Saturday, January 20, 2007

A Good Evening to Bury Bad News?

The BBC has just run a STORY about John Reid wanting to break up the Home Office. Surely this couldn't be a deflection tactic could it? I haven't seen the Sunday papers yet, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if there was another Cash for Honours revelation and the Labour spin doctors have thought to themselves: 'what shall we use to draw attention away from it'? Cynical, ain't I?

UPDATE: Looks like I was right... This has just appeared on PA...

The News of the World reported that the arrest followed the unearthing of fresh information during a search of the Number 10 computer system. It said it was informed by sources within the Crown Prosecution Service that a "mole" within Downing Street told the police about potentially-incriminating emails. An independent IT expert was then sent in by detectives, with the permission of Downing Street, to look through communications records, it claimed. But the Sunday Telegraph suggested that detectives had obtained high-level permission to "hack" into the IT system remotely.

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh definitely news management. I don't necessarily think it even requires another story - just the current 'loans for lordships' stuff would be on the front page as the key issue of the week for the serious papers.

That alone justifies some 'kite flying' non-story that they're thinking about splitting the dept. in two. Well they've been doing that for ages - it doesn't mean they have a timescaled plan for it, and that funds have been approved.

I suspect this moved from being 'blue-sky thinking' to doing a review at roughly the time Ruth Turner turned up at Downing Street saying those nasty, horrible boys in blue had turned up while she was having her Coco Pops...

Anonymous said...

Iain, can't you call any of your contacts to get a sniff at what is on the front pages of the Times, Observer and Telegraph tomorrow ?

Then we could go to bed and sleep well with sweet dreams !

John Reid said...

As I am schizophrenic we will be in charge of both departments. Sorted.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Mr Ambassador Dale, you are spoiling us !...

bebopper said...

The "interfering ministers" story still has a strong pair of legs. It has led every BBC news bulletin throughout the day and evening.

Peter from Putney said...

In - this possible split of the Home Office portfolio has been rumbling on over the past 6-9 months, such that it's hardly "hold the front page" news - it will take a very much bigger story than this to deflect attention from No. 10's cash for honours difficulties.

Anyway, tomorrow's newspaper copy is already committed to print.

Anonymous said...

What is on the front of the Daily Mail website isn't desperately helpful to Mr and Mrs Blair either..

Iain Dale said...

John Reid, I enjoyed your comment so much I just read it out to David Davis on the phone, who, judging from the menacing chuckling, enjoyed it even more.

Anonymous said...

Peter from Putney - good point, but the Reid story did break before 11 pm, so might catch some later editions.

Anonymous said...

Trouble is, it's Ming the Merciless vs Mogadon Marr on Sunday AM tomorrow; I think I will just have a long lie in and dream of how this saga will end..

chatterbox said...

Well done Iain, other bloggers seem to be sleeping tonight!
I think the Home Office story is just part of an ongoing weekend media blitz strategy put out by the No10 press office, to try and throw the press pack of the scent of cordite.

verity said...

Oh, God, this is too much fun! If it goes through all the way, it will have been worth the 10-year wait!

Wailer Ned said...

Could this 'high-level permission' perhaps have been obtained under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act by any chance? Talk about being hoist on your own petard.

Anonymous said...

The unstoppable force of spin meets the unspinnable object. At last we shall know the answer to the conundrum.

Glee!!Glee!! prepare for jigs of joy!

Olympic Catastrophe said...

Please, please, please let this all be true! Ten years of hurt about to end in a humiliating cess-pit for the Third Reich (sorry, Way) project. If "Teflon Tony" gets out of this unscathed we should all be rattling the gates of Downing Street demanding his head. Let us all pray for justice for those he has betrayed, and those brave soldiers he has sent to their deaths on the basis of a lie.

verity said...

And The Torygraph leads with the news that Hillary Clinton will run for President. Well, you could have knocked me down with a feather!

Second story is the biggest domestic story in Britain since WWII, Police Hack into No 10.

I wonder who at The Telegraph thought the long-awaited, long-predicted (yawn) Hillary Clinton story was more important than the scandal of the rotten, maggot-filled heart of the British "government" story. And why.

