How to survive in the shark infested waters of Westminster and remain reasonably sane

24 Feb 2018 at 11:26

A few days after the last general election I bumped into an old friend who had just been elected. He looked rather shell shocked. Pleadingly he turned his ashen face to me and wailed, ‘I haven’t a clue how to do this job. What should I do?’. So I sat him down, administered large doses of claret and gave him a few home truths which are as relevant today as they were then. So here they are.

Unless you are a Machiavellian, sociopathic little shit who would betray his colleagues eat their children and sell what was left of his soul for a red box and a share of a medium sized family saloon, there are three priorities. Your family and those you love. Your constituents. Your party.

Your family really does have to come first. It’s difficult. Sometimes very difficult. But at least try. Because in the dark tea time of your soul they are the only people who really care about you and will sustain you through the many crises that will dominate your life. Remember the overwhelming majority of your Parliamentary friends or colleagues don’t really give a shit about you when the going gets really tough. Try and find at least one politician who you can confide in, trust and befriend. This is not easy and will take time. Sometimes you will be surprised that they are from another party.

The whole point of being in Parliament is to look after your constituents. I am afraid the majority don’t give a flying fuck about your views on foreign affairs or even the EU unless they directly affect them. Make your constituency a party political free zone until each election. People hate party politics. And politicians. But they might give you the benefit of the doubt if they know that you are watching their backs. Anyhow, the people who run your association love doing all that political stuff themselves. Rise above it all. Personal attacks are just undignified. And don’t get involved with every fight on the constituency association playground. You can’t win. Don’t try. They do love House of Commons notepaper though. Send them lots of personal notes. But one golden rule. Give you support and loyalty unconditionally to your chairman. He or she has far more power and ability to end your career than the whips. And they will firefight flare up for you that you never knew existed.

You will be shocked at how hopelessly inadequate many your local councillors are. Best not let them know. But to the large part they are good hearted and want to do the best for their wards and the various odd ball ideas that have been buzzing between their ears for years. Just let them get on with it and they will be as happy as pigs in shit. Oh, and they love the notepaper too.

Now for the klaxons, bells and red lights. This is important. To many, being a councillor is the pinnacle of everything. When the national opinion polls turn nasty many panic and become independent. Act in sorrow more than anger. They tend to come back when things improve.

Now for your party. Mmm, a tricky one. Remember that you were elected on their coat tails and they can still pull the plug on you. But keeping up with party policy is a nightmare. Pity dear old Alan Mak. I’ve never met him. I’m sure that he is very nice man. But you can smell ambition on him like a cheap aftershave. Imagine his dilemma every morning. He has spent days bobbing up and down in the chamber and destroying Amazonian rain forests with press releases salivating the wonders of a policy. And then suddenly it is reversed and you can smell the burning rubber of a forced U turn. Except that it won’t be forced for young Mak as he will be rejoicing the wonders of this new and wonderful crock of crap.

Years ago the legendary producer Ed Boyle and I collaborated on a game show for politicians called a Kick in the Ballots which aired on ITV. He developed a game called U Turn. A politician was given a subject to speak in favour of, then the Chairman, Charlie Kennedy, would press a buzzer and the politician would argue against. God they were brilliant. Not even a pause for thought.

I really can’t advise on how to handle this. Perhaps do a half Mak. Probably best not to believe a word that comes out of Number 10.

Now for the press. NEVER trust the news desk. They will probably never speak to you again and don’t care about burning their sources. Always say off the record first, then it is. If you say it later this magical incarnation won’t work. Find someone you can trust in the lobby. Believe me they do exist. Their rule is everything you say is off the record unless you wish otherwise. But never ever lie to them. It is not clever. It is lethal because most of the lobby gossip with each other. If you get a reputation for being a shit they will destroy you. And pamper your local press. Don’t issue releases from on high. Chat to them. Take them for a drink. Remember that Fleet Street is for your ego the local press is for your life support.

Oh, and if you receive a phone call from Simon Walters on a Saturday afternoon and you notice Michael Crick strolling down your street, it’s not going to be pleasant. Run for the hills as you are just about to be right royally fucked.

