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Jerry Hayes

Liam Fox is not on the brink of resignation but playing a carefully choreographed game. And why Baroness Warsi, the Gaffer, has become a liability.

September 30th, 2010 by Jerry Hayes

While the nation collapses in Miliexhaustion and is perplexed that the New Generation comprises of pretty well the same old farts who messed  up the last and who thought fiscal rectitude was a disease of the sphincter, all eyes will now be on the Tories.

And for all those who are getting excited about Liam Fox, the man most famous for not shagging Natalie Imbruglia, to be on the brink of resignation? Calm down dears, it’s just a commercial. Spending reviews are the rutting season for political bucks on heat. They lock antlers with each other and sometimes get hurt, but there is rarely a fatality.

Now call me an old cynic, but I suspect most of these arguments are choreographed. Although these reviews are going to be painful, Cameron and Osborne are not fools. They would never allow the press to taint the Tories as soft on defence.

Similarly, forget the supposed row  with Ian Duncan Smith over his welfare plans. He and Osborne would have thrashed out the up front costings well before the election.

No, this is all about positioning. It is a wake up call for other ministers to settle quickly, with the subliminal message if we can screw big time with the defence budget, think what we could do to yours. Yet, these ersatz rows can make the Coalition look good. Spending reviews are a choice between the unpalatable and the disastrous. Let the press and Labour get in a tizz about impending doom and the unpalatable doesn’t look quite so bad after all. And, at the end of it all, like the Milibrothers, Cameron and Fox will hug and express undying devotion to each other. Better, Osborne will be able to say I listened to reason, while Cleggy can claim that it was the commonsense of the Liberal Democrats that made the spending review tough, but fair.

And as for the leak inquiry? Well, shock horror, it will run into brick wall, as they all do when the leaked document makes the minister look good. So Foxy will huff and puff, feigning horror and outrage, but with his fingers well and truly crossed. And Cameron will smile a contented smile, as next week it will be hugs, kisses and a promise never to let “our boys” down, to the collective orgasms of the Red tops. Everyone’s a winner. Our Defence Secretary not called Fox for nothing. And the long arm of Andy Coulson reaches far.

But there is a minor political time-bomb ticking at the heart of the Tory Party, Chairman, Baroness Warsi, foot in the mouther in chief: the gaffer. At a time when anti tribalism is at a premium, Warsi  rarely lets her lips quiver without some banal, partisan, claptrap slipping out.  Her latest  offering is that Cameron was robbed of an overall majority because of electoral corruption. Of course, she doesn’t give a shred of evidence for this and is made to look a fool for spoiling for an imaginary fight with Labour.

Yes, there is electoral corruption, mainly by the manipulation of  postal voting and particularly in some ethnic communities. The answer is change the law as was suggested by the electoral Commission years ago or shut up.

After the election Warsi wrote to all outgoing Labour Ministers asking if they would be prepared to forgo their resettlement allowances. These sort of ghastly, self indulgent, knee in the groin stunts, were the beginning of the end of New Labour. She should be warned.

But Warsi has form for Gonzo politics.  During her election campaign in Dewsbury in 2005 she earned a reputation for putting out noxious election material. She attacked Labour for lowering the age of consent, “allowing school children to be propositioned for homosexual relationships”. And over the repeal of clause 28 she claimed that homosexuality was being, “peddled on children as young as seven in schools”.

This offensive nonsense was totally off message in a Cameron party so she had to do a bit of nifty footwork. “God”, she protested, “why did I phrase it like that? What was I on?”

What you were on, my dear, was a cynical power trip. You pandered to the baser instincts of the Muslim community in the hope of getting elected.

Warsi is a woman who should be watched. She is a strong candidate for a sideways move, hopefully into obscurity.

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In less than a generation Labour has regenerated from, Camelot to Gormghast & now the Inbetweeners. Tommorrow expect less Red Ed & more Adrian Mole.

September 27th, 2010 by Jerry Hayes

In less than a generation, labour  have regenerated from Blair’s Camelot to Brown’s Gormanghast and now to Ed Miliband’s Inbetweeners. It’s all very strange, as every single Labour MP  was elected on a New Labour manifesto which has now been cast onto the bonfire of the inanities.

