Saturday, December 15, 2007

Libdemologists: Why Is Huhne Threatening A Blogger?

Although I took down the link to the Chris Huhne attack site at Huhne's personal request word has spread with Mr Huhne's campaign manager now stating publically that legal action will be taken if they trace the progenitor.

Business and property details appear to check out so it must be the analysis of the circumstances of and fall out from Huhne's wife's divorce which they consider "highly defamatory". Or at least to be subject to a Alisher Usmanov/Schillings campaign of writ-happy repression.

Huhne's team declined to answer a series of factual questions I put to them on the business and property details which remain in my initial post and it is noticeable that these are now asserted to be "inaccurate" or "silly" rather than "nonsense".

As it would have taken five minutes or less to answer the questions I can't think they are seriously denying anything.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Lib Dems: Threatened to Discipline Honest Candidate

That's right. Tonight's South Wales Echo has the story of a Lib Dem candidate, Mark Hooper, who says he was threatened with disciplinary action if he reported a campaign donation late or drew attention to its existence. He has left the party and reported the problem to the Electoral Commission.

Only recently Mark was getting all angsty about Huhne's "Calamity Clegg" dossier over at Lib Dem Voice (comment 32 and onwards). And a month before, in the same place, he was getting all angsty about the Welsh Leadership (comment 16).

Mark (above, right) has already been more or less purged from the official Lib Dem web presence though there are cached pages. Search.

Sleaze-buster Norman Baker has also been done in for mis-use of tax payers' money. Malcolm Bruce makes a third Lib Dem in the dock. And Labour's Sadiq Khan also erred.

Hat tip: Iain Dale

LOL's Dilemma: Godson Investigation or Huhne Mystery?

Now then, now then. Let's see. Something about Dean Godson's propaganda operation at Policy Exchange? And its precursors? Or begin with a follow up on the mysterious case of Chris Huhne and the anonymous blogger? Can't decide. But while I'm thinking on this what follows is the full and unabridged contents of a Word file which reached me today:

(Private Eye was first to report on this - back in 1983!!!)

Liberal-Democrats who wish to avoid having a leader who has a denouement similar to Charles Kennedy and Ming Campbell - in which his ostensible friends come at him with daggers drawn - might be wise to bear in mind the deep esteem in which Chris Huhne was held by his former colleagues.

When Huhne was a young economics columnist on The Guardian in the early '80's, he decided to run for parliament in Reading East as the SDP candidate during the 1983 general election. This was in the early days of the Liberal-SDP pact and a battle was raging during the campaign as to whether an electorally-successful Alliance should be led by the Liberal Party’s David Steel or the SDP’s Roy Jenkins. A large stir was caused on the Sunday before the election when Huhne became the first Alliance candidate to publicly call for the Liberal Party leader to declare in advance that he would defer to the SDP's Jenkins. A clear breach of the unity that the Alliance had been striving for. Repercussions carried on all day in Alliance circles until it was finally discovered that Huhne had NOT called for Steel to defer. It was a hoax press release and Huhne had been the victim of a dirty trick - designed to embarrass him with both Liberal and SDP leaders.

At first the dirty trick was thought to be the work of Conservatives trying to make mischief within the Alliance – and who had picked on Huhne as the patsy because of his reputation as a glib opportunist. Others thought that it was the work of SDP Party activists who disliked Huhne’s smarter-than-thou smugness. But it was the Eye that revealed that it was actually the work of the people who knew Huhne best - his colleagues at the Guardian.

As the Eye reported in its next issue (Eye 561 - 17th June 1983) - what gave the game away was the way the national dailies covered the story and its embarrassing details. Most of the papers gave the hoax scant reportage. The one paper that gave the story sizable coverage - and caused Huhne great embarrassment - was his own paper. The deep love and affection felt for Huhne by his Guardian colleagues - who cherished his modesty and humility was such that they alone of the nationals pumped the story up to large dimensions. When the unsuccessful Huhne (he was routed in the election) returned to the Guardian it was to a paper where he knew he was surrounded by enemies. The dislike for Huhne continue unabated until he finally took the hint and left to work for the Independent.

