Downing Street Rat Dashes for Cash

As Guido pointed out yesterday, the captain is taking down the Labour ship with him and as this email from Fiona Gordon (his Downing Street political secretary) shows, the rats are doing the proverbial:

Dear Colleague,

Tomorrow will be my last day as Gordon Brown’s Political Secretary. It has been a privilege to work for Gordon and the wider team here at No 10 and I consider myself very fortunate to have had the opportunity. It has been a fascinating and hectic year.

I have also been lucky to work closely with you, not only in my current post but as the first women PLP Secretary. I will be taking away very many happy memories, particularly of the evening we gathered in the Chamber for the photograph to mark the Centenary of the PLP.

My next venture is to start my own communications business which I am very excited about.

My mobile number will remain the same xxxxxxx, my new email address is xxx@xxx.com Joe Irvin has been appointed to replace me. Joe has for the past year worked as a special adviser to the Prime Minister on trade union, employment and housing issues.

He is a lifelong Labour Party member and previously worked as special adviser to Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott 1996-2001, and was for many years a trade union official. I know you will give him all your support.

With my best wishes
Fiona

She is obviously going to try in cash in over the next year before her contacts become worthless…

Labour Lose Deposit, Lib Dems Make No Progress

The Lib Dem’s once fearsome by-election machine stalled in the face of the blue tide sweeping the South East of England. They will be horrified at their inability to make real progress in this kind of constituency with, objectively, a better campaigner as their candidate. The truth is that the detoxification of Cameron’s “Liberal” Conservatives means that the anti-Brown swing vote is as likely, or even more likely, to go to the Tories than the Lib Dems. That is a terrifying prospect for Lib Dem MPs. The Tory vote went up despite the loss of the charismatic Boris. Currently Tories could pin a blue rosette on a donkey and win.

There are by-election losses and there are by-election losses, Labour coming fifth behind the BNP and Greens made losing their deposit that much worse. Backbench MPs will be studying Charles Clarke’s doomsday list (download here) a little more intensely. They will be looking at the crumbling Gordon and wondering to themselves how the party might fare without the millstone of a voter repelling weirdo up front.

UPDATE : A co-conspirator points out that Chris Rennard’s post match spin is ambiguous:

“We increased our vote…”

  • LibDem Henley vote 2005 General Election – 12,101
  • LibDem Henley vote 2008 By Election – 9,680

An increase of minus 2421 votes!

Spelman “Only Stopped Paying Nanny When Secretary Reported Her”

Michael Crick on Newsnight is going to reveal more details tonight that really will cap it for Spelman – essentially she only stopped fiddling payments to her nanny when her real secretary grassed her. It really does mean the end now. She fiddled and stopped only when she was reported and she lied about the whole thing when exposed. That is not a tenable position.

There is a ridiculous whispering campaign to make this a mother versus misogynists issue. It is actually an anti-corruption issue. The Spelmans are a wealthy couple, they could easily afford a nanny – they chose to fiddle the cost from the taxpayer. Plenty of low income mothers on benefits have gone to jail for fiddling the sums we are talking about here…

UPDATE : Two-thirds of grassroots Conservatives polled by ConservativeHome say Spelman should quit.

Henley News

Was this one of the most unexciting by-elections going?

Guido gave a former senior LibDem apparatchik 9/1 on the LibDems winning. So they are still optimistic…

Brown’s Speech Writer Quits

Decade long Brownie Beth Russell is reportedly quitting Team Brown next month to return to the Treasury. She will be the third member of the mobile phone target team to quit Number 10. She was the official speechwriter, though it is understood that Gordon is the one who inserts the lists of statistics that make his speeches so special.

Downing Street’s Jeremy Heywood has written to Whitehall’s mandarins euphemistically seeking someone for ‘a high profile and demanding post involving daily contact with the Prime Minister… I would be grateful if you could each put forward the names of one or two individuals who would particularly excel in this role.’ An ability to duck under fire would be useful.

Fiona Gordon has already given her notice, Spencer Livermore went in March. The captain will be alone when the ship goes down…

Ironic Speech

Dave’s former speechwriter, Danny Kruger is a bit of a have-a-go-hero crime fighter according to his article in the Speccie this morning:

My wife and I were coming out of a house in Camden where we had been viewing a flat to rent. Standing on the steps with us, the owner of the flat suddenly saw the retreating rear of his moped, two boys aboard and half a dozen of their friends pelting along behind.

Like the pair of prats we were, the owner and I tackled youth crime. When we caught up with the pedestrians, we received between us a black eye (owner) and cut lip (me), and no moped.

My main memory of this incident is rather horrid: the spit-filled mouth of the little rat-faced boy who punched me. Short, white, in a grey hooded tracksuit, he shouted at me with all the rage of Cain: the most astonishing indignation.

Shame about that split lip, Kruger is a thoroughly decent chap. He was also the author of the “Hug a Hoodie” speech…

Inflated Expenses

In 1997 the total maximum expenses claimable by an MP was £50,213. Yet during this prolonged period of low inflation (for which Gordon likes to claim credit) the maximum amount claimable has risen to £159,720.*

A rise of 218% in ten years.

*Not including travel, source: Select Committee on Members Estimate Committee Third Report

The Worst Blog Prediction Ever

Sion Simon MP, Labour Party Conference 2007, Blog for the New Statesman:

Perhaps the magnitude of the moment we face is too great for us collectively to bear. Shortly there will be an election, in which Labour will increase its majority, and in so doing utterly shatter the glass paradigm of cyclical politics which has contained us for the century since 1906. This ought to herald another decade of strong, confident, consensual Labour government. Which will finally and irrevocably transform the nature of politics and civic life in Britain.

