The sky is black with Grayling turkeys coming home to roost. Mercifully Gove is reloading his shotgun

14 Oct 2015 at 09:05

Once again I am pleased to doff my hat to Michael Gove. While the sky is black with Grayling turkeys coming home to roost, Gove stands in the barren wasteland of the MOJ with his shotgun. The poor fellow hardly has time to reload. Book ban on prisoners? Bang, squawk, thud. Vile abuse of our justice system? Bang, squawk, thud. Selling expertise on Justice to the Saudis? Two barrels for that act of almost criminal stupidity. Turning our prisons to squalid, unsafe dungeons of depravity and despair spawning record levels of suicide? Bang, squawk, thud. And this is just the first wave of turkeys. So little time, so much to do.

I expect the next policy to be thrown overboard will be the quite insane, undebated and unworkable piece of Grayling genius of charging criminals for the use of the courts. Fifty magistrates have resigned already, and most are modifying it to make it almost meaningless. But what has shocked me in a very pleasing way is that many Crown Court judges simply ignore it despite the fact that they have no discretion in the matter. It’s a pretty sorry state of affairs when judges come to the conclusion that a law is so unfair and plain wrong that they refuse to implement it. In my thirty eight years at the bar this is a unique experience.

But can you imagine the Gove response when a report about Justice Solutions International selling our expertise in justice to the Saudis where the veneer of civilisation is as flimsy as a fifty pound note crossed his desk? He would have gone totally Goveshit. Whatever next? Defra exports good old English oak for crucifixions? BIS gives grants to the cutlery industry to become competitive in selling their finest for beheadings and amputations? Pity the poor old Mandarins. They have a minister who thinks, innovates and decides. And so unlike most ministers who load, fire and aim in that order. It must be terrifying for the poor dears.

I would have loved to have been in the room when chuckles Hammond rather loftily suggested Gove was being naive. So wonderfully Foreign Office. Yes, we will upset the Saudis and they will have a bit of a sulk for a while. But can you imagine Cameron trying to justify the policy when pictures of a beheaded and crucified seventeen year old appear on the net? Or when that silly old boy gets three hundred lashes? I say silly because you really are inviting serious trouble if you make any sort of alcohol in Saudi. It is hardly a state secret. All Prime Ministers have to spend a rather long time shaking hands with some despicable people but every now and then it is important to be seen to be holding their noses at the same time.

The Saudis are an odd bunch, living in great comfort in the Middle Ages and utterly terrified of revolution or democracy. But we need them and they need us. Ghastly as it is, their awful regime is the only stable Arab nation. What always amazes me is how out of touch they are with how our government works. I was having lunch a few weeks ago with an old friend who produced Death of a Princess, which caused uproar and calls for the government to ban it. Martin told me that what had so incensed them was not that he had faked up the execution ( I’m sure they might have arranged for a woman of lesser birth to be topped), rather that the documentary actually depicted Saudi Princesses drinking and shagging in night clubs. It’s hard to believe that it caused a major diplomatic incident.

But back to Gove. His conference speech was an excellent demonstration of how far the Conservative Party has embraced humanity, compassion and the real world. For a senior cabinet minister to reject the ‘prison works’ nonsense and speak of the ‘undeserving’ rich sitting on each other’s renumeration committees in the same speech is a cause for celebration. This will no doubt cause Paul Dacre to bite the carpet and utter despair to what is now the shambles named the Labour Party.


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May was unwise to explode a suicide jacket in her speech whilst Boris is Wassererfing his way to mischief

7 Oct 2015 at 11:10

As Boris wasserwerfered his way to the podium he must have been feeling more than a little pleased. The mushroom cloud of Theresa May’s leadership hopes still hung in the air. It was a terrible and deadly explosion. Just why she thought it was a great idea to wear a suicide vest and then press the button remains a mystery. To make a speech that horrified both the Daily Telegraph and the Speccie is quite an achievement. I really don’t think she is a vindictive person. But for someone who branded the Tories as the nasty party, her heartless take on immigration was quite shocking. Compare that to the compassionate Conservatism of Cameron and compare that to the way he movingly dealt with the immigration in his speech. She will go down as one of the great Home Secretarys. But go down she has. Leadership is about judgement and yesterday hers went walkabout. Nothing is impossible in politics, but unless Osborne, for charmingly cynical reasons, bigs her up so she can stop Boris getting on the ballot paper with him I fear her hopes for the big job will be dashed. May just hopelessly misjudged the basic decent of the British people.

