You Can’t Fault Desmond’s Taste in Wine

So Richard Desmond knows all about a PFL.

The FT reports:

“In Richard Desmond’s hands, simple objects become terrifying. There’s the receptionist’s bell that he uses to interrupt executives in board meetings, or the cups of tea that occasionally fly over underlings.

For me, the terror begins when he picks up the wine list. This is Coq d’Argent, a rooftop restaurant overlooking the Bank of England. The prices look like cricket scores — and Desmond is on the hunt for an innings victory.

“We’ll have that one,” he says, before I can intervene. As the sommelier skips away, the sum of £580 lingers on my retina.
So this, I think, is how it feels to be screwed by Richard Desmond. It took less than 10 minutes.”

Interestingly – given the million quid he has given UKIP – Desmond is not sure about leaving Europe:

“I don’t know. I don’t think anyone knows,” he says. “But we need a referendum.”

Not a great week for big UKIP donors.

Arron Banks has put 150 jobs at risk in the South West by moving his business operations to South Africa.

So much for the party slogan ‘Believe in Britain’.

#PFL Explained

keep-calm-and-go-to-a-boozy-lunch-2

The concept of a Nigel Farage “PFL” – proper f**king lunch – should not come as a surprise to regular readers. What was that about, asks Emily Maitless innocently on Newsnight last night:

Well from Guido’s hazy memory, lunch with Farage usually consists of: “two Bloody Marys, a bottle of white, two bottles of red and a cheeky port.” Last time Nige even paid….

Charles Kennedy Died From “Major Hemorrhage”

Charles Kennedy died from a “major haemorrhage” that “was a consequence of his battle with alcoholism”, his family tells Press Association. 

Play It Again, Salm

A once great statesman reduced to loitering around the dingy bars of Westminster putting the world to rights with washed up has-beens.

The other, Alex Salmond.

Sports and Social is SNP’s Next Target

It’s not just Labour’s traditional seats in the Commons that the SNP are after, now the nationalist horde are coming for their favourite bar. The taxpayer-subsidised Sports and Social Club is popular with Labour MPs and their visiting trade union brothers, earning it the nickname “The Sports and Socialist”, but change is coming. As Guido revealed in the Sun yesterday, plans are afoot amongst SNP MPs to rename the dingy watering hole the “Rabbie Burns Bar”.

Friday Caption Contest (Salmond Champagne Edition)

Entries in the comments below.

The winner of this week will get their hands on the #EdStone:

Well a 3D printed version of it, thanks to our friends at CEL

Vinda-who: Farron / Mulholland / Lembit’s Late Night Poppadom Plot

LibDem MP Greg Mulholland is doing little to dampen speculation he is running for leader of his party. He’s twanking any mention of his ambitions and being coy with the press:

So it was a surprise to see him dining with Tim Farron late last night in that really good curry place on Rochester Row, SW1.

Could we be about to see a Farron/Mulholland ticket?

Guido was particularly pleased to hear of another guest at last night’s ‘Poppadom Plot’: Lembit.

Is everyone’s favourite LibDem back in the game?

Austerity Champers Arrives at Downing Steet

The champers is arriving in Downing Street this morning:

While it is Bollinger, back in the boom years the Downing Street champagne orders were far more lavish in size. From 2004:

Cheers!

Pic via @sean_clare

Bullingdon Wannabes: Sob Story of Labour’s Zero Hour Banter Lads

Spare a thought this morning for the plight of Labour’s zero hours letter writers. Among the names of 100 “people from all walks of life”, cobbled together by the party in response to the 100 business leaders backing the Tories, were hard-done-by Manchester students John-jo Pierce and Rory Somerville. This is their sob story:

“We come from all walks of life, this is what Britain looks like. We believe that the fundamental choice at this election is: who does this country work for? Does it work only for those at the very top or does it work for working people – those trying to make ends meet, working in British businesses across the country to create wealth and support their families?”

Here are John-jo (right) and Rory (left) showing “what Britain looks like” and how they are just “trying to make ends meet”:

These were the safe for work, family friendly pictures, from the civilised start of the evening…

Actual Pub Landlord Likes Farage, Irritated With Guardian

Farage’s pub landlord writes to his paper of choice:

As a Guardian reader for over 50 years and a Downe resident for over 20 years, including eight years as landlord of the Queen’s Head, I find your article (Big trouble in middle England, G2, 24 March) disappointing, to say the least. This was in no way a political demonstration but an ill-disciplined, attention-seeking rabble with no thought of other people’s safety or enjoyment. They booked the George & Dragon under false pretences for larger numbers and purposes than it is suitable for, thereby ruining normal customers’ afternoon enjoyment.

A large number of families use this pub and the Queen’s Head for a peaceful Sunday lunch and social gatherings. Young children with their parents (including the Farage children) were terrified by these events. Mr Farage remained calm during these so-called demonstrations and certainly had no minders, heavies or aides with him. Your correspondent omits the fact that the driver of the hired coach refused to transport the rabble back to Bromley, worried about their behaviour and no doubt his safety. Also, the article does not take into consideration the damage caused to the business and reputation of these well-run pubs. I’m not, of course, going to stop buying or reading the Guardian, but hope for a return to more balanced and objective reporting.
Alan Dear
Downe, Kent

As Brendon O’Neil says in today’s Speccie:

“It seems that for the Guardian, a person’s right to privacy is dependent upon whether he’s a nice, right-on, Hacked Off celeb like Coogan — one of Us — or a horrid, EU-opposing, boozing-and-smoking bad guy like Farage: one of Them.”

