Thursday, January 25, 2007

All the Prime Minister's Men

The Cash for Peerages Inquiry keeps reminding me of Watergate. The news tonight that Downing Street officials are alleged to gave deleted e-mails on a hidden computer network in efforts to destroy evidence is very reminiscent of Nixon's Watergate tapes. The existence of these tapes was denied at the time. Coincidentally, Downing Street is denying the existence of a hidden computer network. Pure coincidence, I assure you. More HERE from the BBC (which has this as its third ranked news story).

UPDATE: Sky News HERE.

43 comments:

Bishop Hill said...

It's the third ranked story on their politics page, not on the front page of the website.

Anonymous said...

First of all let me congratulate you on the Gay Adoption piece, excellent!
On this, think this is going to be a damp squib. The report when it comes out, will be very critical of many aspects of this case and the behaviour of the people involved. But it will stop short of recommending criminal proceedings etc.

Anonymous said...

bad news for Blair?

I think the Tories should throw huge a fundraising dinner at the House of Commons to celebrate!

Anonymous said...

think it may be that the CPS has been got at, said they wont be taking it any further so Yates of the Yard is letting it drip out bit by bit to the bigger jury.

Anonymous said...

If there is any evidence and it shows that it has happened and the CPS dump it ,then the Public will shred the CPS to pieces ,what did the lady police say in Dorset , policing with the publics permission

Anonymous said...

Also Blair sweats like Nixon.

Anonymous said...

If I was Tony Blair (and thank God I'm not) I would be very worried with the suggestion that there might be a "witness" informing the Met about a second network.

If there is a "witness", it would have to be someone pretty close to Tony and this begins to suggest that the Met may already have a "Deep Throat" who is ready to turn Queen's Evidence.

Jess The Dog said...

ITN claim that it is unlikely anyone will face charges over "cash for honours" as it will be difficult to prove a link between donors and honours.

Hmmmmm. Even if true (a leak to ITN - is this desperation) does this include the prospect of charges for perverting the course of justice?

Anonymous said...

could be plod is just going for the cover up..

uk-events said...

Very much looking like the end is drawing near for the current government.

I might be wrong but obviously hope not!

Anonymous said...

bishop hill - I think what Iain was saying was that it was the third 'most read item' on bbc news.

it is now down to fourth..

Anonymous said...

...but a concerted burst of reloading could push it up again...

Anonymous said...

Hmm...Leaked to ITN, but for the ear of Jonathan 'Curly' Powell, perhaps?

Anonymous said...

It's an all to simple analogy - but it's still on the money. As the Sunday Times said last week, it was the cover up of Watergate rather than the crime that led to Nixon's resignation. I see something similar here.

bt said...

And I see that they've dug up another nasty emails from tories story - just for balance, you understand, this one a year old.
The beeb must be getting really desperate.

Maggie Thatcher Fan said...

Its not for balance, it's like a backlash from a petulant child.
I hope that the end game is drawing near, and it's not as some have suggested because there will be no charges.
It's the dying throes of this Govt whatever the outcome.
Discredited, out of touch, and a few other choice words that Iain will only permit on his West Ham blog

javelin said...

Hidden computer - nah a knackered old PC upstairs in Tony's flat.

I was told Tony sends his emails from his kids computer.

The police have forgotten to look there.

Anonymous said...

Someone has talked, this is just a smokescreen.

Unfortunate car accident anyone?

Anonymous said...

rope, tree, forest.....

Anonymous said...

1) Something has come to light about something bad.
2) Big fuss about something bad.
3) Something is seen to be done to quell the fuss about something bad (nobody is blamed).
4)The bad thing does not happen again.
5) Everybody in time forgets the fuss about the bad thing.
6) The end.

Isn't that usual policy?

Anonymous said...

It's no coincidence that this email story has been leaked just as Brown is coming under scrutiny regarding the Smith Institute.

A "secret email system at No. 10"?.... no, just Brown's dirty tricks brigade becoming increasingly desperate and vicious.

Nonamewhatsoever said...

No chance. They did the slit wrist, car accident, rope, falling off a boat thing already.

