Juncker’s Gushing Congratulations to Putin

Juncker offers Putin “congratulations on your re-election” and says “I wish you every success”. So much for that international solidarity with Britain against Russia. Penny for your thoughts, Remainers…

When Tom Bradby Saw the Two Sides of Bercow

This 2009 ITV interview with John Bercow has been doing the rounds in Westminster this morning. Bercow’s mask slipped and Tom Bradby saw the two sides of the Speaker: his polite public persona and his rude and bullying private tone. Also ironic to see Bercow complaining about questions overrunning. If he speaks like this to a senior journalist in an interview, imagine how he treats his staff…

Selmayr Doxxed By European Commission

This is definitely not funny at all. Martin Selmayr, the so-called “monster” of the European Commission, chief of staff to Juncker and nemesis of Brexit who has just launched an astonishing power grab this week, celebrated his new job with an official photo. In the high res version, you can clearly see Selmayr’s mobile number, as well as the mobile numbers of the EU heads of cabinet, on a piece of paper on the wall:

Definitely not funny at all.

H/T John Stevens

Back to Work: “Sick” Jared Makes Miraculous Recovery as Media Pressure Mounts

Good news! Jared O’Mara has briefed the Mirror that he is feeling much better after his four months off and will be making a “phased return” to work. The timing of his miraculous recovery is surely just a coincidence and definitely, absolutely nothing to do with the Yorkshire Post turning on him yesterday. Guido is glad to hear Jared is fighting fit – this means Labour’s paused investigation into his conduct can resume and report back swiftly. Right?

Order of the OTT: LSE Prof Claims “Brexit Is Our Vietnam”

Guido has no choice but to award the Order of the OTT to Conor Gearty, professor of human rights law at the London School of Economics, who thinks Brexit is “our Vietnam”. The professor compares the democratic vote to leave the European Union to the bloody Vietnam War as he writes:

“Brexit strikes me as our Vietnam. Everybody rational knows it is – how can I put it politely? – not going well. But no one with authority seems able to say so.”

He goes on to compare Brexit to human rights abuses in Vietnam, conceding: “If any deaths, ill-health or misery are caused by Brexit it will prove perhaps harder to gauge”. Perhaps someone should remind the nutty professor that the Vietnam War cost 1,353,000 lives. Just Hanoi-ing…

Cliffe Quits ‘The Radicals’ After 12 Hours

12 hours after setting up The Radicals, the Economist’s Jeremy Cliffe has hilariously quit the party:

It is also clear from the — entirely unanticipated — scale of this unplanned experiment that taking this forward would not be compatible with my job as Berlin Bureau Chief for The Economist. But I do not want this remarkable network to go to waste. So having spoken to a number of supporters this morning I am arranging to hand it over to a committee in Britain that might, if it opts to do so, advance the Radicals to a next stage. Details of the committee will follow soon.

The shortest lived political movement in history?

Freedom-Hating Obesity Charity: Ban Sugar

Tam Fry of the National Obesity Forum is addicted to banning. He wants to ban chocolate bars containing more than 250 calories, because he has decided that is a “quite sufficient snack for anybody“. A typical Mars bar contains 260 calories. Two Twix fingers is 286 calories. A Milky Way has 264 calories. Tam would ban them all. 

The nannying nonsense doesn’t end there. Fry also wants a blanket ban on products with added sugar for hospital inpatients. And the serial banner has come up with a catchy slogan for his crusade: “Sugar is the new tobacco: ban it”. The UK’s leading anti-obesity campaigner calling for sugar to be banned. He’ll have to pry Guido’s 274 calorie Bounty bar from his cold, dead hands…

Gary Lineker Tax Scheme Loses Court Bid

Gary Lineker is among a group of celebrities who have lost a court bid to overturn a £700 million tax bill. The achingly right-on footballer turned self-appointed current affairs expert claimed the press were pursuing a “vendetta” against him over his involvement in the Ingenious film investment scheme, where tax reliefs were claimed on artificial movie losses. It was all media lies, Gary insisted…

Seems the courts do not agree. HMRC argued that the scheme was an aggressive kind of tax avoidance and yesterday a tax tribunal judge ruled the tax relief claims were not “allowable deductions”. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer bloke.

“Self-Serving Parasite” Bercow Breaks Promise to MPs

With crushing inevitability, John Bercow has told Sky News he is going to break his promise to stand down as Speaker after nine years and instead go on until 2022. Bercow says laughably that “we’re in a very different situation” and that because Theresa May changed her mind about calling an election he is within his rights to change his too. A pitiful excuse even by his standards.

