Saturday, April 26, 2008

Amir's Management & MEN: Doth Protest Too Much

The 1700 hits returned by the search string - "amir khan" "david cameron" conservative - show the extent to which the conservative party have traded on the star boxer's name. Presumably by his weasel-tongued management's arranging rather than his own.

This gives the lie to his management's claims to being above politics or indicates that they should be picking a fight with Dave's Tories rather than a local candidate in Whalley Range. LOL continue to be amazed at an MEN scribbler's complaint on this post that their story didn't miss the boat.

I wonder whether it was the floundering Lib Dem John Grant or the upstart plane spotter's crony Hussain ("Tory") - who cannot even rely on his own poster displayers for votes - who put the MEN on to the story?

READER PARTICIPATION: Have you seen a Tory leaflet picturing Amir Khan with Dave Cameron? Any campaign leaflet - apart from Amina Lone's - featuring Amir Khan with a candidate? Please let me know.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Iain Dale's Diary: The Ever Flexible Lord Goldsmith

Perhaps Evan Price can help us out? Iain Dale has very belatedly noticed that Lord Goldsmith has changed his tune on terror laws and specifically detention.

Legal counsel are surely bound by the Taxi Rank convention whereby they take the work that comes along in the order in which it arrives for them? They are trained to argue either side of the case according to who has booked them.

The Attorney General is more-or-less the government's learned counsel and is tasked with arguing the government's case. In a bit of a vacuum. With no judge to weigh the competing arguments. Not there and then anyway.

So what is Iain on about? Lord G may have "had that Tony Blair in the back once" but now he's cruising for new business with his yellow light ablaze.

Leech Printing Mystery: The Ink Blot Thickens

Mr Leech's office read my missive at 11:44 am this morning and kindly sent me a receipt to prove it. Still no reply however.

Other developments include several local parties in wards and constituencies outside the eight in Manchester and Salford getting in touch as a result of the post and commenting that they too are seeing their Lib Dem leaflets apparently printed in the Withington MP's back room.

Whether these are Riso'd or full-on professional printing this does raise a few issues about where Leech draws, or rather prints the line.

Has the man taken his Manchester City Council councillor expenses and started a printing business that will see him through his, hopefully very early, retirement? And what has happened to "LPC" of Vernon Mill, Stockport that used to be the home of the fibulent smudge?

Any sighting of material allegedly printed by the John Leech Memorial Printing Company "We're Very Cheap but Never Cheerful" aka WPS at 8 Gawsworth M20 can be reported in comments or by email.

[ASIDE: Not to mention Leech's using of either parliamentary or local government expenses to employ various candidates. Who have proceeded of course to campaign rather than serve with the proceeds.]

Open Letter: Your Blogger Writes to Cllr John Leech MP

Dear John

My household has received a stream of dissembling leaflets from your candidate and in every case these claim to have been printed in the back room at your office.

They do not however seem to be of the quality which can normally be produced on a John Bull print kit, or even a top end Riso machine staffed by volunteers. Can you please confirm that you in fact now have a professional printing set up and trained professional unionised staff to operate it in your back room?

Such that you can produce high quality, four-colour, full-bleed, 100% solids, folded leaflets on light blade-coated paper?

Or are these in fact being printed elsewhere but dishonestly badged as being from your back room?

If you have in fact got the printing and finishing equipment requirement to produce glossy, environmentally unfriendly propaganda in house can you please confirm that adequate provision is being made for the health and safety of your trained printing staff, that they are a GPMU-Amicus (TU) shop, and that the correct full cost of printing these leaflets will be declared in any and all election expenses returns.

If however they are printed elsewhere can you please explain why the P and Ps repeatedly suggest that they are printed in your back room?

I would also be interested to know how any and all such equipment has been procured and paid for and wonder if this could in any way be connected with your broken promise to donate all your "earnings" from "council duties" to the Lib Dem cause?

I understand that while you have been paid some £45,000 before tax to represent the people of Chorlton Park ward you have only declared around 10% (allowing for tax) of this as donations with the Electoral Commission.

I await your explanations with great interest.

Best wishes

Chris Paul

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Amir Khan: Great Boxer Needs Sense of Humour

Many thanks to comrade Will Parbury for alerting me to a political scrap in my own back yard. Involving dead man walking Rev Dr Cllr John Grant, a man who gets dissemblers a bad name, and his main challenger, Labour's Amina Lone.

The Manchester Evening News story from friend Dave Ottewell suggests that Amir's people are on the warpath that Amina used a pic with the man on one of her leaflets. Rather like the one above as it goes. Which comes from the MEN's title The Asian News.