So goodbye New Labour and hello to….well none of us have got a clue. I don’t buy all this Red Ed guff, but it’s a Redtop’s dream which will stick stick like shit to a blanket. And I don’t really think he is quite so daft as to be in the pockets of the trade unions. But politics is more about interpretation than truth. So what does Ed stand for? Again, I’m not entirely sure and neither are the poor political meercats sniffing the air, nor the silent curtain twitchers desperate to impress their new boss to get their grubby little hands on a red box. All we know is, he won’t be Blair or Brown and he rather likes the squeezed middles classes. Whether that means he wants to press them to death or hold their little hands at an Ed Balls Dignitas clinic remains to be seen.  We might get a bit of a clue tomorrow, but I won’t hold my breath.

Now there’s a conundrum, what to do with Balls? Well, plugging his seat into the mains would be a helpful start, but that’s not going to happen. He is so desperate for the Shadow Chancellorship you can almost see it whizzing round the room like a medium’s ectoplasm. But, if David retreats to the back benches, Balls would be a gift to the Tories. Not just because he’s a nasty bully, but because there must never be a tissue paper between a leader and his Treasury man on policy. And between those two there is a chasm. Also, they can’t stand each other. Did you see the body language at the announcement? Ever leadership candidate got a hug, Ed just got a nod. If pure hatred could have been bottled you just had to look into his eyes. I hear that he has been briefing against David’s wife Louise. Very unwise, for blood is even thicker than Diane Abbott. I suspect that the Home Office beckons.

And what about the missus? Some are saying that she’s not quite up to it, others moan that she dresses like a nun on holiday. Anyhow, it would be an insult too far to a very dangerous man. The most sensible solution came to day from Lord Desai, a former Treasury spokesman and the finest economist of his generation: Hattie. She’s an old bruiser, ran some big spending departments and deserves a  proper job. What’s more, she’s no political fool.

Ironically, poor old Ed has to do what his been urging the banks to. Try and make an assessment of his toxic assets and decide where to dump them. This will not be easy. He will enter a hall tomorrow where the majority wanted his brother to win. He will have to win over the associations and the PLP. There is only one way to to this and that is to show that this is not an academic thesis or a social experiment. He must prove that he is hungry for power. That he is a winner. Tricky, when you’ve just ditched a formula that has been the most successful election winner that Labour has ever launched.

Choosing a Shadow Cabinet will not be so difficult as he thinks, but what will be a nightmare is who will occupy the Chief Whip’s Chair. For reasons beyond modern psychiatry, the job is directly elected by backbenchers and is not within the gift of the Leader. In office yes, in Opposition no.It’s a bit like the Iranians electing the head of their secret police.  Mili E has wisely decided not to interfere. But I will suspect that there will be a backlash against old Brown plotter and Balls intriguist, Nick Brown. Watch out for a respected neutral like Gerry Sutcliffe.

So what do we expect tomorrow? No policy, lots of mood music and a lot of reaching out. Not so much Red Ed as Adrian Mole.

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The real victor this afternoon will be Harriet Harman. Her role will be that of a minor public school matron keeping the boys in order with the threat of a friendly enema.

September 25th, 2010 by Jerry Hayes

At four o’clock this afternoon, Gordon Brown, returning triumphant from organising the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, will pass on the mantle of that great Labour inheritance: the blood feud.  Sadly,whichever of the brothers prim wins, a simmering resentment will be born, which ambitious enemies can fan into petulant bitterness. Things can never be the same again for them.

As the election is so close the loser has to be given a major shadow office of state. The Milibands, the BeeGees of British politics, but without the good tunes, somehow, are going to have to pretend they will be working together and that all the tensions of the hustings have been put behind them. But they won’t and can’t be.

So, if you think that Brown’s leadership was like a scene from One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest, a Miliband Labour Party will closely resemble  extras from Shaun of the Dead. First, there has to be bereavement counselling for the death of a government. Then an apology for the total shambles of the last administration and the betrayal of the ideals and aspirations of  thousands of  Labour supporters. And lastly a strategy. How to reach a working relationship with the unions that doesn’t disgust the public. And how to out Cameroon Cameron to undermine the Coalition. None of this will be easy.

