Cameron unleashes the attack dogs
David Cameron and Andy Coulson summoned the entire Tory frontbench for a pep talk this morning. It was the first time the party's communications director has addressed MPs en masse, and I'm told he acquitted himself. A bit like his press conference yesterday, Mr Cameron didn't have anything specific to say (something tells me that's going to become a theme unless he's careful). But he did deliver three important messages.
Sorry Doesn't Do It
The Nimrod scandal continues (see many previous blogs, eg here). 14 guys have died and everyone outside the MOD seems to think they're unsafe. Yet Des Browne reckons it's OK to keep them flying. How can he possibly say that? Apparently, he's reassured by the conclusions and recommendations from the Board of Inquiry. But frankly, despite their bland coded wording, the BOI's conclusions are scary. Their number one conclusion is:
More details emerge about the Wendy Alexander fundraising scandal
The Jersey based businessmen whose donation to Wendy Alexander’s leadership bid should not have been accepted, has revealed more about his contacts with the Alexander campaign. He alleges that Charlie Gordon, MSP assured him that he was allowed to donate the money despite not being on the electoral roll. Speculation is now rife that Gordon will resign his seat.
Paul Green blasts Wendy's team: David Whitton should go too!
As more and more detail comes to light every day, it becomes very clear that more members of Wendy's team are being shielded by Charlie Gordon's resignation. Paul Green is clearly embarrassed, downright furious and frustrated at the attempts of Wendy's office to say they didn't know he was not a permissible donor.
The commons debate on political party funding.
I've been listening for about half an hour and Jack Straw has just shot himself right in the foot. In response to accusations of breaking the law, Labour have been bleating on about Lord Ashcroft's tax status. However when Jack was asked about the tax status of Labour's biggest individual donors , he said it was a matter for the Inland Revenue - CLASSIC! To make matters worse, when Jack was asked if any of the dodgy £650,000 had been paid back, he said he didn't know. Finger on the pulse Jack.
The moral compass gone haywire
Senior Labour politicians seem to have lost track of what fundraising is for, and how it should be done
A saga rumbling on, a leader trundling off?
As things stand, Charlie Gordon is in even more trouble: it transpires he received warnings about donations from Paul Green two years ago, it seems that the Daily Record - Labour's voice on Earth - has turned on him, possibly because he yelled at their reporter, and he is making a statement on his future later in the week. As he appears not to have one, the general conclusion - which I subscribe to - is that he is to resign his seat, presenting Glasgow Cathcart's voters with their second By-Election since September 2005. What else could he announce?
Should Gordon hold a Night of the Long Knives?
I'm not going to claim this is an original thought. The idea came from a post on Paul Burgin's blog earlier today entitled "Accountablity" but I hope Paul will take it as compliment rather than as deliberate plagiarism if I say that I think the question merits further examination.
Labour cannot abandon the Trade Unions
There has been much discussion here on the Labour party’s funding scandal. There has been the suggestion that donations should be strictly limited in their level and should only come from individuals. That sounds like a good idea on the face of it, but I think there are a number of problems with it. Firstly, it would require an extraordinarily large number of small donors to fund a modern political party. Well, tough, some people might say. Politics should be run more cheaply! But there is a problem with that point of view.
Is the Labour party solvent ?
Just reading The Mole's post over on The First Post and I'm wondering why Brown is willing ( or saying he's willing ) to compromise on Union funding. Its not like him - even if he needs good publicity. Having announced his intention of repaying at least £600k - it could be more and the electoral commission may insist on its being done, and with the Labour party owing about £20million I'm wondering if the Labour party is actually solvent.
Do you remember the scandals of the Major years, when he had totally lost his grip on the Conservative party, and it’s arrogance was breathtaking? Sleaze all over the place, but with the exception of a couple of relatively junior MP’s, and a gaggle of dodgy council leaders, most of the ‘big hitters’ that were caught were brought down by not being able to keep their cocks in their trousers. That isn’t to excuse the junior people involved ~ Hamilton and Aitken were both guilty of being dishonest bastards, and for them to have been guilty of these crimes while lording it over us stinks. Come to think of it, Aitken was in a relatively senior post. Either way, like a pigeon that has been hit by the number 14 bus and lies dieing slowly in the road, it was a relief when it was all over. If only we had known.
Time to come off the fence and use my vote for...
I've left my ballot paper long enough and have now filled it in. I did though um and ah for sometime before marking my cross. There were a number of factors that swayed me.
Are the Cleggies having second thoughts?
Does the odds-on favourite need to do more than look good? With only nine to to go before voting ends in the Lib Dem leadership there’s been a lot of questioning in the Lib Dem blogsphere over whether the odds-on and strong polling favourite, Nick Clegg is the right choice. He is also the candidate on whom I have bet £900. One factor that has sparked off the concern was his lacklustre performance on Tuesday’s Today Programme on Radio 4. This was from prominent Lib Dem blogger James Graham and, up until then a strong Cleggie.