And one final word of wisdom. If a tall pin striped man with the smile like the brass plate on a coffin asks you to sign a letter supporting the Prime Minister. Don’t. For two reasons. Firstly because he is cunt. Secondly, if you sign it you will resemble one too.



Sign up via Facebook or Twitter to comment.

Boris, Mogg Al Capone and the St Valentine’s Day massacre. Gangsters the lot of them

14 Feb 2018 at 11:30

I have been trying to work out the logic of Bozo making his keynote grab for power/speech on Brexit (delete where applicable) on St Valentine’s day. But it’s a monumental waste of time. A bit like Bozo. Perhaps he thought, ‘romance is in the air’. Not for the first time. After all, his officials have been trying to tell him that monogamy is not what his desk is made out of for months. Perhaps it is because the whole tone of his speech is holding out the hand of friendship and reconciliation to Remainers and Brexiteers alike. A great human rights extravaganza, perhaps reminiscent of Dr.King’s I Have a Dream speech. But a British version. Soft, cuddly, roses, soft toys and a few sips of English sparkling wine, laced with cyinide. Yet not so much of a dream as a nightmare. Let us build a bonfire of all those regulations that Brussels inflicts on our businesses. In future it will be British regulations. We will set the standards. We will not be a vassal state. Oh dear, empty vassals do make the most noise.

These people are delusional. And dangerous. If you are going to trade internationally it won’t work unless you have basic standards, by agreement. Which is how we operate now with the EU. As much as we would love to believe it, we haven’t ruled the waves for years. And our navy is only marginally bigger than the Swiss.

The truth about this speech is that it’s just another Bozo tantrum. Another grab for the headlines. Another selfish, cynical move intended to propel him into Number 10 with likes off that ghastly Mogg abomination. If that terrible day comes I will elope with Anna Soubry.

But just a moment. I have suddenly realised why he has chosen St Valentine’s day. To celebrate an attempt to end another trade cartel. It was 1929 and Al Capone was rather fed up with Bugs Moran muscling in on his bootlegging business. He was helped by another gang, Egan’s Rats. They massacred Bugs Moran and his crew. One man, Frank Gusenberg was taken to hospital with fourteen bullets lodged inside him. When the police asked him who was responsible Gusenberg simply replied, ‘nobody shot me’.

Not unlike the denial that it was said that the Turks were joining the EU or the NHS was to receive £350m a week.

Gangsters the lot of them



Sign up via Facebook or Twitter to comment.

Mogg you are disgrace. Don’t be an ocean going dolchytosser

5 Feb 2018 at 14:06

It has been my privilege to have known three Cabinet Secretaries, or heads of the civil service. Andrew Turnbull, Robin Butler and Gus O’Donnell ( who used to initial all his memos GOD). These men have served governments of all parties. They are incorruptible. They are fair and they treat their job with an almost sacred belief that their duty is to give impartial advice, no matter how unpalatable it might be to their democratically elected masters. It is for civil servants to advise and ministers to decide. And here lies the problem with Brexit. It is their job to give ministers options and give realistic advice based on the evidence.

Let’s be honest. Not all Treasury forecasts are set in stone. Economics can sometimes be as reliable as meteorology. So don’t look too carefully at the figures, but look at the overall trends. And the overall trend is that a hard Brexit will damage jobs and business. To what degree nobody knows. After all it hasn’t happened yet. We are akin to 1939. A phoney war. But soon the war will be a reality. It will hit home. It will affect all of us in some way, which will not be pleasant.

To attack the hard working and impartial men and women who advise ministers is an attack on our democracy. Steve Baker, who has all the charm, but not the accuracy, of a speak your weight machine, quite properly apologised on the floor of the house for repeating and giving credence to the lie that civil servants are biased. Rees Mogg hasn’t. He accused treasury officials of fiddling the figures. Fiddling whilst the Treaty of Rome burns.

It has been said that he is the sort of man whom barmaids consider to be a gentleman. This is an insult to barmaids. It is not the act of a gentleman to accuse officials, who can’t answer back, with the protection of Parliamentary privilege, of being liars. And it is not the act of a gentleman too keep peddling these blatant untruths which he knows full well don’t have even the flimsiest acquaintance with the truth.