You see Amir is not political and hasn't ever even voted. Allegedly.

This is a rather hilarious piece of brazen muppetry or complete ignorance from Amir's management actually.

If we google the string - Amir Khan David Cameron - we get 237,000 hits, mostly the early ones being Cameron opening Khan's gym (as below) and/or claiming to be launching a Tory Youth Initiative - which is in fact being driven by someone, Haras Rafiq, with Labour links.

This Googling includes countless items in the Guardian, MEN and their own stable of local and specialist papers, and their rivals.

There are more direct hits as it were for - Amir Khan Gordon Brown - though not direct stories, and rather less for Tony Blair in a similar exercise. All I can say to Nick Clegg and Ming Cambell is that they are punching well below their weight.

But did the MEN not remember not one but two huge photo opps with the Tories before writing their story? Did it not occur to the MEN to search for Amir Khan and other parties as I have done in a couple of minutes.

The appearances with Cameron were pretty disturbing actually and I got the impression at the time that he was being used by big politicians ... rather than having a bit of fun with Amina.

Let's hope the new kid on the block gives the unpopular heavyweight Grant a KO in the first round. The more up themselves they are the harder they fall I've heard.

Meanwhile "Sham Ass", or something like that, comments at The Asian News op cit. that Amir should demand £50,000, discounted from £100,000. Wonder how much David Cameron paid for his various photo opportunities and brand associations? In September 2007. And again in January 2008.

Pandora in the Indy who incidentally changes Amina's employment description have noticed this issue would doubtless be interested also.

UPDATE Friday 9:50: David Ottewell of the MEN has commented and doesn't seem to recognise that not mentioning the whopping photo opportunities with David Cameron, which rather undermine Khan's management's claims of purity, is a faux pas.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Statistical Anomaly: Dale Robbed As Car Crime Plummets

Or else, as Iain Dale prefers to tell it. Crime is rising horribly because his car has just been robbed. Rising from not a lot of robberies from his car last year, to one this year. Astronomical and unacceptable.

Saddest of all was the news that as well as an utterly unusable West Ham season ticket there were some utterly unusable tickets for Mama mia, the Fuckin' Musical - along with some high end laptop computers and creditable plastic.

Earlier I promised to post a couple of stories to cheer him up. Here's one.

Just a month or so ago Cllr Allen Brett, leader of Labour in Rochdale, and erstwhile Council Leader, whether in own right or with a few Tory hangers on, well, he too had his brand new car burglarised. At the Golf Club near his home in Oldham and Saddleworth East.

Passenger window smashed, car manuals and the like nicked. Allen was gutted, As Iain was, to be fair. But what was the worst thing from our robbing friends in the North? Allen's personal collection of CDs was rifled. But sadly despite this indignity not a single one of them was nicked.

Hearing this from the man himself I asked: "What were they then Allen?" With a hurt look he replied: "Oh you know, Abba, and stuff like that."

Which goes to show that car robbing scrotes in Rochdale have standards. While comrades in Bloomsbury Square are desperately and suspiciously uncool.

In fact the idea that they nicked a numbered West Ham season ticket AND four numbered tickets for Mama Fucking Mia tends to suggest ... da da daaa ... that they are yet another insurance job from a Tory Boy Blogger chancer. (Er, joke).

Scottish Capitalist Overcharges: Guido Blames Workers

Some Scottish Running Dog Capitalist Libertarian of his own ilk tries to exploit working people in Gordon's back yard, charging 10-15% over the odds and Mr GuF blames the workers.

If anyone can tell me how the garage owner - who has now somethingly u-turned - casts his vote I'd be eternally grateful if not munificent.

Whalley Range, Manchester: John Grant Will Lose Badly

Out and about this morning with the dogs I came across the actually wretched and lonely, yet gurning and grinning has-been that is Cllr John Grant (Libdemologist). "Got your hands full?" he observed acutely. "Yes" said I, humouring the chuckling clown. "Are you looking forward to a life of leisure?" I enquired politely. "Not likelyNo way!" he responded ridiculously, "Ya nya ha ha ya nya ha ha ho" (manically).

The last time I saw him grinning and cackling so was on the Friday evening after the Iraq War's Shock and Awe began in March 2003. Standing on the anti-war vigil at the Whalley Hotel with his guilty feet rhythmlessly beating out a happy war dance. We didn't see him again on that weekly protest.

