Friday, April 30, 2010

Blair Under Charity Watchdog Spotlight

Desperate New Labour is being forced to resort to the Blair 'secret weapon' as a question mark hangs over his complex web of charities amid claims they are used to illegally to fund his political campaigning and canvass voters.

Cometh the hour - cometh the tan. Scrapping the bottom of the barrel, the discredited frail old charlatan has been wheeled out on the campaign trail, taking time out from counting his ill-gotten gains.

But all is not well with the Blair Witch Project.

The charity commission has announced an "investigation" that isn't an "investigation" into claims Blair's charities are supporting political activity, following a complaint from shadow treasury spokesman, Greg Hands.

The charity watchdog says it is considering claims that e-mail databases held by Blair's charities have been used to canvass voters.

Hands, a Tory PPC, said he had received e-mails in Blair's name urging him to vote - Labour. A Blair spokesman said the charities were "entirely separate from any political campaigning".

In a letter to Hands (click opposite to enlarge) the commission said it had "opened a case within our Assessment Unit". A statement added: "Concerns have been raised with the Charity Commission relating to the Tony Blair Governance Initiative. The commission is currently assessing these to see what role, if any, there may be for the commission in this matter."

Back on April 1, the Orange Party asked is Blair's charities illegally funding his new election campaign website using funds from his charities, which form part of his complex web of secret companies, as a cover to bang the drum for New Labour?

The complex ownership of Blair’s website is shrouded in secrecy, hidden behind sham shell companies. On the surface it seems cash from his charities are funnelled to the very company which runs his campaign website.

As the Orange Party pointed out at the time: "And that would break charity commission rules, make the move illegal once the election is called and downright dishonest if, heaven forbid, the Vicar's charities cash is channelled through off-shore tax-havens."

Tory calls for an inquiry into Blair's charities followed a Sunday Telegraph investigation with Hands who had been on the trail since before Blair left office.

The then Tory MP claims to have been receiving e-mails from "The Office of Tony Blair", using a unique email address, since December 2007, claiming they had been transferred from Downing Street to the Labour Party.

Claims that an e-mail address had been switched from Downing Street to a political party and Blair has been using his multi-million pound charities to try to help New Labour win the election is a serious accusation to make.

But booking himself in for a health check without a reality check, the jokes came thick and fast from the old snake-oil salesman, insisting at a Harrow health centre, New Labour has "every chance of succeeding" on May 6.

Today the charity watchdog was quick to point out "the issues had been raised about the charity and that they would assess these concerns but that it did not amount to an investigation."

When is an investigation not an investigation? When it happens in the final few days of a general election campaign.


The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

The final debate has ended with a final showdown and a Mexican standoff from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Starring 'Brutto' Brown as 'Angel Eyes', 'Cattivo' Clegg as 'Tuco' and, er, 'Buono' Cameron as 'Blondie'. Why couldn't he be called Brian? Oh well. Lights! Cameron! Action!

Three Westminster cowboys stare at each other in the centre of the graveyard of politics. Tension mounts as they calculate post-election alliances and weigh up the dangers.

Angel Eyes 'Brutto Brown' has the hang-dog Nixon look, haunted by the curse of Duffy.

Tuco 'Cattivo Clegg' looks tired and sweaty in the studio sun. Desparate to cling on to his share of electoral gold. But in his heart he knows his shallow policies will lead him to a shallow grave.

Blondie 'Buono Cameron' is riding high. Ready for revenge with the noose of a hung parliament still fresh in his mind.

And then they draw.

Blondie shoots Angel Eyes Brown, who rolls into an own goal of an open grave.

Tuco Clegg also tries to shoot Angel Eyes. To his horror he discovers that Blondie had unloaded his gun the night before.

Blondie Dave drags Tuco Clegg to the grave marked 'Unknown'.

Tuco Clegg digs himself into a deep hole. Overjoyed to find bags of gold. Shocked when he turns to Blondie and finds himself staring at the noose.

