Cameron's Contraband Plan

Former smoker David Cameron and current smokers Nick Clegg, Simon Burns, Steve Hilton etc are outlawing tobacco advertising. Do as they say, not as they do. Leaving aside the obvious risk that cutting off thousands of small shops at the knees poses, just as with prohibition and drugs, the evidence suggests that forcing vices underground increases the attraction. An “enemy of enterprise” and a purveyor of forbidden fruits in one easy piece of legislation.

Tory Agent Arrested for Kidnap

Founder of the right-wing Cornerstone group John Hayes, 52,  is certainly a lively addition to the green benches, but it seems his agent is even more of a party animal. Craig Jackson was denied bail this morning and held on charges of kidnap and possession of dope. According to the local paper in his South Holland and the Deepings constituency, there was an incident involving a man in his fifties on Sunday night.  What could have tipped him over the edge?

The PPE Crowd – "Ted" Miliband's Bullingdon Moment

Ed Miliband told Piers Morgan that he was a bit of “a square” at university, hence why he never took drugs or slept with as many girls as Nick Clegg. While Guido didn’t have much trouble believing this, with a little help from his mortar-boarded co-conspirator he has been digging around that vessel of truth – the 1980s Oxford student press.

While yes there is a vast amount of extremely dull comment from one “Ted” Miliband, president of the Corpus Christi JCR about rent hikes and other pressing issues of the day (you can have a read of some his greatest moments here,) it was a mention of the Ted’s Labour club that really caught Guido’s attention:

(click for original)

In PMQs at the end of last year, Miliband declared he was proud of his student politician days while the PM was throwing bread rolls and trashing restaurants. The quip was widely seen as a good hit on Dave’s Bullingdon days, but it seems little “Ted” was prone to the odd bit of smashing stuff up too. Oh to be the ruling elite…

Exclusive : Courtney Love Elected OUCA Officer for Rock 'n Roll

This is Courtney Love, newly elected as Oxford University Conservative Association’s ‘Non-Executive Officer for Rock and Roll’. She was elected to her position tonight after an evening of drinking, in this instance the teen spirit was port. Courtney contributed to the OUCA Port & Policy debate calling for a foreign policy based on morality and said Wikileaks was a step forward for democracy. She is pictured above twirling Winston Churchill’s cane and below with the Vivienne Westwood clad president-elect, Joe Cooke. Appropriate for Conservative caners…

Publicans Call Out Booze Bull

Guido didn’t weigh in on the minimum pricing story yesterday because if he jumped on every broken promise from Dave he would be typing till the cows came home. Instead of living up to his promise of being on the “cider” pubs (gettit?) Dave is continuing the crippling of the industry. Proponents of the hike Alcohol Concern say “duty is so low in the UK, that it will still be possible to sell very cheap alcohol and be within the law.” Something that is frankly nonsense given booze duty is up 26% in the last two years. The British Beer and Pub Association are quick to hit back. Just look at the how much tax Brits pay on their drink compared to their neighbours:

It’s not much better here in Ireland, guess Guido will have to stay in France more often…

Eye Spy Evans

It was the who’s who of the Westminster gay scene at the Speakers apartment last night for the launch of “ParliOut”, though Lembit Opik was sure to never lose physical contact with his latest blonde, just in case anyone got the wrong idea. There were huge cheers for the popular Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans, who came out in to the Mail on Sunday, joking that IPSA no longer let him claim for a closet.

More amusing was his suggestion that it was the bored researchers and hacks favourite, EyeSpy.MP, that had triggered his move. Evans had recently been spotted in Soho’s gay Ku Bar drinking champagne. Apparently he was more concerned about being grassed up for the banned fizz than his choice of company…

Sometimes the Only Way to Win is Not to Play

Former Home Office Minister Bob Ainsworth says

“Prohibition has failed to protect us. Leaving the drugs market in the hands of criminals causes huge and unnecessary harm to individuals, communities and entire countries, with the poor the hardest hit. We spend billions of pounds without preventing the wide availability of drugs. It is time to replace our failed war on drugs with a strict system of legal regulation, to make the world a safer, healthier place, especially for our children. We must take the trade away from organised criminals and hand it to the control of doctors and pharmacists.”