But there will be no corks popping in Downing Street, it is not Cameron’s style to give such minor matters too much attention. He will be studiously polite and love bomb the Milileader with charm and humour, which will really, really get on his tits.

Today’s Guardian would not have been happy reading for the Milibands. David Muir, Brown’s chief strategist, presents research on just how popular the Coalition is with it’s lack of tribalism and how voters are in tune with the programme of cutting public services. He also warns of the the danger of constantly attacking the Lib Dems which plays into Cameron’s hands. Muir, will of course be ignored.

This afternoon’s victory speech, after the obligatory ersatz humility and a tribute to dad, will resemble Munche’s Scream. It will be a rallying call to fight the Tory cuts, and string up their Lib Dem class traitor running dog lackies. It will go down well in the hall, where the Milileader will be cheered to the rafters. Delegates will breathlessly tell journalists that the party has never been more united and that the fight back has begun. Ellie Gellard weeps with joy and pledges her heart soul and every fibre of her being to the new leader. Ed Balls puts on a brave face and begins to plot. Diane Abbott, delighted for all the attention, makes a tearful plea to listen to the grass roots. And a search party is dispatched to try and find poor Andy Burnham, who has somehow got lost.  At the Guardian, not a dry gusset is to be found.

But the real victor, the one with absolute moral authority is Harriet Harman. She has kept the party together these last few months with a mixture of quiet authority and balls of steel. She will have to be given a big job. Yet her real role will be that of a matron at a minor public school, keeping the boys in order with the threat of caster oil or a friendly enema. Those Milibrothers can be so naughty.

So later today, when the applause dies down and as the Shadow Cabinet hopefuls dash to the cameras to give unwavering support, the Milileader clutches a quivering hand to his breast giving the command that will save him from many close encounters with disaster in the future, “Beam me up Hattie”. In a flash he is teleported the the bridge of his orbiting  starship and surveys his domain. The geek has inherited the earth.

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Cameron takes it out on Angry Birds and a bit of a rant about Naomi Campbell.

September 22nd, 2010 by Jerry Hayes

My groin, already steaming from the Ann Widdecombe Strictly Come Dancing Iphone app, became even more troubled when a hot Americano plopped into my lap. I had stumbled upon a tiny tale in the Evening Standard that David Cameron, “Turns on Angry Birds to relax”. Good God!  Has the man been doing a Rooney, a bit of sado-masch or has he just been popping off a few grouse on one of Cleggy’s hunting estates?  Neither. My heart sank. It’s just a bloody interactive game. Until you look at the website.

“Lemme tell ya this”, blares the blurb on the site, ” these ‘aint no ordinary finches we are talking about here. These are the angry birds, the ones that’s gonna kick you in the nads. And they are on your side”. Now, maybe the Number Ten spin doctor’s irony glands are are letting us into a little secretion, or this is a warning to all those who oppose, truth, justice and the Cameroonian way of life.

This could be gloves off to the Heffers, the Hichens and those monsters of the right, whom in the seclusion of the Primeministerial den, are zapped with deadly skill. The site goes on to tantalise us with the grisly end these fictitious characters could meet with one click of the Cameroonian Mouse. “Dish out revenge on the green pigs who stole the bird’s eggs. Use the unique distinctive powers to lay waste to the pigs fortified castles”. Dr. Freud would have a field day.

And from one set of angry birds to another. My heart goes out to Naomi Campbell, that self obsessed, selfish, foul bag of designer skin, squeals that she has been made a scapegoat over the blood diamonds given to her by emissaries of evil dictator, Charles Taylor. “I was not on trial. It was nothing to do with me” , the ghastly little clothes donkey protests. Of course not dear. You just allowed too hulking thugs into you apartment in the early hours, gave them a couple of Coca Colas and received a purse full of diamonds, extracted by  sweat, blood and murder for a genocidal monster.

Now I know that Campbell has not been blessed with the education of Boris Johnson, or even his budgie. But doesn’t she realise that although she is no way criminally culpable, she had been a tad insensitive? Of course not. “You bring Naomi Campbell to the stand and the whole world knows”, she crows in self righteous indignation. “This trial has been going on for how many years and no one cared to write about it”.

