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Jerry Hayes

Cameron and Osborne at war? How a Telegraph column might be written.

October 24th, 2010 by Jerry Hayes

The security guard nods his head, puts down the telephone and grunts an order, “It’s time”. Two burly men in white coats lumber towards a large iron door, armed with a syringe, an electric cattle prod and a cosh; just in case. God knows what could happen  when room 101 is opened. Nervously, they peer through the peep hole and stare at a large man with a  florid face looking very angry, but sedated enough not to be too dangerous. There is a scraping of a key, a clank of  a latch and the door is open. They survey with some resentment a room plushly decorated with fine hunting scenes, cases of ancient malts and empty Jereboams of the finest Pol Roger. One of the burly men places a laptop on a Louis XIV desk (sadly from Maples), and cranks it into life. The other begins unlocking the curiously tight leather straps that hold the man’s arms tightly behind his back. Carefully he is sat down in front of the glowering screen. At first, the stiffened fingers tap gently on the keyboard. But soon, his face becomes more crimson with rage and flecks of spittle splatter onto the screen. Crazed words such as, “Osborne, cunt, disgrace, I hate you”, screech from his cracked lips. The first burly man speaks quietly into his transceiver, “Sir, Mr Peter Oborne is now writing his column”.

Maybe this is an ever so slight exaggeration as to how dear old Peter writes  a piece, but even after all the years of cynicism and disbelief that politics and journalism has rendered me, I really could not comprehend his latest outpouring that Osborne is at odds with Cameron.

Oborne, for reasons beyond my comprehension, is always hugely angry about something or other. And this is not the ersatz anger that columnists have to feign in order to keep their little tongues titivating the orifices of the worst prejudices of their proprietors to keep in work. Oh no. Oborne is the sort of journalistic pressure cooker that will never under cook the vegetables and is always ready to explode when you least expect it.

So, let’s examine the latest rant. That Osborne is a Neo-Thatcherite, that his agenda is totally different to Cameron’s, that he’s been briefing the press against the PM and that there will be tears before bedtime.

But what is so insane about this is that there is not a shred of evidence for a word of it. If ever there are two men who are almost psychotically aware of what happens when a Chancellor and a Prime Minister seriously fall out, it is those Blair and Brown watchers Cameron and Osborne. So acutely were they aware of the importance of being at one, that they even shared an office in Opposition. And since the election they have the closest working relationship of any Prime Minister and Chancellor in living memory.

Cameron and Osborne are forged and tempered out of the furnace which was the hell of Blair and Brown. This is one mistake they are almost physically incapable of making.

So what has got Oborne’s goat? Difficult to tell really. Of course, the Right have always wanted to play one off of the the other. Remember all those pre election tales of disharmony? How the city hated Osborne and how Ken Clarke was going to take over? And remember the post election stories about how Cameron was going to overrule him over defence? Well, they came from all the usual suspects and didn’t count for a row of beans.

Maybe Oborne was just fed up with the way the cuts were implemented. He felt “ashamed” to be a Conservative when backbenchers cheered Osborne announcing four hundred and Ninety public sector job losses. But they didn’t. They just cheered their Chancellor for putting the grim reality lucidly and fairly.

So maybe it is some personal slight that we are blissfully unaware of. An unintentional snub at a reception? Someone pouring poison into his ear about the Chancellor slagging him off in private? God knows. The trouble is Oborne is so easily wound up. All a mischievous soul has to do is light the blue touchpaper and whooosh, off he goes into the stratosphere. All this is rather a shame. Irritating as he can be, usually he is on the side of the angels. I would hate for him to be frozen out of heaven.

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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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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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Gove must reform his Department or be doomed. Cameron must deal with the threat of widespread industrial action with fairness and pragmatism.

August 5th, 2010 by Jerry Hayes

Michael Gove has the brain the size of a small planet and bollocks of such steel that they could proudly hang outside any reputable pawn broker. But I am beginning to wonder whether the Cabinet Secretary may need to step into fumigate his department of all things Balls. Gove is trying implement a policy of such importance, not just socially and educationally, but upon which this government will eventually be judged. It is called the Department For Education for a purpose. Many years ago I met Sir Keith Joseph for a drink. He was Education Secretary.  A man busting with ideas, whose mission was drag his department from the monochrome of state control to actually give children, particularly the deprived, real life changing opportunities. And there we sat, sipping warm white wine, in gloomy mood with this highly intelligent and vigorous man in total despair about his department. With the vein on his temple pulsating like a puppy’s penis, he  wailed that his officials wouldn’t let him do anything. That the department wasn’t  for education, in fact, it wasn’t  for anything at all, except  cosy, vested interests.  And that is why the Department of Education and Science eventually became the Department For Education. It was both a message and a warning. Both seem to have been lost. Both must be restored or else Michael Gove will spend his first valuable months, not fighting for children, but the enemy within. It was a battle that Peter Walker fought at the department of Energy during the miners strike. His department seamlessly morphed with the NUM; there was no join. Which meant that there was no loyalty to Ministers. Peter built a small team of totally trusted civil servants in his Private Office. This became the engine room of the department. All minutes to Cabinet colleagues by passed the Whitehall network for fear of leaks. They were personally delivered by one of Peter’s trusties. But Walker was an old hand at the machinations of  Whitehall, he was a master of playing the game and winning. Gove has only had a couple of months of trying to run a department that morphs seamlessly into the teachers’ unions and local education authorities. He had better start building his team of trusties quickly, or else those bollocks of steel will be surgically and publicly  removed.