Baldwin: Dividing Lines

Lord Ashcroft’s Dirty Politics, Dirty Times” doesn’t hold back on Red Ed’s newly appointed Murdoch fixer. If we turn to page 216 we find a nice anecdote about Tom Baldwin’s cocaine habit:

…which regrettably seems to have become more serious in recent years. Indeed, during the Conservative Party conference in October 2001, he put Peter Stothard’s suite at the Imperial Hotel to ‘good’ use when his editor was unable to make it to the conference as planned. In the company of two journalist colleagues – Giles Coren and Alice Miles – Baldwin snorted lines of cocaine from the glass coffee table in Stothard’s suite. I certainly have no evidence that his colleagues took the drug, but I am told that Baldwin’s appetite for it was voracious and also that at least one colleague reprimanded him for his stupidity, saying: ‘What the hell do you think you are doing, Tom?’ Such is Baldwin’s craving for the drug that he had taken the not inconsiderable risk of smuggling cocaine through the hotel’s high-level security in order to feed his habit.”

Hacks sniffing coke at Tory conference? Whatever next…

+ + + Tom Baldwin to Spin for Miliband + + +


Hearing that the former Times hack’s role will apparently be “strategy” rather than frontline comms. Guido will believe that when he sees it, though perhaps they are waiting for the dust to settle from articles by Baldwin such as “Labour’s biggest donor refuses cash over fears about Miliband. Certainly an interesting choice that has got people scratching their heads, and their noses. What’s the betting his close friendship with Alastair Campbell had something to do with him taking the job?

You would have thought Labour would have learnt from their past, and their attacks on Coulson, not to choose another spinner who is at risk of becoming the story…

Quote of the Day

Vincent K arguing against Qatarphobia

“It’s going to be great – sitting in a non-segregated stadium, next to a chick in a mini-skirt, sharing a beer with the gay guys in the front row and cheering on Israel.”

Defending Philip Green Against the Looters

Philip Green is a sharp businessman who turned round the Arcadia chain when they were closing shops and made them profitable. He turned Top Shop from a fading also ran into an international brand with cheap chic credibility. In doing all that he secured thousands of high street jobs, boosted profitability and made a billion.

He bought Arcadia via an offshore company, perfectly legally and paid that famous billion pound dividend perfectly legally. He did it the way he did it because this country punishes entrepreneurs and risk takers with capital gains taxes on top of income taxes. Double taxing those who create and produce.

Arcadia pays hundreds of millions in taxes every year, VAT, carbon taxes, stamp duty, business rates, National Insurance, employee’s income taxes and the myriad of other taxes that penalise enterprise and entrepreneurs. That isn’t enough for the type of parasites and political activists the great novelist Ayn Rand correctly identified as “looters”.

The looters are killing this country because, in their humanitarian noble-minded, public-spirited contempt for entrepreneurs, they forget how much they rely on entrepreneurs. With each new restrictive regulation designed to enhance equality and “justice” they make it harder for the remaining entrepreneurs to create the Vodafone-supplied iPhones from which they tweet their bleatings about “fighting the cuts”. Self-styled Anarchists” calling for higher taxes to fund a bigger state are no anarchists.

Philip Green deserves his billions, he is a self made man who left school at fifteen, worked hard, took risks, clearly enjoys himself and defends his just rewards from the rapacious grasp of the tax man.  If only we had one hundred more Philip Greens…

Smoking Ban Amendment Defeated, But…

David Nuttall’s Ten Minute Rule Bill to have the smoking ban amended so that private clubs and pubs would allow smoking, if they wanted it, has sadly just been shot down in the Commons. But the result of ayes 86, noes 141 shows the growing popularity for such an idea. This was a mere lone backbencher’s campaign thrown together hastily on the luck of a draw. With a coordinated movement within the coalition who knows what could happen…

Boris and the Bankers Boogie at Boujis

It seems the age of austerity is yet to hit the gold lined pavements of SW7. Fancy paying £2,500 for dinner with the Mayor and maybe even a dance at favourite Royal haunt Boujis? There will be no banker bashing here…

And for a bounder about town what better way to make sure your girlfriends don’t all bump into each other and cause a dreadful fuss…

Just make them all wear masks!

