Get back, get back...
One things seems quite clear to me about this whole fiasco of donations to the Labour Party; the Party should abandon this practice of dealing in donations from millionaires, philanthropists etc. It was something Tony Blair became very fond of as he deliberately took steps to put distance, if not break the link altogether, with the trade union movement.
An accident waiting to happen
Surely there should be no surprise at all about Labour’s latest breach of the rules on donating to political parties. After all, it’s an easy thing to do. You want to give money to a political party but don’t want to admit that you have done it, so what’s the obvious thing to do? Give the money to someone else who then donates it on your behalf. It is so simple to do, and need only involve two people having knowledge of the arrangement. I wouldn’t be surprised if we find out that it has happened before and in other parties too.
Mendacious Mendelsohn Must Go
Mortgage subsidy fiddler Geoff Hoon on Newsnight told Paxman "It seems clear that there could be no impropriety attached to Mr Mendelsohn he acted properly." Paxman: I wasn’t suggesting impropriety I was merely suggesting he knew who Mr Abrahams was.
Sleaze and the BBC
I remember when Labour started their nasty sleaze camapign in the 1990s against the Tories I thought they were fashioning a boomerang. It was over the top, and unnecessary - the Conservative party was going to lose the election anyway. It was bound to damage politics as a whole and to make the life of a future Labour government more difficult.
Brown makes his stand
When Nick Robinson dropped the bombshell on the Today Programme that Jon Mendelsohn had known about how David Abrahams was funnelling money to the Labour party, I assumed that—if this was true—Mendelsohn would be gone by PMQs. But he’s still there tonight.
Getting politics out of the ditch
Yet again, Labour is in trouble over party funding. So here is a modest set of proposals to put a stop to all the scandals and regain public trust
Down but not out
A series of crises have rocked Gordon Brown's government. A bit of humour and humility will help him remain afloat
Brown must shun party politics at taxpayers' expense
The Labour Party needs to rebuild from its grassroots. No apologies for being a harpy. Yet Gordon Brown at PMQs today was still trotting out the tired script inherited from his predecessor about the Hayden Phillips inquiry (sic) into party political funding. Admittedly this a fast moving story. His performance at PMQs was otherwise faultless. We have got to avoid being distracted by our political opponents whinging on about the internal Labour Party inquiry by Lord Whitty, the results of which are to be reviewed and worked on by m'Lords Harries and McClusky.
The LibDem leadership battle
In the great battles of history, one titanic conflict will surely go unrecorded: the battle between those two political giants Nick "Calamity" Clegg and Chris "Who?" Huhne. Maybe the LibDems are wishing they had an alternative contender for the crown after another excellent performance at PMQs by Vince "Layer" Cable (in which he said Gordon Brown had gone from being Stalin to Mr Bean in a matter of weeks).
How good is a $100 laptop?
Can you imagine the excitement of these young Nigerian school children who have been given a $100 laptop each as part of the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) programme in Africa. Some of them don’t even have a television at home. Their local community built their school, now well worn, from imageplaster, wood and tin. It educates 150 students and three classes are crammed into the two-room building.
Dave and Dubya
David Cameron should be in the US by now, preparing for his big speech tomorrow. We've seen extracts and it looks quite meaty. It's all about the imminent danger of meltdown in the Balkans, and just what is the Government doing about it? But there's one line that caught my eye in the bits we've been shown in advance: "We will approach every security challenge on the basis of hard-headed practicality: liberal conservatism, not liberal interventionist utopias about remaking the whole world." Notice first his alternative to Gordon Brown's "hard-headed internationalism".
DC in DC
I'm currently in Washington DC (have been for two weeks) and will be attending all three public events of David Cameron's visit here, including his speech to Brookings on the precarious situation in the Balkans - a subject close to the heart of the Tory leader's Chief of Staff, Ed Llewellyn, who was adviser to Paddy Ashdown when the latter was High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Another cheap publicity stunt?
I am of course referring to the announcement that “Lib Dem leadership hopeful Chris Huhne” has written to Met Police boss Sir Ian Blair asking him to investigate apparent "serious breaches" of party funding laws by Labour. Personally, I am somewhat sceptical as to the reasons behind Mr Huhne’s letter. Why? I can't help asking myself. Was it Chris’ place to do it? Isn't he our Environment Spokesman? Aren't such matters best left to the party leader? The last time I looked Vince Cable was acting leader, not Chris Huhne.
Vince plays John Smith to Brown's Major
There seems little doubt that the loss of those two discs was this Government's "Black Wednesday". It's all downhill from here. Gordon Brown is John Major without the underpants or the electoral mandate. Spare a thought for Tony Blair. It must be hard trying not to crack a rib when you are laughing so much.
I still think it is all codswallop and just another excuse to tax us. I sometimes wonder at the honesty of politicians who trumpet their “Green” aspirations. I’m afraid I still think it is all codswallop and just another excuse to tax us. Recently I was forced to buy a new heating boiler and was delighted to see an offer from British Gas which allowed me a discount for being over 60 years old. This was obviously designed to encourage people down the “Green” path thus helping to save the planet. Something which is shoved down our throat every waking minute.
Incarceration of Gillian Gibbons in Sudan
British Muslims should protest teddy lunacy. Oh come off it, I thought yesterday afternoon, when I heard that the Sudanese authorities had actually gone ahead and charged her. Surely they are out of their minds. When the news broke yesterday teatime that poor Gillian Gibbons was facing prosecution in Khartoum for inciting hatred and showing contempt for religious beliefs, I am afraid my normal good humour momentarily deserted me. How dare they! I spluttered, and for a brief undignified moment, I had fantasies of a return to the age of Palmerston.
Is the British body politics about to cannibalise itself. Lib-Dems aspirant leader Chris Huhne has reported Labour to the police. Will police inquiries become a new arena for party point-scoring ? Other parties will retaliate. Police time will be wasted and the reputation of British Politics will be unjustly dragged through the mud again. It's irritating that every Labour scandal, real or imagined, is exaggerated. Other parties problems are downplayed or ignored.
Blair's poisoned legacy of sleaze
They say all is fair in love, war and politics - but am I the only person in the country who feels some sympathy for Gordon Brown over the fact that he is now reaping the whirlwind of a Labour Party funding scandal which was absolutely not of his own making?