The Autumn will be particularly traumatic for the Coalition.  The unions are in fighting mode. There will be widespread industrial action, causing misery and mayhem every area of public life. Cameron is going to have play this one very carefully indeed.  History has taught us that although  most industrial action seriously upsets the voters, it has little impact on government fortunes unless they appear to have lost control, or there is a whiff of unfairness in the air. The middle classes turned against the government during the miners strike because they felt that an injustice was being perpetrated on hardworking and decent people. And it was the inherent feeling of unfairness about the implementation of the Poll Tax (which it never was), which sowed the seeds of   Margaret Thatcher being bundled in the back of the Prime Ministerial limousine on a journey to oblivion. So the key word for David Cameron must be fairness. The country has accepted the need for draconian cuts; that argument has been won. But if the Coalition is perceived to be heavy handed or vindictive, rentamob will turn into something ugly and unpleasant. And it will be Mail, Sun and Telegraph readers who will lead the fray. Don’t repeat the mistakes of the eighties. Look at the Social consequences of government action and consult. But if you listen to the honeyed growlings of the right for the smack of strong and ruthless government there will be serious and lasting social unrest and a bitter ending to an incredible experiment. Tricky for the government, but a nightmare for the poor devil who leads the Labour Party. Does he take to the streets as Tony Benn, the left and the unions are shreaking for and face the charge of being bought? Or does he steer a middle path and be accused of betraying the very people his represents?

Cameron must act quickly on the European Investigation Order; Euronutters are being poked with a very sharp stick.

July 16th, 2010 by Jerry Hayes

There are three words that are guaranteed to send a shiver down the spine of David Cameron; European Investigation Order. And coupled with the name of David Davis, the prince across the water, there is the possibility of a serious row that could severely shake the coalition before Parliament is sent off on holiday. Some deft footwork will be needed, or the Sunday papers will go ballistic.

At the mention of anything European, most of us groan, as it tends to be the starting pistol for every one issue nutter in need of secure accommodation. But the EIO presents us with some potentially serious problems. It’s aim is sensible. It introduces a system whereby it is much easier to gather evidence for crimes throughout the EU. All well and good. But like most things that emanate from Brussels,  it hasn’t been properly thought through. When the distinguished organisation of jurists, JUSTICE,  reports that the EIO, ” has inadequate consideration of the rights of the suspect in an effort to improve efficiency”, alarm bells should be ringing at Number 10. Worse, the date of incorporation into UK law is the 28th July. Scary. And potentially explosive.

In it’s present form the EIO would allow any EU police force to start investigations and gather evidence on UK soil. Absolutely nothing wrong with that, as the present system is slow and cumbersome. But where it  offends against everything we hold sacred, is that no judicial authority is needed to verify whether there are reasonable grounds for an offence to have been committed. In this country the police can’t investigate on a whim, they have to have reasonable grounds to believe that someone is up to no good. So, potentially, every corrupt police officer in the pay of the mafia in Southern Italy, could come over here, obtain your DNA and bank balances without going to obtain permission from a judge first. Insane. And downright dangerous. In reality, it may be rather different as this is clearly in breach of the European Convention of Human Rights. There would be test cases. But why bother? Why should be have to put up with injustice, misery and cost?  Let’s just get it right first time round and put in safeguards which will protect the freedom and liberty of the subject.

What JUSTICE sensibly argues for, is that all requests for an EIO  be in accordance with the European Convention of Human Rights, and that there should be  judicial scrutiny. It’s simple, fair and sensible. The danger is that unless politicians understand what this is all about, this will be just another anti European stick, based on ignorance, to beat the Coalition with. David Davis, is genuinely and rightly, concerned about this. He raised it at Business Questions yesterday. Number 10 must not vacillate on this. The deft foot work is provided by JUSTICE, “the UK should opt in to the instrument but in so doing should engage it’s negotiating position to ensure safeguards.” All Cameron has to do is promise that the EIO will operate within the framework of the ECHR and that every application is reviewed by a judge on the basis that reasonable grounds for the belief that an offence has been committed are shown. But Cameron must act quickly to avert an unholy and damaging row. The  Euronutters are being prodded with a very sharp stick that is laced with poison.

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Cameron will be cracking open the Galtieri 1981: Ashcroft to slag him off in memoirs

June 13th, 2010 by Jerry Hayes

Like so so many of his predecessors, David Cameron will be wetting his Prime Ministerial Bodens when he opens the News of the World this morning. But not out of fear of some Tory Love Rat Sex Cheat who will have to exit the Cabinet by the back door, with a blanket over his head, to spend more time with Max Clifford. No, no, no. This is a story that will have the champagne corks popping at Number 10 and tears of joy rolling down the palid face of William Hague. Lord Ashcroft will be publishing his memoirs in the autumn and what’s more, will be slagging off David Cameron as a disastrous leader and the election campaign as a fiasco.

