Indy staff have been left baffled this afternoon by an email inviting them to help themselves to “a crate of unclaimed stuff in front of Chris Blackhurst’s desk including some high heels, a copy of the Kama Sutra, an assortment of dog shampoo and a speed camera (hand-held).”
Sounds like one hell of a kinky night…
Nigel Evans was looking on the bright side when Guido bumped into him last week.
“Whenever I get down, I just think it could be worse. I could be Reverend Flowers.”
Although, unlike the party-loving former boss of the Co-op Bank, Evans told Guido: “I’ve never smoked crystal meth, mind. I have drunk Cristal, though”.
It’s been an open secret that Charles Saatchi has been trying to put around the Nigella coke angle, but her lawyers have been stopping anyone from printing it. Now it’s been said in court:
Saatchi’s friends tell people that is why he was looking up her nose that day…
This explains so much:
We’re making up a Labour smear story.
We’re going for their most cherished example of mutual, collective endeavour. The Co-op. Ethical, modest, decent. Let’s make it go bust through filthy capitalist greed. And let’s get it taken over by US vulture funds who have the power to call in Labour’s loans, but don’t because they act more ethically than the previous management.
But you want more.
Okay, let’s have the outgoing chairman of the ethical bank to be a most complete representative of the Labour movement – a Co-op member for years, a Methodist minister who could be your dad, who gives money to Labour from Co-op funds. How much?
Half a million! Why half a milion? It’s a smear, make it a million!
Let’s have him only being an amateur in banking with no qualifications except “a professional requirement to be charitable”, and he gives a million to the party generally and also smaller donations to – who do we hate most? – Ed Balls.
Let’s get this perfect Labour guy who looks like your dad to give, what’s a really large private sum, fifty thousand pounds to Ed Balls’ office. Perfect.
But you want to have him personally corrupt? Is that really necessary? What, watching porn on his work computer as a Labour councillor? Okay, it’s a Harriet Harman sort of crime but –
You want him to be contracting rent boys? The chairman of the Co-op bank hiring rent boys? I guess it’s not imposs-
You want him to be doing DRUG DEALS? Now it’s too much. What sort of drugs? CRYSTAL METH?
You want him to look like everyone’s father, chair a Labour bank, give money to Labour shadow cabinet names, and be a rent-boy-seeking Labour councilor buying CRYSTAL METH in a car? It’s too much.
Smear-wise it’s beyond anything previously attempted.
More seriously, it will damage the whole smearing industry.
Via teh internetz.
Rev Flowers has been nicked as Labour’s Co-op embarrassment makes the front pages once again this morning. By far Guido’s favourite story of the day however is this little gem found by the Sun, who have got hold of Facebook messages written by Flowers in which he lusts over a certain party loving Labour frontbencher:
Thank god he didn’t favourite anything on Twitter…
It was all banter, mate.
Cameron declared that he was only joking when he accused Michael Meacher of being on mind altering substances. Something the PM and Chancellor would know all about.
Dave admitted he smoked pot and has never denied taking cocaine, even when he was asked whether he took it after he was elected. When asked by Alex Thomson of Channel Four News, all he confirmed was he hadn’t snorted since 2001:
AT: “If you were asked have you ever taken class A drugs as an MP, would you answer that question?”
DC: “I have always said that lawmakers cannot be lawbreakers. All I have said about my past, though, is that what is private in the past should remain private.”
AT: “If I asked you if you’d snorted cocaine as an MP, you’d therefore say No, wouldn’t you?”
DC: “That’s right, but please, I mean, I think we’ve dealt with this issue…”
AT: “So that’s ‘No’?”
DC: “I’ve absolutely answered your question.”
AT: “Say No.”
DC: “I’ve just said No.”
AT: “Thank you. Right. We can move on.”
That’s a rather extended “normal university experience”.
A note for slanderers, libellers, satirists, drunks, angry and bitter critics, parties with an urgent need for anti-social expression.
The Draft Defamation Bill was in committee last night, with regard to website operators.
The Government aren’t seeking to make website operators liable for comments posted under on-line articles.
That’s good for Guido, or we’d be in jail by now. There’s no telling where some of you would be.
However, readers wanting to complain will be able to make representations, and the offending comments can be taken down without penalty by the operator.
Or the operator may choose to contact the poster and ask him or her to take them down. The poster may decide to stand by those comments and the matter would go through the courts in the usual way.
The website owner, as a distributor, would not be liable, as long as the processes, the procedures, the regulatory catechisms are adhered to.
Not much news here, then. And that’s good news.
But is that the result of climate change? Evan Davies will let us know in due course.
Labour have this afternoon suspended coke-snorting Rev Flowers from the party.
Since they are taking such a tough line, Guido wonders if there is a precedent for such action against known cocaine users?