Telling…

Crosby Declares: “I’d S**k Off David Cameron”

It’s all go down under. In a wide-ranging pre-election intervention, the cast of Geordie Shore, MTV’s Newcastle-based genitourinary gorefest, have had their say on the party leaders. True blue Charlotte Crosby brings the PM some positive news, at last:

“I’d s**k off David Cameron”


One way to shut him up…

Cabinet Drown Sorrows

Or are they celebrating?

Labour MP: Miliband is a ‘F**king Knob’

Labour MP Simon Danczuk is full of his usual glowing praise for his leader in a Staggers interview:

“I ask Danczuk what he thought of Miliband apologising in June 2014 for agreeing to be pictured holding a World Cup issue of the Sun. It was a picture that infuriated people in Liverpool, where the newspaper has experienced a boycott ever since it’s ill judged and controversial coverage of the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.

“Harriet Harman came out and said he [Miliband] was right to pose with the Sun newspaper and he was right to apologise for posing with the Sun newspaper,” says Danczuk. “And it’s that sort of double speak from politicians: how could he be right on both counts? That turns people off politics. So when somebody hears a politician say that, you know what they think, if you pardon the language: ‘what a f**king knob’. That’s the reality of it.” 

Not only do the public hear Miliband and think ‘what a f**king knob’, they also would rather go for a beer with Dave, apparently:

“You get it on the doorstep. If we’re having a straight conversation about this, he [Miliband] has an image of being more of a toff than David Cameron. That’s how the public see it. And what they mean by that is that he’s seen as more aloof. They’d prefer to go for a pint with David Cameron than they would with Ed Miliband, that’s the reality of it.”

Guido can’t think why…

Of course, we all know who Simon would prefer to have a beer with:

Axelrod and Miliband in the Sights at Punchy PLP

Guido hears that David Axelrod came under attack at a heated meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party last night, where tempers frayed over the “disastrous direction” of Labour’s election campaign. Labour MPs sobbing into their bitter late into the night in Strangers, as reality dawned on them…

Apparently things got really gloomy when Scotland was discussed, but it was the general campaign that was the main cause for concern. “It’s said we are paying for all these experts but it’s clearly not working” sums up the general thrust of the complaints, and demands were made for more control of the party’s messaging and strategy to given to elected MPs rather than leader’s pets and expensive – yet absent -American consultants. Wishful thinking…

Ed’s Teenage Wild Child Years

Fresh from wowing everyone with his CV, Ed was asked about his teenage night-time exploits in his first selfie-stick interview*:

Sky: What were you like when you were 18? What were your interests? What were you up to?

EM: I cared a lot about… er… the world. I was actually living in America for a time working in the media, just before going to university. I was actually an intern. I was also interested in British politics and global issues and what was happening in the world.

Sky: What did you do on a night out though? What were you interested in?

EM: What did I do on a night out? I did some things that most teenagers did, I drank a bit too much, you know, um, but I grew up in a household where you were told to care about the world…

Did he really drink too much, or did he just read about it on the internet?

*David Cameron refused to do a selfie-interview because, a CCHQ source says. “it is twattish”. Correct.

UPDATE: A reader writes:

If Ed Milliband was living in New York when he was  18, as he said in the interview, and drank a bit to much he was breaking the law as the  minimum age at which you drink alcohol is 21, and has been since 1985. Miliband would have been there in 1987 when he was 18. He could have consumed alcohol bought by a parent. Perhaps wild teenage nights in the town with dad!

Dam-ascene Conversion: McBride Says Vote Tory

The final pint was poured at the O’Reilly’s pub in Kentish Town  last night, which is being re-branded as some sort of awful hipster dive. With locals gathering to mourn, one person was conspicuous by his absence. The local Labour candidate.

Presumably a bit rough and ready for Sir Keir.

Though in Damian’s defence it was 9:38pm…

They Snooze, You Lose

Senior LibDem Don Foster, MP for Bath for the past 23 years, clearly thinks he can do the job in his sleep. The chain-smoking chief whip has been struggling to stay awake even during Cabinet meetings. As revealed in yesterday’s Sun, Tory ministers have been unable to hide their giggles as the 67-year-old dozes off, out of sight from his leader Nick Clegg but in full view of the Prime Minister. Gambling coalition cabinet colleagues have opened a book, taking bets on how long into the Tuesday morning meeting the old dear’s eyelids will start to droop. Sounds like a dream job.

Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett Stoner Shocker! Hesitates Before Admitting Dope Smoking

Green leader Natalie Bennett hesitated just a little too long under the forensic questioning of LBC’s Duncan Barkes this lunchtime:

DB: “Are you a drug user?”

NB: “Um, er, I… have a glass of wine most evenings…”

Natalie revealed she used to smoke dope but insisted she doesn’t “dabble” any more. Could have fooled anyone who has read her manifesto…

It Was The Chicken Wot Won It

Guido Squawks responds to the news the Greens have been invited to the TV debates:

Party round his tonight…

Strike For Drunk Tube Driver Says It All

tube strike

Another year, another tube strike on the cards. The RMT union are balloting members on Monday and could be launching industrial action as early as 17 February. This time the militants are upset that one their comrades was fired for turning up to work boozed up.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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