Posts Tagged ‘Juicy Scandals’

Vaz’n’Hodge – two of my least favourite Labour MPs

June 9, 2010

Will Straw of Left Foot Forward has released a joint list of endorsements for Commons Select Committee chairs with Tim Montgomerthingie of Conservative Home. Isn’t the bipartisan spirit sweet? A nice bit of the new politics there.

Unfortunately the two Labour candidates they have expressed support for are Keith Vaz (running to remain chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee) and Margaret Hodge (going for Public Accounts).


The Daily Mail is of course a filthy rag, but stories pointing out Vaz’ sleaziness stick. He is one slippery customer and I don’t trust him one inch.

The Left Foot Forward/ConservativeHome endorsement reads: “his strong network within the BAME community and experience in foreign affairs gives him valuable insight”. Some of us consider Vaz’ principal achievement in foreign affairs to be his attempt to secure passports for rich foreign business buddies and so helping to cause a political scandal.

Those of us with even longer memories (or a taste for history) recall this BAME community networker joining the ridiculous Muslim demonstrations against The Satanic Verses.

All quite unforgivable.

The endorsement of Hodge points to her record in local government. It somehow manages to avoid mentioning the Islington child abuse scandal over which she presided as council leader.

Undoubtedly all politicians have skeletons in their closets, but Vaz and Hodge are examples of Labour MPs with particularly undistinguished careers IMHO. It therefore seems wacky for the editors of Left Foot Forward and Conservative Home to express support for such embarrassing politicians.


Watching tonight’s Dispatches.

March 22, 2010

I’m not one to advocate physical violence against Byers, Hewitt, Hoon, Moran and others…


Ex-ministers in cash for influence row – what’s the fuss about?

March 21, 2010

So the great New Labour stalwarts Stephen Byers and Patricia Hewitt have been caught offering to influence Government policy in exchange for cash.

Seems to me that they were simply demonstrating their commitment to Britain’s entrepreneurial culture and their dedication to the principle of expanding market forces in the public sector.

After all, we should be intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich. Byers and Hewitt are so relaxed about it that they’re willing to themselves get filthy rich for the cause.

But sadly however successful Byers and Hewitt are in their efforts to contribute to the UK’s economic growth through (personal) wealth creation, the Parliamentary Labour Party will be a poorer place after the election when both of them will move on to pastures new.

Shame on the IWM.

March 9, 2010

This is the last post on Ashcroft I’ll do for a while – I promise.

However, I’m frustrated that someone at the Imperial War Museum thought it would be a PR victory to do dealings with the Tory peer who loves this country so much that he detests the idea of paying tax here.

Ashcroft has amassed the world’s largest collection of Victoria Cross medals and these are to be displayed at the IWM from November. The medal gallery is to be called the ‘Lord Ashcroft Gallery’. Fair enough, it’s nice of him to help the museum, but does his ego really necessitate having the gallery named after him?

And considering how politically controversial he is I don’t think it helps the IWM to have a ‘Lord Ashcroft Gallery’.

In further controversy, PCS members at the IWM have been on strike for the last couple of days as the union called on members to protest for a better deal on redundancy pay.

The museum sent out an email to staff asking for people to work extra shifts and thus replace their striking colleagues. Trying to undermine a legitimate strike action = lame.

Lord Ashcroft is a dangerous leftist.

March 7, 2010

Apart from all the dodgy tax dealings and general unwillingness to tell the truth to the British public, perhaps another line we should be using against Lord Ashcroft and the Tories is that he has demonstrated his support for far-left governments on multiple occasions.

In Michael Gove’s article from April 2000 the current Shadow Education Secretary criticised the Conservative Party’s relations with Ashcroft but also noticed the artful tax dodger’s involvement with a leftist party in Belize:

One might have thought that any Conservative who emerged from the wreckage of the 1997 crash would pledge, above all, never to make those mistakes again. Surely they would steer clear of association with figures, such as Lord Archer of Weston-super-Mare, whose talent for fiction rendered all connected with him, literally, incredible.  Surely they would jib at relying on such a man once they were told he was the paymaster of a left-wing party in the country whose interests he represented at the United Nations?

The Guardian has also reported that the Tory peer has been sniffing out business opportunities in everybody’s favourite Communist regime: Cuba.