As I am in court most of the time I didn’t see Boris’s speech but I read it beforehand. It had obviously not all been written by him. It had been Cameronised and spattered with all the approved buzz lines. Lots of stuff on crime, but no mention of May. Lots of stuff on the economy, but no mention of Osborne. Mmm, so what’s he up to? Well it’s straight out of the Boris playbook. A clue was on the front page of the SUN yesterday where his hounds have been briefing that Osborne has been nicking all of his ideas. His MO is making a rousing speech oozing loyalty whilst at the same time puts it about that Ozzie is a bit of a shit. If he had a power base in the Commons this might play well. But he doesn’t. He seems not to bother about carefully nurturing support. And if he starts now, which he won’t, it will be a bit late. Worse, there are serious concerns amongst backbenchers that Boris is a bit of a whinger. And accusing George of stealing his ideas will go down like a cup of cold sick.

The conundrum that may perplex Ozzie is how to manage Boris. This is his last major conference speech opportunity before Goldsmith takes over and if Boris doesn’t have a major Cabinet job he will be exiled to the fringe. And the devil makes work for idle hands. And you can’t get much more idle that Boris. So in the next reshuffle what could he be given? It can’t be a massive spending department as they are all taken and you can’t displace a woman, even a fairly useless one. But what about Leader of the House? A desperately tedious job, but with half an hour a week to have some fun, shine and be witty. Grayling has the smile of brass plate on a coffin and the humour to match. Angela Eagle was wonderful in subtly taking the piss out of him without him realising. And Chris Bryant is becoming a class act. The Boris and Bryant show would be great fun; you could sell tickets. And with collective responsibility binding him (as much as anyone can) to the party line which is now the Osborne line, might just limit his capacity to make mischief. And nobody is going to miss the awful Grayling.



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The Brexiteers are acrimoniously divided with a psychodrama between Banks & Cummings. The sort of people you would normally lock in an attic

3 Oct 2015 at 08:22

The Conservative party conference in Manchester will no doubt be slammed by the media as being far too stage managed and lacking the fizz of real debate at Labour’s wake. Actually the fizz was more like the fizzle of Corbyn’s rocket failing to take off. Both the Lib Dem and Labour conferences were glumly delusional. Unless there is a miracle or an economic car crash both parties have become an irrelevance for the medium term future. And then there was UKIP. Another sorry mess which is getting messier by the minute. This party appears to only exist to feed Fromage’s insatiable ego. He has trashed and humiliated Suzanne Evans for the second time by blocking her as the Mayoral candidate. He has silenced Patrick Flynn and he has unleashed the ghastly Aaron Banks on the public. Their membership is down and conference numbers were dismal. When will what is left of the membership realise that Fromage is electoral poison?

The EU debate is his last chance to to grab the limelight before he is thrown out with the garbage. But so far his intervention has been a fiasco and to my great joy has divided the Brexiteers. The right are horribly divided but spend more time indulging in insults than trying to gain a narrative with the electorate. It’s just a screaming match and a jockeying for power by some rather unpleasant people. A psycho drama between Dominic Cummings and Aaron Banks who are the sort of relatives whom you would normally lock in the attic. Whether it was wise to put an eighty two year old former chancellor who is a climate change denier, as the heavyweight figurehead to pull us out of the EU, will be hotly debated. Lawson was an innovative and reforming chancellor who deserves respect. But when he cocked up it was really big time. He admitted in 2010 that the unintended consequences of his Big Bang reforms led to the financial crisis of 2007/8. And by dangerously relaxing fiscal controls he stoked up seriously inflationary pressures leading to recession. He resigned after a very public row with Thatcher advisor Sir Alan Walters whom he felt was undermining him, which of course he was. Despite popular myth Lawson did not bring us into the ERM. As Lawson also lives in France there is a lot of baggage revolving around the carrousel. Norman Lamont would be more of a threat, but I don’t think that he would stab Cameron in the back. He is close to Hague who was his PPS who in turn is close to the PM. And Cameron stood loyally by Lamont at the time of his humiliation and eventual downfall after Black Wednesday. I would imagine that they still have a close bond. I may be wrong, but I do not smell betrayal in the air.

