Jonah Strikes a Chord

This week’s Speccie has a gem of a Jonah tale:

“In his last months as prime minister, Gordon Brown sat down and wrote a fan letter to a young British singer-songwriter. ‘With the troubles that the country’s in financially,’ he told her, ‘you are a light at the end of the tunnel.’ Last weekend that light officially went out: Adele has suffered a career-threatening vocal cord injury and will not sing again this year.”

Another fine mess!

Radiation Spreading Across Jonah's ConstituencyYet Brown is Silent About it in Parliament

Radioactive material has been detected in Dalgety Bay, Fife. The Scotsman reports:

“The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa) found 17 radioactive particles on Friday, 33 on Saturday and a further 31 on Sunday. Contamination in the area is believed to originate from radioactive aeroplane dials, burned and buried in reclaimed land.”

Locals are up in arms and demanding that something be done, but their local MP is strangely silent. Instead of raising this urgent matter in Parliament, or getting relevant bodies around a table, Gordon Brown is nowhere to be seen. His dwindling loyalists often argue that the reason it’s fine for Brown to stay in Parliament, despite not turning up or voting, is that he is a good local MP. Well that is that myth busted…

UPDATE: For those wondering where Gordon is instead of representing his constituents – he’s sucking up to hedgies and investment bankers at the UNEP Finance Initiative 2011 Global Roundtable in the Meridian C Room of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. No risk of radiation poisoning there…

Son of Brown Appoints Another Brownite to the Team

Miliband has appointed Tim Horton, the Research Director of the Fabian Society, to be his new senior policy advisor. It seems that the Son of Brown just can’t kick his addiction to his old master. Guess where Horton used to work? He was a policy analyst in the Treasury. Under Gordon...

Horton was so keen to defend the then Prime Minister he even took to Iranian State Television in 2008 to spin away. His output for the Fabians matches Ed’s big state, big spend mantra. It seems former Brown advisers like to keep it in the family…

Gordon's Alive!

After Darling finally told the truth over the last week about the splits and vicious divides at the top of the Labour government, this headline has certainly triggered the irony klaxon:

Funny that Gordon has time to knock out copy for the Chinese, but won’t turn up to Parliament to represent his constituents…

The Son of Brown Strikes Again

Adopting his old hero’s modus operandi, Ed has called for a coordinated G20 response to the latest financial crisis. Apparently it’s time for a “global Plan B”. Not content with being out of touch in the UK, Ed seems to be trying to tell every elected global leader that they are wrong too. Embarrassingly though, he doesn’t seem to realise that Gordon was actually Prime Minister when he was trying to carve a position on the international stage…

This one can be classified as a genuine Awkward Ed Miliband Moment.

Darling Bashes Balls and Brown

Guido has often thought that history will be a lot kinder to Alastair Darling than anyone else who survived serving in the last government. Knowing exactly how to pick his moments, we have seen glimpses of the truth from Darling, especially with his “forces of hell” comments. Well his memoirs are going to be bad news for Brown and Balls and their attempts to rewrite history. Labour Uncut have seen extracts:

“Darling details the total breakdown in trust between the prime minister and chancellor. He singles out Ed Balls and Shriti Vadhera as key Brown lieutenants running what amounted to a shadow treasury operation within government. Brown’s demeanour was increasingly “brutal and volcanic”, mistrusting Darling to the extent that he repeatedly tried to place his own aides in the treasury ministerial team to report back on what the chancellor was doing.

Darling point-blank refused to have the newly-enobled Shriti Vadhera in his team, describing her as “only happy if there was blood on the floor – preferably that of her colleagues”. He accepted Yvette Cooper as chief secretary to the treasury in January 2008, but was equally clear that the main reason Brown had placed her there was to “keep an eye” on him.”