For Andrew Turnbull, one of the mildest mannered and discreet men that I have ever met, to suggest that there are echoes of Dolchytoss (stabbing in the back scapegoats in 1930’s Germany) speaks volumes. For Gus O’Donnell to compare Brexit zealots to snake oil salesmen who don’t want their dodgy products tested, is a sign that those who guard our democracy are deeply, deeply troubled. And so should we be.

This is terrible news for democracy. The zealots are demanding the sacking of another distinguished public servant Ollie Robins. The hysteria that is gripping the carpet biting wing of the Tory party is nothing sort of a disgrace. And a very dangerous one. It is meat a drink for Corbyn and his dangerous rabble. If we start a precedent for trashing and sacking our public servants he will take it to its logical conclusion. Give him the fools and he will finish the job.

But back to Mogg. He has camouflaged himself as a great Parliamentarian. But this is nothing more than smoke and mirrors. He believes in Parliamentary sovereignty so long as it does not affect the ‘will of the people’ on an advisory referendum.

It is time for Madame to assert authority. To show leadership. To show direction, otherwise Barnier will have us for a continental breakfast. But that is exactly what the likes of Mogg want. Sod Johnny Foreigner. Two fingers to Brussels. Let plucky Blighty go it alone. Remember the war.

So a message to Mogg. Don’t be such an ocean going dolchytosser because you are piloting this country onto the rocks.

And my message to Parliament? Be Parliamentarians. Give May a chance. But if all is lost, vote with your conscience. The people will never forgive you if you don’t.



Sign up via Facebook or Twitter to comment.

After the Pig’s revolution the farm had been requisitioned. But inside the Tory turkey shed they were voting for an early Christmas...

2 Feb 2018 at 08:28

Piglet pressed his little nose close to the farmer’s window. How things had changed since those wicked people had been loaded onto the back of a lorry and sent to the free market and the farm requisitioned Inside comrade leader Corbyn sat rigid with fear at a large mahogany desk. In the corner piglets dressed in leather were chanting, ‘truth are lies, lies are truth’ over an over again until they collapsed into an exhausted heap. Comrade Corbyn turned to a sinister looking pig in dark clothes who was obsessed with clipboard held tightly in his left trotter.
‘Comrade John. I am concerned, deeply concerned. Why are so many animals disappearing and where are they going?’
‘Oh, they are the traitors and capitalist running dogs who want to undermine the Pig’s revolution. They are being re educated in a camp on Canvey Island. This collective will not be free until everyone has learned to love you comrade leader.’
‘And what of the Tories in the turkey shed?’
At this comrade John gave an hysterical high pitched laugh which chilled the room into a terrified silence.
‘Oh let’s leave them to their own devices’, he hissed. ‘Even as we speak they are voting for Christmas’.

Piglet was intrigued. The Tory turkey shed was just a short trot way, right next to an evil smelling factory which emitted stinking clouds of putrid smoke. Attached to the factory entrance was a sign proudly announcing, ‘welcome to the promised land’.

Piglet peered into the shed. There was much shouting and ruffling of feathers. An old turkey covered from head to toe in black and white stripes began to speak.
‘The turkeys of Great Britain have spoken in unprecedented numbers. They have demanded that we leave this farm and move into the promised land in time for Christmas, which is so near it is within touching distance. Naysayers and doom mongers tell us that the promised land is nothing more than a factory which stuns, kills and eventually stuffs us. What lies!! I Have been assured by our chief negotiator, Mr. Bernard Mathews, a well known friend of turkeys, that this is just project fear. That behind those doors is a land of milk and honey, of unprecedented turkey opportunities. A land fit for turkeys. So let’s rise up against these traitors and saboteurs. Turkeys have demanded Christmas and they want it now, not on a transitional basis. Now, now, now! Join me my fellow turkeys and vote for an early Christmas!!!