The crystal meth-smoking banking boss and Balls ally claimed:
‘…a Labour MP had passed him in the corridors and said, “Have you got a touch of the old Colombian flu?”’
Can anyone sniff out who is the alert Labour MP who was clearly on the ball?
You had to wonder what they were smoking over at the Co-op, and now you know. It was crystal meth…
Ed Balls did not have a very good weekend either. Not only was he publicly described as a “nightmare” by Team Miliband (albeit accidentally), the Shadow Chancellor would have been sweating about the Co-op story. Doing all that gear after his Select Committee appearance was not the only bad life choice that Rev Flowers has made recently. As the Telegraph reported at the beginning of the month:
“Rev Flowers confirmed he had been involved in authorising the payment of £100,000 to Mr Balls and his Parliamentary office, though he said the money had come from the Co-op Group and not the Co-op Bank as the lender was “politically neutral”.”
What was it that first attracted this coke snorting, meth buying, fiscally incompetent cluster of a banking boss to Ed Balls? And lets not forget that Labour owe the Co-op millions. You have to have a heart of stone not to laugh.
Mail on Sunday scoop in full here. You had to wonder what they were smoking at the Co-Op, and now we know…
Eventually Osborne’s friendship with Natalie Rowe comes to an end, with her claiming she met his then fiancée:
My pregnancy also changed the dynamics between me and my three musketeers. George became quite caring towards me. It was a particularly cold winter and sometimes George sat with me, cosy on the sofa in Redcliffe Square and rubbed my pregnant tummy – even when other people were there. George was self-conscious of his figure – he would wear loose clothes to try and hide his belly, which was a bit flabby and spongy. Every now and then I’d comment: “Why are you wearing this? To hide your jelly-belly?” and would reach over and rub it playfully. I really appreciated George’s friendship because the pregnancy wasn’t smooth. At five months, I started to dilate and have contractions – and there was some bleeding. I rushed to the hospital and doctors put a stitch at the neck of my womb to stop labour. It was a risky move but if the baby had arrived then he wouldn’t have lived. The procedure worked and so I still held out hopes of giving birth to a healthy child. Then George got engaged to Frances, his future wife. I found out when I was at Chris’s place in Pembridge Villas, Notting Hill. William was on a bender at the time and Chris and George were there with a woman whom I didn’t know. I had no idea she was George’s fiancée. We did not get on at all. Thanks to George she knew what I did and asked about my escort services. She was hostile, full of disdain for me and jealous of how friendly George and I were. Afterwards George asked: “What do you think of her?” “What do you mean?” My face told the story. He didn’t ask anything more. George was obviously making plans for his future, to become respectable. He’d certainly been privy to some wild times in his youth; not least of which would have been the infamous Bullingdon Club parties.
Osborne has not commented about the book, though his lawyers told the Mirror that Rowe was an unreliable witness. In the past he has claimed:
“A friend of mine went out with a woman called Natalie and they had a child together. I met them occasionally in the autumn of 1993 and it soon became clear my friend had started to use drugs. He became more and more addicted and I saw his life fall apart. With his other friends I tried to persuade him to seek treatment. After rehabilitation he has now recovered and put his life back together.”
So he’s not “Joe”. Got that?
More from Natalie Rowe’s book. Here is what she alleges the Chancellor’s set were up to in the early 90s:
“All the boys had the hots for coke fiend Peggy, she was so much fun and up for anything, even if she spent most of her time on another planet. They all knew how much she loved coke and so one night William, who was an out-and-out drug and drink fiend, cut a wide line that was a foot long. “Snort that and I’ll give you £ 100!” William said. “I’ll do it!” Cheers went up from the crowd. I was the only one to sound a note of caution. “For god’s sake Peggy, don’t do it, you’ll do yourself an injury.” She ignored me, bent down and started snorting as the men chanted “Pegg-y! Pegg-y! Pegg-y!” as if it were a drinking game. She finished the line but her triumph left her near-comatose, speechless and cross-eyed for the rest of the night.”
And then they found out what Rowe did for a living:
“I let them in and told them to wait., forgetting about the domination gear. When I got back William was pretending to whip George, while Chris was sword fighting with the cane. “What’s all this Nat?” Chris asked. I smiled. Confession time. “I’m a dominatrix.” They were impressed. “Tell us what you get up to!” So I told them some stories about clients. They bombarded me with questions. “So how much do you charge?” George asked me. “It depends on a few things, on their pain threshold, how much work is involved, and so on but there’s a basic rate to start.” They loved to hear what was going on and I enjoyed telling them. They certainly hadn’t met anyone like me before. The trio started to hang around in the flat while I was working and would sometimes even meet clients after they’d been through a session. They’d chat together with them about domination over a drink. George really enjoyed this; it was as if he was sharing in their experience with me.”