Chris Huhne: Pretender's Porkies Upset Police Force

In a Lib Dem tactic familiar to all Chris Huhne and his team are still running round telling porkies about a fantasy police investigation in Durham, report Lib Dem Voice. Durham police are not impressed any more than we were when Huhne tried to blow a technical planning consent, signed off by his own party, into some kind of Columbo "one more thing" investigation. We've been here before with Lib Dem hoaxes on fire, police and hospitals.

Tory Think Tank: Still Squirming Over Forgery-Gate

Dean Godson's squirmy defiance after BBC Newsnight's exposure of iffy invoices, address discrepancies and low propaganda techniques was enjoyed by many in the audience. His employer stated on their website that they stood by every word, and that:

The executive of Policy Exchange will meet on Thursday 13th to discuss legal action against the BBC

It is tea time on Friday 14th. Have they given up? Rather than fighting on as Godson claimed melodramatically: "to trial or capitulation by the corporation"?

MOCK UPS: Courtesy of Policy Exchange secret researchers, via BBC Newsnight

Tory Briefs: Brogan Mis-Labels Northern Rock "Major"

Benedict Brogan suggests that Tories are briefing that Northern Rock will finish off Brown. It could yet be the making of him. BB also calls Northern Rock a "Major Bank" which I'm not sure is a soubriquet that really passes muster. Looks to be the smallest of the third tier of banks in Wiki's UK List.

Standard Smearage: Dale Swallows Gilligan Cock Whole

Iain Dale is very excitable today. Nothing yet on Policy Exchange, although he was a Trustee during the first half of Dean Godson's crusade of the faulty invoices. But pretty busy.

Leaving aside various schadenfreude on Europe we have an unquestioning regurgitation of Andrew Gilligan's half cock and bull accusations in the Standard which can be read in full here.

Although Iain swallows the story whole and repeats the salient points without question there are firm and detailed rebuttals. Including a call for Gilligan to be sacked here and here and a press release on last week's vendettas here.

Meanwhile the Standard say this:

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But then go and spoil it all by publishing the following smear comment against afro caribbean people in general and Lee Jasper and Trevor Philips in particular:

Very good to see this investigation is taking place. All too often when fraud on councils, dodgy charities, so called policy units, takes place and involves afro carribs, they run off shouting racists, and racial harassment. It is disgusting that they hide behind and use the colour of their skin to exploit the taxpayer. Jasper I can assure you, like Trevor Philips, is a thoroughly nasty piece of work. Livingston has for too long been the lacky of the race peddlers. Please keep up this much-needed task of hounding these criminals.
- Mark Armstrong, London

I've suggested they remove it but I'm not holding my breath. Meanwhile Roy Greenslade's Guardian blog has this, with Gilligan himself following the thread rather obsessively.

Christianophobia: And Status of Westminster Hall Debates

Dave Ottewell catches Gregory Campbell of the Democratic Unionists making a lame joke in the "House of Commons".

In fact this hilarious gag was in a debate on 'Christianophobia' in Westminster Hall.

The norm there is the silence and tumbleweed that Dave thinks Gregory may have encountered. Hon Members with two jobs, no mates and hospital hoaxes on their conscience may big them up as "debates in the House of Commons" but to be more honest they are on the strictly fringe fare though included I think in MP's stats for speeches made.

Some recent debates with more than ten speeches are listed here.

Often participants can be counted on one hand and it rarely takes more than two. In this case eight Hon Members took part and there was a Chair to keep order. A soapbox at Hyde Park's speaker's corner can provide a bigger outlet.

Mr Campbell meanwhile has always been a joke entry. The link has him suggesting that 40,000 people from the Republic living in the North have NOT applied for British citizenship and just 270 have done so because of red tape rather than a complete lack of interest in becoming Brits. Image: BBC.

Mr Ottewell also has a post on Preparing for the Flop. Blackpool incidentally not only did not win the Casino decision, but they were not second, third or even fourth in the reckoning.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

GM Fabians: Why David Cameron Must Be Stopped

Apart from his making the baby Jesus cry, and having a bunch of charlatans like Policy Exchange on his team. Submissions here please.

Policy Exchange: Tory Connected "Charity" and Forgeries

Here Be Sock Puppets! Repetitive and reactionary ones at that. Policy Exchange report is exposed by BBC Newsnight as charlatanic hate mongery. "Invoices" clearly forged by "researchers". PEx head honcho wobbles defiantly. Is Gove in charge? Did Dale resign before this debacle??

