Monday, March 22, 2010

Labour's Classic Diversionary Tactic

I wasn't surprised to hear Labour suddenly announce a manifesto commitment to "clean up lobbying" yesterday. It was a classic diversionary tactic, designed to deflect attention away from the fact that several of their MPs have apparently been caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

A register of lobbyists would not have prevented Byers doing what he allegedly did. Indeed, this is one area where the rules are crystal clear. Paid advocacy by MPs is already banned, and rightly so. A statutory register may or may not be a good idea, but it has nothing to do with this case, which appears to me to be about avarice and greed rather than anything else.

The question Labour should be asked is this: why has it taken this scandal, and thirteen years in government, for you to be pushed into action?


tory boys never grow up said...

Of course Tories never resort to diversionary tactics do they?

Stepney said...

Ah, Gordon, always late to the party.

Let's face it, it took 13 years of being in power to come round to the fact that he's "passionate" about electoral reform.

13 years of silence about a "passion". Damn it you've got to admire his restraint.

Paul said...

It is a bit rich, isn't it?

But I notice you ignore the latest Tory diversion tactic, Sam Cameron's legs on the front page of the Torygraph.

It's all a bit pathetic, really!

Moriarty said...

@ tory boys never grow up

Grow up.

Anonymous said...

"But I notice you ignore the latest Tory diversion tactic, Sam Cameron's legs on the front page of the Torygraph."

There's not much Tory about the Telegraph these days.

Moriarty said...


Are you suggesting that there is an equivalence here? On the one hand Labour dissembles over corruption on the part of former colleagues but this is neutralised by the fact that the Telegraph has published pictures of Samantha Cameron??

Is that really your argument? Really?

Letters From A Tory said...

Good question, and I would also ask why it has taken them 13 years to develop an interest in lowering the voting age, having a referendum on AV and reforming the House of Lords.

niconoclast said...

Lobbying is an excrescence of the mixed economy.Advocate Capitalism and problem solved.

Anonymous said...

Yet another one by Broon today 'MyGov'. A grand plan how ALL gov services will be available to ALL citizens via the Internet. McLoon shows again that he lives in gaga land, incapable of running the country due to his financial destruction of the economy. He proposes that unemployment pay and the ruinous benefits system is more widely available, by a all encompassing ecommerce system.

The 2004 health system costed at £2.5B is still not delivered at a cost of £12B. Yet Mcloon wants to spend more, the pills are still not strong enough.

Augustyn said...

a: Byers complied with the House rules and knowingly told a load of lies to a potential employer in the hope of extracting £5000 per day (is this not attempted fraud?)or
b: Byers didn't comply with the House rules and told the truth

Either way Byers is morally corrupt

DeeDee99 said...

Hoon and Hewitt were the two leaders of the last failed coup attempt against Gordon Brown.

I am not making any excuses for these two repulsive individuals - they are both greedy shysters - but does anyone else smell a rat?

Why did Despatches pick on these two? Could it possibly be that the individuals who represent Gordon's 'Forces of Hell' put Channel 4 up to it? Just wondering ...

As for the diversionary tactic - I don't think many people are stupid enough to fall for that one. A diversionary tactic wearing hob-nailed boots isn't exactly subtle.

Anonymous said...

"But I notice you ignore the latest Tory diversion tactic, Sam Cameron's legs on the front page of the Torygraph."

It wasn't the tories that put Sam's legs on the paper. It was the editors at the Telegraph. The Telegraph is a bit too upmarket for Page 3 totty so they plumped for a leggy brunette instead.

Nothing wrong with a bit of glamour

Sen. C.R.O'Blene said...

Naaah Iain, this is Liebore's "Purloined letter" tactic, as described below - shamelessly borrowed from Wiki.

'The name of this idea is based on Edgar Allan Poe's detective story "The Purloined Letter", where a damning letter is hidden for ransom. Despite the best efforts of the police, they cannot find it—even knowing which room it is in. Finally, the main protagonist of the story describes how very small changes to the letter caused it to be hidden from the police's eyes, even when they saw it, simply because it didn't look quite the way they thought it should'.

DespairingLiberal said...

What would really be useful is an analysis of Byer's, Hoon's and Hewitt's roles at earlier stages, whilst they still were ministers. Byers for example has stated that he was able to act on behalf of Tesco with Mandelson in favour of Tesco and with Adonis over National Express. Research can be done on both of these cases - for example, did he have meetings with Mandy and Adonis around the relevant dates, FOI requests to see who was at those meetings, etc.

Obviously it isn't the first time that Mandelson has been implicated in this type of behaviour and a reasonable assumption is that there are other, similar cases. A thorough police investigation of all of Mandelson's dealings in office in Britain and also in Brussels is what is really called for.

This has much more relevance than a generalised accusation of seeking to lobby for companies now, since in fact many ex-ministers from both Labour and Tory have done that, including Mrs Thatcher.

Harry said...

A man, like Byers, left alone, with a room full of journalists, offering his lobbying services, for a fee ..... XD

Anonymous said...