Instead he was off to lift and separate his disparate never-the-twain-shall-meet voters. Careful not to scare off the tactical Tories he had wooed for several years, he employed "Tariq" a Longsight taxi driver to whip up anti-Blair, anti-Labour hysteria with unofficial leaflets printed in their thousands, wilfully breaking PPERA rules, costing hundreds if not thousands of pounds, and without any P&P whatsoever. Tut tut.

Trained as a Doctor, nay a surgeon, Grant quit that to train as a Bishop, reaching the heady ranks of curate chaplain ... in a hospital naturally. He lost his vocation having failed to progress and begged the NHS to have him back but they said he was a useless old beery lump and would have to retrain.

Which he could not be arsed to do.

So he turned to politics. The rest is history. Relocating in mysterious circumstances from Sheffield where he had some said masterminded the rise of the yellow plague he immeidately became "local man, John Grant" and began the slog of pointing at potholes and dog poo.

Sufficiently so to steal several hundred Tory voters - far more of them than real Liberals - by 2001. But still in a distant second place as Labour romped to a massive mandate in a local government by-election coinciding with the general.

Fortuitously benefitting from a bloody nose for Blair in 2003 - at the expense of a bright eyed and bushy tailed anti-war left field Labourite* - he is finally about to meet his maker, Town Hall career wise. A five year career has run its course. Glittering glitches, jeering at community leaders, poo pooing Post Office saving successes, propping up bars, and wearing pantomime pink vicar costume to Council to boot.

Having managed to survive a de-selection attempt from Cllr Faraz "Buzz" Bhatti's crony Hussain he then lost those colleagues to the Tories, and with them the chance of a successful defence of his seat. But he's still cackling like a hyena ...

* I know, for I was that boy.

Mr Fawkes: Now Playing Fantasy Prime Minister

Dear old Mr GuF, bless, is now fantasising about the safe pair of hands that is demon headmaster taking charge at Number 10.

Dale: BBC Sock Puppet Finds Ultra Gullible Master

Incredibly clumsy sock puppetry* wins approval at Iain Dale's.

* trolly comments from anonymous and dissembling liars pretending to be what they're not.

London: Johnson to Reverse Thatcher Art Reform?

Sounds like Johnson has taken a look at the GLC Arts and community programme, as disbanded by Thatcher, plus Ken's current efforts and decided: "Let's do the show, right here, in the barn!

Not Summer Holiday, or West Side Story, more A Bloody Likely Story I'd say.

Johnno is flipping dangerous, the blighter. Vote for London, Vote Ken.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

London LGBT: "You Don't Know What You're On About"

Johnson's "three men and a dog" line nauses London LGBT community. Johnson waffles and flounders. Ken gives last word to Paddick. Recess.

Super Soaraway Sun: Repeats Clown Johnson's Guff

Disappointing that the great and ever-intelligent Murdochian newspaper that is The Sun should be backing rather than sacking Johnson.

Their piece details the would be monkey mayor making various promises he cannot possibly keep.

Such as letting the Met keep assets seized from drug dealers instead of passing the cash to the Home Office. An idea that The Sun promote to the top of the pile of otherwise rather piffling and imprecise policy proposals.

Surely Londoners won't sleep walk into giving this posh duffer power?

UPDATE: What the Sun don't report. Having read this article at Cocaine.Org Johnson is said to have volunteered to check all seized currency himself. See what he can sniff out with his big red hooter.

Dale's Diary: Strange Priorities of Electoral Commission

Iain Dale wonders why Sam Younger, head of the Electoral Commission, is planning to be at the tediously uncontroversial Witney count. Rather than somewhere where we might see some action and interest for these roundly criticised scrutineers of ballots.

Perhaps Mr Younger lives nearby and has representatives dispatched to other more controversial and innovative locales?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Weaste and Seedley: Ripe For Return to Salford Labour

Yesterday, after three hours working hard in Chorlton Park ward Saturday, I was out and about in the somethingly comparable Weaste area of Salford and came across a discarded Weaste and Seedly (sic) Focus. Smudgy and full of fibs, errors and of course pictures of the candidate with various Lib Dem people ... pretending to be ordinary residents.

Now for some reason this area - hard by the Salford Reds Willows Ground where there was incidentally a big Cup game featuring higher league Wakefield Trinity - has returned three Libdemologists.

Yet the leaflet is as usual written as an insurgent, almost as if the candidate is not already on the Council. And has not - with two colleagues - already had some years to sort things out for the people of Weaste and Seedley.

In fact the standard of the social housing stock is mostly very good with excellent gates and fences, private sector housing too is much improved, environment mostly clean to very clean, the pavements and roads seem to be in good shape, the green spaces - such as comically named The Elysian Fields are in fine fettle, and although there is a dog or two in a very large proportion of households there actually isn't a dog poo problem at all.

