Boris is a copper bottomed, double dealing hypocritical little shit. The press will destroy him

21 Feb 2016 at 18:35

I have been knocking around politics for so long that I didn’t think it was possible for me to become utterly shocked at the venality, ambition and horror of one man’s ego. But this evening I have been proved totally wrong. Boris Johnson has proved beyond all reasonable doubt that he is a copper bottomed, double dealing, hypocritical little shit. For a man thirteen days ago who wrote eloquently of all the reasons we should stay in the EU and who weeks previously had made it fairly clear that he wanted to remain, the reek of u turned burnt rubber and the aftershave of political greed infects the air.

The really awful thing was how contrived it all was. I suspect that he wanted to storm out of cabinet yesterday and bathe in the political glory. Cameron sniffed the wind and didn’t let it happen. But there is no glory here. Just betrayal and a level of morality which would make an Algerian brothel owner blush. If the Corbyn and Trump phenomenon is anything to go by Boris is the embodiment of everything that the public despise about politicians. The effortless, wealthy ooze of entitlement, the laziness of mind and the incontinence of mouth, coupled with a psychotic drive to be Prime Minister.

Some of you will accuse me as a REMAINER of being terrified of the Boris pull. Quite the opposite. The public will repulsed with his cynical opportunism along with his new bed fellows Farage and Galloway. I can’t wait for his first serious media grilling when he will have to answer for all that he has written, all that he has said and why he pretends not to understand that Cameron has protected the City of London against unfair EU competition. If the OUTERS win the day the city of London will be fucked.

This is the biggest mistake of his political life. And it will be mortal. When the party faithful see the havoc he will wreak he will never be forgiven. Well I hope so because if this dreadful little man ever becomes leader of my party then I and so many moderates will move on. Many will say that Boris is his own worst enemy. Not while I’m about.



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Cameron has invited us to a country house shooting party. His beaters are desperately trying to get the Boris Bird to break cover

20 Feb 2016 at 16:30

So brush down your tweeds, adjust your plus fours, prepare the loaders and get the beaters to work. Today is the Glorious Twentieth. The Prime Minister has invited us to a country house Conservative shooting party. And a rather dangerous one. It will be like giving a troop of chimps semi automatic weapons. Some will die, a few winged and others so hidden in the undergrowth that nobody will remember where or who they are.

Well, Cameron’s syndicate have sent out the beaters to try and get the elusive Boris bird to break cover. Boris birds are notoriously difficult to hit. They are possessed of beautiful plumage which helps them to catch the eye of the party faithful in the mating ritual known as the Leadership Contest. The trouble is once you have him in your sights and you aim your gun at his predicted flight path, the Boris Bird is known for his fits of unpredictability and can swerve in a completely different direction at the drop of a policy.

So why is the tousled haired Tory being so coy? This could be his big moment. It might also be his last. The grass roots love him and his back benchers loathe him. He is of course getting the usual dozy advice from Louise Mensch holed up in a well padded Murdoch column in New York. Her advice is quite simply anyone who breaks cover and supports Brexit will be papabile and beloved of the grass roots. She has a point. But it is not a very good one. Firstly, although the bookies have the REMAINS as clear favourites there is always the chance that they could screw it up. If the OUTS win Cameron will be mortally damaged, but will hang on to give Osborne the best chance of succeeding him. What what if the Cameron haters force an election? Seeing the Tories really tear themselves apart might just breathe a bit of life into a dying Labour Party. And anyhow, if the grassroots choose a maverick or a post Thatcher nutter they will be no better than the Corbynistas with a wonderful warm fuzzy feeling of smug self righteousness. And just as politically doomed. There might even be a Lib Dem revival.