Newly hatched chicks looked at each other with tears of joy streaming onto their little beaks. And they began a chant which turned into a crescendo.
‘Mogg, Mogg, we want Mogg. Save us oh mighty Mogg’.

Rheumy eyed old birds shook their heads in sadness and shuffled out into the night, never to return.
All this confused little piglet. For it was obvious to everyone that the promised land was no more than a turkey factory. If he could see it why couldn’t they?

As he pondered this earth shattering question two enormous swine dressed in leather and carrying large clubs seized him by two trotters.
‘You should be in your sty. Comrade leader has decreed that no animal should be out at night. You are a spy. A traitor an enemy of the pig’s revolution. Come with us.’

Poor piglet was never to be seen again.



Sign up via Facebook or Twitter to comment.

My message to Conservative moderates? Take back control.

29 Jan 2018 at 06:37

Does Bozo want to be Prime Minister or leader of the Opposition? His slash and burn policy is suicidal for both him and the Conservative Party. The hysterical screechings from Brexiteers, terrified of their own shadows, seeing apparitions of betrayal in every corner is meat and drink to Corbyn and his goons. Do Mogg, Bozo, Dorries and the rest of this rag tag bag of obsessionists really think that by replacing Madame all our problems will disappear? The depressing thing is that they probably do.

A leadership election (there will be no coronation) will make Game of Thrones look like gentle stroll in the woods. It will be a war that never ends. Betrayals, smears and body parts rotting in the crimson stained corridors of Westminster will be the back drop to the War of the Poses. Beware. Splinter is coming.

The Tory party is being tested to destruction and nobody on the carpet biting right seem to care. Everyone must kow tow to their project. Anyone who dares warn that our rate of growth lags behind the EU, America and most of the developed world is talking our country down. Saboteurs, particularly wiley civil servants, hell bent on betraying the will of the people must be purged. My once broad church of a party, a sort of gentle C of E not at prayer, has been taken over by serpent wrestlers, snake oil salesmen and wild eyed evangelical fanatics. George McCarthy would be so proud. Now we are as wide open to entryism as Labour. As the bad ship UKIP descends to the depths of the ocean the flotsam and jetsam of the wreck is floating over to the Tories. God help us.

But I am not entirely correct in my analysis. Labour is not open to entryism, it has been. It is possessed by the diabolical entity that is Momentum and its host is Jeremy Corbyn. Most of you will not remember when moderate Andrew Macintosh won the Greater London Council for Labour. Within days there was a coup and the mad left under Ken Livingstone took control. It won’t escape your attention that John MacDonnell was in charge of the purse strings. But he was too left for even Livingtone’s mob, who sacked him for trying to push through an unlawful budget.

If the Tories give Labour the chance to win Corbyn will be replaced by MacDonnell within months if not weeks. The city will panic. A state of emergency will be declared and institutions and property will be requisitioned. And there will not be time for democratic elections. They would be a distraction. After all the People have spoken. Their will and their revolution must not be betrayed. Saboteurs will be punished. Do those last two sentences sound familiar?

Our two great parties are been taken over by extremists. There is no hope for Labour as moderation is as filthy a word as Blair.

But there is still a flicker of hope for my party. My message to Conservative moderates? Take back control.



Sign up via Facebook or Twitter to comment.

Britain has more in Common with Hawaii than you might think

14 Jan 2018 at 08:15

The United Kingdom has more in common with Hawaii than you might think. Yesterday the fiftieth State was thrown into panic when an incompetent pressed the wrong button sending terrified Hawaiins to the nuclear shelters in fear of Armageddon. Yet barely a week beforehand the good people of Britain began running for the hills, stocking tins of canned goods and bottled water awaiting the prerecorded ‘don’t panic’ message from John Humphreys who had already boarded a private jet to take him to a secret location in Antarctica. And as the Queen was ushered into her bunker in Buckingham Palace with a rattling biscuit tin under her arm, another message crackled across the air waves.

