Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sunday Sleaze Round-Up

The NEWS OF THE WORLD says that a Downing Street mole tipped off Police about emails which Ruth Turner had allegedly not disclosed. The PM's office tried to block a trawl of Number Ten computers but failed.

The front page of the SUNDAY TELEGRAPH says that Police have hacked into Number Ten computers, having been given permission to do so by the Information Commissioner. It also says Gordon Brown stands accused of doing favours for Lakshmi Mittal and that Police have not ruled out re-interviewing Tony Blair. Matthew D'Ancona says that there is now pressure on the Police to deliver the goods.

The INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY manages to get round to mentioning Cash for Peerages on page 10 and says Police are warning No 10 that 'no one is above the law'. They also allege that Blair is considering giving Lakshmi Mittal a Peerage in his resignation Honours List. John Rentoul says that Brown may use this crisis as an excuse to ' strike at Blair'.

The MAIL ON SUNDAY has a front page story about Cherie Blair's freebies and her telling the Cabinet Secretary that he was infringing her human rights. She lashed out when the Cabinet Secretary challenged her for accepting the clothes, telling him: "You are infringing my rights under the European Convention on Human Rights." Dear God.

The OBSERVER says on its front page that Downing Street and the Police have been plunge dinto a full-scale war. Andrew Rawnsley ruminates on who will be the next to get a 'chilling knock at the door'.

The SUNDAY TIMES leads on Police fury at Number Ten smears. It devotes pages 4 and 5 to the Inquiry and it's leader column asserts that Tony Blair will not be able to escape from it.

29 comments:

javelin said...

Brown was negotiating for Mittal in India. Imentioned this on a previous post. Brown is negotiating a "deal" with Mittal at the moment - donations for influence.

Anonymous said...

Methinks this could a fabled 'two newspaper day' for me. Could be pushing it to make it a '3' and buy the News of the World as well - may just stay with the website on that..

Classic quote from Niall Ferguson in the Sunday Telegraph :-

'At the 1996 Labour Party conference, Tony Blair famously stated that his three top priorities on coming to office were "education, education and education". But when Gordon Brown takes over from Mr Blair as prime minister later this year, I predict that he will announce four top priorities: "Educashun, edukashon and edukayshin."

Yes, I know that's only three priorities. And I know that's not how you spell education. But what do you expect after 10 years of New Labour? Numeracy? Literacy?'

ACE !!

javelin said...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;jsessionid=GLFRL2I5IP01XQFIQMFCFF4AVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2007/01/21/npeers21.xml

The Telegraph is reporting that the police "hacked" (i.e. secretly probed) the No 10 computers.

A friend of mine who does this for a living says they can be given permission to log in remotely and used forensic software to scan for deleted files. He says this software is able to get onto one machine and then move from one machine to the next reading the disks without anybody being aware of it.

This may turn up LOTS of other dodgy dealings in Downing Street. If I worked at Number Ten I would be very scared indeed.

I can see the whole of New Labour come crashing down as the tower of lies and sleaze are exposed over the next few months. Should be fun.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile a spokeswoman for Mrs Blair said last night: "Most of this is simply untrue and the rest is widely exaggerated tittle tattle." Asked if Mrs Blair had a more detailed response, the spokeswoman said: "No."

The Mail's photo of Letterbox Face in a seemingly see-through frock (another freebie?) takes some beating. Comparisons with the Thames Whale spring to mind.

wonkotsane said...

I predicted Mittal would get a knighthood about 2 years ago when he donated several million pounds to Labour.

javelin said...

Just remembered something else - my mate says - "given permission" he can "open the firewalls find a PC with blue tooth on open the blue tooth software and start listening to blue tooth and mobile phones in that building".

I asked "You mean you can actually listen to phone conversations?" He said sort of "only when they are in range of blue tooth - like in the same room."

He added "It wouldn't be admissable in court but it would give you a good idea about what line of questioning to follow. If you know John has asked Dave something you can ask them both under questioning what they said to each other, one fo them is going to say something different."

Benedict White said...

Iain, interesting times ahead. Accord to Mike Smithsomn of political betting there should be some new polls out next week, with the field work having been carried out during this weekends storm. Could be bad for Labour.

I missed the Laksmi Mittal story in my Sunday roundup :( but also I think you can't quite labour the seriousness of a PCJ arrest enough.
Anonymous LOL!

Anonymous said...