Then there is the conundrum of being the assassin. Does Boris really want to end up like Heseltine? I may be hopelessly wrong on this but Boris’s best chance of becoming leader is to show a bit of ankle, make a few gutter so noises about Brussels and then support REMAIN. He will then be rewarded with a big job and take his chances. Boris is desperate to be Prime Minister, but surely not that desperate to preside over the economic whirlwind and security nightmare of pulling us out of the EU. It would be enormously complicated and involve an awful lot of fine print. Not something he would savour. And his footnote in history? The PM who fucked it up.

I expect the pressure will now be intense for him to reveal his hand, not least from Number 10. But I imagine that his editor would ask that he bides his time until Monday when Telegraph readers eagerly await his column. My guts tell me that he will REMAIN, but the Boris Bird is a pesky little creature, who will pop up when you least expect him



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Although Monty and I disagree he is a man of good heart and integrity. After the dust settles I hope he can rejoin the Tory family

18 Feb 2016 at 16:45

Some of you will be expecting me to be jumping for joy at Tim Montgomerie’s exit from the Tory party. To be honest, I am rather sad. One of the great strengths of my party is that it is a very broad church. Some might think that since the defenestration of Thatcher some of the pews have been filled with snake wranglers, evangelicals and those with the gift of tongues; some forked.

The trouble is that many MPs of the post Thatcher era believe the myths. Labour and the Lib Dems view her as a monster. And Tories see her as a saint. In truth she was neither. She shook the patrician complacency to near destruction both in Cabinet and in Whitehall. She saved the economy and democratised rather than smashed the unions. But her impatience, hectoring style and humiliation of close colleagues and spitting in the eye of common sense were the seeds of her downfall. The operation fell apart when independent voices like Stephen Sherbourne and Ferdy Mount headed for the hills. They had the courage to restrain her. For any of us to view policy though the prism of what ‘she would have done’ is a mistake. There are different dragons to be slain.

The reason I support Cameron is because he epitomises why I joined the Conservatives so many years ago. Pragmatic politics, a sense of social justice and tolerance of alternative views. In many ways these are the bedrock of Tim Montgomerie’s Conservatism. The Good Right was a brave attempt to put these principles into a sensible context. But it incensed the libertarian Tories and they shrieked ’ betrayal’. That was unfair. But hey, welcome to politics.

The Tories have always had three primal fissures. Africa, Ireland and Europe. The opposite views are irreconcilable. Where I take issue with Tim is that he seems to buy into the popular myth that the EU is an undemocratic, incompetent, soul destroying, black hole of our potential. A cyst that has to be removed to give us back our sovereignty and place in the world. I admit that the EU bureaucracy can be mind numbingly ghastly and is founded on the bedrock of compromise. But before the Treaty of Rome the continent of Europe was slaughtering their young men for hundreds of years. Despots and dictators were starving and torturing their cowed peoples. I am old enough to remember the atrocities of Cyprus, dictators like Franco, Salazar and the Greek colonels. When as a child I visited Marbella in the late fifties there was just one hotel and the villagers were in rags and bare feet sharing their homes with the livestock. I remember as a teenager hopping on the ferry to France to stock up on the sugar and butter that the Commonwealth were unable to provide. And how can I forget British gunboats at war with Iceland over fishing rights?
There is toxic myth about EU migration. Today the MAIL screamed of the horror of 3 million workers. Note the word ‘workers’, not scroungers. They pay their taxes to support our schools and our NHS.

In his TIMES column today Tim made a remarkable statement, ‘nothing registers more strongly on the social injustice front than than recommending staying in the EU. It remains the greatest source of social misery on the continent……requiring intense austerity such as Greece’. Well, let’s have think about that. Successive Greek government’s for generations have failed to pay their debts. There has been a massive imbalance between rich and poor and who avoids paying taxes. They are finding it difficult to sell of their assets because the books have been cooked. What on earth are the rest of us meant to do? And I would have thought that the greatest cause of misery is the tide of sad displaced refugees fleeing from death, torture and persecution. We cannot and must not wash our hands of this humanitarian disaster. There has to be an EU solution.