The the sound of klaxons, flashing lights, closing blast proof doors and senior civil servants running baths and reaching for razor blades echoed through COBBLERS, the briefing room where Theresa May runs the country. Strapped to a chair and surrounded by beefy men in white coats, her wild eyes dart across the room in a mixture of anger and bewilderment. A croaky voice screeches above the mayhem, which momentarily halts a mandarin in his search for a cyanide capsule in a tooth cavity. ‘And WHAT is WRONG with Chris Grayling becoming party chairman?’ Nick Timothy told me he would be an asset. Provide us with intellectual rigour, policies to unite the party and galvanise the country into voting for ME’. Just as she launches into her ‘ the country needs me! Only I can deliver us into a Brexit of milk and honey, and I will go ON and ON,’ speech, a Gavin enters the room and administers the liquid cosh, moves over to a flashing computer terminal, deletes GRAYLING and inputs Brandon Lewis. Almost immediately the riots in the streets and the looting subsides, whilst people plant roses in the barrels of the guns of the police. Crisis averted. The Humphreys plane diverts back to Heathrow and the Queen gets back to watching Jeremy Kyle.

A few months ago a friend of mine told me how after a good lunch at the Garrick he popped into the Kingsley Amis’s house for a digestif. He was shocked at the scene. The great man was surrounded by empty bottles. The room was strewn with paper thrown in every corner. In the middle sat Kingsley with a knitting needle stabbing randomly at the paper. My friend was aghast.
‘What on earth are you doing?’ He spluttered.
‘Oh, just choosing the shortlist for the Daily Mail poem of the year. Help yourself to a drink’.

One gets the sinking feeling that the thought process of this last reshuffle fiasco was not a great deal different.

As just about everything possible has been written about it, let me keep this simple. It was a bloody disaster. It’s no use briefing that the dead wood is going to be put on the fire unless you do it. It would have been far better to under play it all and emerge with strength and some degree of dignity. It has made her look weak. It has strengthened the power of the madmen. It has kept the incompetents in place to alienate the public still more. And it has brought morale on the back benches to an all time low. The usual whispers of a palace coup have started again, much earlier than they should have. Nothing will happen until a front runner has emerged. And the Gover has put his think tanks on the Number 10 lawn. Wisely, he has hinted that the race could be between Spider Boy and someone called Hinds. I must say that I have never heard of Hinds. But he seems to be bright and personable. I am just not sure that country is screaming for a former President of the Oxford Union to lead us into the modern world.

The whole purpose of the exercise was to show that Madame was in control. That the party had direction. Rejuvenation. Rebranding. At least with Anusol you know what it is meant to do.

I suspect that the role of Nick Timothy is overblown. He is not the Rasputin that some would like him to be. After all Rasputin was charismatic and had a thirteen inch penis. But like Timothy he was notoriously difficult to kill off. Writing pieces in the newspapers slagging off ministers is not a good idea. Nor putting forward policy options. It gives the impression that he is still running things from the political grave. It’s not a wise idea to have government by seance. Will someone have a word? Get him running a bank? Make him Governor of Bermuda?

But thanks to Trump and Henry Bolton with his latest squeeze, it is all yesterday’s news. For now. Please can someone get a grip? The local elections are a few weeks away. Momentum is slowly ethnically cleansing anyone with an ounce of decency from Labour and some very, very scary people are running the sweet shop. And the kids think it’s cool. God help us all.



Sign up via Facebook or Twitter to comment.

The season of goodwill is over. Time to bayonet the wounded in a reshuffle

6 Jan 2018 at 09:56

Now that the season of goodwill is over there is not a better time to start bayoneting the wounded. It’s reshuffle time. Whoop!! As an old hack, let me tell you the terrible truth about the process. None of the press have a clue about whose crawling up the ladder or sliding down the snake. It’s all guess work, rumour, misdirection and a bit of luck. As Number 10 was leaking last week that a reshuffle was likely to happen it will probably be starting today. Very few people will be in the loop. Jeremy Heywood, Gavin Barwell, probably Damien Green (yes, I know, but there is nothing to stop him privately advising May) and perhaps Spider Boy. I haven’t mentioned the chief whip because he might be for the chop or a move. Poor Julian hasn’t been a success. Losing a vote is not the end of the world, but the way he treated Charlie Elphicke, who still doesn’t know what he is accused of, was incompetence tinged with the despicable. McVey would be much more effective.