Well, not quite sweetie. You see Mr Taylor is indicted for war crimes. For forcing mothers to eat their murdered babies before being raped tortured and killed. For maiming, mutilating and murdering whole  villages. For conscripting ten year olds into armies, addicting them to drugs, making them kill their parents and forcing them to commit abominations that would make Hieronymous Bosch queasy.  This is a man accused of marking his territory by placing the severed heads of his enemies on spikes. If ever there was the carnal manifestation of all that is evil, it is Charles Taylor.

An you Miss Campbell, although guilty of no crime except selfishness, greed and stupidity, you, with your celebrity, glamour and wealth, gave this man for a nano second, a glimmer of faux respectability. I know you had a poor education, a lack of opportunity and a tough childhood in Streatham, but it is nothing, not a speck of sand in the desert, compared to the hell that man has put the poor, damaged people of Sierra Leone through. Shame on you.

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The Lib Dems mustn’t allow themselves to suffer from Battered Wives or Stockholm Syndrome. And how to spot a defector to Labour before it happens.

September 21st, 2010 by Jerry Hayes

Was it some drink induced hallucination or did I really hear Danny Alexander say that he would use private debt collectors to collect our taxes? And was it some drug fueled sex game involving a sports bag, or did I really hear him say that they would be using lie detectors on anyone earning £150,ooo a year?

I know that, like at General Elections, politicians suffer from a strange, but temporary, motor neurone complaint,  whereby mouth and brain do not function simultaneously, but yesterday’s announcements were a little odd and very un Liberal.

Why should it be assumed that anyone earning a large salary is less honest than someone who is not? And of what value is a lie detector when English law forbids their admissibility? And why confuse tax avoidance with tax evasion? The former is legal and encouraged by the government, whilst the other is neither?

The answer is simple. Danny was talking utter bollocks to appease the rabble of wild, green eyed lefties, who want to see the Coalition crack down on the pleasures of the richer. Of course, none of these ravings will ever be implemented. But what is so annoying, is that none of this nonsense was necessary. The one lesson that has stunned Westminster watchers these last few weeks is that the Lib Dems have grown up. Clegg has proved to have the making of a serious statesman and Cable that of a wily Whitehall operator. So please Danny, now that your party is out of short trousers don’t patronise them, it just makes you look a bit of a twat.

But, at the end of the day, the Lib Dems are no different from Labour or the Tories.  They are still that sub species of lower pond life known as politicians. So, “National interest” will always be interchangeable with “Party interest”. After a while you just can’t spot the difference. And once leaders have had their bottoms ensconced on the warming mahogany of the Downing Street privy for a  while, personal interest becomes delightfully confused with the national interest too. The trouble is most of them never realise it.

The real difficulty for the Lib Dems is not to allow themselves to fall into the trap of suffering from two very dangerous political syndromes:  Battered wives and Stockholm.

The battered wives syndrome is best exemplified by the likes of former MP Evan Harris, who is desperate to get back into bed with Labour. Well hardly back into bed, the couple haven’t even had a snog or a brief fumble. Evan, old son, they hate you guys with a venom more poisonous than Peter Mandelson’s aftershave. They have beaten you, abused you and threatened political genocide. Why keep coming back for more?

However, Stockholm’s syndrome, whereby by the kidnapped tend to fall in love with their captors, is a more tricky label to cast off. Clegg and Cable don’t want any accusations of being kept underground in Cameron’s Austrian bunker and breeding Tory babies. They need to show  a separate identity coupled to a loyalty to the Coalition ideal.

Oh, and for all of you wanting to root out the first Lib Dem defection to Labour, the test is very simple. Wait for the polls to flatline, coupled with a thrashing at the local elections and then look for the person with the smallest majority with Labour in second place. And remember, despite the guff you will hear about points of principle, it will be about pure self interest. Politics hasn’t changed that much.

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By accident or design the glutinous mass that is Simon Heffer has wobbled upon a story. But it’s the wrong one.It won’t be Cable’s head on a platter but the immigration cap.