Love it or hate it, irritating as it is and bollock crunching and sphincter clenching as they are the EU institutions at least are a force for stopping the wholesale slaughter of our young, feeding the continent and slowly bringing the Eastern European countries into democracy and prosperity. There is still a long way to go and there has to be massive reforms. But the alternative is chaos. And real misery.

Tim and I disagree on many things. But he is a man of integrity and good heart. I hope that when the dust has settled he feels that he can come back to the Conservative fold. I for one would welcome him.


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The disgraceful BMA. Mogadon mayoral candidates. And after the referendum a government of all the talons

13 Feb 2016 at 10:10

The irresponsible, shroud waving, downright lies that have been spewing from the BMA over the junior doctors dispute makes Brexiteer professional mentalists Arron Banks and Dominic Cummings seem like paragons of truth and gentlemanly behaviour. At last the mask has finally slipped. This has absolutely nothing to do with patient safety or tired doctors, but cash. The sticking point has now become how much they should be paid on a Saturday; at what time should unsociable hours pay begin. And let me remind you of what is on offer. An increase in basic pay of 13.5%. That the new contract permits doctors to work 71 hours a week rather than the 91now. That they can only be required to work 48 hours a week. In other words doctors are more likely to be tired and patients at risk under the present contract than the new.

Last night on the NOLAN show on 5 Live we asked for junior doctors to ring in. One did. He told us that the reason patient safety was at risk is because doctors are paid more in Australia and Scotland and will leave. Well son, get over it. A large percentage of doctors leave after their first two years. It has always been thus. Who else in the public services gets paid extra for weekend work? Certainly not the police, nurses, paramedics and firefighters. Oh, and dare I mention legal aid barristers? Like most of my colleagues I will be preparing my Monday trial. Shall I tell you how much per hour we will be paid for this unsocial work? Not a bloody penny. We have to do it for free. And we don’t complain about it. It is part of the job.

It appears that NHS negotiators where within a whisker of a deal until some doctor tweeted that he was looking after 100 cancer patients on his own and couldn’t cope. The internet went into a frenzy of indignation with 45,000 hits. Negotiations collapsed. Later it transpired that the claim was untrue as there were two senior doctors on call.

The BMA are a national disgrace. And they always have been. They have vilified every health minister from Nye Bevan onwards if their mouths are not filled with gold. Decent junior doctors have been seriously mislead and patients are suffering quite needlessly. Jeremy Hunt must stand firm. If these guys once again refuse to come to the negotiating table then the contract must be imposed. Giving in to the BMA would be a disaster.

And talking of disasters, not for the first time am I delighted that I don’ t live in London. It saves me the anguish of having to choose whom to vote for as Mayor. Clearly, I hope Zac wins simply because Khan is so bloody low grade cynical and has the public speaking ability of a dyspeptic Dalek. And Zac, tall, handsome but…..sorry I am dropping off even writing about him. I wish there could have been more of a choice between dull and hopeless. Tessa Jowell would have been rather good news. Sensible, able and with a great track record on the Olympics. Sadly, like murdered members of the politburo, she has been air brushed out of political history. London needs a leader with charisma, style and daring rather than Mogadon men. Oh, for the days of Steve Norris. He ran twice and would have been brilliant if the elections had not been during the Conservative Dark Ages when we were as fashionable as flairs and vaginal deodorant. Why on earth he was never rewarded with a place in the Lords is a total mystery to me.

Which reminds me that the 19th of February is the official start of the Conservative shooting season. It always amuses me how the Brexiteers spend most of their time screaming how awful the EU is and that unless we leave our shores will be teeming with migrants taking our jobs, Health Service and women. Yet as soon as Cameron repeats the warning from the mayor of Calais that the borders deal is not set in stone and reminds us of the Polish Prime Minister’s astute observation that, ‘if you are not at the table you are on the menu’, he is accused of disgraceful scaremongering.