So let’s go down the road of who is seriously crap and ought to go. Let’s start with Bozo. Psychotically ambitious, lazy as a toad, as trustworthy as an Algerian brothel keeper and as much use to further British interests abroad as a cat flap in a submarine. Which means he will probably stay. There is much talk of giving him a big role in Brexit but it would be like making Harold Shipman minister for patient care.

Andrea Loathesome. So terminally dim that it’s hard to imagine her being able to walk and talk simultaneously. But clearly not as dim as the sixty odd (very odd) MPs who voted for her as leader. She has no power base, so give her a DBE and tell her to fuck off.

Chris Grayling. The Turner Prize of Ministers in that everyone wonders what he is there for. He has that rare gift of being able to wreak havoc and mayhem in every department he has, ahem, ‘run’. A man with ideas above his station, if only he could find one whiched was manned. Easy to get rid of. Time to give him a one way ticket to Epsom. Except you can’t as he has totally screwed up the railways.

Philip Hammond. Despised by everyone except, perhaps, Mrs Hammond. Hopeless at the Foreign Office and dangerous at Defence. Spider Boy watches with horror as the sky blackens with Hammond chickens coming home to roost. To be honest, I had high hopes for him at the Treasury, but he has Van Gogh’s ear for political intelligence, has seriously angered the Brexiteers and lost the confidence of May a long time ago. A mortal alignment. He really should be shown the door as there is a lingering fear, since his suicidal plan to raise national insurance for the self employed, that he will seriously fuck up. And his replacement? You are now going to think that I have gone mad. Michael Gove. Yes, I know that he is slightly bonkers about the EU and the Middle East, but nobody can deny that he is probably the most effective minister in a generation. Every department that he has run has been a success. It would be a bold move, but it would send the right signals and show that May really is back in the driving seat. To her credit she has been remarkably resilient. Very few people would have the courage and inner strength to soldier on as she has done. And much credit to Barwell for keeping the circus on the road with the minimum interference from the clowns.

The rest I don’t really care about. However, there are two names who should be in the frame for cabinet. Matt Hancock, cerebral, charming, and as good on the box as at the box. And Dominic Raab. Yes, I know he has some barking views on Brexit, but nobody can deny his ability, mastery of a brief and effectiveness with the media.

Jeremy Hunt really needs to be relieved of his heroic stint at Health. He is much underestimated. A genuinely nice guy who really does care. His response the the Crisis at Christmas, which has happened every year since the dinosaurs roamed the earth, was appropriate and masterful. He could be first minister (if she bothers to keep the title, which I doubt) in a coordination role or chairman of the party. He has appeased the Brexiteers and has a safe pair of hands. In every respect. He is one of the few people who could unite a bitterly divided party. And if you want a really good deputy chairman look no further than Kemi Badenoch the new member for Saffron Walden. Not because she is a woman and black, but because she has both charm and ability. Rare qualities nowadays.

Now for a wild card. Why not make Moggy leader of the House? Well, ok, there is a musty old library of reasons not to, but…….the splendid Patrick Kidd of the Times, who can produce the most brilliant and amusing copy out of thin air (or the space between Loathesome’s ears) would be as happy as a pig in shit. The sheer joy of business questions. The Latin. The long words. This boy has earned his pin stripes. And it will really piss off Bozo. But this has as much chance of happening as Toby Young being made Party Chairman. Oh, God don’t give them ideas



Sign up via Facebook or Twitter to comment.

Spider boy is running rings round Hammond. Such dark arts are a joy to behold

7 Dec 2017 at 11:45

When Gavin Williamson was made defence secretary to squeals of derision, envy and bile I warned that he would be a force to be reckoned with if he picked a fight with Hammond. I am delighted to say that spider boy is playing a blinder. Hammond’s hounds were arrogantly mad to brief that the top brass regarded their new boss as a private Pike tribute act. They calculated that because of the outcry at his appointment the Dad’s Army taunt would be greeted with a snigger, a wink and would turn the boy into a national joke. And it would stick. What fools. Hammond has some real enemies from all wings of the party, not just because he’s a boring old fart but because he suffers from a severe case of foot and mouth. The unemployment blunder was pretty bad, but yesterday’s comments on the disabled was crass, insensitive and wrong.