Darling also apparently confirms for the first time that Brown tried to sack him in 2009 and replace him with Ed Balls. Something that the latter has point-blank denied in the past. There’s a pattern emerging here, and it’s going to be tricky for Balls to deny it all this time…

Brown Gets the Celtic Treatment

Were you on a flight from Edinburgh to Geneva yesterday? Gordon Brown was, presumably on the way to speak to his comrades at the International Labour Organisation. Unfortunately for him though, so were travelling Celtic fans on their way to tonight’s match against Swiss side FC Sion. This bunch are not known for their tact:

Guido has been racking his brains to what those chants might have been. Thoughts?

Ed's Red Ken Problem

Sometimes Guido almost feels sorry for Ed. Almost. Despite all his hard work pretending not to be a pinko, when Ken Livingstone says that for “the first time since John Smith died… there’s a Labour leader who actually likes me”, you’re in trouble. In a what looks set to be a fairly rambling interview with Amber Elliott from Total Politics, Red Ken does his leader no favours in trying to compare Boris to Hitler. We all know how well his last Nazi analogy went…

One thing that did make Guido laugh though was the reference that the perpetual former Mayor made about Gordon being mental:

“Brown was manoeuvred into a position where we were seen together, and he looked reasonably comfortable with that. I think they had him on something for those occasions.”

In jest perhaps, but too near to the truth to be that funny…

The Tears of a Clown

Gordon crashed his wife’s appearance at the Edinburgh Festival in order to bemoan those pesky journalists who pointed out the former Prime Mentalist’s rather damaging flaws and held him to account:

“In Britain, what the press do, if they really want to get at someone, is they challenge their motives and their integrity. They try to suggest that they’re not the person that they say they are. The way the press works in this country is they try to doubt the motives of people all the time. They try to suggest that you’ve got a malign purpose in what you’re doing. And they try to take pieces of people’s characters and destroy those pieces so they can make their political point as a result of that. You can’t say it is not hurtful.”

He hated them so much he invited them into his home, to family occasions and creeped around them for fifteen years on his way to the top.  

And of course he never used the press to destroy anyone in his way…

Labour Turn on Piers Morgan

As one of their most ardent cheerleaders in government and close personal friend of Gordon Brown, Piers Morgan might have thought he would be safe with his old red chums.

Tory Therese Coffey landed the CNN star in a whole host of trouble on Newsnight last night:

“I just hope that the police take the evidence and go with it and if Mr Morgan wants to come back to the UK and help them with their inquiries, and I don’t mean being arrested in any way, I’m sure he can add more light… I think it would help everybody, including himself and this investigation, if he was able to say more about why he wrote what he did in 2006.”

And now with this morning’s intervention from Labour’s Deputy Leader Harriet Harman Morgan’s denials are looking even weaker:

“[Morgan] said he heard a heartbreaking phone message which clearly gives rise to the assumption that he’d heard a tape recorded message. It’s not good enough fro him to say I’ve always complied with the law and the press complaints commission. He’s got to answer now we’ve got this allegation from Heather Mills.”

Piers is running out of friends fast…

Gordon Brown as Dr Evil

Yesterday in his slightly bonkers and self serving speech in parliament Gordon Brown complained among other things that the Sun compared him to Dr Evil. Guido thinks it was completely legitimate to make that comparison. Gordon was trying to convince the British public that he had masterminded a plan to “save the world”, and in his deluded mind he possibly believed it. Never mind that Obama had his own plan, that the rest of the world’s large economies were going to do their own thing and that Sarkozy was claiming credit for his plan to save Europe. It was a bonkers obsession with Brown to fantasise about authorship of a global concerted recovery plan of his design. The rest of the world’s leaders just posed smiling for the G20 pictures and couldn’t wait to fly home. His messianic global plans are a big part of the reason why no one besides Bono wanted Gordon to head up the IMF.