So, soon after the Glorious Nineteenth IDS (Bon voyage), Villiers (the name rings a vague bell) Grayling (just fuck off) and a few no hopers whom the public have never heard of and will never again, will be finally allowed to let out the primal scream they have been withholding for so long. It will make them feel so much better. Like a damn good shit after a dodgy curry. Watch out for Priti Patel, the cover girl of the of the hard right who still believes in the death penalty. Can she be bribed? Mmm, we will see. But to honest, in the grand scheme of things what she does counts for diddly squat.

But a bit of ministerial bloodletting will free up opportunities for the ambitious and the loyal. And for the shits who did not behave too shitily. It is wonderful to see the Number 10 operation in full bribe mode. Nothing promised of course. Just little whispers in journalist’s ears about the big job that Boris might get. How Foxy could be back at the big table. How after the dust has settled, the sawdust scattered and the body parts given a dignified burial we will have a reconciliation reshuffle. Or perhaps a government of all the talons.



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Even the Samaritans would hang up on Grayling but the Brexiteers are heading for Fuckmarggeddon

4 Feb 2016 at 14:29

Poor Chris Grayling. Regularly humiliated by Michael Gove (blessed be his name) and more recently in Cabinet by Cameron. Even Liam Fox didn’t bother to respond to his desperate pleas to lead the Brexiteers. I suspect even the Samaritans would hang up on him. Yet each week, those of us who are normally are revolted by blood sports, enjoy his torture by Shadow Leader of the House, cheeky chappie, Chris Bryant. Today’s torture was naming him The Prince of Darkness and the Honourable member for Mordor. Ok, he’s mixing Harry Potter with Lord of the Rings (no euphemism Chris, honest), but if Grayling quivers in unopiated agony, that’s fine by me.

I suspect that it is pretty clear that he and IDS are going to walk the plank as they are so angry with Cameron having the effrontery to tell the House the basis of his negotiations before deal. Tensions are so high I would be surprised if it is not before18th February. I would imagine IDS would then lead the OUTERs, after all, the referendum is the juddering climax of his career.

On Tuesday I attended a briefing by Pauline Neville Jones and Dominic Grieve about the security aspects of leaving the EU. The Boothroyd Room (like a dreadful unfinished Spanish Hotel foyer circa 1972) was packed with the likes of me, Nick Soames, Alan Haselhurst, Damien Green and David Curry. The audience was so refreshingly wet that you could have shot snipe off of us. But the briefing was fascinating. The 5 eyes (the main world wide intelligence services) and NATO have warned that we would be less safe if we left the EU. The European Arrest Warrant would bite the dust and we would go back to the bad old days of waiting years for criminals to be extradited. And as far as border controls we would have to abandon the controls of British officials in Calais. It would be a nightmare and the Sangette jungle would be transferred to Dover and most of the South Coast. So much for control of our own borders.

The trouble is that every rational argument about the thousands of bilateral agreements that would have to be renegotiated is met with the response from the Amish wing that ‘they need us more than we need them, so there won’t be a problem’. In other words, the Brexiteers are asking the British people to take a giant leap into the dark, when what all of us want, particularly business and security, is certainty.

There is also a lot of nonsense being talked about MEPs blocking any agreement for a ‘brake’. I say nonsense as only this morning the leader of the European Parliament’s largest grouping the EPP said that it could be put in place within two or three months after the referendum. This rather scuppers the smear put about that it would never happen or take at least eighteen months.

And then there is the benefits scare. I have been arguing for years that the best way to deal with this in a non discriminatory way is for benefits to be paid at the rate of the country where you are domiciled. It requires an easy bit of software which even the DWP could deal with.

Sovereignty still seems to be the buzzword and rightly so. But we have a head of agreement that deals with this. We will no longer be bound to work towards closer integration. Finally, the European court. As we are signed up the the EHCR in Strasbourg the EU Court in Luxembourg cannot enforce its decisions on Human Rights on us. Sensibly, Gove (blessed be his holy name) has ruled out our leaving EHCR because it only asks our Parliament to take into account their decisions. And if we keep the carpet biters on side by a British, Big Cocked, Act of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act, that’s fine by me, as it won’t be jot different from the one we have. A bit like a cigarette after a wank.