Oona's Open Invite

It seems struggling London Mayor wannabe Oona King is deploying a last ditch open-bar strategy. She tweets enthusiastically:

“YOU are invited to a party at campaign HQ on Wed 11, 6-8pm! Come down and meet me and the team and have a drink! PLEASE spread the word xx”

Guido is happy to oblige. So see you all tomorrow at 6 Heron Quays, London E14 4JB. Over in Canary Wharf. If the evening turns out anything like Oona’s old party days in Vauxhall’s finest after-hours clubs, it will be a messy one…

Big Society Watches Your Drinking

Dave took the time to launch his vision of the ‘Big Society’ just ahead of the parliamentary recess. Beneath the Obama-lite rhetoric and calls for a legion of volunteers to run services was a message: it’s time to cut back the state and let individuals take control of their own lives.  So far, so good. But can the Tories resist the urge to centralise and regulate now that they are in power?

Behind the paywall at The Times, Deputy Mayor of London Kit Malthouse has been expounding on the ‘need’ for state intervention to combat alcohol consumption. The chief of the Met Police authority suggests twice daily alcohol testing for problem drinkers with “intensive monitoring and enforcement to ensure compliance”.

He gleefully explains what happens to those who dare breach a prohibition order in a similar scheme run in the backwoods of South Dakota: “The sanction is immediate and certain – straight into the cells, no argument, no court, no lawyers.” Very ominous.

If Malthouse persists with his plan then Guido knows just the location to try out the new policy: a little upstream from City Hall, at a place where subsidised booze flows freely, disorder is common and employees are regularly drunk while at work. It’s hard to imagine that heavy-drinking MP’s would take kindly to being breathalysed.

The Smoking Gun

While it may be a mere attempt at generating some headlines, if ever proof was needed that despite the long haul of handshakes, the hustings, the “internal debate”, the Labour Leadership frontrunner David Miliband still doesn’t get it, then look no further than his pitch to publicans this morning:

“For too long we have tolerated this decline as the result of inevitable market forces. But we can and should stand up for the local pub – and the community links and civic life they sustain. Local pubs are great British institutions – and as Labour leader I would stand up for them.”

The hollow statement fails to mention what is really killing the pubs though – the full smoking ban, without exemptions, or landlord discretion, that David Miliband voted for in Cabinet and the House. If he wants to save pubs then he needs to pledge to look again at the legislation, anything less than is just hypocritical opportunism.

Amess Can't Stay Off the Drugs

David Amess MP has been busy drafting a Private Member’s Bill demanding better methods of predicting the “effects of new drugs on humans”.

Given his previous attempt to legislate against the sale of ‘Cake’, after warning the public to avoid these “big yellow death bullets”, it’s understandable that he wants access to more comprehensive sources of information.

Guido hopes he did his homework though this time and has avoided ‘made-up drugs’.

Drinky with Blinky?

Summer party season is in full swing, but you would think there would be some coordination with diaries. Although there are a limited number of days before the MPs jet off for the holidays, crowds will be dissipated tonight. Village dwellers have the choice between 18.00 and 20.00 of the ComRes and Apex Communications gig, Total Politics and Weber Shandwick’s new Members reception, The Adam Smith Institute book launch, a Big Brother Watch party and Conservative Way Forward’s summer party with Maggie. There will be some sore heads tomorrow…

Rather than dash around Westminster trying to get to all of these, Guido thinks he will just save himself for a slightly more exclusive party later. He is hoping lots of other Ed Balls fans join him at Blinky’s little party that is going on tonight. Apparently there will be a chat about how the campaign is going, which hopefully won’t dampen the mood too much. Drinks will be served from 20.30 in Norman Shaw South, Rm 102. Hope there are nibbles…

Ring-fenced Democracy

And then they were gone:

Given the excuse was that the protesters were prohibiting the wider public enjoying the Square, Guido doesn’t quite get the fence…

Via Kevin Brennan MP’s office window, via Twitter.

Honeymoon Couple at the Speccie Party

Cameron and Clegg made their entrance together to the Speccie’s summer party last night, either as a statement or out of convenience. Cameron was at ease among his own people. Clegg looked a little glum, like a newly wed wife who realises too late that her husband keeps company of which she really doesn’t  approve.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Embattled Henry Bolton on his battles…

“I’m going nowhere. I have seen people die, I have seen people blown up, I have seen people shot. Even the Taliban doesn’t quite prepare you for UKIP, though.”

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