Seeking revenge for what Tuco Clegg has done to him, Blondie forces Tuco to his grave and fixes the noose around his neck, before riding off with his share of the gold.

Tuco screams for mercy. Blondie's silhouette returns on the horizon. Aiming his rifle, a single shot severs the noose rope.

Tuco drops face-down onto his share of the gold.

Blondie Dave smiles and rides off into the sunset. Tuco Clegg has his gold but no horse on which to carry it. Cattivo Clegg curses with rage. Finito.

Footnote: In some trailers 'Angel Eyes' is referred to as The Ugly and 'Tuco' as The Bad. Depends on what was lost in translation in the spin room.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

'Bigot' Brown Haunts Big Debate

The struggling Supreme Leader needed a show-stopping performance for tonight's final of the TV talent show. A SuBo moment. Instead it is Rochdale lass, Gillian Duffy, who is being hailed as the new Susan Boyle.

It was supposed to be a walk in the park - quite literally - and turned into an unmitigated disaster. Now earning the shorthand 'bigotgate' and a shameful place in the history of Election 2010.

A hyped-up final TV debate of three Westminster party leaders is being overshadowed by 'Bigot' Brown, caught out calling pensioner Mrs Duffy a "bigoted woman". Rounding on a real person for daring to speak her mind. Why would anyone want to watch more hypocritical nonsense from someone who holds voters in such contempt?

Spinners have been trying hard to diss Duffy ahead of tonight's TV show. That cannot work. Mrs Duffy is as solid as a rock.

But the Orange Party is still amazed that some crawled out of the Westminster woodwork to try the old trick of dividing lines. Give it up as a bad job. Loyalties run deep in the tight-knit community of this former mill-town.

Was she outspoken? "She's from Rochdale," said one of Mrs Duffy's neighbours. "We all speak our minds around here." "She's our own Susan Boyle," said another proud neighbour.

The Orange Party has never seen such negative headlines - newspapers united in their condemnation - from the Sun through the Guardian to the FT and around the world. Only the tired old Mirror tried it on with a feeble front page, shamefully putting Brown politics before its readers.

Mike Smithson over at Politicalbetting makes a valid point: "I wonder how those 313 Labour MPs who signed Mr. Brown’s nomination papers almost exactly three years ago are feeling this morning ... Didn’t they stop to wonder then why he was so desperate to have an uncontested leadership election?"

A humiliated Brown was forced to apologise to Mrs Duffy. But did he stop there? No. Driven by his own arrogance and self-importance he went back to Mrs Duffy's home, fuelling the media frenzy.

The result? A shameful spectacle of Brown outside the poor woman's house - complete with "joker's grin" as Mrs Duffy's niece so accurately put it.

Fiction lovers will have to wait for the next instalment of Big Al's bad memoirs but the Orange Party will bet that wasn't the old tucker's idea. 'Apologise swiftly, move on quickly' is the first rule of damage limitation. Brown's return simply reinforced the sham of a two-faced hypocrite.

The Orange Party believes the fall-out is a game-changer. According to the latest pre-bigotgate opinion poll it was starting to look like a turning point for Team Brown. ComRes/ITV/ Independent has Tories on 36 per cent, Labour on 29 and the Lib Dems down to 26.

Dave was on his uppers but the Clegg bubble had burst, allowing New Labour to hold its head up high again in second place. Now the Duffy Disaster is set to wipe the floor with New Labour.

And on the eve of tonight's theatrical performance, Brown/Darling were seen as the most trusted on the economy, followed by Cameron/Osborne with Clegg/Cable a miserable third place.

Both Cameron and Clegg behaved impeccably as bigotgate unfolded. Playing it straight by saying absolutely nothing with business as usual. What will be interesting tonight is how all three party leaders react if a question on the vexed issue of immigration is allowed through the filter.

The Orange Party has been quick to launch tabloid tirades against Cocky Clegg and Dashing Dave. That's politics. But on a personal level both are driven by the politics of power, sure, but likeable people nonetheless. The same cannot be said for Brown.