The constitutional court idea floated to deal with the supremacy of our law is not a bad one. The President of the Supreme Court is right to argue that a separate constitutional court on the German model is not wrong in principle, just impractical. We could achieve the same results by giving the same powers to our Supreme Court. Let’s do it. Oh, and let Boris take the credit or whichever SPAD clocked it in the Readers Digest.

I know that the starting gun has not officially fired but the REMAINERs are missing a trick. Nobody is talking about agricultural subsidies. Before the EEC the government paid our farmers to farm. ‘Disgrace’, scream the Brexiteers. ‘They should be in free market’. The trouble is that producing our food is seasonal and subject to the delights of the British weather. Leaving the EU would hand a British Chancellor either a blank cheque to give to our farmers (not in your dreams) or a cut in their incomes. And it is billions of pounds. So It’s about time we heard from the horny handed sons and daughters of the NFU.

Oh, and before I go back to my jury, there is some interesting stuff going on at the MAIL group. Dacre, when he is not on a baby seal clubbing holiday in Nova Scotia,, is a bit of a carpet muncher as an OUTER. His oppo on the MOS has a more sensible view. Lady Rothermere rather prefers the sensible view of Geordi at the MOS and despises Dacre. There could be a bit of a power struggle over an issue that is so important. But when push comes to shove Dacre might be spending more time with his poison ivy.


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Poor Grayling is quite delusional in his bid to lead the Brexiteers. It would be tragic if its wasn't so hilarious

14 Jan 2016 at 16:09

A simple question for you. Which has been more disastrous for Britain, the EU or Chris Grayling? Well it’s a bit of a no brainer. Dear old Grayling is not blessed with the little grey cells and has caused endless headaches for Michael Gove who is throwing overboard all Grayling’s hopeless and vindictive policies at the MOJ. This has won Gove brownie points and breathing space. The judiciary and most of the legal profession regard him as rather good news.

When you are as dim and ambitious as the Leader of the House who knows that his head will be on a spike at the next reshuffle, the bronze age brain clanks into over drive to try and dredge for a bit of honour. Boris is now wisely out of the running to lead the Breziteers, Villiers is as charismatic as a peanut and May is far too savvy to rock the boat. So swirling around the emptiness of the Grayling cranium a couple of neurones joined together and produced a plan so cunning that if you put a tail on it you could call it a fox. ’The Brexiteers need a leader and I offer myself, in all humility, to wear the mantle to save our green and pleasant land from Johnny Foreigner and all his garlic infested works. I will write a piece in the telegraph, which will piss off Cameron but not enough for him to sack me. Who could resist my leadership, my charisma, my safe pair of hands. Hear I am". Well, there he is. My advice is to not sit by the telephone.

It may well be that the Outers are so desperate for someone, anyone, to knock the stuffing out of Fromage and that appalling little yob Arron Banks, that they will call for our hero. Lawson is too old and Lamont too loyal to his former SPAD David Cameron. After that who on earth is there? Javid? Highly unlikely. Despite showing a bit of ankle he is very ambitious and would like to be Chancellor in an Osborne government. So we might have the delightful entertainment of Grayling up against Cameron. He might stage a principled resignation. The tabloids will destroy him. I can almost hear the champagne corks popping at Number 10. It would be a tragedy if it wasn’t so hilarious.

But all this is a sideshow compared to the shenanigans of the tussle for the Tory leadership. It is becoming a tad dirty. Osborne has realised that this is going to be a tough fight. He is the darling of the back benches, whilst Boris damp gussets the party faithful. His dilemma is how he can keep Boris off the two candidate ballot. This is not easy and there are manoeuvres from Graham Brady to make it a threesome ballot. This will seriously annoy May who will take her chances as the Iron Maiden candidate.