Guido has dug out Bercow’s manifesto circulated to MPs when he ran for Speaker in 2009. Bercow told colleagues that “as a matter of principle” he believed Speakers should not outstay their welcome, and promised that

“if you do me the honour of electing me, I will serve for no longer than two full Parliaments and, in any event, for no more than 9 years in total. I say this because any Speaker should be able to make a mark in that time”

He has gone back on his word, and it is going down very badly among MPs…

Scourge of Bercow James Duddridge tells Guido:

“He said he would only serve until the 22nd June 2018. He has broken his manifesto promise to to go at this date. He is a disgrace and should not be reelected as Speaker if he is returned as an MP. He is a self-serving parasite of the worst order.”

Karl McCartney adds:

“He does not command loyalty across the House, except from those who owe him, and has used up any goodwill any of my colleagues may have had for him in the past.”

And Andrew Bridgen tells Guido:

“Speaker Bercow has already ripped up every page of the rulebook on impartiality, and now he has ripped up his manifesto pledges.”

Another Tory candidate says:

“It is about time Parliament had a truly independent Speaker rather than anymore of this third rate third Labour supporting Speaker. He has brought the exalted position into disrepute with his personal life and opinionated pontifications and his fellow MPs do not like being taken for granted, or for fools.”

Four extra years of Bercow coming up if he wins reelection after June 8. No one will be more annoyed than Chris Bryant and Lindsay Hoyle…

Jolyon Maugham Jumps the Shark

Twitter’s most pompous attention-seeking lawyer Jolyon Maugham has jumped the shark – he is setting up a new political party called “Spring“. The poor man has gone quite mad:

“Theresa May has an enormous majority. And is a relatively popular local MP. Nationally she is divisive. And Maidenhead voted overwhelmingly to Remain. Labour is non-existent in the seat. And it is not being targeted by the LibDems. For an independent, without a local infrastructure, the seat is in practice unwinnable.

But.

There are local pro-Remain groups. The seat has great symbolic value. And – most importantly – if we can inspire people with our celebration they will come again. They will come early, tomorrow. And knock on residents’ doors, and smile, and talk.

The celebration will lay the foundations for a new political party. The strength of those foundations are our metric of success. We will collect members. We will build a brand. And we will raise funding. Spring. A new start. A brighter future. Spring is a party of the radical centre. Solutions for the world today and tomorrow. Not yesterday.”

Jolyon has accidentally published his plan for electoral success, dripping in self-importance and referring to himself in the third person:

Step One: Jolyon announces to The Maidenhead Advertiser that he’s standing. It filters out to the National Press. The website goes up, with a short biog, a teaser, a ‘register’ button and a ‘donate’ button.

Step Two: We announce the festival and some acts.

Step Three: We begin to release policies.

What next: There is a lot to do. But. If you build it, they will come.

You’d need a heart of stone…

UPDATE: Jolyon has changed his mind:

I’m very lucky. I have some great friends in the music and creative industries. Serious people. “It’s a wonderful idea,” they said, “but completely impossible to execute in the available time.”

I have at last, with great reluctance, accepted they were right. And I will not be standing.

That de-escalated quickly…

Neil Hamilton Endears Himself to His Constituents

How is Neil Hamilton getting on as leader of UKIP in Wales? A politician you could never accuse of being out-of-touch, Hamilton this week announced he is opening a new office in his constituency. Unfortunately Team Neil spelt the name of the town and county wrong in the press release. Not once. Not twice. Not thrice. But four times.

“People wanting to know more about the party and speak to either Neil Hamilton or his advisors will be able to do so at Whitlands (sic) Town Hall, in Whitlands (sic), Camarthenshire (sic) from Monday January 16… Neil has been busy planning where to site an office in his constituency and is delighted that he is now being able to open one in the town of Whitlands (sic)”.

Aides blamed computer issues for the faux pas. Fel rhech mewn pot jam…

Owen Smith Staffer Breaks Burnham’s Toe

Andy Burnham angrily told an aide that “some little sh*t” had broken his toe during the Labour v Lobby football match on Sunday. Which member of Her Majesty’s press corp was responsible? Guido can reveal it was in fact an aide to Owen Smith playing as a ringer for the journalists’ team. Who once again ended up on the losing team…

Sharp-elbowed Burnham was also involved in a fracas with a young political correspondent, telling him: “F**k off, you f**king pr*ck”. Calm down, calm down…

Bob Geldof Speaking Gigs: No Charity Requests Please

bob

Fresh from his ill-fated waterborne intervention during the referendum, Bob Geldof is looking for work as a corporate after dinner speaker. Bob’s agent has emailed round promising “Sir Bob’s keynotes are always bespoke and tailored completely to client’s requirements”. Apparently Geldof has “been paying a lot of attention to international politics” and is “very relevant to so many international businesses right now”. Sounds like he really needs the money:

“We also have a couple of other opportunities with Bob for ‘filler’ events where we can consider reduced fees and would already have the international airfares covered either in full or part.”