So rather than there being a seamless robe of Eurosceptics united in their zeal to remove Britain from the wickedness of Brussels they are a complete shambles. And Cameron’s not so secret weapon is the immigration crisis. Shengen is dead and all of Europe’s borders are going to have to be protected. Merkel’s open door policy has been an electoral disaster with mass protests in the streets. It could be the beginning of her demise. Cameron has played it cannily. Compassion mixed with reality. The other not so secret weapon is that the battle has been effectively won over EU benefit tourists by a helpful European Court decision. So provided Cameron keeps his cards to his chest and doesn’t reveal the details of his negotiating position until a deal is done there is everything to play for.

Now back to the Tory Party conference. Nobody sane will be having a crack at Cameron and Osborne. They are winners. They have delivered an election and some remarkable economic results. But never underestimate Boris’s compulsion to cause mischief and mayhem in pursuit of his pathological ambition to be Prime Minister. He will play on his conference darling skills with witty swipes at those he wishes to destroy. But he has already been publicly humiliated by May and Osborne. Does he want to risk another punishment beating? We’ll know on Monday as Boris, May and Morgan will be addressing the throng. Nicky Morgan? I know. Best not be cruel.



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Corbyn is effective in pootering around like a politics professor but sometime he will have to answer the question,'do you know what is being done in your name'?

27 Sep 2015 at 10:14

I have warned from the outset just how dangerous Jeremy Corbyn could be to the Tories. And his appearance on Marr today should have the alarm bells ringing at Number 10. Some of you will now be shaking your head in despair and and sadly conclude that I have finally lost my marbles. But bear with me. People hate the shallowness, artifice and triangulation that is involved in modern politics. They despise ‘on message’ interviews. The charm of Corbyn is that he is on message in terms of his beliefs and can afford to be unspecific about his policies because in theory they haven’t yet been determined by party members. So this is all mood music to to try and cast off his image as a dangerous leftie who would put national security at risk, clobber the middle classes and bring the country to its knees with industrial action. The truth is he can throw all the real policy decisions into the long grass. And the lawn mowers won’t be clanking into operation until Corbyn’s mob have total control of the party machine. And what a ghastly bunch they are.

What was fascinating about his outing on Marr today that he gave a very good impression of enjoying the political discussion, which he did with wit and a disarming charm. A sort of Nigel Farage with a brain a heart and a soul. The idea that all the big issues like Trident would effectively be a free vote in the Commons is superficially very attractive. That comrades would have intense and brotherly/sisterly discussions and then with their hearts on their sleeves vote in a way that their conscience’s dictate, has punter appeal. Why should the whips force people to vote in a way that they fundamentally disagree with? After all he never did. Go into any pub and ask if that was not profound common sense and the answer would be a resounding thumbs up. It is of course nonsense, but attractive nonsense. A free for all in the division lobbies means that nothing would ever be achieved. In opposition the government would clean up, in government the legislative programme would be a shambles. The whole point of collective responsibility is to ensure that the front bench speak as one.

If Steve Hilton has been reported correctly he is right to say that although the Corbynistas have the wrong answers they certainly have the right questions. The bedroom tax is something that in a policy paper looks like a great idea. In practice it is causing hardship. How can we keep the principle and protect the weak? The weening of working people off of tax credits is profoundly the right thing to do. But if the living wage doesn’t offset income losses then we go back to the old problem of there being a disincentive to go out and work. It is absolutely right that we have tougher trade union laws to stop the manipulation of trade union members who don’t want to strike. It is an abuse that London will be paralysed because just three people on the City Line voted to strike. Most people would support a law change. But most people would also feel very uncomfortable about some of the more Eastern European flavoured proposals such as strikers having to give their names and addresses to the police.

So in many ways all this helps Cameron. He can now water down some of the less compassionate policies that are floating around.

The best approach is to attack Corbyn’s supporters and aides most of whom are an authoritarian and deeply unpleasant bunch. The punishment beatings, smearings and deselections are just beginning. No sensible MPs will be safe. If Neil Kinnock decides not to attend his first party conference in forty eight years there is a clear and very worrying warning. The left are on the march.