The problem is that if Boris is not on the ballot the party faithful will go into melt down. But this is all a long way off.



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Do Labour MPs have the courage to join a mass walk out and smash the left?

9 Jan 2016 at 13:27

Some interesting Wilson memorabilia has hit the news today. Mary, his widow, is a hundred years old and Joe Haines, his legendary press secretary, has written for a call to arms in the New Statesman. I’ve always rather liked Joe as an interesting teller of tales, but I am in the minority. Gerald Kaufman, who was in Wilson’s kitchen cabinet, once told me that introducing Joe to Wilson was one of the biggest mistakes of his life. The lobby hated him as a former lobby hack turned traitor, particularly as his view was that his job was to support the Prime Minister and not them. Relations were very chilly.

But like him or loath him Joe has a wealth of experience which today’s politicians would be foolish to ignore. In 1974 Wilson had a majority of three, a party horribly divided on two fronts, Europe and the left, and there was also an economic crisis to put the cherry on the top of the cake. We all are aware that in 1975 he called a referendum in which ministers were allowed to depart from collective responsibility. It all sounds a bit familiar.

So what lessons can both parties learn from these troubled times? Firstly, as we have seen in Scotland, referendums do not end with the result. If the Remains win, which I suspect that they will, it is unlikely that hardcore Brexiteers will crawl back under their stones. They will claim that the whole process was unfair, and that Brussels with the Whitehall machine loaded the dice. So if you think that whatever the result there will not be a Tory bloodbath dream on. The campaign is going to be short and brutish. Who Scares Wins. And as for Labour’s EU split, it is nothing compared the the chasm between the leadership and his MPs.

The lesson of the sixties and beyond it that you can’t compromise with the left, you have to smash them. And the longer you wait the more difficult it becomes. The Haines solution is for a mass walk out MPs taking shelter under another umbrella. This would leave Bercow with a bit of a dilemma. Who becomes the official opposition? Well it’s a no brainer; the party with the second largest majority in the House. And so, the theory goes, the wheels of Livingstone/Corbyn charabanc fall off. But it would require a lot of courage and money. I don’t think that the money will be too much of a problem as it is the only chance Labour donors have of not having a party that is totally destroyed in 2020.

So who would lead them? I see that Dan Jarvis is given quite a puff in the Guardian today. As a former soldier with a great back story, courage does not appear be too much of a problem. But timing is. It has to be after the May elections. Any fool knows that Labour will face carnage then. Any hint of a walk out will allow the Corbynista rubbish machine to place the blame on the walkers. But it would not be wise to have a major distraction just before the referendum.

The party conference in September is astrologically the best bet. Momentum would have packed the hall with its members, so Livingstone will be the back street driver of a lethal pile up. Do it the day before the conference and cause the maximum damage and give Bercow time to think as Parliament is not sitting.

Jarvis needs some big beasts in the Shadow Cabinet. Watson is dangerously quiet. There have been no speeches or interviews praising the re kerfuffle. Worse, Milne has made a terrible tactical blunder by leaking to the press that Watson was never consulted on it. It is unwise to poke a big beast with sharp sticks, particularly if it has its own mandate.

But I am not optimistic. Despite the blather, MPs can be quite timid creatures and hope that something will turn up. Well, it won’t. This is the Last Chance Saloon and its drinking up time.



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The real villain in the reshuffle is Seamus Milne. Benn should have made a principled resignation not become a lame duck

6 Jan 2016 at 11:28

The real villain in this shambles of a reshuffle is not Jeremy Corbyn but his press secretary Seamus Milne. It’s not surprising that he is known in the lobby as shameless. Corbyn should have taken a lesson from the Margaret Thatcher playbook. She inherited a shadow cabinet who by and large despised her. It was stuffed with patrician politicians who thought that her political philosophy was an aberration and was an anathema to what the Conservative party stood for. Her Shadow Cabinet meetings were hell on earth and she was known to flee to the whips office in tears. But she bided her time before she executed them one by one. The more her power and authority grew the more licence she had to have a cabinet in her own image.