LOL -Cherie Booth-Blair is NOT an expert in human rights! In fact she is turning into the Bubbles DeVere of the Bar - "You have the right to look beautiful darling".

I read your link to d'Ancona. He's gone native. Look at this hyperbole: "Bruised and brutalised by years of spin and counter-spin, the police have developed an ever-greater taste for political theatre. The dawn arrest at home is reserved for those suspected of true villainy, and is understood as such by the public."

Well Mr d'Ancona that isn't the case as you well know. Or should know.

I think most people have missed the significance of last week's arrest. Its not just about cash for peerages now. Its about the cover up that clearly the police suspect happened. And that is going to do far more damage that the original allegations.

Anonymous said...

Who do you dislike the most Cherie Blair or Jade Goody? Interesting poll, wonder who is running one????

Anonymous said...

The Andrew Rawnsley piece is excellent , especially as it has readers' comments at the bottom. Toxic Tony is certainly in a spot of bother now, and could be holed below the waterline..

tom_r said...

I can't help feeling that if Labour had kept their mouth shut about the whole Peerages issue, the press would be considerably less interested in it. It's only because of their constant 'the inquiry isn't going anywhere' and constants attacks on the Police that it is receiving so much press coverage.

To me, it seems as though the Labour spin doctors have got a taste of their own medicine.

raincoaster said...

What, nothing about the Guardian? I think the fact they're clearly anti-government right now is quite newsy. Don't worry, I've got it covered.

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

With all that what was going on yesterday, you may have missed this in the Saturday helo-graph.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/01/20/nblair20.xml

Its a 3 sick-bag piece about Tone's retirement plans titled - "Goodbye No 10, Hello World"
apparantly the Blair's are giving serious consideration to having a home in the USA.
I've always thought that when The Great Day comes he'll fuck off to the USA for "security reasons" and this seems to be confirmation.

In 1976, even Harald Wilson didn't have the bare-faced cheek of saying that he was going to live in Russia.

So Tone has done so much to improve this country that he now wants to leave it.

See you next Tuesday, Tony Blair. See You Next Tuesday.

IanP said...

yeah, but if he gets 'processed' by the boys in blue then he shouldn't be able to get a visa....

fr said...

Made a complaint to BBC. Felt slightly uneasy about giving them my e mail address. Criticizing an arm of the gov. Am I being paranoid ?

bt said...

Smugly browsing the Sunday prints, sighs of satisfaction mingled with a rising sense of hopeful anticipation, when a thought struck.

Police trawl past No. 10 emails - what chance that they find something else of significance, something not connected to the original investigation? If the NuLab apparatchiks have been scurrying about concentrating on stuffing Ermine for Vermin documentation under the mattress, the chances are that they might've taken their eye off the ball where other potentially embarrassing stuff is concerned.

With luck, we could be in for a protracted (and delectable) series of rumours, leaks and even prosecutions going right back to the earliest days of the Labour Junta. Let's face it, nobody believes that this latest piece of entertainment is the only stain on Toni's whiter than white vestments, do they? And whatever else is there, sooner or later it'll probably leak.

Think of it as a tasty ad hoc FOI exercise. Mmm!

Curly said...

BBC - "Big Brother's Claptrap", it's just becoming the mouthpiece of Bliar's sleazy government.

IanP said...

and has been since they got Birt out for asking too many questions about Kelly.

Anonymous said...

Iain, the most disgusting and cynical move by a government press office this weekend has to be the MOD.
They have released the footage and photo's of the amazing and brave rescue undertaken by Marines to retrieve a fallen comrade.
They could have done this at any time, but chose instead to use our soldiers bravery to try and shift attention away from the governments bad news weekend.

Anonymous said...

Blair is hanging on for a few more months knowing that the economy is going down the drain (Vince Cable is right), that Brown will get the blame, and that it will screw his chances of taking over the leadership.

Brown realises this and is spinning and manipulating like mad to get Blair out asap.

There's plenty of excellent stuff in today's Telegraph but I particularly liked Liam Halligan's analysis of Brown's disastrous economic policies and the probable consequences for him and the rest of us:

It's the economy, stupid
By Liam Halligan, Economics Editor, Sunday Telegraph
21/01/2007

Just when the Chancellor thought he'd finally secured the keys to Number 10, a storm of bad news arrives. Last week's inflation hike and rising interest rates are the early signs that Britain is heading for trouble – and it's all Mr Brown's fault.....snip...