My views on how this Labour Government in the UK is mired in sleaze and incompetence.
I believe this 13 year labour Government is one of the most incompetent and Sleazey Government for more than 100 years.
Health and Safety
1) The use of Health and Safety to impinge on the everyday living of UK subjects.
2) The extra Red tape created by the Health and safety culture.
Incompetence and Interference
1) Use of road cameras to line the pockets of local and national treasuries.
2) The removal of Bank regulations from the control of the BOE which led to the Credit Crunch. The pre-eminence of the city of London destroyed by Brown's Credit crunch.
3) The slow destruction of the UK by devolution of national and regional assemblies without giving England its own legislature in Parliament.
4) The fudging of the welsh assembly vote which in truth should not have been passed as the turnout wasn't a minimum of 70%.
5) Schools testing fiasco and interference by Labour.
6) NHS over run of I.T. System and over cost in Billions of pounds.
7) Over payment of Tax Credit and Taking to court of the most vulnerable in our society due to Labour's crassness.
8) The removal of the 10p tax rate and the effect on low paid workers.
9) Formula One banning of Tobacco advertising and losing revenue for teams.
10)The setting up of unelected Regional assemblies when voters have said no.
11)The delay in sending proper kit to protect our troops by defence secretary and Browns lies that it was nothing to do with him even though he forced the ministry of defence to make cutbacks as chancellor during war with Iraq and now with Afghanistan.
12)The penalisation of hard working bussiness with Red Tape and the raising of the Tax rate from 40p to 50p which stifles innovation.
13)The class war brown keeps trying to start which fails completely and shows what a dinosaur brown is and how out of touch he is.
14)The divisions and splits in the Labour Party exemplified by the many attempts to get rid of him by his own party. As the labour party mps and ministers know him the best and call him incompetent why should the British electorate vote for a incompetent.
15)Browns attempts to cling on to power by trying to change the electoral system of first past the post with proportional representation and the utter rejection by the Labour Parliamentary party of his idea.
The above ideas and facts are just a small piece of the crassness and Incompetence of this brown government.

Jimmy said...

So recognising the problem and making proposals to address it is a diversion is it?

An odd choice of word. I'd have thought diversion better described the tactic of pretending the problem was confined to one party.

Iain Dale said...

Jimmy, the proposals are related to lobbysist, not miscreant MPs. That's why it is a diversionary tactic.

I also have never said this is confined to one party. Indeed, I mentioned Sir John Butterfill in my original piece.

Frugal Dougal said...

They're supposedly cleaning up their act, questioning the open-door immigration policy, and troops are getting half-decent gear; isn't it wonderful how a General Election concentrates the mind?

Jimmy said...


These are all retiring MPs, no parliamentary discipline is going to cover them. As I understand the story there was no paid advocacy during their term of office. Their behaviour is disgraceful and if it is within the rules then the rules need changing. And it's never a particularly strong argument against anything to say it could have been done earlier. Pretty much anything could be done earlier. How should the government have responded?

Unsworth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
skynine said...

Toenails is very quiet on this one.

David Lindsay said...

Like that equally preposterous, and also retiring, old Trot, Alan Milburn, Stephen Byers has repeatedly been the subject of extravagant praise from Michael Gove. Byers and the rest of those caught whoring themselves may in fact have no influence to sell under Brown. But they certainly would have under the Heirs to Blair.

Moriarty said...

jimmy you are quite right. When Labour MPs have nothing to lose they will insulate their ratty parachute with corruption. I am glad you agree.

blemster said...

Diversionary Tactics hhmmmm, I know a little about that, New Labour and their Chums at the EHCR have recently tried to Black Ball the BNP (sorry about the Pun) election chances, the reason why? just check out Michael Barnbrook he is the BNP Sleaze Buster, you will not see him mentioned on the BBC. all you here is MP :A is exposed for fiddling etc.The Old Parties all have an axe to grind with us, as many had the fingers in the till, I feel we live in very interesting times.
Just for the record I had to sit in a polling booth here in Northants and put seals on the Boxes to ensure no tampering, this should be worrying enough about the lengths certain indivuals try to discredit our electoral freedoms that were so hard won.

Kind Regards
Northants British National Party.

Jimmy said...

Yes Unsworth, if people were good we wouldn't need any laws at all.

I think you're just arguing for the sake of it now.

Unsworth said...

@ Jimmy

"Their behaviour is disgraceful and if it is within the rules then the rules need changing."

Bollocks. All that needs to happen is for these thieving mendacious bastards to develop a sense of right and wrong. If it's, as you say, 'disgraceful' then even you can see that point.

'Rules' are no substitute for morality and personal integrity. 'Rules' can never cover every eventuality. Rules is a restaurant in Maiden Lane - and not particularly good, either.

Jess The Dog said...

It's blown up again at the PLP meeting...this could run for another week. Over the Budget as well!

I'm loving it. Being able to call Byers a liar with guaranteed 100% impunity....not that there was much chance of him seeking redress through the courts, given his track history anyway!

Unsworth said...

@ Jimmy

So you're just another NuLab cretin who cannot distinguish between right and wrong, legal and illegal.

You just don't get it do you? Still, not long now.

chrismou said...

Hmm, so whats this about Lord Ashcro...
Unite! Cashgordon! Labour are in the pockets of donators!

So #cashgordon - backfired a bit hasn....
Samcam is having a baby!

Pot, kettle, black? Or perhaps its all just a coincidence.

Either way, if this is classic Labour then it looks like the Tories are taking careful notes.

DespairingLiberal said...

Unsworth, are you one person, or is there a room full of little blue men (oompa lumpas?) typing out "outraged of the Monday Club" hard-right snippettes for the common people? Which just calls itself "Unsworth"?

Note also the unctuous, psuedo-Tom Brown's schooldays / sub-C1 name, Unsworth - chosen by a committee?

Or - and here's a really scary thought - could it be that "Unsworth" is actually controlled from YBF HQ?!