The unforgivable error that the Corbyn media operation made was not imposing discipline on the hotheads who want to wreak revenge and retribution on whom they consider to be Blairite class traitors. They were given a free reign to whisper bile and poison into the eager ears of the press. ‘Revenge reshuffle…..Benn to be sacked…..Winteron to go….’ were not the machinations of a wild eyed Tory press but from briefings from sources close to the leadership. We were all wound up to believe that there was to be a bloodbath which would lead to uproar on the back benches. Well, any fool knows that if Corbyn had stamped his authority on his Shadow cabinet there would have been trouble. But we’re led to believe that this was to be a game of chicken where Corbyn would not blink first.

So now he has achieved the worst of all worlds. Indecision; weakness; the sacking of two talented and popular men. And horror on the back benches at the whole sorry mess. Worst, it has taken away from him a great tactical point. Cameron didn’t want to give his ministers a free for all on the referendum. He had no choice but to change his mind. If Corbyn had made a speedy reshuffle even with compromises, he could have accused Cameron of being running scared of his party. He would be very unwise to try that one. Cameron’s eating of humble pie has produced a warm and fuzzy feeling amongst those colleagues who would happily slot him. He will receive cheers from his backbenchers at PMQs today. Corbyn will be received in sullen silence.

I am not entirely sure that Hilary Benn has come out of all of this with a lot of honour. He has agreed to remain silent in public about policies he profoundly disagrees with. His is a delayed resignation. He would have been wise to have made a principled resignation. He is now a lame duck shadow foreign secretary who will be be made to squirm with embarrassment at any mention of the bombing of Syria and Trident.

Corbyn would have been wise to heed the words of Descartes, ‘Except in our own thoughts, there is nothing absolutely in our power. It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well.’

This is a rare case where Descartes should have been put before the horses



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This cut of 19% of Short money is politically inept, morally bankrupt, doomed to fail and makes the Tories look like vindictive bullies rigging the democratic process

2 Jan 2016 at 13:03

It is not often that I look at a government decision and roll my eyes heavenward in disbelief and horror at the sheer mind boggling stupidity of it. But the wheeze to cut the money given to opposition parties to fund their scrutiny of the executive by any amount, let alone 19%, is politically inept, morally bankrupt and doomed to fail. It makes the Tories look like vindictive bullies rigging the democratic system. And it is a gift that will keep on giving for Corbyn. Unless this cranky idea is buried in a lead lined coffin topped with six feet of reinforced concrete before the first PMQs of the season Cameron is going to have to defend the indefensible. And he will not like that one little bit. 2016 will be the most important year in generations for any PM and to gain the trust of the people over the EU referendum he has got to be seen playing with a straight bat. So, to pick a fight where one is unnecessary makes no political sense whatsoever.

To be honest I suspect that Cameron and Osborne hadn’t got a clue that this was buried in the fine print of the Autumn Statement until the press office was contacted and who responded with the default panic mode about ‘reducing the deficit and the cost of government’. What utter bollocks.

So what went wrong? There appears to be nobody at the Treasury with long term radar who can spot a potential fuck up flying towards them. This is potentially far worse than the pasty wars.

All parties who lose elections end up on the verge of bankruptcy. They’ve shelled out money they can’t afford on advertising, battle buses and telephone banks. The donors in an unseemly rout for gongs and influence plough their cash into what they think are more fertile fields. Can you imagine the outrage if Blair or Brown had cut the Short money? This was named after Ted Short, a rather dull and austere Leader of the House. Oh, now that may give us trail of gastropodian slime leading to a certain minister. Lumber forward Chris Grayling Leader of the House. He would have had to have been consulted on this as it is a matter that is directly in his fiefdom. But judgement, lightness of touch and an acute ear for danger are not words that come to mind with this vindictive, spiteful, political knuckle dragger. He would have though it was a brilliant idea to humiliate his opponents. And he knows that it would produce one of those guttural primal growls from the carpet munching wing of his party.

