk-whores go, Demos flaunt it, one outrageous example: The Politics of Bandwidth: Network innovation and regulation in broadband Britain published by Demos, funded by Cable & Wireless. It recommended the break up of bitter rival BT and that the BT local loop be run not-for-profit. If you can’t beat em in the market-place, get a government friendly think-tank to recommend destroying ’em. Demos has a reputation for policy prostitution, so why did Backbencher back down? Guido reckons Demos have got away with writing sponsor-friendly press releases for too long. Think-tanks need to distance themselves from donors to have any credibility, otherwise they are just PR houses writing press releases.
Send writs and more blatant examples of wonk-whoring here.
This story was told to me by a former Demos intern. Asked at his interview what do you think about Demos? “I think you are very modern, because you have a lot of Ikea furniture.” “Ahh” replied the interviewer, “we wrote a pro-Ikea report and they paid us in furniture.” Guido wonders what report they could mean, surely not this by Charles Leadbeater?
Any more gossip about wonk-sluts? Send to the usual place Guido.
..made a point of bringing in the monthly expenses from one senior official which included a £400 bill from Stringfellow’s nightclub in central London. I am no prude and I hope the official and those with him greatly enjoyed the lap-dancing entertainment that was on offer that night; however, I did not feel this was an appropriate use of Party funds. How could I ask supporters to work hard up and down the country, or to make donations, if this was the sort of activity that the party’s income would be spent on? I will spare the official’s blushes by not identifying him, but suffice to say he no longer works at Conservative Central Office.
Guido thinks Ashcroft forgot that Stringy has long supported the Tories generously, so it is a mutually beneficial relationship. This kind of penny-pinching attitude is cheap.
Andrew Neil had Peter Stringfellow on his Daily Politics show during the Tory conference coverage, Stringy was too coy to say who he would back, saying only that he would back whomever becomes the leader.
Incidentally, who was the Tory apparatchik enjoying the company of the girls on expenses? Not Sheridan surely..?
Good to see that the Campaign for a ‘Sir’ Peter Stringfellow petition to the Queen has been endorsed by his Titian-haired biographer – Fiona Lafferty – as “long over due”. You too can sign and show your appreciation. Do it, and right this wrong.
He must get a Lordship for this surely? Lord Drayson’s peerage set him back only £600,000. Drayson is now a member of the government despite his little tax dodge becoming public knowledge. But Lord Lakshmi must pay UK taxes on his billions, otherwise Labour wouldn’t take his donation, would they?
Which reminds Guido that he has not mentioned his ongoing Campaign for a Sir Peter Stringfellow for some time. Its a disgrace that must be righted in this year’s New Year’s Honours List, the Tories should nominate their stalwart supporter for a gong.
Labour majority looks to be 66, Stephen Twigg did not take it like a man, Gorgeous fought and won his own intifada against New Labour, Milburn is to go back to his family (Gordon helps back his bags). Labour’s victory came on the back of the smallest winning share of the vote ever recorded.
Guido was surprised at the LibDems poor showing, not a real alternative at all. The Tories failed to break 200 seats, which was the target, so no victory parade for them.
The winner, with 39% of the electorate, was the Nullist party with none-of-the-above.
Strip joints are all the rage in Tory circles: the other night, Baroness Thatcher, visited Stringfellow’s Club, yet more evidence of her good judgement and support for Tory entrepreneurs. Which brings me once again to Guido’s ongoing campaign for a knighthood for Peter Stringfellow. Were he a more boring captain of industry making widgets instead of the world’s most famous nightclub owner, I have no doubt that he would have been knighted by now. Politicians are always recommending lesser non-entity donors for gongs. I think it is way past time that Mr Stringfellow heard the words “arise Sir Peter”. Shame on those who so enjoy his hospitality and support for not having put him forward yet! It is more evidence, as if more evidence was required, that political correctness is out of control.
At the start of the election campaign there was widespread condemnation of the Tories’ anti-Gypsy agenda, so Guido is shocked to see that amongst the bills rushed through by the government at the end of parliament was a bill to criminalise the picking of magic mushrooms by druids, hippies and pagans. The Home Office boasts that the bill will be law before the Glastonbury festival takes place. (See previous.)