That is a frightening responsibility. The young princes who now stride the parade ground with the confidence born of aristocratic schooling can never be afraid. They never have been. Like latter day Pushkins drilled in the elite academy of Brownian blitzkrieg, they are bursting with their sense of destiny. It’s not the Milibands, the Ballses or the Burnhams who are unconsciously nervous. This is the moment for which they were created. They are ready.

But for the rest, the officer class as much as the rank and file, it’s a daunting inheritance. The decade to date has been a long march to sustain. Those who led it have changed and re-changed, been shuffled and sidelined, died and retired from the field. But we – the poor bloody soldiers – are still here. Our boots are fresh and our uniforms re-supplied. We are rested and invigorated. Morale, if it anywhere was, can only be high. Yet still it’s a decade since we have been home. As we prepare to strike out again from our camp, we don’t wonder which army will triumph, but begin to ask what we will do if this march never ends.

Guido is moist-eyed with laughter. Sion Simon really does have exceptional judgement.

Hat-tip : Dominic Fisher

+++ Ed Balls & Yvette Cooper Expense Fiddle Investigation +++

More to follow…

+++ Wendy Alexander Found Guilty Over Donors +++

Labour Plans Collective Punishment of Immigrant Families

In a policy shift which is bound to be applauded by the BNP’s Nick Griffin, Labour intends to drop a plan to make families pay a cash bond for relatives who visit from India and Pakistan, instead there will be heavy fines or the threat of jail if family members overstay.

Liam Byrne has just told the BBC’s Asian Network radio station that “what we want to do is have a new system but punish people if things go wrong.” He was referring to people coming over for family weddings and then disappearing. Byrne said the government now wanted to “make sure that we can just hit people and hit people hard if their family member breaks the rules”.

When French resistance fighters killed German soldiers the Gestapo would round up innocent villagers and shoot ten of them for every dead German soldier. It was called “collective punishment”, this policy works on the same principle.

The Labour Party seems to have given up on the centre-ground triangulation of the Blair era. Remember British jobs, for British workers? They are now triangulating the BNP’s white working class vote. Where is Gordon’s moral compass?

See also : Labour Party found Guilty of Racial Discrimination

When the Going Gets Tough…

A Guardian/ICM poll for tomorrow is reporting a 20% lead for Cameron over Brown. The last time things were this bad for the Labour Party was 1986 when employment was rising, inflation was falling, taxes were being cut and the Tories were on their way to a third out of four terms. Billy Ocean was number 1 at the time with “When the going gets tough, the tough get going” – Gordon is, unfortunately, going nowhere.

Morgan Allen Moore Libel Case Close to Collapse

Readers may or may not know that Peter Hain’s campaign manager’s lobby firm, Morgan Allen Moore, was suing for defamation the person who reported them to the lobby industry’s APPC disciplinary committee over their role in his campaign. Notice that they did not seek to sue Guido for defamation. The whole purpose of the lawsuit was to halt the progress of the disciplinary committee investigation by making it sub judice and quash the complaint by pressurising James Davenport into withdrawing for fear of legal expenses and a lengthy case. To his credit he has refused to back down.
The central allegation made here and repeated in Davenport’s formal complaint was that Steve Morgan and Morgan Allen Moore provided undeclared services to Peter Hain’s campaign in terms of staff and resources in breach of the rules.

In a sworn statement provided to the Court, Richard Moore, Steve Morgan’s co-director denied this was true. Devastating documentary evidence has come to light directly contradicting Richard Moore’s claim. The evidence reveals that donors were instructed to send Hain4Labour campaign donations to the Morgan Allen Moore office where the cheques would be processed by Morgan Allen Moore staff.

So Guido is happy to repeat that Morgan the Organ’s MAM office was effectively Hain’s campaign base and that MAM staff such as Kate Lewis were running the campaign. This clearly breaks the APPC’s Code of Conduct.

Guido is happy to testify and provide the evidence…

Punters Favour Winter Exit for Brown

Punters on Betfair make a post party conference exit for Brown favourite at 5/2, with the odds on him lasting another year lengthening to 9/1. Could he be shown the door under the guise of ill-health? The contempt in which he is held in private by his own party is pitiful.

Guido suspects (hopes) Gordon will last until the general election…

The Most Unlikely Civil Liberties Defender of All!

These David Davis supporters are brilliant, guitar strumming punks for liberty. The band – Billy Ruffian – are very good. Wack up the volume:

Courtesy of www.billyruffian.co.uk

Fantastic lyrics:

I think that maybe I’ve been taking pills,
‘cos David Davis is acting like John Stuart Mills,
And in taking on Brown, Dacre and Murdoch,
The establishment are in a difficult spot.

“I’m making out my political will,
By opposing the anti-terrorism bill,
But the government wish to rid us of Habeas Corpus,
So if you believe in freedom you’ll have to support us.”

The most unlikely civil liberties defender of all
What about Magna Carta? Did she die in vain?

The full lyrics lay into all the liberty stealers…

The Most Unlikely Civil Liberties Defender of All!

Courtesy of www.billyruffian.co.uk

“The Most Unlikely Civil Liberties Defender Of All”

by Billy Ruffian


I think that maybe I’ve been taking pills,
‘cos David Davis is acting like John Stuart Mills,
And in taking on Brown, Dacre and Murdoch,
The establishment are in a difficult spot.

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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