Geldof’s biography on his agent’s website boasts of his charity work but there is a message for anyone who tries to book him: “Please note: we are unable to assist with any charitable requests”.

bob2

Give him your f***ing money…

Mandy’s Mid-Air Tantrum: “My Favourite Seat is 1A”

PETER MANDELSON PLANE

A co-conspirator points Guido in the direction of a post on the Flyertalk BA Executive Club forum, where jet-setters share stories from 40,000 ft.

My experience was with a well known British Labour Politician, lets just go with Peter M ……

I was flying Qatar, London – Doha , I had rebooked 1A, when I boarded I noticed someone was in my seat, when I asked why, the said passenger told me “Please talk to the crew, this is my favourite seat, I am sure they will find you an alternative”

I knew the land side manager from flying every week for the last 6 months, so I had a word, as the Cabin Crew could not do anything as he had VVIP next to his name apparently, the manager asked for his boarding card, which was in 5D, after another 10 mins discussion which included the said person saying “surely this passenger can move to my seat” obviously thought that possession was 90% of the law. Finally he did move, not a word to my face and spent the rest of the flight refusing all contact with CC including food and drink.

Don’t you know who I used to be?

UPDATE: A second co-conspirator recounts another story about flying with Mandy:

“he has form – tried to get my brother moved from his seat “do you know who I am” and the kicked up a stink about being to stop using his mobile during take-off. Sadly the cc refused said brother’s kind offer to resolve the mobile phone situation.”

Back of the Net! Another Big Murdoch Money Deal For Coogan

Murdoch-hating coke and hookers aficionado Steve Coogan has an impressive record of slagging off Rupe while taking his money. Coogan has banged on about “Rupert Murdoch’s toxic legacy” and the “News International protection racket” for years, all while selling his shows Places of My Life and Mid Morning Matters to Sky for top whack. What do you know, Coogan has just agreed to trouser even more of the ‘Murdoch shilling’:

“Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon are taking their fine dining, gentle bickering, ruminations on getting old and endless impersonations of Michael Caine to Sky TV. After two highly successful series of The Trip on BBC2, the third series will be broadcast on Sky Atlantic.”

Back in 2012, Guido bumped into Coogan at a Hacked Off rally and asked him if he thought the deals made him a massive hypocrite. He comically disagreed:

“I am aware of it but I see a flipside, I think it makes me even braver. It would be even more hypocritical if I took his money and didn’t criticise him. What I’m doing puts me in even more danger.”

Congratulations Steve on your bravery and your pay cheque!

Hain Gravy Train Hypocrisy

On 3 November 2014, not even twelve months ago, Peter Hain told his constituents he believed the second chamber should be elected:

“The Lords are an archaic anomaly which fuels disillusionment with British politics. It exists purely on a democratic deficit which has been allowed to evolve unchecked for centuries… the fact is that people are fed up with an out-of-touch political class and the growing sense that Westminster is failing us all.”

Yesterday, he became Lord Hain of Neath, writing in the Guardian that “it wasn’t an easy decision“, it had required “considerable thought“, but he concluded that “more peers in favour of reform are crucially important“.

What was it about the £300-a-day attendance allowance that changed his mind?

UKIP ‘Protect Our Heritage’ Bag Made in India

unnamed

Commonwealth, at least…

Flailing Burnham Lashes Out

flipflop

Andy Burnham accused David Cameron of “dog-whistle” politics this morning for daring to use the word “swarm” to describe the swarm of migrants swarming the channel. You can almost smell the desperation in the camp as they start lashing out…

Here is Burnham talking about immigration during the 2010 leadership election:

“We were in denial. We were behind the issue all the time, and myths were allowed to develop. There’s still an ambivalence among some in Labour about discussing immigration. I’ve been accused of dog-whistle politics for doing so. But it was the biggest doorstep issue in constituencies where Labour lost. People aren’t racist, but they say it has increased tension, stopped them getting access to housing and lowered their wages.”

Burnham’s campaign is more screwed than Cecil the Lion on a trip to see the dentist.

The Truth About “Dr” Eoin Clarke

eoin-librarian

Much amusement as Andy Burnham’s favourite blogger continues to damage the Labour cause. After Burnham moved yesterday to distance himself from dodgy photoshop nutter ‘Dr’ Eoin Clarke, it emerges that Team Miliband also viewed the proven bullsh*t artist as an asset:

“When one Labour staffer attempted to dismiss Clarke’s latest laughable graphic, the two staffers were heard saying ‘we must not underestimate Éoin Clarke’.”

Guido suspects that there was a touch of academic solidarity occurring here…

Much has been made of ‘Dr’ Eoin’s eminent thesis on radical Irish feminism, but what does he actually do as a day job? His fans are quick to point out his academic background when defending his dodgy data and daft campaigns. He’s not even a real teaching academic:

He’s the librarian and tea-boy at a third rate university

Russell Brand: Absolute Twat

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