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Libdemologists: Is Huhne Really "A Bit Less of a Neocon"

UPDATE 9:36 Thursday: Chris Huhne has been in touch. He has asked for the link to the anonymous blogger to be removed which I have actioned, and he claims the investment information below is "nonsense". I am now checking this out. Any and all help from readers would be much appreciated.


There's an anonymous blogger out there who really has it in for (link removed) Chris Huhne.

The most interesting and relevant parts are I feel about Huhne's business activity:

In 1994, Huhne parlayed all the contacts and information he had gleaned covering the financial world as a journalist for The Guardian and Independent - and exploited his experiences by starting a financial consultancy. He was a slick operator. He rapidly amassed his own personal fortune by investing in a slew of companies that most Lib-Dem supporters would be horrified by. Especially those on the left-wing who Huhne is now assiduously wooing. Reports in the Daily Telegraph and The Independent in February 2006 identified an investment portfolio that included a company that made domestic surveillance equipment, oil companies, three mining companies, seven tax avoidance schemes and an arms company. As soon as he embarked on his first leadership bid last year, he rapidly divested himself of the shares in all but one of the "problem" companies. But the paper trail of how he amassed his wealth is still there to be seen by any Lib-Dem voter who cares about hypocrisy.

And then there is the property portfolio:

The combined Huhne-Pryce millions allowed them to amass a total of nine homes - four to live in and five to use just as letting properties. (After selling off two homes, they still have seven residences.)

This earlier story was on dithering Hospital Hoaxer John Leech finally announcing his choice in the Lib Dem leadership. Bro Miles commented along the lines that that choice, Huhne, was "a bit less of a neocon". Is that so?

Michael Gove: 90% Mendacious Says Channel 4 Factcheck

Sadly, Michael Gove's bold assertions on the UK's decline in OECD education league tables simply do not check out.

Indeed, according to the Factcheck service, the whole lot of them need to go back to school. David Cameron himself was found to be 70% mendacious on rape.

And we reported here how George Osborne was found 90% mendacious on Labour and tax and 60% mendacious on his own plans for Tories and tax.

This morning the acceptable face of Toryism Ken Clarke observed that public sector employment has gone up by 600,000 from "where it was previously". But as Cassilis showed so thoroughly this is still 200,000 short of the numbers when Maggie Thatcher let power slip from her grasping grasp.

And any so called "Bonfire of the Bureacrats" would have to be a "Bonfire of the Services" as the numbers of Bureaucrats are falling fast and scarcely 20,000 above numbers inherited in 1997. Again Cassilis has the numbers.

Libdemologists: Hoaxer Leech Finally Makes His Mind Up

In 2006 Cllr John Leech MP, the Christie Cancer Hospital Closure Hoaxer, backed Nick Clegg before there was even a contest. Charlie Kennedy was reeling horribly but had Leech's "full support".

When twisted fire starter Calamity Clegg didn't stand he backed campaign expenses twister Buff Huhne. Now, described as Lib Dem "Transport Minister" (he's never been more than a number two or three spokesperson) Leech has finally made up his mind after two months of dithering.

Above for your enjoyment, via Ridiculous Politics, is the famous Calamity Clegg dossier from clubable Buff Huhne. Click to enlarge. Incidentally the Observer's Pendennis has a lovely story about provenance of some Huhne's leadership donations.

Turns out they're from the man - Paul Strasburger - who backed the convict and unlawful £2.4 M Lib Dem donor Michael Brown's legal costs, from Strasburger's wife Eve and from Huhne's dad.

Michael Brown has left Lib Dems in a position where they should (a) return funds to the donor or rather the real owners of the cash; allegedly these were not even his own funds to give; (b) also see the money confiscated by the Electoral Commission; and (c) find £4.8 M to pay off the resulting overdraft.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Solo-Responders: Broadwater Farm and Conservative Cuts

There is something - I'm not sure quite what - about today's announcement of proposed increases in "solo" paramedic ambulances that jogs my memory about the 1985 riots at Broadwater Farm and the ambulancing of PC Keith Blakelock and PC Richard Coombes to hospital.

The pair were unlucky to be separated from their colleagues in very fraught circumstances. Although they were ordinary bobbies they had gone to the riots to assist Firefighters who were under attack.

The nearest ambulance station to the site had been closed under Tory deep slashing of public service budgets.

