Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thursday Evening Open Thread

Daily Telegraph political editor Andrew Porter has just said on BBC News that tomorrow's story will be equally as bad as today's. One can only imagine what he means by that. Rumours surround James Purnell, the Balls family and one or two others. But then again, it could be someone who hasn't been mentioned before.

I am afraid I now have to bow out until later this evening as I am going to the Classic FM Brit Awards in my role as "escort" to female Conservative MPs. Apparently we're sitting with Russell Watson. And, yes, I have heard of him. Isn't he in Boyzone? :)

I promise to surreptitiously approve comments as quickly as possible throughout the evening.

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

Barry Sheerman?

Philipa said...

Russell Watson is a kareoke singer turned professional entertainer.

I'd rather see Placido Domingo tonight *sigh*

Andy said...

Roll on tomorrow if for no other reason than to get it all over with, and I mean EVERYTHING. Then we can evaluate the damage to the British politics.
Also I can start working on my private little book on how many MPs are going to crash and burn at the next general election

Andy said...

p.s Enjoy yourself tonight and didn't realize that chaperones were still employed these days.
You live and learn....

Cjamesk said...

LoL! an Escort hey ;) The life of a blogger, lucky you!

Enjoy the Awards Iain, I myself will be looking forward to Question Time and a sneaky drink.

Michael St George said...

Iain, I do hope that one of those you are "escorting" is not Julie Kirkbride.

To read today how she and Mackay have in effect declared they have two "second" homes, and no "first" one, thereby fraudently trousering about £300k over the past 7 years - well I hope that you are discriminating in your choise of companions.

Yorkshire blue said...

Hope you can cheer up Nadine. Far too many parliamentarians have behaved disgracefully but the lynch mob is behaving as badly towards some innocent, hard working politicians.

Plato said...

Stupid idea - but why don't you delegate moderation to someone else you trust?

Seems daft to spoil your evening fiddling with a Blackberry.

Anonymous said...

But its second semi eurovision night, how can you possibly miss it Iain.

Anonymous said...

So, Mr Dale, does your mother know you are a 'male escort' ? Does your father approve ??

And since you are a Tory, I hope you are charging a 'reassuringly expensive' rate - because you're worth it ;-)

Doktorb said...

Tonight's Question Time should be interesting ;) Those of a Twitter persuasion should follow #bbcqt if you're in the mood to react to MPs being dragged through the mud.

Or indeed, moat.

Martin said...

Iain. how come you were not on the lash with Guido at the Commons last night?

Lady Finchley said...

Fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy ride!

wolvreen said...

How can we consistently spoil our voting papers because I dont want to vote for these leachers?

Alan Douglas said...

Iain, do you count as the modern PC equivalent of the castrati harem guards ?

And you are looking forward to proper music, what has come over you ?

Alan Douglas

Gordon Brown said...

I tried to hire you one evening too but I couldn't afford you. Sigh!

Peter Mandelson was £100 cheaper and he offered all services....

Anonymous said...

There's an old saying Leave the best till last, or in this case, the worst.

Andrew said...

Iain: "in my role as "escort" to female Conservative MPs"Like an old time eunuch guarding the harem, ahem. But are you protecting them from the public, or the public from them... :-)

Peter Thomas said...

Please say hello to the delightful Katherine Jenkins for me, and say I shall see her at Sandringham in August. And if she doesn't win tonight, I'll want to know why.

Dual Citizen said...

Benedict Brogan on Question Time tonight, also Ming Campbell. Should be a good one!

Ronnie Stooge said...

I'm so jealous...

the last remaining rag merchant said...

I've finally realized the truth. The "Company Culture", with all the nasty little backdoor laws introduced by Labour over the last twelve years have finally caught the biggest fish, themselves, in their own net.
In the meantime, what really is new in Politics? Nothing, it's all disrespectful youth, corrupt politicians and trouble on the North-West Frontier.
Enjoy your evening

Man of Kent said...

I need a plasma TV which MP should I ask?

Trend Shed said...

If I was the Telegraph - I'd leave Balls until Sunday.

Anonymous said...

Iain

The on the telegraph web site they are saying "Questionable use of Parliamentary allowances by a serving Government minister is due to be revealed by Telegraph.co.uk" 20 mins ago it was being billed as "the worst abuse so far" please please please let it by Balls and Cooper!

