Toking Councillor Reaches New High

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Good on Labour’s Farooq Ahmed for declaring he will remain a councillor in Rochdale, despite being grassed up by his own team for smoking a spliff. Having been booted out of the Labour Party, he was going to resign his office, yet now declares he has “overwhelming support from the local community”. Surely the LibDems will welcome him with open arms?

Brillo’s Rave

Guido isn’t quite sure what to make of Jacqui Smith throwing some shapes…

Totty Watch: Egyptian Freedom Edition

Good on Egyptian blogger Aliaa Magda Elmahdy. She posted a naked picture of herself on her blog and it’s launched a national debate in Egypt about sex, women, morality and freedom.

It’s not safe for work/pre-Mubarak Egyptian society, but her site has had over a million and half views since. Guido will be posting his own topless pictures in solidarity later…

Christmas Cancelling Teachers Union Makes One Exception

Yesterday the Express reported that the militant head-bangers over at the NASUWT were ordering their members

“not to put up festive decorations or help produce Nativity plays and carol concerts in a dispute which could go on for months. Union rules say that members will be expected to “stick rigidly” to the 32.5-hour working week. They will also be told to refuse to perform any duties on a list of “21 administrative and clerical tasks that should not be routinely carried out by teachers” according to a national document outlining pay and conditions.”

Bah humbug etc! 

So imagine Guido’s amusement when this invitation reached his inbox this morning:

Will the NASUWT officials bother putting the tinsel up for this one? Or is organising their own Christmas party an “administrative and clerical tasks that should not be routinely carried out by teachers”? They couldn’t have anything interfering with their strict adherence to that 32.5 hour week now could they…

In the Beginning there was Samizdata… British Political Blogging Pioneer 10 Years Old Today

Perry de Havilland, the British Blogfather, reminds us that the Samizdata blog today celebrates ten years existence and the creation of 13,315 articles and 226,617 comments. It was a revelation to discover easy to use software that allowed push-button publication of articles without requiring technical knowledge. There were also some good parties…

Before there was ConservativeHome, before there was Recess Monkey (R.I.P.), before even Iain Dale had an online diary, there were Samizdistas. Long before he heard of HTML Guido began taking baby blogging steps at Samizdata. In a sense Samizdata begat Order-Order.com

Offord's Legislative Hiccup

As the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill makes it way through Parliament, honorable Members are having fun tacking bits and bobs to the legislation. Tory MP Matthew Offord has inserted a new clause calling for mandatory sobriety for those involved in alcohol related criminality.

Presumably this will be applicable to those involved in scotch fuelled scuffles at Tory conference?

Open a Beer, Sit Back, Turn Up the Volume, Sing-a-Long…

Happy Coming Out Day!

Today is National Coming Out Day!

It’s a transatlantic awareness day for coming out and discussion about people who are gay that is held on October 12 every year.

Happy chatting and good luck!

Boris: King of the Shaggers

Boris might not want to go campaigning near Camden Lock for a few weeks. Controversal extra-marital affairs dating agency Ashleymadison.com have found a new face for their service. Testing the all good publicity notion to the extreme…

Via The Drum.

Feeling the Love

Guido was beginning to get a little disappointed at the lack of vitriol against him at his first ever Labour conference visit, though that soon changed as the sun went down and the beer started flowing last night. Popping in to pay his respects to the great and good  at last night’s Guardian party, Guido’s face to face encounters with some blog favourites are worth recollecting. It would be fair to say Luciana Berger isn’t a happy reader and doesn’t find jokes about the Ferry ‘cross the Mersey funny. On the other hand  MumsNet’s mum-in-chief Justine Thompson confessed she voted for Guido #1 in the Total Politics blog awards. It’s the blog they love to hate…

Hugh Grant added some stardust to the affair, though Guido was a little sad not to get his moment and a chance to chat about the Cayman Islands, hypocrisy and hedge funds with either Polly or Alan Rusbridger. Security on the door was tight, and no sign of Draper. Perhaps after it took twenty minutes to argue his way in to the New Statesman party the night before he decided not to bother even trying…

UPDATE: A co-conspirator points reminds Guido that the funniest moment at the Guardian reception was watching Dr Death (Evan Harris) look daggers at Chris Bryant when he spirited Hugh Grant away from him. Later on Dawn Butler took pictures of Hugh with Emily Thornberry. Hugh has form for lively black girls, so Dawn probably thought she stood a chance. Not with Bryant and Evan there!

Snorting Sarah's Sexy Secrets

It seems Coke & Sex Week has gone international, with another prominent right-winger’s past being flung into the public eye. This one is going to be huge. Sarah Palin is accused of having a one night stand in 1987, behind her soon to be husband’s back, with 6ft 7in NBA player Glen Rice. The tryst allegedly took place in her sister Molly’s dorm room at the University of Alaska. Palin was a sports reporter at the time. However that’s not all:

“The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin by the respected if controversial author, Joe McGinniss, claims Palin was seen snorting cocaine off the top of a 55-gallon drum while snowmobiling with friends. It also alleges she smoked marijuana with a professor while at Mat-Su College in Alaska.”