September 18th, 2010 by Jerry Hayes

By accident rather by design, the chippy, glutinous mass that is Simon Heffer, has wobbled  upon a story. Of course,  it’s the wrong story, but no matter. For the Ginger Whinger, scourge of all things Dave, high priest to the bells and smells cult of the Tories, wants Vince Cable’s head on a dark blue platter. His offence? Breaking collective responsibility over his criticism of  a government proposal to cap immigrant workers.

This is portrayed  as the beginnings of  fissure between the Tories and the Lib Dems within the coalition. It is not. It is the opening act of a  split between those, who for tribal reasons want to crack down on immigration, and those who want to see sensible curbs, but don’t want to destroy industry’s competitive base by starving it of skilled labour from abroad. Boris Johnson has been warning of this for weeks.

And the fact that Downing Street’s response to Cable was neither to distance, nor to condemn, but rather, “We expect the Business Secretary to be speaking up for business”, is a sign that policy changes are in the offing.

And why not? Let’s end the racket of bogus language courses, of economic marriages and all the scams that Labour totally ignored to keep their inner city vote. But it would be quite insane to ignore the views of those who provide the wealth and the jobs.

Of course, there will be squeals of protest from the right, who will accuse Cameron of betraying Tory principles of finally going Lib Dem native. But they would be quite wrong. The reason why effective and commonsense government has been squandered over the years is that parties have been terrified to admit errors of policy.  As W H Auden observed, “All good drama has two movements, first the making of the mistake and then the discovery that it was a mistake”. He should have added a third, “when politicians carry on blindly, regardless, to the detriment of the country”.

The beauty of this Coalition is that you are unlikely to see too many politicians of note reciting mantras that they clearly have not a shred of belief  in. Of course there will be compromises, there has to be. Yes, there will be disagreements. Although the real dilution of partisanship in decision making is a relatively novel concept,  it has made an encouraging and popular start.

So what horrors will the Lib Dem Conference provide? I may be proved hopelessly wrong, but I suspect that there will be, with obvious reservations, a real sense of optimistic purpose. Nick Clegg wasn’t entirely right when he said that the Lib Dems never were and aren’t  a receptacle for leftwing dissatisfaction within Labour. Their problem was that they were  a convenient spittoon for everyone fed up with the mainstream parties.

This has now changed. They have shown that they can take tough decisions and can be a responsible part of government. This is both a blessing and a terror. A blessing, because the Coalition has flown in the face of cynicism and dumbfounded its critics and works. And a terror to Labour, who must adapt or die.

Most of Cameron’s Tories have seen the light, though it will be a bumpy ride. But whoever emerges from the rubble of the Labour leadership elections will have to act with confidence, speed and skill. Whether they are allowed to is entirely another matter. Political debts will have to be paid. And the deficit is bordering on the Grecian.

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Apart from being one of Paul Daniel’s pubic lice, it’s hard to think of a more embarrassing existence than stting on Ed Ball’s campaign team. And a warning to Theresa May.

September 14th, 2010 by Jerry Hayes

Apart from being one of Paul Daniel’s pubic lice, I find it hard to think of a more embarrassing existence than sitting on Ed Ball’s campaign team. But in a weird masochistic way I shall miss him. Because, despite him representing all that is so deeply repulsive in a politician, you have to admire his tenacity, his pugnacious onslaughts and a skin even thicker than Wayne Rooney’s skull.

 To be fair, he has been effective in wrong footing Michael Gove and has given the Coalition Treasury team a good kneecapping. Even more important, he has given a  demoralised and bewildered Labour Party at least the fig leaf of a narrative, and has led  a wild eyed and pitchforked backbench peasantry on a half decent attempt to destabilise the Coalition, until one of the Milibores descend from their flying saucer to save the day.

But what is so remarkable is that  Balls still seems to believe that he will win. His campaign team are almost evangelical. Hard nosed Westminster journos are not sure whether to laugh or cry when the painfully ambitious Ellie Gellard stilettoes her way into the press bar proclaiming more victories and greater tractor production.

 Balls is no fool. He knows it’ game over. So what will happen to him? Well, forget about all this talk about Mili D offering  him the Shadow Chancellorship. Nothing could be further from his mind. The toxicity of Balls would be corrosive in any of the top three jobs. Any leader would be terrified that he would be building up a power base. Not tanks on the lawn. But the usual smearing and counter briefing. After all, he has more form than Shergar. Anyhow, I hear that Mili D has already lined up Yvette Cooper for the top Treasury job. Oh, the humiliation. Politics can be so deliciously cruel.