...The Chancellor's political power will then rest solely on his fading reputation for economic competence. For now, that reputation is still intact: just. But it is fast-diminishing and, anyway, stems almost entirely from his decision to make the Bank of England independent back in 1997 — and the MPC's subsequent ability to keep inflation under control.

That is why this latest slew of inflation data, while economically worrying for the country, is politically horrifying for the Chancellor. That is why the Treasury denies so vehemently what many economists believe, that Brown has undermined the Bank's attempts to fight inflation by bungling a succession of MPC appointments and insisting on an unsuitable CPI inflation target.

On his trip to India, Mr Brown is said to be more relaxed than he has ever been, confident as he now is of succeeding Mr Blair.

The supreme irony is that come early summer, just at the moment when he achieves his ultimate ambition, the fates have decreed that a toxic combination of rising interest rates, rising inflation, rising taxes and rising industrial discontent will rain on his coronation parade.

The gods have never much smiled on Gordon.



http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;jsessionid=PI5XXO3EMCOE5QFIQMGCFGGAVCBQUIV0?xml=/news/2007/01/21/nrbrown21.xml

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

The funny thing is, this spin doctored administration is actually not very good at spin.

Ruth Turner's arrest on Friday cried out for a low profile, no comment response. Instead they jump up and down screaming "Theatricals! Theatricals!" thus throwing oxygen on the flames and giving journalists a whole lot more to write about.

I bet they're huddled together this morning, poring over the newspapers, with Alistair Campbell on the other end of the telephone, asking, "What have we got on Yates?" and "What can we roll out on Monday?"

But it cuts no ice. We've seen through them. We smell their fear.

IanP said...

I see Blunkett just dropped another boll*ck, criticizing on BBC news John Reid's plan to split the Home Office.

Voyager said...

Should be easier if the Dresden EU Summit moves onto THe Prum Treaty 2005 - German Police now have the capability to search PCs online without visiting premises so I guess those firewalls are going to be popular as EuroPol starts port-scanning Pcs on Whitehall Netwoks

Voyagersclcrhum said...

The Prum Treaty

Prum

The Prum Treaty, and subsequent EU-wide arrangement, will also allow participating states to give one another automated access to specific crime-related national databases. They will have full and direct online readable access to a broad range of information which will include, inter alia, vehicle registration, DNA analysis files and dactyloscopic (fingerprint) files.

The treaty provides special authorities in cases dealing with counter-terrorism or traveling violent offenders. In such cases, member countries will have the ability to query national data systems of any of the participating countries to find out whether it contains data concerning a specific profile, including personal data. In other cases such personal data will be handled pursuant to mutual legal assistance arrangements.

Anonymous said...

What's the betting that they have left electronic fingerprints everywhere as per the Iraq dossier?

http://www.computerbytesman.com/privacy/blair.htm

Paradoxically, Blair's lack of computer skills might save him.

verity said...

Lakshmi Mittal's not British,so I don't think he could sit in the House of Lords. His lack of British citizenship is why he is not included on the Richest Asians list. Otherwise, he would be in the No 1 spot.

Of course, a quick call to the Hinduja brothers could fix that in a jiffy.

Anonymous said...

Suzanne Moore writing in the Mail on Sunday says that it's time for Gordon Brown to "come out".

Whatever can she mean?

Anonymous said...

If you haven't already checked it out in the Sunday Telegraph, or got side tracked by all the sleaze, make sure you read the Alan B'stard column, 'as told to' Rik Mayall.

It is a combination of funny and frightening, suggesting as it does that he will be taking over as the Chancellor in Gordon's absence. There is a dangerous hint of 'true words being spoken in jest about it all'.

And if you can get to see his show in its final week, I recommend it wholeheartedly..

Voyager said...

Verity is behind the times. My dear one of New Lab's first moves was to entitle Commonwealth Citizes living in Britain to VOTE - they did not need to be British Citizens

Wiki

Commonwealth and Irish citizens enjoy the same civic rights as British citizens, namely:

* the right, unless otherwise disqualified, to vote in all elections (i.e., parliamentary, local and European elections);
* the right, unless otherwise disqualified, to stand for election to the British House of Commons;
* the right, if a qualifying peer or bishop, to sit in the House of Lords; and
* eligibility to hold public office (e.g., as a judge, magistrate, minister, police constable, member of the armed forces, etc.).