There is no love lost between Madame and her Chancellor. The whips are fed up with hauling him out of the shit, the Brexiteers despise him and all wings of the Tory party are horrified at his emasculation of our defence capability. Then today he dismisses Williamson in a patronising manner about his lack of understanding of defence budgeting. He understands it only too well matey. But he is not going to come over for a friendly chat until all his ducks are lined up. When Hammond is belittled, beleaguered and politically buggered. And to have the nerve to say that when at Defence he championed our armed forces is nothing more than a sick joke. Hammond crawled his way so far up the Treasury’s arse that they needed a team of sniffer dogs to remove him.

Spidy’s Black ops have been a joy to behold. The grounding of the Queen’s flight. “Technical issues” which made him late for a meeting. And expect a lot more japes. Perhaps the odd spill of scalding soup on the Chancellor’s crotch, “sorry sir, it was turbulence.” Perhaps on the way to an important meeting the pilot would crackle over the PA, “we regret to announce that traffic control have diverted us to Shetland. Sorry for the inconvenience.”

The joy about being Chief whip is that you have a spy in every department. The whip is told that they are representing the whips office not the department and they are regularly rotated so that they don’t go native. It means that the whips office know all the little ruses, nasty secrets and the areas where backbenchers are likely to rebel. And they will rebel if the treasury screws defence. Mutterings are reaching a crescendo. We may have some unholy alliances. Soames and the Moggmeister could be fun. And lethal. This could be the one issue that would unite the Tories.

Expect more diary stories from the brass. Expect damaging leaks from the Treasury too. Hammond is in a far far weaker position than May. He could be gone in the New Year. No party splits over that. Just a sigh of relief. She will stay.

So if the number 11 bus knocks down Hammond expect a lad in a red suit to be at the wheel. Watch out for Michael Gove too. He has many faults, but competence is not one of them.

But Spidy old boy, you need some voice coaching. Better to be William Hague then Alan Bennett. Being master of the dark arts is not enough for the top job. And don’t worry about being unpopular. Its no bad thing to be feared as long as you are competent. Something which is as rare a Corbyn victim to Israel.



Sign up via Facebook or Twitter to comment.

My shameful past. When I watched porn with a minister, MPS and his private secretary

2 Dec 2017 at 12:31

I suppose it has always been a golden rule in politics that you never kick a politician when he is down unless there are about a dozen of you. So why not put the boot in to Damian Green then as all’s fair in war and politics? A fair point, if you want to abandon the rule of law and the right to a fair trial. But just a moment Green doesn’t need to have a fair trial because he hasn’t been charged or for that matter even been accused of a criminal offence. So anybody can say what they like about him with impunity. Well, not quite. We do have a robust law of libel. But as Andrew Mitchell will attest, no politician should ever sue. It’s far too risky and expensive even if some legal eagle with eyes lit up like cash registers advises that you have a water tight case.

So Green just has to try and weather the shit storm. It is quite disgraceful, sinister and against everything we stand for in this country that former police officers can suddenly appear out of obscurity and make accusations. Particularly when they have an axe to grind. But what is the crime he has meant to have committed? Basically, having a wank in the office. The original Bob Quick Line was that the porn found was extreme and would have been illegal if it had been found a couple of years later. This has now proved to be wrong or put less politely, a damnable lie. Now this fellow Lewis is in no doubt that it must have been Green using the laptop at the time porn was being accessed. How can we trust a word of what these people say? And how on earth can Green defend himself apart from saying this is a fit up?

Provided there is nothing of substance that we don’t know about but Sue Gray does, Green must not be hung out to dry. To sack him would be a stain on this government, a disgrace and an act of supine, lily livered cowardice from Number 10. May is better than that I hope.

So far only David Davis has the courage and decency to say he would resign if Green was sacked. Good for him. As soon as the Sue Gray report hits the desk May must make a decision. If it’s just a bit of porn on a computer in his office, who cares?