Blakelock, who died of very serious multiple injuries, was carried to hospital in a private ambulance. This was driven and staffed by a moonlighting engineer and an administrator. Untrained personnel.

Coombes survived but only after a difficult journey to hospital care of a London Fire Service tender. As I recall this vehicle had to stop twice en route and ask directions to casualty.

The riots themselves arguably and certainly these misadventures en route to hospital were a direct result of a Dale-style Bonfire of the Services. Never again.

But in the meantime the case for and against increasing solo-responders - to further improve response times - must be examined carefully. All but one of the regional ambulance services have put forward detailed proposals along these lines. Any and all changes must be monitored closely.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Lord Black: Fraudster Backed by Hague, Tebbit, Johnson

Lord Conrad Black (wiki) believed, says Andrew Neild, that he was a "Master of the Universe" to whom mortal, earthly rules simply did not apply. All the cash he stole was his by rights. So he is appealling the six-and-a-half year sentence for being an evil crook and original Lord Offshore. "Don't you know who I am?" At least it's not 35 years.

Meanwhile Elton John, Lord Tebbit, William Hague and Boris Johnson are among 100 assorted idiots who wrote letters pleading clemency for the unrepentant fraudster. The Globe and Mail names more names and includes some snippets (Google Cache).

Rather like Lord Ashcroft our man was proposed for a peerage by William "14-pint" Hague. And again rather like Lord Ashcroft this distinguished conservative didn't make the lordly leap at the first time of asking. Essentially the appalling embezzler was thwarted by the beastly Canadians:

Black's initial attempt to accept the British peerage, offered by Queen Elizabeth II on the advice of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, was thwarted by then Prime Minister of Canada Jean Chrétien, who referred to the 1919 Nickle Resolution, by which the Canadian House of Commons resolved that the Canadian Monarch should not confer titular honours on Canadians.
Black attempted to work around the Canadian Prime Minister by taking dual British and Canadian citizenship, claiming that he would accept the peerage from the Queen as a British citizen rather than as a Canadian citizen. After this proved unsuccessful, with Chrétien still asserting that Blair could not have the Queen give a titular honour to a Canadian, Black initiated a lawsuit against Chrétien, arguing that the Canadian Prime Minister's strict interpretation of the Nickle Resolution, which is not a law, was payback for Black's political opinions and past criticism of Chrétien.
Black lost the lawsuit on the first instance and on appeal, with the Court of Appeal for Ontario stating that the Prime Minister of Canada was within his constitutional rights to advise the Queen on the exercise of her Royal Prerogative.[12] In 2001, Black gave up his Canadian citizenship, with every intention of applying to have it reinstated once Chrétien was out of office; Black's lawyer, Eddie Greenspan, stated Black argued about his citizenship: "it was stolen from him" by "spiteful" former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien.[13] He became a member of the Hurlingham Club, and was created a life peer as Baron Black of Crossharbour, of Crossharbour in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, where he sat as a member of the British Conservative Party until July 13, 2007, when he was denied the whip (effectively expelling him from the Conservative Party grouping in the House of Lords) as a result of his conviction.

Lord Ashcroft probably is the Prime Minister of Belize? So he didn't have quite the same hassles. Lord Archer of course sailed through with no bother, years before.

True Life Confessions: First Long Player I Ever Bought

Boris Johnson: David Cameron Must Condemn Race Riffs

Whereas Boris Johnson has claimed the widespread disquiet about his bon mots on race is a put up job, he's quite wrong. The Mirror today condemns Cameron for not calling Johnson to heel. The New Nation has apparently done another ring round. The last being mid-August.

They put their web edition up a week after the paper version so it'll be there on 17 December. Meanwhile Labour Home have the highlights.

Nadine Dorries: Failed Sisterly Smear on Labour Women

Mad Nad Dorries MP has had her very silly complaint about Emily's List support towards selection costs for Labour women completely rejected and she's been scolded for being unsisterly too. Good. Nad's try at permalinks also unsuccessful.

Karen Reissmann: Appeal Result is NO to Reinstatement

Karen Reissmann has NOT been reinstated on appeal. Rally tomorrow. Miles Barter has details at Action Without Theory.