But let’s look at the political consequences. The total Short money is about £8million, which is probably less than the Foreign Office lunch bill. Labour would lose about a million and the DUP about £32k. For a small party that is serious. For a small party that by and large supports the government it is politically insane. And it’s not just the Short money that will be cut, the Policy Development Grant, which is a minuscule £2m is also going to be cut. And at a time when the number of SPADS is at an all time high.

The thinking wing of the Tory Party will hate this. There will be a rebellion. If I was in Parliament I would be raising merry hell.

This foolhardy, ill thought out, politically toxic nonsense should be strangled at birth. The British public who have penchant for fair play will not like this one little bit



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Cronyism, dishonest journalism the honours system and why Crosby deserves a Dukedom

31 Dec 2015 at 12:17

What has happened to the Independent apart from selling less copies than Goldfish Weekly? This was the paper which was to break the mould and put professional, impartial journalism at its core. That’s why it was called the Independent. But read today’s splash with care.
“Almost 30 Tory party members or supporters receive awards amid accusations of cronyism”, it screamed. And then there were the quotes from the usual suspects. Andy Burnham (yes, I thought he was dead too) was ‘outraged’ at a knighthood for Lynton Crosby and then goes onto a diatribe about the wicked Tories thinking that they can do what they like.

Well, this looks like a tale of Cameroonian baubles for the Bullers corruption unearthed by the painstaking skill of an Independent scribbler in the finest traditions of Her Majesty’s Press. But then let us read on. It is revealed by the head of the honours committee that,“26 out of 1,196 awards were for political services including Parliamentary clerks, Rosie Winterton, Ed Davey and Harriet Harman’s former adviser……”

To put it in legal terms the subheadline is complete bollocks and utterly misleading. I am not sure that we can go to journalist default mode and blame the sub editors as I thought most if not all of them had been sacked. It’s not just sloppy journalism it borders on the dishonest. It wouldn’t have happened under Andrew Marr’s editorship.

We Brits love our baubles adorned with meaningless medieval gobbledegook. And there is a modicum of cronyism from all parties. Who cares if some bag carrier from the Ministry of footpaths and dog shit gets an MBE? Who cares if Labour’s Chief Whip gets the DBE, after all she has had to put up with Gordon Brown, Ed Miliband and now Corbyn? What we do care about is when the greasers, chancers, donors and arse lickers get pushed into the Lords where they have the chance to legislate. But honours at a political level have always been a means of control. Keep your nose clean as an MP for about thirty years and you’ll get a K. If you stab a PM in the back as a senior minister forget about a peerage.

There is also a lot of press outrage at the award of gongs to civil servants. This year’s Joan of Arc is Lin Homer. I know Lin of old. I was counsel (for Labour actually) in the Birmingham postal ballot fraud when the election commissioner likened her handling of an election as ‘worthy of a banana republic’. But she was looked after and wreaked havoc and disaster at UKBA, the Department of Transport and now as chief executive of HMRC. She should have pensioned off years ago. I don’t give a toss about her DBE which comes with the rations, but I do care deeply about a charmed life and a massive pension pot worth millions.

And having a crack at Lynton Crosby is a bit like saying, ‘what have the Romans ever done for us?’. Anyone who can housetrain Boris and win an election for the Tories against all the odds deserves a Dukedom. The man has been shortchanged! And before we have another burst of sphincter rattling hypocrisy from Burnham just remember that the Lords is stuffed with Labour election gurus.

So, let’s get it all in perspective. There is a certain amount of cross party cronyism in the honours list. But it is a minority sport. The majority of gongs and baubles go to the deserving who selflessly serve their communities. And talking of sport, what happened to Andy Murray?

Lastly the Indy had a crack at Marion Little ‘an election strategist’. Too right she was. She was my splendid agent. And for that burden she deserves nothing less than a DBE.



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