So Jeremy Corbyn can pooter around like a benign politics professor enjoying stimulating intellectual arguments while his henchmen ruthlessly cleanse the party of impurity, but the time will come when he will have to be asked, ‘do you know what is being said and done in your name?’ And the answer cannot be cast into the long grass.



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This conference may be not too much of a car crash for Corbyn that will be next year after the left have organised

25 Sep 2015 at 11:07

The golden rule in politics is when you expect a car crash it rarely happens. It’s the unexpected unexpected that tends to screw things up. You can have wonderfully crafted and media friendly speeches drowned out by some junior minister caught with his knob out at the train station toilets (just anyone go just for a pee in these places?). So it’s off piste where spin doctors have no control. And it frightens the life out of them. It’s when the likes of old pros such as Damien McBride come in very useful by punting a bigger story or briefing against the hapless minister who has ‘let himself and his party down…….between you and me he was a waste of space and has saved the PM the job of sacking him……by the way you realise that KH has a serious Columbian marching powder problem….. much better story’.

So what will happen in Brighton? A tricky one. There will be lots of huff and puff about Trident and the lefties will be out in force, not in the main conference hall but at the fringes. A mate of mine who is a lifelong Labour supporter but of the sensible variety, was not too downhearted. ‘It will of course be like off the wall student politics, but remember the delegates with the vote will be councillors and ward worthies. All the vast rump of the Corbynistas would not have had time to apply for conference passes as the deadline expired a couple of months ago.’

And then keep a look out for Tom Watson, the man charged with reorganising the party machine, perhaps in his own image, who will be working behind the scenes and ensuring that there will be a reasonable proportion of speakers who are not raving lunatics will be called in the sensitive debates. So, at the moment it looks like Trident will be not blown out of the water. Well, not at this conference. 2016 will be the real bloodbath conference when the left have had time to marshall their troops and organise. So, this year Corbyn might have the perfect let out. If the really loony ideas are thrown out his supporters can’t accuse him of ratting on his promises as it will be conference who will have decided. A little bit of wriggle room.

The real fun will be had at the fringes which the left will swarm to. Expect, ugliness, arrogance and general nastiness. Pity an Blairite who has the walk the gauntlet. And there will be a lot of despondent delegates who will be crying into their beers to a consoling press who provided the beers in the first place.

This will be a conference of questions. Will Corbyn snub big business? Will he be sharing herbal tea with Gerry Adams? Will he address conference as Comrades? Will he have the wit to craft a speech that is not speaking to the converted but to the country? Will he try and busk it and speak from the heart? And will he have the courage to be interviewed by Andrew Neil?

So Corbyn has some assets. He has the worst first poll rating (-3) of any Labour leader in history. Can it get worse? Probably. But I suspect not at this conference.



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Pig gate. Cui Bono. Who will be ruined

21 Sep 2015 at 20:05

Now that we have pigged and punned out on swine gate it is time for some serious reflection. Michael Ashcroft is a man of judgement and serious discernment, after all he published my book. However……….. The allegations that are made have the potential to be a very serious libel with a prospect of punitive damages. To say that the story is so flaky that it does an injustice to Cadburys is an understatement . The best that Oakshott (niece of the ghastly Lib Dem peer Mathew) can say is that there is no evidence that Cameron was a member of this debauched club as there is no list of members. All the evidence we know of is that a sitting Tory MP stood up the story. This means that at sometime the lawyers would have demanded a Statement of Truth, which in the old days we would have called an affidavit from him or her. It must exist. It will eventually come into the public domain.

I am not going into the law of libel. But can the story stand up to be true, fair comment or justification? Tricky one. The way newspapers work is fairly simple. Is it a libel? If not let’s print. If it is, is the guy going to sue? And no Prime Minister will ever take a libel action to court. It is a side show. It is a distraction. It will lead to digging that could be potentially damaging, although not really relevant to the action. And my God it will sell papers. That, I suspect, was the editorial judgement. It was a seriously wrong one.

And Ashcroft. He did wonders for the Tory party finances. He was brilliant at targeting the marginals. He was an asset to my party. He deserved a big job in government. But then, like so many others, because of the coalition and a whiff of a problem with his non dom status, he wasn’t offered a job in 2010. These things happen.

The trouble with the pig story is that it is so off the wall, so patently wrong and so absolutely daft, that it devalues any proper story in the book. So for the sake of a couple of days of sensationalism the whole ethos of the book, the destruction of Cameron, has been destroyed. All very strange.