This is Red Toryism gone mad!

Someone’s sung a funny.

January 11, 2010

Found via Dave Osler:

All very weird: the Kirk McCambley Facebook phenomenon.

January 9, 2010

Kirk McCambley has become famous for illicitly making whoopee with Iris Robinson MP and getting some money out of her to start a café. 

He has gained a strange sort of celebrity status for his pivotal role in this scandal. McCambley’s achievements are as follows: revelations about his affair with hardline Christian Robinson expose her as a hypocrite; he has managed to freak everyone out a bit by enjoying intimate relations with someone 40 years his senior who has described him as being like her ideal son; and the dodgy financial side of things may additionally ruin the first minister’s career. 

McCambley is now undoubtedly the most well-known toyboy in Northern Ireland, perhaps even the whole United Kingdom (with some competition). Such is the state of our modern society, that means he’s going to have a lot of Facebook groups set up in his honour. Here is a list of them:

Kirk McCambley Appreciation Society: “Dedicated to the 19 year old victim of Iris ‘Cougar’ Robinson. He may have stirred Peter’s porridge but he makes a mean cheese and tuna toastie!” –  4,352 members.

I want to have an affair with Kirk McCambley: “Fair enough I don’t have a spare £50,000 or some dodgy developer friends, but IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ME. Dammit.” – 212 members.

I also had an affair with Kirk McCambley but don’t tell my husband: “A self-help forum” – 43 members.

Mass trip to the Lock Keeper’s Inn to see Big Kirk McCambley: “May we all take a moment to offer our thanks to Kirk and his missus. THIS IS PURE GOLD.” – 1,496 members.

Let’s get Kirk McCambley into Celebrity Big Brother 7: “So I think we should get this campaign underway and get him into CBB7! Plus he’s HOT and I just don’t think there’s enough hot Irish totty on the telly (especially not in CBB!)” – 55 members.

Very amusing. I expect poor Kirk McCambley had no idea what he was getting himself into…

Northern Ireland in the news.

January 8, 2010

It is precisely because events like this one are still happening today that I wince whenever I hear someone claim anything along the lines of ‘peace has been brought to Northern Ireland’.

Just because terrorists are no longer able to carry out major campaigns of violence in mainland Britain, it does not mean that politics in Ulster have been pacified. Sometimes I feel as if our London-centric mainstream media forgets this. 

There are still significant numbers of people there who believe they are justified in engaging in political violence when the democratic process does not go their way. It sadly looks like incidents such as the one that occurred earlier today will remain fairly routine for the forseeable future.

The revelations about Iris Robinson, however, have been far from routine.

Last week the gay-bashing, evangelical Christian MP and wife of Northern Ireland’s first minister revealed that she had been battling depression and would be retiring from politics. It then emerged that she had attempted suicide and had had an affair. Soon enough, we were all reading in amazement that Iris Robinson (60) had been playing away from home with a 19 year old. And now it seems like dodgy finances were involved and Mr. Robinson has some uncomfortable questions to answer.

I agree completely with Peter Tatchell on the Robinson revelations:

“I’m sorry for the pain that Iris Robinson has suffered but she’s a hypocrite. Even now, despite her own adultery, she expresses no regret for her harsh, judgemental moralising against gay people. She is sad and two-faced.

It is terrible that Iris Robinson has been driven to attempted suicide and a mental breakdown. I feel very sorry for her. But it is a great pity that this painful experience has not softened her heart towards the suffering of lesbians and gay men.

Even now, she expresses no regret for her harsh, judgemental moralising against gay people. Iris seems as unforgiving as ever. She’s still unrepentant about her homophobia.”

More than most parts of the UK, Northern Ireland is a place where religious fanatics have a strong presence in politics. It’s inevitable that incredible examples of hypocrisy amongst the most powerful and high-profile God-botherers will come to light now and again.

This all reminds me of similar stories from the US, such as when it came out that staunch racial segregationist Strom Thurmond in fact had a black daughter. Or when it was discovered that fundamentalist conservative preacher Ted Haggard had been playing around with male prostitutes and crystal meth.  

Ok, maybe not quite as extreme an example of hypocrisy (Robinson’s lover was a bloke rather than a lady, after all), but still getting there.