 Apart from Lobby veteran, Nigel Nelson, who predicted this weeks ago, hacks are just coming round to the reality that Mili E is likely to win the leadership. For all the obvious reasons. He is not the Establishment candidate, will pick up a stack of second preferences and the grass roots and trade unions love him. The trouble is he does look like a regular attendee of Star Treck conventions. In full costume.  The sort of chap who could hold himself spellbound over a bus timetable. But never mind, once the spin doctors pop him in a Vivienne Westwood suit, get Toni and Guy to sort out his quiff and the film makers retrace his immigrant roots, it will be like the Compare the Meerkat adverts. Simples.

But what to do about Balls?  He can’t be cast into backbench hell, brooding an plotting. Let him brood and plot under supervision. Keep him in Education. A minor humiliation, with a tenuous promise of greater things to come.

And now a word of warning to Theresa May, who has turned out to be a surprisingly impressive Home Secretary. Prepare for a dirty little smear campaign from the police. As Ken Clarke, Leon Britten and Willie Whitelaw found to their cost, every time a Home Secretary does anything that is perceived to upset the little blue applecart a whispering campaign begins. And the police are very well connected. After all, they flog thousands of pounds worth of stories to the red tops. So they know which ears to pour the poison.

My favourite smear was against dear old Willie Whitelaw. It was wickedly put around that he was a regular visitor to tranny bars in a frock and a blonde wig. His street name was meant to be Brenda. You will be shocked to know that not even this could titivate jaded Fleet Street palates.

And now the police are warning of 40,000 jobs to be lost. Bleeding stumps are hitting the headlines. So Theresa, prepare and beware of the hand of plod.

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Huntingdon fails to elect a donkey but a Djanogly which is slightly more stupid. And the right wing plot to bring down the coalition.

September 10th, 2010 by Jerry Hayes

Did Jonathan Djanogly really have to pay private detectives to tell him that senior members of his constituency think that he is a complete twat? Is he really so naive, so hoggwhimperingly dumb, so mindbogglingly insensitive and so insecure that he didn’t have a clue what his supporters thought of him? Sadly, the answer must be yes.

For unfathomable reasons, this poor booby spent £5,000 on private detectives to pose as reporters to find the source of, ”malicious” rumours about him. Wow! Sounds interesting. So what are these rumours?  Does he pleasure himself with specially trained and well greased gerbils?  Does he have a penchant for young male sheep of a certain persuasion?  Did he share a twin bedded room with a dusky transsexual dwarf during the election campaign?

Sadly not. Our hero has done absolutely nothing interesting at all. Ever.

I am sure that being the son of a multimillionaire chum of John Major had absolutely no bearing on his being selected for one of the country’s safest seats. The sort of seat where they would have elected a donkey if it was a Tory. Instead, they have elected a Djanogly, which I suppose is slightly more stupid.

And, the “malicious rumours”,  that had so wounded him?  That he trousered a few thousand quid from the taxpayer to strengthen the  gates to his country mansion, Dunthinkin. Well, sonny you did. And a good investment it will prove to be when the Mob breaks it down and has your privileged little guts for garters.

But what so annoys me so much about this sniveling little amoeba of a politician, is not just that according to members of  his Conservative Association he is “Lazy……..a wet fish……a disaster”,  but that he, ”works hard not to give an opinion”. Well, matey, giving an opinion is what you were elected to do.

Anyway, he can’t do any real harm can he?  Of course not. He is only a Minister at the Ministry of Justice, in charge of the court system. Well not for long. As his agent, the distinguished Sir Peter Brown, told these private detectives, “he has lived to die another day”. Now, I am old enough to remember when they were known as private dicks. Perhaps a headline, “MP hires private dicks”, would make Djanogly vaguely more interesting. On the other hand, no. Not even with the help of Max Clifford.