Quite sensibly, Corbyn as a decent man won’t touch it with a barge pole. But what about Bercow? If he has any sense he will stop any reference to it in debate. We shall see as both him and Cameron loathe each other.

And what about the alleged MP who ‘broke’ story? He, or she will be ruined. That is the story.

Will it wait until the Sundays? I doubt it


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Bloody Tories look after the fat cats

17 Sep 2015 at 18:12

I am beginning to feel rather sorry for Jeremy Corbyn who is giving a passable impression of being chief mourner at his own protracted political funeral. If someone had submitted a storyline of what is happening within Labour for a film it would be spiked for being too phantasmagoric. Rule one. If you are a party leader at least sort out the clap and laughter lines in a speech and brief the press beforehand. Rule two. Don’t be allow yourself to be photographed with backdrops which make you look foolish. Rule three. Ignore the press at your peril. It’s a dog and lamppost relationship which works both ways. Rule four. Don’t put yourself in any position where the press can accuse you of insulting national treasures. The National Anthem fiasco could have been easily avoided. Rule five. Do not appoint seriously divisive and off the wall politicians who will give glorious copy to your enemies in the press. Rule 6. If your shadow chancellor goes on record as wanting to ‘lynch a bitch’ who happens to be one of your back benchers make him grovel an arse licking apology or sack the sexist dinosaur.
Rule 7. If who have had sex with someone as monumentally irritating as Diane Abbott let the nation know ASAP; there will be waves of sympathy for you. Well, he’s got one out of seven.

While we are on the subject of Ms A, her little spat with Jess Phillips was rather revealing. Jess had the temerity to ask Jezz a tricky question. Ms A called her sanctimonious. Jess told her to fuck off, and off she fucked. Now the wicked Jess is revealed as a class traitor. She supports the apostasy of the renewal of Trident. Imagine if someone with a penis (whether in working order or not) had told Abbott to fuck off the sisters would lynch the sexist bastard oppressing member of the phallocracy.

Even at the height of the influence of EU hating loony tunes fuck up bunnies, who put the Tories in the wilderness for a generation, I have never seen such total abject misery in a political party. At PMQs yesterday it wasn’t fin de si├Ęcle, it was the end of the road and that road leads to a cliff edge.The idea that questions should be put by the public looks great on paper but in reality it is a political disaster and a gift to Cameron. All he has to do is look like a Prime Minister, be gentle, kind and spout departmental briefs. There are no stings in the tail from the public, no killer questions. And if there are all Cameron has to do is look compassionate and concerned and invite them to write to him. Where the wheels will come off the Corbyn approach is when aides will fake up or doctor questions to give their boss a bit of bite. But these sorts of japes are nearly always found out. And the press will have a field day.

I didn’t see much of PMQs yesterday as I was in court. But it was duller than a Bill Cash speech, which sets a very high bar (or is it bore?). The only highlight was Andrew Turner the Tory MP for the Isle of Wight whose only claim to fame is reported complicated domestic arrangements. Poor Andrew is never going to set the Thames on fire, nor probably even his AGA . He asked a question about the wicked Belgians who are detaining a tiger which belongs to his local zoo because of the fear of spreading rabies. Spotted the flaw in the Belgian argument yet? Well here we go. If a rabid tiger bites you rabies are the least of your problems. The tiger has come for tea. Not even a grumble from that ghastly old fraud Dennis Skinner of, ‘bloody Tories, they only want to look after the fat cats’. And then Cameron delighted us with a tale about a fecund Rhino named after his daughter Nancy. Well, it’s better than being called Spearmint. Hang on, Andrew is famous for something. In 2006 he was strolling round the Isle of Wight Show with his dog Pickles when something rather unfortunate happened. Pickles took a fancy to one of his master’s constituent’s polecats, shook it to death and eat it. In politics I always thought that it was dogs that eat dogs. But unlike Norman Tebbit this polecat was trained.

But briefly back to Corbyn. The brothers have already lined up a replacement just in case Corbyn loses his political purity. Step forward Lisa Nandy, the Ann of Cleavage from the left. And she doesn’t even deny it! Oh well, it’s probably just a storm in a D cup.



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John McDonnell won't last the month. Angela Eagle will get the job. But how can you soar with the Eagles when you are flying with Turkeys?