Sky's Not The Limit: No Pay Offs For Beaten Councillors

Parachute payoffs for election defeat councillors? Also local government pensions, 20-year maximum service, and better allowances for councillors? And lotteries and other imaginative incentives for voters are among 61 proposals for local democracy.

Communities Minister Hazel Blears appears to want to run a very tight ship and has already shot the parachute idea down in flames. But she will give it all some thought over Christmas.

Perhaps we could go back to voluntary, unpaid MPs also?

Enough is Enough: Fascist BNP Continues to Crumble

Thanks to Tom Watson MP for pointing at the Enough is Enough blog which aims to get BNP leader Nick Griffin to purge Collett, Hannam and Walker from the organisation by a campaign of resignation from party office:

EIE believes it is time to start publicly exposing the trio in the hope that action will finally be taken to rid the BNP of these sleazy, lying, drunken, incompetent scumbags.

Leaving only peace, light and all-round loveliness I suppose? Sadie Graham, featured here and pictured in happier days alongside hate-crim Griffin and a Swedish homphobic-abh-fash-crim, appears to be part of the Anti-Griffin/Anti-Collett Fifth Column.

Libdemologists: Campbell Completely Conceals Content

Apparently the first draft of L Menzies Campbell's autobiography has been returned post haste by horrified publisher Hodder and Stoughton. There is a complete and utter lack of interesting content. How strange. Those Lib Dems usually being so very forthcoming.

Guido Fawkes: "Now Lord Ashcroft Must Come Clean"

Guido has called on Lord Ashcroft to end his sleazy sojurn in Belize or at any rate to come clean. GuF is not getting an easy ride in his own comments.

Bonfire of the Bureacrats-gate: Iain Dale Found Guilty

Cassilis has done some of the research that Iain Dale so obviously failed to do ahead of his Telegraph diatribe.

BBC Maths: When 4-1 Against Becomes "Almost Certain"

For almost three hours now BBC News 24 has been reporting a risk assessment on 2012 costs stating that it is four-to-one against further cost inflation. So why oh why are BBC journalists reporting that costs will "almost certainly" increase further? It's only one-in-five.

UPDATE 12:40: They've cottoned on.

Karen Reissmann: Appeal Result Expected Today

Today's the day when we should hear the result of senior mental health nurse Karen Reissmann's appeal against dismissal on charges of "gross industrial misconduct".

Reissmann is Chair of her Unison branch and member of the NEC of Unison Health. She was suspended for speaking out against privatisation and marketisation. In particular on changes in deployment of community mental health nurses and social workers. And on the increased cost and consequent shortage of acute beds.

Martin Rathfelder, Director of the Socialist Health Association, has pointed out in strong terms that Reissmann's statements have been no more critical than those within Primary Care Trust/Manchester City Council documents.

Victimisation for Trade Union activity is unlawful. If the appeal is unsuccessful there will be an Industrial or Employment Tribunal. The estimated cost of this would be £100,000. There is no limit to damages that could be awarded.

If it comes to this it will be the first point in the procedure when Trust Chief Sheila Foley (left) has not been in effect complainant, prosecution, judge and now jury picker.

Reissmann has received vocal support from Labour's Tony Lloyd MP, from Rathfelder, and from West Didsbury council candidate Jenny Lennox. There are also reports of strong "below the line" support in writing from Manchester Withington PPC Lucy Powell and support even from Health Minister Ivan Lewis.


Sunday, December 09, 2007

Mersey Valley: Others Getting Jealous, So Here Goes

Hooch, Jim and Ottey. Between Didsbury and Northenden. North Bank.

Mersey Valley: This Was Friday, Before the Rain Came

This is Ottey surveying the scene. The river is around three times the normal width and has gone down three to four feet in depth since the height of the flood.

Play Pumps: Brilliant Idea, But Don't Buy Bottled Water

Today we went to the Cooperative Members Carol Sing. Cllr Jim King was Santa. But we learnt that buying fair trade (?) water in our Cooperative shops would help buy 100 play pumps for sub Saharan Africa.

A brilliant idea. The kids get a merry-go-round and pump water for their village as they play. Advertising pays for maintenance and the pumps are made in South Africa and installed by trained up local Labour in each country with ten years' guaranteed employment.

But why would anyone buy water to raise pennies for Play Pumps when they could use tap water and donate pounds? Bottled water is one of the most environmentally ridiculous and chronically sustained fads ever. Cease and desist.