Shamik Das said...

Latest from The Telegraph website, Clare Short is now implicated in the scam.

Still nothing on who the Minister(s) are, but I'd put money on it being Mr & Mrs Balls!

Please, please, please let it be so!!

OBC News said...

Russell Watson is an absolute abomination as a performer; thank goodness you only have to sit next to him rather than listen to him croon!

Mike H said...

Yeah, do something to cheer up Nadine. She's one of the good guys and, despite carrying the title 'MP', shouldn't feel bad about what's been happening recently. Chocolates are a girl's best friend. That should do it.

Using a Blackberry during an awards night? You'll get yourself chucked out! ...or is that part of the plan?

jailhouselawyer said...

Clare Short has been caught.

blairite said...

and claire short too, kaloo kalay

Martyn said...

No news on Sir Nicholas Winterton yet? Or have I missed it?

Anonymous said...

Harriet Harman

*taps nose*

Wrinkled Weasel said...

You could clear one thing up for me. I overheard the other day that Theresa May wears Classic FM shoes. I am confused.

The Grim Reaper said...

Please let it be Edward No Balls and his ghastly wife who are going through the shredder next. Please, please, please...

jailhouselawyer said...

Expenses fiddles: Shamed Malik MP

Martin S said...

Evening all! When will the police be called in? Thursday evening update

Martin S said...

I was born round the corner from Claire Short's home in Ladywood. Rather than having a Brummie accent she has a Ladywood accent, which is slightly different.

I always thought she was a straight kind of person. Even though I do not agree with all of her views.

It might be silly, but I feel let down by her.

Anonymous said...

Some years ago the Herald of Free Enterprise sank as it left harbour.

It had left its bow doors open and water rushed it.

It later transpired that in order to save time this had become 'custom and practice'. It was an accident waiting to happen.

When will people realise that million to one chances will always turn up sooner rather than later?

MPs have sleep walked into these expenses shambles. No wonder we are in an economic mess - but in truth Labour have been happy to see the Commons neutered and toadyfied. The Speaker is personification of this.

We need a better selection process, better constituency parties leading to better MPs and we need MPs to have better things to do than lust after flat screen TVs. I do not want to be ruled buy a bunch of chavs.

Paul Halsall said...

The rudeness of the audience on Questiontime is appalling.

Michael Heaver said...

UKIP POLLING 19% ACCORDING TO YOUGOV: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article2430063.ece

Infuriati said...

When the RUC and the CSA were deemed to have failed the were replaced.

You can't replace Parliamentray government in a democracy, but what about this? The National Audit Office reviews MP's expenses: those member's who have broken the rules, bent them to the point of breaking or went against the spirit of them have the whip withdrawn so the cannot be re-selected for their party in the next general election....then a payment system for MP's based on market rates for CenLdn are identified with black and white rules for expenses and administrative support. The call a general election and start again...

I Squiggle said...

Sky News paper review. Eve Pollard is tired and emotional?

Victor, NW Kent said...

it is only bloody Shahid Malik and everyone knew he was the highest benefit claimant in the land long before this came up.

QT - Margaret Beckett was predictably terrible and Ming was pretty bad. Theresa May was earnest but quite weak. The audience were stars and showed that the scales have dropped off the public eyes. They picked up very rapidly on nuances of speech. Five years ago in Grimsby it would have been wall to wall with cheering Labour supporters.

However the point was made that all sorts of other bad news now passes unnoticed.

Cjamesk said...

Wow Question Time was quite special this evening, watching Margaret Beckett was what I imagine witnessing a slow motion car crash would be like, I can see Brown needing a new phone and TV.

And to see Ming an institution in British Politics being heckled was truly amazing, definantly worth watching again!!!

Iain I hope your evening was good but I think you missed a tipping point in "The Mother of all Democracies"

Never thought I'd witness that pure class!

Peter Thomas said...

Ming Campbell, Margaret Beckett, and Theresa May on Question Time. They've learned nothing. Usual guff: mistakes were made, pressure of work, MPs not paid enough, the system is flawed, the Fees Office staff passed the claims, it's trivial let's get on with important issues like the state of the economy. That bugger, Campbell even had the temerity to bring in those four, poor soldiers killed in Afghanistan this week. I had a little respect for him before, but none at all now. The electorate want blood on the carpet. So do I, now. And may be we'll get it.

