Guido rather misses the point with his reporting of Derek Simpson's £400 a night stays at the Waldorf Astoria. Yes, it's great evidence of union leaders with their snouts in the trough - and Simpson has got a bigger snout than most. When I was doing the BBC paper review last night, my colleague Linda Kennedy chose this as one of her stories. She treated it all as a bit of a joke and poked fun at Simpson for his expensive tastes. Neither she nor Guido have questioned why this story has appeared on the Mail on Sunday's front page today.
The reason is that Simpson is up for re-election as the leader of the Unite union, and has two people running against him. The story in the Mail is a classic smear campaign, designed to damage his chances of re-election. And no one should be naive enough to believe that the Mail discovered Simpson's overnight stays without a little "help". I will leave it to you to decide who might have helped them. It's a classic example of spin and dirty tricks. Some things in union politics never change.
UPDATE: Having just returned from West Ham's superb victory I have been reading through the comments on this thread. Some of them seem to think I was excusing Simpson. Far from it. The story is entirely legitimate. All I was doing was pointing out that there was an agenda behind it, something neither the Mail on Sunday or Guido thought worth pointing out.
Just for the record, I too stay in a hotel in London sometimes, if I have an evening event or a breakfast event to attend. Do I charge my hotel bill to Total Politics? Do I hell. It would not occur to me to do so.