What on earth does it say about an unelected prime minister and leader of a political party who cannot be trusted to get out of the Westminster bubble and let loose anywhere near 'ordinary' people?

It took a salt-of-the-earth Rochdale lass to burst the bubble. A real person, in the real world with real concerns. Tonight's TV debate will be played out with the backdrop of Mrs Duffy and everything the whole shameful episode has come to encapsulate. Anyone who thinks different is living in Two-faced Brown's La La Land.

Top picture: Peter Brookes, The Times. Tabloid compilation: Politicalbetting


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Can Brown Survive His 'Bigot' Jibe?

Brown's "bigoted woman" jibe is a game-changer. As the media latches on to the insult with a feeding frenzy, much depends on the spinners' damage limitation, how the media reacts and how Brown comes to terms with a nasty remark which could end his political career.

However much the spinners try to wriggle, this was an unmitigated disaster. Any trust, honesty or respect has been blown out of the window with one insulting unguarded remark.

Whatever happens between now and polling day, Brown is a broken man. Broken by the very voters he holds in so much contempt. And it took a pensioner from Rochdale to show up the sham of a two-faced hypocrite.

A ranting Brown caught out calling a salt-of-the-earth 'ordinary woman' "bigoted", forgeting his radio mic was still live as he got into his car.

A humiliated Brown head in hands with a so-called 'apology' in the full glare of the media as the insulting jibe was played back to him.

And in the middle of the media frenzy an ordinary pensioner, Rochdale lass and past Labour voter, Mrs Duffy.

A woman who was just passing by and wanted some answers to the sort of questions foremost on the minds of voters - immigration and the economy. The kind of 'policy' issues Brown is said to be so keen on, as long as it's not immigration.

A real person with real concerns clearly very upset and very annoyed at being branded a 'bigot'.

The Orange Party is sickened by the appalling attitude of Brown, the spinners and the utter contempt for voters with such cruel off-hand remarks.

It is Mrs Duffy's interview afterwards that sticks in the mind, much more than Brown's half-baked apology and the political dissection and posturing which is now bound to follow.

YouTube uploading: Liarpoliticians


Nasty Brown's "Bigoted Woman" Jibe

'Meet the People' Brown has been caught out calling a pensioner a "bigoted woman", forgeting his mic was still live as he got into his car after meeting a real voter with real concerns.

A cunning plan for Bunkered Brown to put himself round a bit more, meeting ordinary folk called 'voters', has backfired, after coming unstuck insulting Rochdale voter, Gillian Duffy.

The Peoples' PM was confronted by 66-year-old Mrs Duffy while visiting Rochdale, spending nearly five minutes answering questions on immigration, crime and the economy.

Just the sort of 'policy' questions foremost on the minds of voters Brown is said to be so keen on, as long as it's not immigration.

But the still-attached Sky News radio mic picked up his words to an aide as they sped away in the Supreme Leader's limo.

"That was a disaster ...You should never have put me with that woman ... Whose idea was that?" growled Brown.

After being forced to get down and dirty on the dance floor with an Elvis impersonator, whose bright idea was it for Born-again Brown to get out and meet real people?

A disgruntled Brown went on: "It's just ridiculous." His aide then asked: "What did she say?"

Fed-up Brown replied with the jibe: "Oh, everything, she's just a sort of bigoted woman who said she used to vote Labour."

The Orange Party can't help but feel sorry for the poor aide stuck in the car with Bully-boy Brown.

But it is with Mrs Duffy, understandably very upset and very annoyed where the sympathy should lie. The Rochdale Lass used to vote Labour? Not any more.

No doubt Brown spinners will do their damnedest at damage limitation. But however much they try to wriggle this was an unmitigated disaster. Trust, honesty, respect has been blown out of the window with one unguarded insulting remark.

Whatever happens between now and polling day, Brown is a broken man. Broken by the very voter he holds in so much contempt. And it took a pensioner from Rochdale to show up the sham of a two-faced hypocrite.