However

Dont discount the sudden heart attack one given a run in the park. Or the often tried and tested small private plane crash. Skying accident has not been done for a while, might be worth a small punt.

I must make it perfectly clear that I have not personal knowledge about how it may be done. The above statement is simply a pathetic attempt to entertain, and is in no way whatsoever am I sugesting anyone involved in this matter has anything to worry about.

Just that it may be prudent at least for them to avoid to much strenuous activity in remote places, winter holidays or any last minet "important" covert diplomatic government trips requiring the use of small aircraft.

Anonymous said...

Egyptian installed pacemakers - are they known for reliability?

What happens when the battery runs out?

Wibbler said...

Hmmm - why is there no coverage of the story anywhere all of a sudden on the news channels? Smells fishy...

Anonymous said...

Because they've finally sussed that it was planted by Brown's mob.

garypowell said...

Daily referendum
I think you missed somewhere in there.

Find someone expendable to take the blame then show them just quite how expendable they are. Tell the BBC to keep stum because "its not to late to change our minds" and that "MI5 have a file on the chairman the MD and the gov-nors as thick as a BBC exsecutives expense account, and job done.

Anonymous said...

Gary powell

You could be right.

Anonymous said...

what do they say every action has an equal but an opposite reaction there is to much spin on thse blogs

garypowell said...

Sorry to pour cold water on the barby.

One thing about Watergate was, as I remember, that Nixon buggered himself, so to speak. The evidence that there had been a cover up was available because Nixon did not destroy all the tapes, only most. His vanity just got the better of him.

Good thing maybe is that TB is just about the most vain politician in the world since the war.

He is just as likely to have kept some of the E-mails or the videos just to show himself, Cheri and the kidds quite how clever he had once been.

That is, finding a way to tell those pesky Trots in the trade unions to "know their place," thus gaining his own free hand in The New Labour Project.

By the above statement I am no way saying that Tony Blair buggered himself or anyone else. Only that someone very close to home may have slipped him a portion of "contaminated meat" as they say.

Most likely while away staying with that loveable old Batchaler Boy Cliff Richard on a his well deserved family holiday.

Anyway its not any of our concern what freely consenting adults do in the privacy of state departments or the homes of rich famous single men. Not even if they took a video of the act and someone tried to sell it on E-bay.

However developing the act of lieing into a radical new art form is.

Tone made me do it - he's a bad influence said...

"This is reminding me of Watergate"

I've got the radio on and I'm waiting for Bing Crosby's White Christmas to be played over and over. (for those of you too young, the Yanks played this on the day they finally evacuated Saigon in 1975- a code to indicate it was time to go and be removed by helicopter from the roof of the embassy).

Is that the sound of the Choppers now over Whitehall?

David Lindsay said...

There has always been something Nixonian about the Blair Government. I used to think that it was just the extreme anti-intellectualism, exemplified by Hilary Armstrong's famous (and, mercifully, false) claim that everyone from the North was as thick as she, and by Blair's surrounding himself with such utterly undistinguished figures as Peter Mandelson, Alistair Campbell, Carole Caplan, Michael Levy, and so forth.

But I now I realise that, true though this certianly is, there is also the fact that the whole operation is competely free of specific political principle, and is merely a little gang of crooks which has somehow managed to take over the country.

So, of the Blair Cabinet and its associates, which is which member or associate of the Nixon Administration, and why?

Tone made me do it - he's a bad influence said...

garypowell said:
"The evidence that there had been a cover up was available because Nixon did not destroy all the tapes, only most."

-Not true, my memory is that the tapes recorded all conversation that took place in the Oval Office. Of the hours and hours of tapes, only 18 1/2 mins were missing.
Nixon's "smoking gun" were two small things:
l. on 21/3/73 the tapes showed he briefly considered paying Howard Hunt to keep quite
ll. on 23/6/72 Nixon suggested (again according to the tapes) using the CIA to stuff up the FBI investigation.

Just two small things. Do two similar small things exist to bring down Tone?

Tone is said to have only started using e-mails in the past few months (rather conveniently).
Over on the fireworks blog, some posts suggest that the "second system" is in fact g-mail, and his colleagues were using it.
The Mail and the Torygraph lead tomorrow. Once again a great day to be a alive.