Grateful for UKIP

May 15, 2009

Never thought I’d write that.

But given a choice between UKIP and the BNP, Farage and Griffin, EU-bashing and immigrant/homosexual/leftie/etc-bashing, I’d have to go for UKIP. And I suspect that a not inconsiderable number of voters will be choosing between the two when they’re in the polling booths in June.

None of the mainstream parties have been able to escape the ongoing expenses scandal. Our MPs are currently associated in the public mind with taxpayer-funded massage chairs, moat clearing, and swimming pool maintenance. Against the backdrop of rising unemployment, repossessions, and social inequality, as well as regular reports of British troops dying in foreign fields, disenchantment with the political status quo seems inevitable.

‘A plague on all your houses’-thinking might therefore be expected to aid the party most identifiable as the political outsider: the BNP. However, although the BNPers do appear to be especially energised and optimistic about their prospects in the upcoming European elections, the polls suggest that it is the UK Independence Party that is profiting most from the situation.

A plonker, but at least hes not a Holocaust-denier

A plonker, but at least he's not a Holocaust-denier

Obviously it is deeply depressing to see Labour apparently on the same level of support as the Lib Dems and UKIP. Yet for as much I vehemently disagree with the UKIP programme, and think it is ironic that they are doing well out of an expenses scandal considering their own experiences in this area, I’d still prefer them to be the protest vote beneficiaries of this situation rather than the BNP.

When I attended Labour conference in 2004 as a delegate I remember a trade unionist making a speech in which he claimed that “UKIP are the BNP except they’re wearing suits”. Even back then this statement was completely misguided. For one thing the BNP have been wearing suits for a good few years now and they can no longer be easily characterised as neo-Nazi skinhead thugs. It was also ridiculous to equate UKIP’s eccentric hatred of Europe and its staunchly right-wing policy positions with the fascist history of the BNP and its fundamentally racist constitution.

Perhaps we can rest assured that all the anti-politics anger will be channelled into UKIP. John Rentoul certainly thinks so and argues that Labour is deliberately playing up the BNP’s prospects as a desparate means of motivating its supporters to turn up at the polls. But Rentoul appears to have overestimated the difficulties involved in getting a BNP MEP elected. They only need to get around 7.5% of the vote in the North West to have a good chance of winning an MEP (this is where Griffin is standing). In 2004 the BNP got 6.4% in that region.

I would additionally like to learn more about how accurately polling companies measure BNP support. Rentoul confidentially announces that the vast majority of Brits would not consider voting for such an avowedly racist and unpleasant outfit as the BNP. Although I agree that most people see the BNP for what they are, is there not a danger that some people aren’t admitting their BNP voting intentions when being surveyed because of the social stigma attached to the party? Remember that only a few thousand extra BNP votes on a low turnout will see them win their first MEP, so the margins of errors in these opinion polls could make all the difference.

I thus find myself in the perverse position of hoping that UKIP’s strong showing in the polls accurately reflects the public mood. Labour’s kicking in June is probably unavoidable, but crumbs of comfort will be drawn if the BNP fail to capitalise on voters’ anger.

Steven Patrick says it best

May 9, 2009

It seems that a number of MPs have been taking the piss with their expenses-claiming. Up and down the country hardworking party workers and activists are doing their best to maintain Labour representation only to have their efforts undermined by the actions of some members of the PLP.

The sickening stench of avarice surrounding these revelations is made all the more pungent by reports that whilst Parliamentary pockets have been filled inequality in Britain has been getting worse.

The belief that a Labour government results in a more equal society is essentially the reason why many of us joined the party. It’s what keeps us paying our dues, stuffing envelopes, knocking on doors, standing up for Labour when everyone else is mocking it, etc.

So this is all extremely depressing.

Plus my melancholy is compounded by upcoming exams for which I have been desperately trying to work out how to talk about OLS regression analysis. I’ve been so busy that I haven’t been able to post on two cheery topics I feel very strongly about: Why euthanasia should be legal in the UK and If there’s a country that needs to be chucked out of the European Union it is Italy.

But Morrissey-viewing will be taking place at the end of this month, so that’s at least one occasion of misery I can look forward to!