CarlottaVance said...

The midnight BBC Radio 4 review led on the Telegraph 'Police Hacked no 10 computers' followed by Times and Observer on 'Open War' between the Met and No 10.' Only then did we get into Jade Grubby. The news headlines led with the Police Federation's warning to Labour to back off, followed by Hilary, Iraq helicopter......and nowt on John Reid's musings....oh dear......

verity said...

Olympic Catastrophe - Yes, indeed.

Benedict White said...

Interesting times ahead Iain.

Also I note that the Labour squealers seem not to have noticed that Perverting the course of justice is an offence which gets the police suspicious of your honesty. So if they suspect you of it to the extent that they want to arrest you, they are not going to invite you in for a cuppa. They are going to turn up and give you a lift.

Chris A said...

Hoist on own petard indeed. I'm sure that the likes of Lord Levy and Ruth Turner at al as "they've done nothing wrong" will not be the slightest bit perturbed at having their DNA stored in perpetutity, and hence immediately a suspect whenever the next murder comes along.

Anonymous said...

Let's not get to excited, teflon has too many powerful friends, I think he will be calling in favours now, let's get excited when he gets on telly to wish his grieving supporters goodbye ,then hello mr brown good bye mr brown

Anonymous said...

Oh yes Chris , Chipped and held for years pending charges would be sweet.I wonder how Blair will take to Porridge ...
"Anthony Charles Lynton Blair ,you are a habitual criminal and seem to accept imprisonment as an occupational hazard. I therefore feel contrained to give you the maximum sentence..."

Glee glee glee... ...we will have jugglers and hog roasts and face painting and bunting the length and breadth of the land.

Marquee Mark said...

You have to admit - the only thing more calamitous than the current state of the Home Office under Reid would be splitting it in two - and giving Reid and Blunkett one each!!! If you think anything we've seen so far under this regime comes close to Monumental Cluster-Fuck - sorry, not remotely near.... Blunkett and Reid in a pissing contest to see who can be seen as the hardest psycho in the Manor. Would make The Krays vs The Richardsons look like a cute, pink, cuddly-thing knitting contest....

Anonymous said...

You are not cynical to suspect further news management Iain, and well done by the way for the speedy way your blog keeps picking up the issues, other blogs are trying to keep up. BBC news seem determined this time though not to let themselves be sidetracked and I have noticed a new tone from Today, which is not quite as toadying as it was a few months ago. Perhaps they finally see the writing on the wall for Messires Blair, Jowell, Blears and their loathsome gang of petty thieves and lying swine. It feels like the Scouring of the Shire is needed. Who will now wield the sword of truth and justice?

Anonymous said...

Iain, I think you must be up for a special 'night watchman' award, as Guido appears to be having a night off !!

Tom Tyler said...

Ruth Turner arrested at dawn...police hacking into No.10's computers (??)
This is gobsmacking stuff. What the heck is going on?

verity said...

1:03 am "Who will now wield the sword of truth and justice?"

Are they taking applications?

chatterbox said...

Iain, Dizzy has a good rumour about the panic rearranging of the chairs on the deck of No10's sinking spin operation.

deb it said...

This is compulsive viewing or whatever blogging's equivalent is !

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;jsessionid=EY1LZ3DQNZWQ1QFIQMFSFFOAVCBQ0IV0?xml=/news/2007/01/21/npeers21.xml

Honours probe police hacked No10 computers

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

also tonight:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/01/21/npeers221.xml

Whilst in India, Mr Brown had dealings with the Mittal cartel just as £2m came into the labour party coffers from guess who?

I'm sick of these bastards - they got a landslide in '97 by spiining on "Tory sleaze" and how they were going to clean up government.

verity said...

What's Dizzy's address, Chatterbox?

hack attack said...

Verity:

http://dizzythinks.blogspot.com/

verity said...

Hack Attack - thank you.

Anonymous said...

I just hope his cell mate is Godber.

I think we need to focus on why Bliar will not appear at the Iraq debate, cowardice on a monumental scale.

Get the white feathers out!

realist said...