UPDATE 1.54pm Brown has apologised to Mrs Duffy changing his tune saying he now doesn't think she's 'bigoted'. "He was letting off steam in the car after a difficult conversation," said the spinner. Quelle surprise.

Top screengrab: Sky News. YouTube Uploading: Liarpoliticians


Now The Kingmaker Wants To Be King

Not content with trying to call the shots over who'll be prime minister, upstart Clegg has now declared himself up for the top job, flying in the face of parliament. Unsuspecting voters duped by the Clegg sham are sleepwalking into democratic disaster.

Bold as brass, joker in the pack Clegg insisted that he was "not being arrogant or presumptuous about his chances, but he had set his sights high". Yeah, sure.

And the justification for this sudden bout of prime ministerial posturing? Clegg told The Times that it was "still possible that his party could poll more votes than either the Conservatives or Labour."

Er, what part of parliamentary democracy doesn't Euro-boy understand? It's not the stacked up number of votes than count - but the number of parliamentary seats. That's how we do things over here.

The Orange Party warned in the past that Cocky Clegg was turning into Danger Mouse trying to call the shots with a party holding the balance of power without the mandate of the biggest number of seats.

European-style coalitions may suit Clegg down to a tee but the LibDem leader seems to have ignored the current tradition of parliamentary democracy.

MPs are elected to parliament and it is in that electoral college where the party with a majority of seats forms a government. It is that majority party which elects the prime minister. Kinda called the 'constitutional arrangement'. Geddit?

LibDems currently fighting to hold on to a mere 63 seats cannot hope to form a majority party. New Labour's rigged electoral advantage will see to that.

But in rides Clegg still riding high on the back of a single TV talent show debate now a wannabe PM? Is he having laugh? He wouldn't last five minutes.

In the real world of Westminster, Labour Party stalwarts look on 'Liberals' with as much distaste as they do Mandy. Tories try to ignore them. The 'libs' and the 'dems' are a motley bunch of decent left-wingers and jaded, faded social democrats ready to fight like ferrets in a sack at the drop of a hat.

As Simon Jenkins points out in the Guardian today "The truth is that a kingmaker is never a king. Once in power kings acquire leverage of their own."

The Orange Party is starting to feel a little queasy penning a political polemic: Election 2010 where did it all go wrong?

The central character is a minority Westminster party propped up by a fawning media class bending over backwards to give equal time to all three Westminster parties while excluding the Celtic nationalists. Fine if you view the world from the Westminster bubble but not if you turn the country upside down.

But as the Orange Party has pointed out before, such a move suits the Mandy dream of an everlasting New Labour project where the Broonites are kicked out and Mandy fulfils his lifelong love of foreign affairs as part of Phoney Blair's new European order backed up by Euro-boy Clegg.

Trying to call the shots, dictating who should or should not be prime minister in a badly hung parliament, is one thing - putting yourself on a pedestal up for prime minister is quite another.

Yesterday a credit rating agency damned basket-case Greece to "junk status". Fixations on a badly hung parliament and the resulting chaos is not the way to win friends and influence people in the money markets.

All three Westminster parties are being slammed for not coming clean with voters on the true extent of the swingeing spending cuts and public sector job losses on the cards whatever the outcome of the election.

Instead Clegg uses The Times to put his own personal ambition before the best interests of the country.

Heaven knows the Orange Party has done its share of Brown bashing over the years and is still twitchy over whether Dave would morph into showman Blair. But electoral reform is a vexed issue that should be dealt with after the election not used as a political posturing bargaining tool before hand.

"I want to be prime minister", declared Clegg. The Orange Party is mindful of the old slogan with which mums around the land berate their children - I want never gets.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

10 Days To Save Democracy

The election campaign is finally recovering after the farce of fawning media luvvies and a Westminster elite chasing the coat-tails of Wonderboy Clegg and a hung parliament rabbit down the hole of chaos.