But the idea that MPs can do a quick bit of bishop bashing in between votes is rather fanciful. Offices are now shared with researchers, general staff and secretaries nowadays. At any moment someone can walk in. But Lewis goes even further. Evidently Green was watching porn whilst tapping out emails. The worst kind of one handed typing. What dexterity the man has! It would be a Whitehall Theatre farce if it wasn’t taken so seriously by people who should know better.

But I have a confession. I have watched extreme videos, with a Minister, his private secretary and a whole group of MPs. In the Department. Paid for by the taxpayer. What filthy little beasts we were in those days. Couldn’t we have just popped down to a grubby little cinema in Soho?. Now before Paul Dacre becomes tumescent, I should put this in context. We were doing research for Graham Bright’s Video Recordings Bill. And we had to watch a hell of a lot of filth to protect the public. At one stage there was some very worrying heavy breathing from Bright. We thought he was going to snuff it. It was his turn to have a nurse talk dirty to him on a chat line. This induced rather a severe asthma attack. Like they say at the Premature Ejaculation clinic, we thought that it was going to be touch and go.



Sign up via Facebook or Twitter to comment.

The Amazing Spiderman. The Tories will have a new super hero at Defence questions on Monday

25 Nov 2017 at 14:10

Why is it always the Tories who get into a terrible mess over defence spending? Back in 1981 the splendid Keith Speed was sacked as Navy Minister because of his stalwart opposition to some swingeing cuts imposed by the Treasury and and accepted by the Defence Secretary, John Nott. Thatcher sacked Speed because he refused to resign. There was a popular saying in the Navy at that time ‘less Knotts and more Speed.’ In those days there was a minister for each branch of the services. Thatcher was of the view that they all went native and were merely mouthpieces for their service. She therefore abolished them and replaced them with just one Minister of State for the armed forces. But Speed was proved to be right. Within a few weeks the Falklands war kicked off and the cuts were put off for another day. For those of you who believe all the guff about Thatcher the slasher may I remind you that the only two departments she cut in real terms were Defence and Transport.

Hopefully, we won’t have a ground war none too soon as we wouldn’t have the resources to fight one let alone win it. And the cuts that that have been bubbling along for months look as if they are about to be set in stone. But watch the rear guard action of Gavin Williamson. I warned that he would pick a fight with Hammond the day after he was appointed. And I predicted that he will win. And he will.

It may not have escaped your attention that it is Defence questions next Monday. Williamson’s debut. Quite a lot of jealous colleagues want him to fail. They seem to think that ministerial promotion should be based on Buggin’s turn and a pathological hatred of the EU. The news today that Williamson was ‘shocked’ at the size of the cuts his department faces, sets up the Sunday newspapers for a good old Tory rebellion. I wonder who leaked that little gem? Couple this with that other little leak that Tobias Ellwood, who is universally regarded as a hero, as well as a good egg, might resign over the cuts, sets the scene for the perfect storm. Firstly, it embarrasses Labour, who are no friends of the military and it gives the right an opportunity to be patriotic and give Hammond a damn good kicking. Plus…..oh, I can also here the carpet biters creaming in their wyfronts over this, Brussels has resurrected the barmy notion of a European defence force. I can see the red mist rising, and the languid drawl of Moggy, despairing, ‘ and how are these foreigners going to put the fear of God into Mr Putin? Breathe on the Russian hordes?’

So back to Monday. Question two on the order paper is from a chap called Bambos Charalambous, not the favourite of headline writers.‘What recent discussions has he had with the chancellor on the adequacy of funding for his department?’ A plant if ever there was except that he is Labour. Just good fortune.The beauty of it all is that by the time that question is put Hammond is going to have to dig himself out of the shit. Or maybe this this is all a delightful piece of sleight of hand to make Williamson look good. Whatever it is, this a slick and professional operation. What was the name of that block buster movie? The Amazing Spiderman. The headline writers will have some fun. And I predict that Tory backbenchers will have a new superhero on Monday



Sign up via Facebook or Twitter to comment.