Makes some of the Lib Dem represented areas in Manchester look very much like the sad relation. But the improvements have I believe been achieved by Salford Labour, perhaps actually before the Lib Dems got their foothold here.

Obviously - due to going up annually - we have "Record Council Tax". Obviously - as is the case in LD run councils - consultants are used. But the real punch line of an otherwise very weak and unpersuasive leaflet is a cock and bull story about "a recent survey of nearly 7,500 Salford residents".

Now, partisanship aside, that's really impressive. A survey of nearly 7,500 Salford residents. Very impressive in fact.

Sadly reverse engineering brings a likely response of between 25 and 30 "surveys" - it could be lower still if there's a fib there - which amounts to around a one-third of one percent response rate to a survey on a partisan Focus leaflet. Essentially from a cadre of Lib Dem members and supporters.

This chronically dishonest approach is mind boggling. "81% of residents (sic) think that the Labour Council wastes too much of their money" they brag. Or to be honest about 20 people think that.

After that bombshell ... There is nothing whatsoever in this shoddy leaflet to engage local people to vote for the Lib Dem candidate. Just misery, stats fibs and whingery.

POSTSCRIPT: Just like many of the glossy, full-colour, high-solid, full-bleed, gloss paper leaflets being distributed in Manchester Withington this leaflet bore the imprint of being printed in the back room of the Man Wit MP's office. Difference being that this obviously Riso'd effort probably was, but the glossy stuff elsewhere almost certainly wasn't.

Luke's Blog: Don't be daft Mr Miliband

There is quite a debate going on over at Luke's about 10p Tax, rebellion and counter-rebellionmethodology and Miliband's show of unity with Brown. LOL linked there yesterday but Luke's links wizard isn't picking that up.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

London: Duffer Johnson Calls Own Statements "Smears"

Thanks to Google Ads for alerting me to the fact that Johnson, B is complaining about dirty tricks. Some unevidenced cock and bull story about his email system being hacked. Oh, and repeating things he's said too. The rotten red scoundrels!

And there's talk of smears "under the radar" on the doorstep. That's "smears" like repeating the dangerous buffoon's public mutterings.

Beats on the radar smears in the Low Standard and their bragging about illegally acquiring emails.

Meanwhile Jinxed Johnno's lead in the polls has evaporated. Good. The only way is down.

Brown Basher: "Wiseman" Makes Own Name Oxymoronic

Fabulous lefty strategist, self-serving egotist and PPC John Wiseman complains:

"Everyone seems depressed where I am standing for parliament".

Who can blame them John? Really! Who can blame them? Here the man blogs his "withdrawl" from the NEC election.

Watch that space for "withdrawl" from the next General Election? Meanwhile opposition bloggers are making a mountain out of a molehill.

POSTSCRIPT: Luke Akehurst sends the same message in the correct way. Look and learn John, look and learn.

POSTSCRIPT 2: Prague Tory, in comments, has told me off for moaning about Wiseman's spelling. And asked me to stick to the arguments. Which is pretty rich coming from he. The slagger offer to end all slagger offers.

ARGUMENTS: 1. Wiseman was wrong to try to chase off independent let elements from rejoining, even during John McDonnell's campaign which called for rejoiners.
2. Wiseman was wrong to stand for the NEC against the official left candidates, but right on his withdrawlwithdrawal from said contest.
3. Wiseman was of course right (to a point) on the 10p tax issue, but his way of expressing this was god awful.
4. Wiseman will be an excellent PPC and a brilliant MP if blessed with election but 123 above illustrate opportunities for improvement ahead of that eventuality.

Manchester Confidential: Yes, Glinert is in Fact a Wind Up

Have always had a soft spot for Manchester Confidential. Since the convicted porn baron Mark Garner started this experiment we have been watching completely non-judgementally.

Anyway, within moments of being set down by rally drivng cabbie Konnie Huq at Euston, I bumped into the object of MC's desires, a Mr Ed Glinert (right). Repeatedly authoring books. Factual, but always controversial. And his journalism often, in the past, just a tad sloppy if truth were told.

We did our best with the kid. At Mancunion, and at City Life. He's improved. It's not always been easy. But the kid's done good.

Ed's taken to writing these "factual Books" rather than investigative journalism of yore because basically he got really fed up with the idea that that stuff had to be true or balanced or real. Even in Private Eye.

Which does not apply to factual books. Apparently. Anything that winds up pompous and soon-to-be ex-Lib Dem councillors to apoplexy is alright by me.

POSTSCRIPT: Where's that review copy?