Cameron spits out the word 'Clegg'. Brown hisses 'Liberal' between gritted teeth. Mandy sticks up for Euro-boy spinning his web of deceit as civil war breaks out in the New Labour camp.

And confused voters are left with the bizarre spectacle of smug piggy-in-the-middle Clegg leading a party in a fog, unsure of what lies beneath the surface of their telegenic Blair lookalike leader.

Voters deserve a better deal when the future of the country is at stake. Not least with looming public sector job losses and swingeing spending cuts on the horizon.

The Orange Party sensed a feeling of outrage as upstart Clegg had the bare-faced cheek to try to call the shots and dictate terms even before the votes were cast.

Coming out with outrageous comments over the weekend, refusing to "prop up" Brown in the event of a hung parliament, was an insult to voters and an insult to the democratic process.

The arrogance of the leader of a minority Westminster party, trying to dictate terms for the future prime minister rather than voters, beggared belief.

The Orange Party feared Clegg was getting too big for his boots. Holding the country to ransom before the public had been given the chance to have their say, is a dangerous pitch to make to voters.

Loyalties to both Labour and Tories won't disappear in a puff of magic Clegg smoke. At best Libdems will pick up the shaky apathy vote outside their core base.

Like it or not, the country is going into the election with a first-past-the-post voting system. Any badly hung parliament is an issue to be dealt with after the election. To set pre-conditions is an insult to parliamentary democracy.

Raising the issue before and the campaign degenerated into a muddled mess with the riders simply jockeying for position in a post-election race.

New Labour is caught between the devil and the deep red sea in a civil war between a Labour party which would never give 'liberals' house room and the Blairite social democrats who hijacked the party for their own ends who now see Two-faced Clegg as one of their own.

Mandy spin in cahoots with Campbell bigging up Clegg after the first TV debate took the heat off Brown's dismal performance. But the cunning plan backfired as the everlasting New Labour dream ticket of Blairites and Euro-boy Clegg left Broonites out in the cold.

A European-style coalition and rag, tag and bobtail alliance of jaded and faded social democrats with Mandy calling the shots with a hot line to Phoney Blair and Clegg loving every minute of it until the 'Libs' and the 'Dems' are at each other throat.

A disaster waiting to happen as Blair prop Johnson came out the traps like a shot to toe the Mandy line again on Sunday with the audacity to suggest 'power sharing' going down like a lead balloon with rank and file Labour members.

Mandy banished from the spin room for the second debate saw 'I agree with Nick', turn to 'Get real Nick'. Boogie Brown forced to get down with some dirty dancing on the dance floor with an Elvis impersonator was a nasty parting shot.

But some in the media are lovin' it. The Orange Party can almost taste the drools of excitement "Oooh, a hung parliament. How exciting". Almost the same warped gloating glee which saw the sickening spectacle of a foreign office official, Anjoum Noorani, take the mickey out of the Pope's visit.

Brown is right to try to steer the election back towards policy, backed up today by side-kick Balls. Both are fighting for their political survival and with policy comes pitfalls but it should be policy not the process of the election which decides the future direction of the country.

But banging on about the process suits the LimpDems and their sycophants. Put the wishy washy LibDem policies under scrutiny and they fall apart at the seams.

Demanding policy not process or personality brings problems for all parties. Today the Robinson, Boulton and Neil trio were left high and dry by Mandy, Balls and Cooper over how to cut the deficit.

Clear water is finally beginning to emerge between the two main Westminister parties on so many issues not least how to tackle the economic mess and immigration. Mandy has been put back in his box and forced to eat his Cleggy words.

The country's salvation rests with a strong majority government - whether that be a sea of blue or red - capable of taking tough decisions, not the wishy washy muddle of a two-bit party calling the shots.

A bit of honesty from all political parties over the massive scale of the impending cuts wouldn't go amiss.

But undecided voters have enough on their plate deciding which side of the political fence to come down on without having the waters muddied by Mandy spin and Cleverclogs Clegg and his half-baked potty policies.