15 Sep 2015 at 17:28

I have been trying to work out a reasonable analogy for Labour’s white knuckled roller coaster ride to democracy and oblivion. Imagine a truculent teenager called Jeremy who is told by the grown ups that they will be away for the weekend. ‘And for heaven’s sake don’t do anything silly’. So the first thing that Jeremy does is tell all his chums that he is going to have a party. Sadly, this appears on Facebook and rather than his close friends rolling up for a few vodkas, the house is besieged with wilder elements over whom he has no control. The house is trashed. He can’t get rid of them and can’t even persuade them to behave in a civilised manner. There is drunkenness, drug taking and a total disregard for other people’s feelings or property. Worse, it appears that the grown ups will not be returning at all. So the rowdy, excitable and unpleasant crowd have forced his friends to leave and all the decent, moderate folk who live in the same road are contemplating whether they can live there anymore and desperately try to sort out an exit strategy.

Anyone who attended the PLP last night would have felt the same. They feel unloved, unwanted and in the grip of something that they have no control over. They have a dread in the pit of their stomachs that unless they leave their homes voluntarily they will be forced out. As I predicted a couple of weeks ago the purges and denunciations have already begun. And despite promises that there will be no formal deselection procedures we all know that it will happen. Since the election of Corbyn 30,000 new members have joined Labour. It will be no surprise to learn that these are neither Blairites, Tories nor anyone who wishes Corbyn ill. It is the beginning of entryism. Blunkett was quite right to say that left wing thugs are on the march. On the streets there will be violence and in the constituencies the ethnic cleaning has begun.

New leaders are very often out of tune with their parties to begin with. Macmillan, Heath and Thatcher and Blair are good examples. But what keeps them in office is the promise of winning backbenchers their seats back and catapulting the front bench into office. With Labour it is the other way round. And that is what makes it so dangerous for the majority of backbenchers who are decent, pragmatic and moderate. Step out of line and you are dead. Best jump before you are pushed. Pragmatism is seen as class treachery amd weakness. The people’s flag is now deepest red and it is flying high.

There is silly talk of Tom Watson taking over. We have an extraordinary scenario when the Deputy Leader is pro Europe, pro NATO and pro Trident; everything that Corbyn despises. We have a Shadow Foreign Secretary who is at loggerheads with the leadership and we have a Chief Whip who had to beg people to take the top jobs. Did someone bug the office or was there a deliberate leak? God knows how she will fill the junior jobs. And one question which I don’t know the answer to, is how many Jews are in the Shadow Cabinet? Ivan Lewis, who has had to put up with the most vile anti Semitic abuse on social media, has been sacked. Most sinister of all is the talk of the creation of a Minister for Jews. That has disturbing resonances. And the left are now setting out to smear the Blairites. Simon Danczuk writes for the Mail but mostly about the wickedness of child abuse. His fearless campaign is costing him his health and his marriage. It is being said that he is being paid a thousand pounds an hour by them. What nasty bastards.

But back to Tom who could be a serious threat to the Tories if he was leader. He has the mood of the Parliamentary Party. You would expect he would as deputy field questions at PMQs when Corbyn is away. Not to be trusted. Give it to Angela Eagle. The party is being packed with placemen. And the conference? God help them. It will be worse than the block vote. The game changer might be slaughter at the local elections. But I doubt it.

The only prediction I make is that Corbyn will have to make one blood sacrifice. John McDonnell won’t last the month. Too much of a gift for Osborne. And despised by the PLP. Good God even Livingstone sacked him! It will go to Angela Eagle to appease the wimmin. And she gives as good as she gets. But how can your soar with the Eagles when you are flying with turkeys? It would be laughable if it wasn’t so tragic.



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The Tories have been given a precious gift they must use it wisely.

12 Sep 2015 at 11:50

At midday New Labour was buried. And like Commissars who had fallen out of favour with the old Soviet Politburo and executed in damp cellars, all people and all things Blair have been airbrushed out of history. The excruciating embarrassment of winning three elections is just a distant and unpleasant memory. By the time the history books have been revised it would never have happened. Labour history begins today; a good day to bury bad views. This was a crushing victory for Corbyn and quite unchallengeable. But this was a blistering humiliation for Burnham who looked as sick as a dog. 19% of the vote is a catastrophe from which he will never recover.