But the hatchet job being done by the Daily Telegraph on William Hague is infinitely more scandalous and malicious than any misguided gossip of nobbery. He is being used a means of attacking Cameron by the backdoor. Challenge Hague’s judgement is to challenge Cameron’s for appointing him.

Of course, I wasn’t surprised to see that Tebbit, with the smile of a brass plate on a coffin, is measuring up the coalition for a pine casket. He was the first to opening question his judgement. But John Redwood?  Now I am deeply fond of John, who is neither as mad or bad as he looks. However, lectures on sexual judgement by the great man are, in the circumstances, a little rum.

But what is so wicked are the veiled attacks on Hague’s mental state. The man has been though hell and back both with the press campaign and his wife’s miscarriages. Of course he looks frayed around the edges. Anyone would. Yet, he is one of the foundation stones of this Coalition to lose him would be more than careless, it  would be dangerous. Undermine Hague and you undermine Cameron. Undermine him and the Coalition starts to wobble. There is a nasty little plot afoot here and the trail of gastropodian slime will lead us to those of the disaffected right who want to smash this government. Wait for the Sundays. “Haggered Hague”, “is it all too much?” “Hague cracks under the strain”.  Cameron, though grieving for his beloved father, must act quickly as William is as near as indispensable as any politician can be.

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A noble effort Tom, but “Coulsongate” has nowhere to go but downhill.

September 7th, 2010 by Jerry Hayes

That photograph of Hague removing his headphones at the Foreign Office last week encapsulated the fury, incomprehension, bewilderment and utter hopelessness of a man who thinks he is about to be cast into the political wilderness. It will become an iconic metaphor of how once the rumour genie has escaped from the bottle, it takes more than magic to put it back.

Hague knows that however brilliant a Foreign Secretary he becomes, whatever he says and whatever he does, there will always be lingering doubts about his sexuality and judgement. Is it fair? Of course not. Is there a shred of evidence to support them? If there was you, would have read it. Will this whole sorry episode be a wake up call for Fleet Street and the blogosphere at a new dawn of a new age of responsible reporting? Don’t be ridiculous. While there is money to be made in newspapers and conspiracy theorists screaming from their mother’s basements in masturbatory fury in one hand typing commentaries, no reputation will go unsullied.

But there is nothing new in any of this. Westminster has always been a rumour mill supported by word of mouth an underground press since time immoral. And unless rumour gives birth to a libelous offspring,  all politicians can do is put on a brave face and at least pretend to grin and bear it, while secretly dying inside.

And the libel courts?  Those nurseries of bankruptcy and despair?  Leave them to the deluded, the insanely wealthy and the vanity litigants. Why footballers bother injuncting the poisonous  prattle of the bottle blonded, Mancunian jailbaiters who hunt their prey with the skill of mid western bounty hunters, is quite beyond me. Now, I’m all in favour of lawyers getting rich. But what is the point of spending vast sums of money for two reasonably peaceful weekends? Eventually the red tops will get their splashes. It’s what they do.

So I am not at all surprised that the splendid Tom Watson wants to breathe some life into the News of the World bugging story. Particularly, if there is a juicy Tory scalp to be impaled on a spike. A kick in the groin for Murdoch, the resignation of Cameron’s trusted press guru? God, it’s a Labour wet dream. But it has as much of a chance of  success as Ed Balls opening a mission for fallen Tories and becoming the Mother Theresa of Westminster.

The fact is that all newspapers have been guilty of bugging, bunging and theft. How do you think they have access to phone bills bank accounts and criminal records? Palms have been greased and police have been paid off. I know that it would be a fantastic story if it was just Murdoch and his emissaries of Hades up to naughties, but it’s not. They’ve all been at it. It’s just that, to the collective relief of everyone else, his lot got caught. And do you think you will see the fingerprints of any editor anywhere near the scene of the crime? Oh, grow up!

The only reason this ever got to court was not because of some grubby politician breathing lust down the phone to some acned rent boy; it was because of the Royals. And they are off limits.

So, do you really think that the police will want to re-open this can of worms because some hack salivated to the telephonic pantings of Lord Prescott? I think not. Do you think that the CPS want to be involved in political shite wrestling?  Of course not.

Sorry Tom. A noble effort and you did it rather well. But I can hear the credits being played already.

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