The popular profitable press knows it has to entertain readers, Guido never forgets he is in the infotainment business. Is it really a big deal to be lampooned as like a movie baddie? Clearly Brown’s psychological flaws include taking himself far too seriously. Knowing he read this blog and it added to his torment gives Guido immense satisfaction…

A week or two after the G20 meeting Brown’s bunker friends Damian McBride and Charlie Whelan were exposed as being in on a plot to smear political opponents with what they knew to be lies. That was pretty evil…

The Curse Of Jonah Strikes the "British Spring"

Gordon Brown to Rupert Murdoch

Murdoch’s News International was on the ropes, blows coming from left and right, his power waning. What better time for Brown, still bitter about the day of his conference speech switch of support by The Sun to the Tories, to exact his revenge. But in true Jonah Brown style, he couldn’t even hit the back of the net of an open goal.

Pretending to merely “comment” on two-bit allegations he himself fed to the Guardian, he ignored the fact that the PCC rules allowed the Sunday Times to use subterfuge in the public interest, and he flew a kite with the unsubstantiated medical records claim. Something he had to row back from in yesterday’s interview.

Sun Front Page - Brown WrongYou can bet rivals at the Guardian, The Telegraph and the BBC didn’t expect the Sun’s original source, another father of a child with cystic fibrosis, to be willing to sign an affidavit swearing he had never seen the medical records. Only Gordon could fail so spectacularly to score an open goal and he has managed to derail the Guardian’s campaign – because of him News International have a hook to fight back on and they are with today’s Sun front page. If Gordon wanted he could have gone to the PCC and invoked  6 (v) of the PCC code, which would have killed the story, or complained afterwards. If Rebekah Brooks made him cry it seems odd that he subsequently went to her wedding, attended her birthday party and got Sarah to host a “girls” sleep-over at Chequers with Rebekah Brooks and Wendi Murdoch. A big round of applause for Jonah from Wapping.

*Source for Gordon’s “I will destroy you” threat to Murdoch is the founding chairman of Sky and former editor of The Sunday Times, Andrew Neil.

Spot the Difference

Brown Nosing MurdochThis morning’s front-pages worked along a theme “Brown’s shock that his family medical records were hacked”. Kids should not be fair game for the pack, but is there any evidence that this is a hack rather than a traditional, if distasteful, leak? It’s noticeable that since this crisis broke, News International have been ominously silent on the specifics of the allegations put to them, until this one that they have denied. 

Here’s what Gordon said:

“You’re in public life. And this story appears. You don’t know how it’s appeared. I’ve not questioned how it’s appeared. I’ve not made any allegations about how it’s appeared. I’ve not made any claims about [how it appeared]. But the fact is it did appear. And it did appear in the Sun newspaper.” 

No allegation of illegality, but too late, the story is out. The timing of yesterday’s intervention couldn’t have worked better to keep the story alive here , and across the Atlantic. And it’s not just Guido that smells a the whiff of revenge…

Gordon's Revenge

Brown Nosing Murdoch

Rumours are swirling that Brown is about to break cover at some point and implicate other newspapers in this scandal. Crick has put his cards on the table:

Many suspect the glee with which Labour have taken to this fight has within it an element of Brownite revenge for the vicious kicking News International gave the Prime Mentalist on his way out the door and a kick in the shin to Blair who was closely allied to Murdoch. He may have sworn revenge, and it’s no surprise his close ally Tom Watson has been at the heart of this campaign, but can Brown really turn around now, with any shred of credibility, and pretend he wasn’t as enamored with the Sun King as his predecessor and successor? He certainly went out of his way to creep up to the empire.

Not only was Gordon creeping around James Murdoch whenever he got the chance (he was his guest at Chequers the weekend that the 2007 election was cancelled), but according to the “Ed” book, Rebekah Wade came up with one of his Miliband-destroying “no time for a novice” sound bites. One of the key ways he brown-nosed Murdoch and News International was by carefully deploying his more socially adept wife to do his bidding. Not content with organising dinners and Chequers slumber parties with Elizabeth and Wendi Murdoch, Sarah Brown actually organised Rebekah Brook’s fortieth birthday.

Yes you read that right.

Who Will Cover for Gordon's Pregnant PPS?