So possession of pretty harmless psilocybin mushrooms will now be an offence comparable to possession of Class ‘A’ Heroin. Guido has enjoyed many evenings with giggling friends after ingesting ‘shrooms and thinks this law is ridiculous. What a bunch of New Labour kill-joys.
Druids and pagans have harvested the naturally occurring, wild growing, psilocybin mushrooms for thousands of years in the British Isles for use in rituals. Imagine the outrage by Muslims if the Green party called for the outlawing of the Halal slaughtering of animals. Why is there so little outrage at the threat to jail ‘shroomers? Druidism is the original indigenous religion of the British Isles, so not content with destroying centuries of legal liberties, Blairites now seek to criminalise four millennia of religious tradition. Why, what harm do ‘shroomers do? It is just another of the government’s over-bearing interfering ways in our private lives.
Guido recommends the excellent Food of the Gods: A Radical History of Plants, Drugs and Human Evolution by Terence McKenna to those interested in the subject.
I should at the outset however declare that Guido and Stringy share a mutual interest in the welfare of our god-son, and I like to think that the young lad has the benefit of the moral guidance and experience that only men of the world like us can offer (in addition to Lego toys).
Nevertheless, even if that were not the case, I would still argue that Peter Stringfellow is a great part of Britain’s cultural life. A generous supporter of many charities as well as an integral part of London’s tourist trade, contributing mightily to the nation’s invisible earnings and balance of payments. The list of his charitable endeavours is surprisingly long – did you know he had done work for the Commission for Racial Equality? Were he a more boring captain of industry making widgets instead of the world’s most famous nightclub owner I have no doubt that he would have been knighted by now. Politicians are always recommending lesser non-entity donors for gongs. I think it is way past time that Mr Stringfellow heard the words “arise Sir Peter”. Shame on those who so enjoy his hospitality and support for not having put him forward yet! It is more evidence, as if more evidence was required, that political correctness is out of control.
Great. Inspiring. Err….
Well nowadays City partners work ungodly hours. Mrs Fawkes is a City lawyer slaving away for an American investment bank and her hours are horrendous. 80 hours a week are common, 120 not impossible, yet the House sits for less than 40 hours a week, and MPs (apart from Dennis Skinner) never attend for all sitting hours. Hardly hard work in comparison.
Guido thinks MPs should be unpaid and part-time once again. That way they would do less damage. There would still be plenty of blowhards desperate to become MPs in any case. Did Britain need professional, full time politicans to run an empire or defeat the Nazis? No. Today we don’t need them to approve EU directives either…
The government today announced it was making raw magic mushrooms an illegal drug in Britain for the first time. The move is in today’s Drugs Bill published by the new Fat Controller, Home Secretary Charles Clarke. Currently it is legal to pick and eat the fungi whilst dancing around semi-naked at Stonhenge or Glastonbury. The courts recognise this, but the Fat Controller doesn’t like it.
So the Druids and other pagans are in real trouble. Historically the people of the British Isles have been eating magic mushroooms for thousands of years, they are said to have mystical properties and are used in ancient rituals to give an insight into the divine. Surely this ban contravenes some human right to religious freedom? How can eating something that grows wild and free on these shores be criminalised? Who can commit crimes whilst on magic mushrooms? Guido just laughs a lot.
First they came for the hippies…
Demos’ wonks conclude with this utter drivel “the new driving force, creating new streams of knowledge, new kinds of organisations, new sources of authority, will be the Pro-Ams.”
What it will really mean is taxpayers funding more Grauniad adverts for Pro-Am Initiative Co-ordinators, Pro-Am Benchmarking Analysts etc. In the real world most people dread the phrase “We’re from the government, we’re here to help”. When will the wonks understand – LEAVE PEOPLE ALONE!
Because on her hubbies’ website is this;
[…] Read the rest
Statement on Barbara Follett MP’s parliamentary expenses
Barbara Follett makes no financial gain from being a Member of Parliament – in fact her work is heavily subsidised by her husband, Ken Follett.