Poor old Hague inherited Ashcroft at a time when the Conservative Party’s finances made Iceland look like a booming economy. He came to the rescue, but at an enormous political price The Ashcroft millions and his dodgy non dom status, came close to derailing the election campaign. Cameron did his best to distance himself, but the man’s damaging presence  hung in the air like a fart in a lift. Hague would have preferred a drive with Edward Kennedy or a dip in Michael Barrymore’s swimming pool, than sign that letter to the Cabinet Secretary promising that soon the peer would be paying hundreds of millions to the taxpayer. A document that had the veracity of a mortgage application  by Peter Mandelson.

So now, Ashcroft will finally sever his links with the Cameroons with the disinfectant of Gothic moonlight.There is nothing quite so heartwarming and entertaining as the bile of a bitter man. And the name of of the company publishing this great work? Biteback Media, prop. M Ashcroft. It really is too much. Matron, the incontinence pants, quick!

But if that hasn’t exhausted the Prime Ministerial laughter glands, and gets him opening a bottle of the Galtieri 1981, he should pick up the Sunday Telegraph and read the piece by their splendid Political Editor, Pat Hennessy. Alan Johnson may force a by-election over PR.

Of course, we all know that PR is as popular with Labour and the Conservatives as cocktails on Fred West’s patio. The public scuppering of it by the electorate and prompted by Labour, would ease tensions within the Coaltion and cause the Lib Dems’s new Deputy Leader, Simon Hughes, to return to secure accommodation. Just don’t tell Eric Pickles about any of this. His belly laughs could cause a national disaster.

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Cameron’s first political bomb

May 27th, 2010 by Jerry Hayes

While Downing Street officials repair the broken door panels and no longer feel nervous when standing next to their new boss under a full moon, Cameron must be wondering when the first political bomb will explode. Well, it won’t be the election of Graham Brady and his chums to the Chairmanship and executive of the 1922 Committee.

The press will portray this as a blow to his authority from the right. But if anything, it could strengthen the coalition. The Conservative leadership is always at its best when it doesn’t pretend to have unfettered power. Brady is not a head banging loon with the ego of Bill Cash. His views may be out of kilter with the Cameroons, but he is not of the swivel-eyed, Lederhosen tendency, which kept the Conservatives out of government for thirteen years. Many of his thoughts will be as welcome as a cup of cold sick, but they will represent the views some rather confused backbenchers and activists who have had their political compasses removed. The new 22 executive should not be regarded as the enemy, but a useful valve to ease some of the pressure. David Cameron ignores them at his peril.

The first whiff of serious discontent will be over a capital gains tax hike. It’s starting to have traction already. Soon the Daily Mail will be tearing at our heart strings with tales of elderly grannies who have saved all their lives only to be thrown to the wolves by the Cleggeroon Commies. One word of advice. Don’t face people like Redwood and David Davis down. The midwife of this coalition has been and must remain, commonsense pragmatism. Openly consult and debate. If there is wiggle room, shake your political hips like Jordan, as long as people know there has to be a price; the money will have to be found somewhere. This is not a time for the political machismo that destroyed Gordon Brown. If a sensible and costed compromise can be found, let it be done.

Watching the Labour leadership campaign is like a cross between Scrapheap Challenge and Miss World. The Miliblands have sailed through the swimwear round, but are still at that embarrassing stage of drivelling  banality. And as for Ed Balls? It is unfortunate that he always looks like he’s just come back from a seal clubbing holiday in Nova Scotia. As one Labour sage once told me, “Ed is a really nice guy, until you get to know him”. And who’s left? Diane Abbott?For God’s sake, the woman’s got more Me Me Mes than Pavarotti and her head is so far up her backside she needs a team of sniffer dogs to remove it. The only thoroughly  decent man in the contest is John Cruddas, who has had the honesty and humility to say that he doesn’t have that Papal certainty that is a necessary in a leader. And here lies the problem for Labour. They are floating in an eerie vacuum. They have just seen two parties mutate into a socially aware progressive coalition, that actually seems to tap into a primal chord. If Labour go left they are doomed. But if they stay as they are, they will be in political purgatory for eternity. I don’t know the answer. Neither I suspect do the leadership contenders.

And finally. Did anyone read the rather eccentric piece in the Guardian yesterday by David Marquand? He was suggesting that the realignment of British politics should be along the lines of  Caroline Lucas and the Greens. Now I don’t wish to be unkind, but the smile of La Belle Lucas makes Gordon Brown’s look warm and winning.

But was this the David Marquand who was a Labour MP and then fled to Brussels with Roy Jenkins when he became President of the Commission? I fear so. When Woy left he made a parting speech to friends. In full lisp he said,” I leave this house with sadness, but without wrancour”.  To which a wag commented, “But I thought you were taking David Marquand with you”. I think that says it all.

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