Guido has wondered in the past what exactly Alison McGovern does as Gordon Brown’s PPS. He never turns up or speaks, so why the dubious honour? Given McGovern is pregnant, speculation is mounting as to who will fill in for her when she goes on maternity leave.

If she’s not replaced then questions will arise about her onerous and demanding role.

Backbenchers should form an orderly queue to make their pitch for the job.

Last of the McLoyalists Jumps Ship

Ultra-Brownite loyalist Kirsty McNeill has finally jumped ship from the tax-saving operation that is The Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown. The author of those tractor-stat speeches and stage manager of the cling to power, was brought in during those dark autumn days of 2009 when the Prime Mentalist was cracking under the pressure. She apparently told friends that she wanted to stay on until Gordon’s reputation has been restored after the election defeat. It seems she has got bored of waiting for hell to freeze over though…

Labour sources suggest that the OGSB has been very quiet in recently. With Brown’s PPS pregnant, and now his gatekeeper on the run, perhaps now would be an ideal time for the man himself to move on…

Ed Calls Gordon Daddy

Guido speculated the other day about the role Douglas Alexander played in the onslaught that Ed’s leadership faced last week, and apparently the “Ed” book sheds some more light about his fraught relationship with his leader. Andy Grice reports:

Ed told his fellow Brownite Douglas Alexander that toppling Mr Brown “would be like killing our father”. The authors remark: “This vivid phrase again signifies Ed’s loyalty to his political ‘father’, Brown, not his real-life brother, David.” 

Although he was one of Ed’s oldest political friends, Mr Alexander decided to run David’s leadership election campaign. This was a blow to Ed. The two of them had gone on holiday together and their partners – Justine and Mr Alexander’s wife, Jackie – had also become close. “Ed’s desire to be leader meant his personal relationships were taking a battering,” says the book.

Ed told friends Mr Alexander was annoyed that a man younger than him was standing and believed a brother should not challenge an elder sibling. Mr Alexander was said to believe that Ed’s challenge had its roots in a long-established sibling rivalry and that the Labour leadership should not be “sacrificed” on the altar of it.

Is Wee Dougie avenging the spilt blood?

Volvo Boss Wades in Against Labour Party

Peter Rask, Volvo’s UK boss, says..

“If only the Labour Party had been like today’s Volvos – dynamic, agile and innovative – perhaps the UK economy would have been in a better place than it finds itself today!”

Comparing sleek, fuel efficient, low emission cars to clunky old Gordon Brown seems wrong, he was more of a steam train. The “Lying Scotsman”…

The Eds' Southern Cross Secret

Red Ed saw another bandwagon he could jump on at his press conference on Monday. He lashed out at “financiers who creamed off millions”, blaming them for the near collapse of the UK’s largest care-home provider Southern Cross, which is laying of thee thousand staff as it cannot afford its £250 million rent bill. American investors Blackstone made a £134.5m profit from their sale of the company in 2007. As they held their shares for two years after floating the business, they only had to pay Capital Gains Tax on 25% of this profit, which worked out at £33.6m. If they had paid CGT at the usual 40% rate on 100% of the gain, they would have had a tax bill of £53.8m – £40.4m higher than they paid. But who was it that enabled them to “cream off millions”?


In April 1998, the government introduced taper relief for business assets, whereby the CGT rate was charged on only a proportion of the gain made from the disposal of an asset. In 2002, the Treasury increased this taper. Rather than a taper of 50% for a business asset held for two complete years, it was reduced to 25%. And who was running the show while these changes were thought up and implemented? 

Please step forward Treasury Special Advisers Edward Miliband (1997 -2002) and Edward Balls (1997 – 2004).

We Pay £4,400 For Gordon to Ask a Question

IPSA have released the expenses figures for the last quarter and guess who managed to rack up an £8,870 bill? In the last three months Gordon Brown has not spoken in the House, nor has he voted in the House and it seems he only shows up to see Obama. […] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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