Gordon Brown appears to be getting to that post-Prime Ministerial age when details about his time in office begin to slip. Maybe one day he’ll truly believe he saved the world, however this weekend the main memory issue seem to surround Downing Street renovations. In an interview with The Telegraph over the weekend he was asked about flat-gate:
“Listen, Sarah and I never spent anything on No 10, because we were very aware that we were in a financial crisis and that any sign we were spending money would be seen as not sharing the problems that the country faced.”
In the midst of wallpaper-gate last year, however, the government published exact cost figures of Downing Street flat renovations, going all the way back to 1997-98. It turns out that Brown’s phrase, “never spent anything”, actually amounted to a whopping £103,284 spent by him and Sarah between 2007 and 2010. Additionally awkward for Brown is the revelation that the only years a PM actually spent no public cash renovating their flat were under his Tory successors, in 2012-13, 14-15 and 17-18. Still, what’s £100,000 to a man whose time at the top of government cost the economy £3 trillion…
Some Might Say Alastair Campbell’s blind hatred of the Tories is leading him further down the rabbit hole. His latest conspiracy, shared on Twitter this morning, is that Boris might’ve taken “narcotics” last night before his Sky News interview. Apparently this is a “reasonable” question “given his demeanour“. In other words after a draining high-pressure 48 hours, he looked run down, had a slightly runny nose, and sniffled a few times. Bang to rights, obviously…
With his tinfoil hat still tight around his skull, he’s also claiming “categorically that on no occasion in [Blair’s] ten years did I see any evidence whatever of drug taking in Number 10”:
in Number 10. Soft or hard. I wonder wherever everyone who has worked there since 2019 can hand on heart - or even better hand on Bible - say the same. DMs always open for those who believe standards in public life matter and the law of the land matters too 4/4— ALASTAIR CAMPBELL (@campbellclaret) June 7, 2022
Definitely, Maybe… not. While Alastair might claim never to have seen “any evidence Whatever of drug taking” in Downing Street, there was at least one large shipment from Columbia delivered through the door. Back in 1997, Oasis songwriter Noel Gallagher rocked up to No.10 for c
igarettes & alcohol with Tony Blair, later admitting on Russell Brand’s Radio 2 show to snorting cocaine in a toilet reserved for the Queen. “As I remember, it was quite nice. It had a velvet seat and everything”…
UPDATE: Nick Timothy’s response was perfect:
Still inventing stories about imaginary chemicals, I see. https://t.co/xf09yfRjye— Nick Timothy (@NJ_Timothy) June 7, 2022
Over the past week, Labour have been pumping out inflation-themed attack ads across social media, claiming the Tories are responsible for soaring inflation – “higher than any other G7 country”. A carefully selected comparison.
There’s also plenty of spinning about how Brexit is somehow to blame for inflation, particularly on rising food prices, yet the latest data from Eurostat and the Office for National Statistics shows that inflation rates for food are actually lower in the UK than in both the Euro area and the EU, with prices rising in the UK by 6.7% in April compared to 8.7% and 8.9% for the Euro area and the EU respectively:
Labour is also conveniently ignoring the inflation data from nearly a dozen other European countries, including the Netherlands, Spain, and Belgium, all of which are already seeing inflation reach around 10%. The only country with genuinely low inflation in Europe is Switzerland*. Which isn’t in the EU either…
*April CPI of 2.4%. The Swiss National Bank didn’t implement Quantitative Easing.
Despite an ongoing holier-than-thou campaign about truth in politics, this morning Labour has been slammed by fact-checkers for continuing to publish statistics claiming the average household will be “£2,620 worse off” as a result of the “cost of living crisis”. This calculation is, in fact, 274% off the real figure…
On 8 April, FullFact first called out this statistic, labelling it as false as it’s “based on unreliable assumptions, and it excludes wages and benefits, which are rising. Official estimates suggest that the average household will be roughly £700 worse off in 2022/23.” Despite FullFact contacting Sir Keir’s office about the claim at the time, they received no response, and the party has refused to share full details of how its estimates were calculated.
Today the website’s had to redouble its fact-checking efforts as it emerges not only is the party unable – or refusing – to justify the sums, Labour HQ is actively selling the leaflet to local election campaigns with the figure featuring prominently. The leaflets have also been slammed by some on the left of the party for having “final demand” stamped on the envelope…
Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson was censured for having repeated the claim on Facebook since FullFact previously called the party out, and they note the party has pushed out at least four active Facebook adverts since they were contacted about the inaccuracy. At this time Guido turns to the words of the Right Honourable leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition spoken in the Commons just yesterday: “honesty, integrity and telling the truth matter in our politics. That is not a principle that I or the Labour party have a special claim to. It is a British principle.”
A bombshell standards report has dethroned one of the most popular politicians of our age, and for once it’s not a defenestrating at the hands of Sue Gray. Jackie Weaver, the council official who came to fame in 2021 when a virtual parish council meeting became overheated, was lauded as the greatest female political figure since Mrs T herself. However analyses of the standing orders in fact reveals she was acting
It turns out the very shouty councillor who told Weaver she did not “have the authority” to mute and virtually eject councillors was, according to six separate reports by Cheshire East Council, the person in the right. One of the reports found that Weaver “was not acting in an official capacity at these meetings”:
“Faced with what were unusual and difficult circumstances, and the deep-seated issues underpinning those circumstances, we can understand why Jackie Weaver acted as she did, despite her action being without any formal footing in terms of appropriate process and procedure.”
The cost of the 145-page report totalled £85,000, making it one of the most expensive parish council meetings in British history. It turns out Jackie should have read the standing orders after all. Read them and understood them…
Angela Rayner’s appearance on Marr’s LBC show last night was one for the ages. As if no one else remembers the last five years, Rayner suggested without a hint of irony that a Corbyn government “would have given” missiles to Ukraine, and that Jeremy was “very clear on his condemnation of Putin, long before it was popular to do that”. It’s amazing she kept a straight face.
Never mind the fact that Corbyn insisted the UK government send Novichock samples back to Russia for their own “testing” after Salisbury. Just ten days before the invasion of Ukraine last month, Corbyn signed this statement from the Stop the War coalition:
“…the British government has sent arms to Ukraine and deployed further troops to Eastern Europe, moves which serve no purpose other than inflaming tensions and indicating disdain for Russian concerns. It has also declared that Ukraine has a “sovereign right” to join NATO, when no such right exists to join it or any other military alliance.”
“We refute the idea that NATO is a defensive alliance, and believe its record in Afghanistan, Yugoslavia and Libya over the last generation, not to mention the US-British attack on Iraq, clearly proves otherwise.”
Russian concerns? Which way would Jeremy’s missiles have been firing?
UPDATE: Readers have also pointed out that elsewhere in the same interview Rayner also accused Putin of using nuclear weapons on British soil.