Yet probably the most remarkable result for Corbyn was the reaction to his speech. For the first time in living memory there was an outpouring of genuine affection towards a Labour leader. They tolerated Blair because he was a winner. But he was never loved. Corbyn’s attraction is simple. He believes in what he says. And he is not programmed by focus groups. He articulated the beating heart of Labour well. Decency compassion and fairness. But these are just words.

The press will murder him of course. He will be portrayed as a friend of the men of terror which he is. He will portrayed as an enemy of business which he is. He will be portrayed as a security risk which he is. But don’t underestimate him; do so at your peril. His simplistic ideas may gain traction.

His election is a mixed blessing for the Tories. 2020 is not a certainty. But it is more probable than not. But the real gift to Cameron is that he too can articulate decency and compassion. Better than any other leader or potential leader. And he can deliver it through economic growth not a command economy. And Europe? If Corbyn is an outer it will make Tory splits look like a Teddy Bear’s picnic. Can you imagine Bill Cash and Nigel Farage on the same platform as Corbyn? Delicious.

Of course there is ersatz unity in the Party but once the spoils of victory have been distributed comes the rape and pillage. The left are a vicious bunch with long memories. They expect Corbyn to deliver. And if he compromises as he must? It will be bloody. Labour conferences will now become a blood bath.

The Tories have been given a gift. They must use it wisely.



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The sheer incompetence of government business managers over Purdah has all the fingerprints of the smug arrogance of Grayling

8 Sep 2015 at 11:37

If I was David Cameron I would have Harper and Grayling dragged into Number 10 in chains and threatened immediate execution if they cannot give an reasonable explanation of last night’s Euro vote fiasco. Harper is fairly new to the job and has yet to make an impression (any, according to my moles) on backbenchers. But this little cock up has a Gastropodian slime trail leading to Grayling. The way Purdah was handled reeks of smug arrogance, insensitivity and mind numbing incompetence. It’s got Grayling’s fingerprints all over it. Firstly, assumption in the mother and father of most political fuckups. Assume that the likes of Bill Cash who bores for Britain on the minutiae of constitutional law in relation to the EU won’t rumble a crap legal argument at your peril. Assume that the advice from a serious Parliamentary lawyer that the foundation of the legal argument is founded on candy floss won’t leak is an act of insanity. And assume that the SNP is not dedicated to destabilise and destroy the Tories at whatever cost and you are living in la la land.

And who on earth thought it was a bright idea to put up the deeply moral and thoroughly competent, Minister for Europe David Liddington, to argue the most appalling species bollocks is beyond imagination. I’d love to have been a fly on the wall at that FO meeting when he was handed that hospital pass. Actually, a stronger Foreign Secretary would have put a stop to it. I remember as a PPS at the old DOE when John Gummer was Secretary of State we had a similar request from the business managers. He told them to fuck off. And good on him because he was right and not just politically.

What sensible Tories have to remember is that Cash and the usual suspects have spent most of their lives dedicated to the destruction of the EU pretending that they want a level playing field which of course they don’t. They want to drown out any voice in favour of remaining in. And now the bloody, buttock clenchingly mind numbingly stupid ‘business managers’ have given them the moral high ground. Sound thrashings are deserved. Sometimes I could weep.

Oh, and while I’m on my high horse bayoneting the wounded what about Javid? I am beginning to suspect the cut of his jib. I know if you want to be in the circus you have to be able to ride two horses at once, but at some stage you will have to decide who to give loyalty to. And a word of advice. Matey, if you want to end up like Adam Afriyie just keep on digging. Your line manager is Osborne and unless you want the nipple clamps out and a car battery attached to your testicles do not piss him off. Sometime fairly soon you will have to come off the fence.

Now all that is off my chest I’m heading back to the beach and a cool Turkish beer. But let me share with you the sad and surreal events of this morning. We were having breakfast on the beach and a distressed young woman was on the telephone trying to call the coastguard as two hundred yards away a group of Syrian refugees had washed up. And not all that far way from that poor little toddler. I could just see them stranded on a little island. Tiny Lowry like figures awaiting help. The lady’s name was Katie. She told me that those who survived would probably end up begging on the streets. She helps run a charity helping Syrian refugees with food medicine and shelter. Have a look at their website A donation might just save a life.



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