Voyager said...

It doesn't matter what the CPS does....not proceeding will destroy the Labour Party.....proceeding might destroy Blair


There is little Labour can do to rescue itself - just as with the Tories at the end they are in a trap and gnawing off their legs one by one

Anonymous said...

Today programme-Faulkner delivers the ultimate definition of inverted logic!!!

Maggie Thatcher Fan said...

Whats the odds on Nick Roibinson actually blogging on this subject?. Zero methinks!

Anonymous said...

1st April already time does fly

Anonymous said...

The email story is a red herring.

An attempt by Brown and his cronies to get Blair out of No.10 before Brown's chances of taking over are blown out of the water by the economy tanking later this year.

Today's Telegraph gets it almost right:

"....What the Chancellor has done to our economy is mirrored by the behaviour of many Britons who have been encouraged to live well beyond their means. Debt — mountains of it — has underpinned Mr Brown's growth story. Any fool can over-borrow and live, briefly, a fantasy existence. Indeed, in today's consume-now, pay-later culture, many fools do. That includes Mr Brown. Debt is the new junk food. We know that an overdose is bad for us, but we're lovin' it......"

"In terms of reputation, Mr Brown will soon join the growing list of bankrupts — Mr Blair, the empty suit, will see to that. The Prime Minister has, in effect, what the City calls "a put option" on his Chancellor. He knows that, the longer he hangs on, the worse the British economy becomes. Mr Blair will hand over the keys at the point of maximum pain for Mr Brown. Professor David Smith of Derby University, a former City economist, says that Mr Brown will face "the worst structural fiscal deficit of any incoming prime minister since 1979 or possibly 1974, but has only himself to blame".....

"...Amidst this financial carnage, what are the Conservatives doing? Not a lot. They're too busy wittering on about stability, as if promising to maintain Labour's fiscal imbalances is somehow evidence of a responsible future government.

Very rarely, perhaps once in a decade, an opposition party is presented with an open goal of such magnitude that it would be politically negligent not to score. That moment has arrived...."

Come on Osborne, get cracking!!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2007/01/26/do2601.xml

Jess The Dog said...

The "source" stating that there was little chance of "cash for honours" charges being brought was attempting to paint a silver lining on a cloud. It appears very likely that there will be charges relating to perverting the course of justice, failing to disclose IT information.

Also, the denial by No 10 is strictly correct. There is no second government IT system. There appears to be a Labour Party system however!

All this points to Powell. I doubt there will be any email trails back to Bliar, as I doubt they wanted an audit trail or evidence. Their work will have been done sitting on the sofa. It depends if Powell will take the fall or if he will roll over. Either way, fatal damage is done to what remains of Bliar's reputation.

Jess The Dog said...

Will Lord Nolan be spinning as he is lowered into his grave?

Obituary

Lord Nolan

Friday January 26, 2007
The Guardian

Lord Nolan, who has died aged 78 of a degenerative disease, made a profound mark on national life by substantially cleansing the Augean stable of corrupt politics as founding chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, from 1994 until 1997. During that time his committee produced three reports.
http://politics.guardian.co.uk/politicsobituaries/story/0,,1999200,00.html

machiavelli said...

Between 7:59 when you wrote this piece and 10:29 when I arrived at work, the BBC have now pushed this major story into the piddling little column on the right - the one that they use for stories that they have to run to avoid being accused of bias, but wouldn't like us to read.

Typical.

Anonymous said...

From now on,I intend to refer to the 'Prime Minister' as 'The Nation's Shame'.Perhaps if used often enough it might catch on?

Charlotte Corday said...

Jess the dog. Lord Nolan's isn't the only pertinent obituary today; the "Telegraph" has a big piece about Howard Hunt, one of the ringleaders of the Watergate break-in.

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

Funny thing about Nixon's tapes: what really shocked the great American public was his bad language. "Expletive deleted" was a constantly recurring, and very damaging, phrase. But the latest evidence suggests that the expletives were relatively mild. They were deleted because of Nixon's Quaker upbringing. He did not want to shock his family, especially his elderly mother.