Still no news on the identity of “Joe”…
According to Natalie Rowe’s memoirs, George Osborne used to be quite the dancer:
“The three musketeers were proper little ravers and loved to go clubbing. When George got tipsy, he lost his reserve and wanted to dance (I have a photo of him dancing at a party at my flat). He was a terrible dancer but wasn’t alone. I used to cringe when we went clubbing with the three musketeers and their friends. I couldn’t bring myself to share the dancefloor with them – just imagine tipsy public schoolboys at a disco doing robot impressions. The higher they got, the better they thought they were. George loved We Could Be Heroes by David Bowie and the three musketeers would sing it together top of their voices on the dance floor. George also adored Gold by Spandau Ballet. George didn’t have much of dress sense, neither did he make an effort to dress up – he just wore jeans and T-shirt.”
Yet he was sensitive:
“Although George never once said anything like: “I really hate what they’re saying,” at the time (I suppose he thought he’d be better off saving his energy – there was no chance of him making them stop), he was the most upset of the three and this made me feel close to him. Perhaps George was more upset because some of his acquaintances were racist towards Jews (George, who is Jewish, was christened Gideon and changed his name when he was a teenager to ‘fit in’). They’d say, “Shut up you f**king Jew,” to describe anyone they thought was being stingy. When we were alone George told me he couldn’t understand why I was with William; he said we just weren’t compatible.”
A fighter, not a quitter:
“I went and sat with George on the sofa. George couldn’t hold his own in conversation with his peers, which is why we ended up talking a lot together – we would share the fact that we didn’t have a clue, nor were we interested in what the others were going on about – arts, politics and the social shenanigans of the landed gentry. We were passing comment on somebody at the party when I leant over to whisper something to him and playfully licked his ear. William appeared. He’d seen what was going on and was pissed off. “What are you guys talking about?” he asked angrily. “Calm down William,” George said. “You’re letting your paranoia get the better of you.” The argument escalated quickly. When George tried to stand up William pushed him back down into the sofa. George then made a grab for William and they started tussling with one another. As I leapt out of the way the sofa tipped over and they rolled out onto the floor, still fighting – although it was the hugging-and-rolling type rather than the punching-and-kicking kind of fight. I thought it was hilarious. “Come on, stop it, this is ridiculous!” By the time they’d calmed down and made up, nobody had thrown a punch.”
More to come…
The Chancellor is only commenting through his lawyers – who dismiss Natalie Rowe as a dodgy witness – but the former hooker from that photo has her book out today. Guido will bring you some key extracts today, suitable for a family blog.
Their first meeting:
“Chris met George Osborne while at Oxford; they were both members of the infamous Bullingdon Club. By the time I started seeing William, the three of them were close friends and often turned up at my place together. I called them my ‘Three Musketeers’. Individually, William was ‘Willie Wonka’, George was ‘Georgie Porgie’ and Chris was ‘Christopher Robin’. George first arrived at my place with Chris, along with his friend Philip Delves Broughton, a writer for the New York Times. George was an attractive 22-year-old and it was immediately clear that girls considered him to be highly eligible – they were always vying for his attention. I thought he was quite good-looking but much preferred William. At this time George didn’t show any signs of the defiant character he went on to display as Chancellor of the Exchequer. Chris and William teased him about his background, that he was the “son of a curtain salesman” (his father is the co-founder of Osborne & Little, the fabric and wallpaper designers) and because he didn’t go to Eton. George took it without complaint; he had this ‘look’ he would give me that said ‘How pathetic are they?’”
Osborne gets naked:
“On one particularly drunken evening at my flat in Prince of Wales Terrace, I made a bet with George, Chris and William that they would strip off naked, run out the door, down the street to a building that was fifty metres away and back again. The first one back would get a ‘prize’. Eventually, after a bit of cajoling, the three of them agreed, stripped off and waited by the front door. “Ready?” I said, my hand on the door handle. “Set… Go!” I threw open the door and off they ran down the front steps, bottoms wobbling as they pounded down the street. And, of course, I locked the door and went back inside. I watched as they came running back, cheering them on. They all arrived more or less at the same time and couldn’t believe what I’d done to them. “Please let me back in!” the future Chancellor of the Exchequer pleaded. They all begged, hands over their willies, and I just watched, laughing. I laughed so much that I collapsed and thought I might even wee myself. Luckily for them, my building was in a quiet cul-de-sac. I gave them a good few minutes, which must have seemed like hours, god knows what any passer-by would have made of three naked men standing in the street. Finally, when I’d decided they’d had enough, I let them back in. They loved it and were all laughing afterwards – they’d enjoyed the joke.”
Rowe is very clear that the character of “Joe”, a young politician with the safe word “Mary” is not Osborne.
Though regular readers will remember the word “Louise” from a while back…