Anonymous said...

It is a sad fact but there are many MPs who love to milk the system, so much so that I have come across several Labour MPswho harangue the likes of Oxfam to take them abroad to visit projects. There are also local Labour councillors who take their expense allowances and also work full-time elsewhere, without thinking there is anything wrong. Labour Councillor Antonia Bance for instance works full time with Oxfam as a senior manager and also is an active Oxford city councillor and member of the city 'cabinet'.

Yak40 said...

Shahid Malik, his house and the slum landlord: MPs' expensesThe controversial way in which Justice Minister Shahid Malik was able to run up the highest expenses claim of any MP can be disclosed by The Telegraph.

Martin said...

What about MEPs expenses? They're next up for election, and we don't have the details of their expenses.

UKIP seem to be picking up much of the protest vote against the main parties, but I suspect their existing MEPs expenses would make illuminating reading.

No one should vote UKIP in reaction to the MP expenses scandal until Nigel Farage, Roger Knapman, and the others publish full details of their expenses. UKIP MEPs have a track record.

Flemingcrag said...

In the way that things get reported in this Country one sin seems to take centre stage to the exclusion of all else. My thoughts are that for callous pecuniary advantage Elliot Morley's second sin is the greater.

The first was the well publicised £800 per month for the mortgage that never was, an omission of memory that continued for 18 months but, this was followed by claiming mortgage costs for a flat that he was renting out to a fellow Labour MP and this MP was in turn charging the Fees office for the rent he was paying to Morley.

I mean when the Houses of Parliament was being run like a thieves paradise on a ticket of self-regulation is it any wonder the Bankers ruined the Country under the same Labour favoured regime of self-regulation.

Nelson's blind eye (or in this case Gordons) was the Fees office for the Commons and the FSA for the Bankers.

javelin said...

Let's not forget ALL the BBC news readers - all costing us over £100K. They must feel that MPs have let them down - as we are now seeing how much they trough from the tax payer.

There are TOO MANY BBC newsreaders and they are PAID TOO MUCH.

Menelaus said...

Iain - I hope that your head doesn't feel too fuzzy this morning.

FWIW, Cameron has done absolutely the right thing in accepting the resignation of Mr McKay and insisting on the spirit of the rules as much as the letter.

Despite some of the less sensible blogs (Old Holborn) inciting revolution I do hope that Mr Brown spends the next year in No10. By doing so, he'll make Labour unelectable for generation(s) to come.

Anonymous said...

One other point on last nights' Question Time (I won't spoil it for you Iain if you're going to watch it on iPlayer later): the audience seemed to be genuinely infuriated by the behaviour of the MPs on the panel (including Theresa May, I'm afraid) and Ben Brogan was a smarmy wee schmidt.

Anonymous said...

iain,...who are "the fees office" can they be named ? from the lowest right up to the man /woman at the top .michael.

Nigel said...

>>The rudeness of the audience on Questiontime is appalling.<<

You would prefer deference from the common people as they get patronised and lied to ?

Sometimes a little rudeness is required to get a message across.

Oscar Miller said...

The Telegraph ought to turn their attention next to the Regional Development Agencies and the quangos. The expenses claims in these sectors make the politicians look positively restrained, but there's no public scrutiny of them at all.

Martin S said...

Friday morning update. More doom and gloom - for Labour in the mainGordon - how long can he continue?

DianaClaridge said...

Well the Classical Brits was a fabulous evening - writing it up elsewhere.

But I did wonder who that person who seemed so familiar was, who was sitting at one of the tables next to the orchestra - did not expect it to be Mr Dale - not where I would expect to see him!

But Iain I am sure you will have been reminded you saw Jonathan Ansell and Hayley Westenra sing Amigos para Siempre - at the Don Black birthday do at the Palladium

BlueTulipRoseRead said...

It's Shahid Malik MP. Someone should look at Shahid's expenses claims whilst he was a commissioner at the Commission for Racial Equality. Particularly the years from 1999-2002.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that a big part of the problem is having a democratic process which appoints the Speaker of the House. I would rather have someone who is 100% honourable and trustworthy than someone who is popular. Currently democratically elected individuals are not exactly flavour of the month.

As far as I can recall the old system never generated as much contreoversy over commons speakers who generally served with integrity and impartiality