I am very sorry to hear that No 10 has possibly got a mole. Several years ago I worked as a gardener at one of our more obscure stately homes. I had the misfortune to have a mole as well. These little blighters are devils to catch, they wreck a lawn in no time. The trouble with them is,they pop up all over the place. If you catch one you cannot be sure that you you have solved the problem, in most cases the only safe option is to tear the lawn up and start again. All I can say, is that if they have got a mole at this time of year, the garded will look pretty rough by the summer.

I live in the sticks and don't really understand all this other, London town type stuff you are all talking about, but the mention of a mole... very serious.

realist said...

I notice that a few comments are, as usual directed at the BBC. I can't help feeling, that the 'Toadying' peak may have been reached at the corporation. Since the Licence Fee has now been set , (for good or ill), one of the main reasons for the BBC, to have taken up residence, up NuLab's nether regions, has been removed. It is probably getting quite cold up there now.

I think that over the next few months, the Beeb, will become a great deal more critical of Labour. BBC execs, may realise that their own future might be better served, by 'Toadying' elswhere. There may, be some better accomodation, vacant, up another party's nether regions. A longer term, more comfortable life may be gained by a change in lifestyle, a few of the family may have to leave home. Why live in a ruin? There are better homes out there, at no extra cost.

It will take a bit of time, but I think the move is probably being considered at some level in the organisation.

raincoaster said...

It really is the biggest UK domestic story since WWII. Hopefully this will put the fear of freebie warrantless taps into every government that's got them on the agenda to make law.

Five bucks says Blair will do a quick photo-op in Iraq, then be "unavoidably delayed" in Santa Monica or other savage jungle until this has all died down. And Prescott knows this; that's how he got his favorite secretary back, by leveraging this. Blair needs him now. God knows the man has no other real value, but he'll keep the throne warm for Blair while he's gone.

antifrank said...

Iain, just out of interest, would Ruth Turner have been fingerprinted, and will those fingerprints now be stored in the national database?

Anonymous said...

I recall this story when Mr Hoon was reshuffled away from Defence - the Whitehall rumour before he went was that he was going to head up the Judiciary part of a split Home Office. Rumours being rumours, that didn;t happen.

It did make me laugh hearing it was Reid who was drawing up the plans for a split... when all he's doing is dusting off the old ones.

Anonymous said...

Antifrank, yes, she will have been fingerprinted and DNA-swabbed, all arrestees are as a matter of routine. Be interesting to see if the DNA computer alerts any previous crimes!

Anonymous said...

It has just been announced that John Reid is to be split into two parts. The strain of containing all the problems at the Home Office in a single personality was rapidly becoming unworkable.

In the new scheme one half of Mr, erm sorry, Dr, Reid will be responsible for introducing unworkable tabloid-inspired legislation and the other half will be responsible for covering up the resulting mess.

On first sight this appears to offer litle difference from the present regime but should result in productivity improvements. For example some experts believe that the time interval from Daily Mail headline to humiliating climbdown could be reduced to a few minutes, rather than hours.

Dr Reid's friends were unable to exist for comment.

mitch said...

It would be amusing if after all these arrests bliar,turner and powell were not allowed into the USA cos they have
a criminal record and appear on that list.

Anonymous said...

I think that it is a good idea to break up the Home Office into smaller more manageable pieces.

And, I think that it would be a good idea to have a ministry of justice.

However, John Reid's recommendations do not inspire confidence that he has thought the matter through. For example, Security and Justice tend to be on opposite sides of the scales and need to be balanced. The Home Office has shown that it tends to put more weight on Security, and the courts then have to readdress the balance to give Justice its fair measure.

Presently, the Department for Constitutional Affairs claims to be responsible for justice, rights and democracy. And, Lord Falconer sees himself as the Minister for Justice. It would appear that in both cases the wrong person is in charge of the relevant departments. I would be interested to hear what Charles Falconer has to say about John Reid stepping on his toes. "Ouch!"?

nsfl said...

I'm bored of the "cash for peerages" tag for this affair. Can we instead cal it "Vermin selling ermine"?

Jack's World said...

This is an appalling idea. Doesn't he know that the Home Office is ?