Brad Hanson, Todd Palin’s business partner is also accused of sleeping with the former Alaskan governor in 1996. Unlike with a certain Tory Chancellor, at least it seems Palin wasn’t so stupid as to be caught grinning in front a plate of charlie. This might not go down so well with the hockey moms, but Guido is certainly amused…

Natalie Rowe Interview Video

Gallows humour amongst Osborne’s people yesterday. The story goes that they were answering calls from hacks with a quizzical “banking or spanking?”

UPDATE: Guido is trying to track down the audio, but Natalie Rowe was just on LBC suggesting that the Chancellor has “a lot to answer for”.

Full Audio of Natalie Rowe Regarding Osborne / Coke / Coulson

Tory MP's Model Daughter and the Facebook Mob

Just when the Tories abandoned their plans to ban Facebook, you can bet one backbench MP is cursing social media after a hundred-strong mob crashed his daughter’s party at their £2.25 million home. Neighbours described the event as “very noisy” and “an awful experience”. Kirby has a slender 1,328 majority…

Aspiring model Briony Kirby, daughter of the Tory MP for Brighton Kempton, Simon Kirby, called the coppers as the gatecrashers got out of hand. Her mother, who was on holiday when things got out of hand, told the Mail “These days, you have Facebook and mobile phones. You’re just stumped.” Ban it!

Ministry of Pound

The April to June party funding figures are out today and providing something to do during recess for Whitehall correspondents:

Nothing like a little donation to keep the local MP happy with all the noise and drugs around Elephant and Castle… isn’t that right Mr Hughes?

UPDATE: Guido revealed back in 2006 that Simon Hughes ran his leadership bid from the club and is good mates with the owner.

Phillip Hammond's Sofa Scandal

In news that doesn’t really shock Guido, he reads today that Phillip Hammond’s rather comfortable ministerial sofa in the Department of Transport was refitted at a cost to the taxpayer of nearly £5,000.

The Standard’s Craig Woodhouse reports that it was apparently cheaper to replace the oatmeal upholstery rather than buy a new set of sofas.

Guido can exclusively confirm, after some in-depth research, that the new comfy material is a rather fetching shade of green…

Who Is Peter Thiel?

Peter Thiel has had one of the best reactions to reading Atlas Shrugged that Guido has ever seen. The PayPal founder has poured $1.25m into the Seasteading Institute, which the Mail describes as “an organization that aspires to launch a floating colony into international waters, freeing them and like-minded thinkers to live by Libertarian ideals.”

Though some are already shouting “crazy” at him, Thiel seems pretty confident:

“…there are quite a lot of people who think it’s not possible. That’s a good thing. We don’t need to really worry about those people very much, because since they don’t think it’s possible they won’t take us very seriously. And they will not actually try to stop us until it’s too late.”

Who’s up for Guido Island?

How to Handle a Story

It’s rare that a press release makes Guido laugh. Normally it would take the fake exchange of kind words between a PM and a outgoing Cabinet member, but Louise Mensch’s hit the mark.  This allegation was put to Mensch, née Bagshawe by investigative hack David Jones:

Whilst working at EMI, in the 1990s, you took drugs with Nigel Kennedy at Ronnie Scott’s in Birmingham, including dancing on a dance floor, whilst drunk, with Mr Kennedy, in front of journalists. Photos of this exist.

And the reply:

Although I do not remember the specific incident, this sounds highly probable. I thoroughly enjoyed working with Nigel Kennedy, whom I remember with affection. Additionally, since I was in my twenties, I’m sure it was not the only incident of the kind; we all do idiotic things when young. I am not a very good dancer and must apologise to any and all journalists who were forced to watch me dance that night at Ronnie Scott’s.

Seems to have done the trick…

Off To Drink Arianna Dry

With the Adam Smith Institute’s do last night and the Speccie tomorrow, party season is in full swing.  There’s lots of clashes tonight though. Guido was thinking Mitt Romney’s could be fun, but then remembered he’s a Mormon, so doubt there will be much drinking happening there. The Balls’ are having a BBQ tonight for the B-team, but Stoke Newington is a bit of a trek. Looks like it’s going to have to be Arianna’s bash at Millbank. Remember HuffPo writers, that drink tonight is all the payment you are getting…

Osbournomics

There are many reasons why the NHS is not the “envy of the world”, but Guido reckons they could have tried a little harder with their token celebrity endorsement for the NHS’s 63rd birthday today. Step forward Ozzy Osbourne. The ageing rocker sings the praises of the organisation, though he seems to have changed his tune from his last public utterances on a medical theme.[…] Read the rest

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Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner:

“We have no plans to write off existing student debt.”

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