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Lewis and Lewis

Nick Robinson | 11:12 UK time, Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Simon and Will LewisThe next time the Telegraph runs a story about the prime minster's expenses could be interesting. Gordon Brown's new official spokesman will call the editor of the paper. They will speak on first name terms. No wonder, the two men are brothers.

Simon Lewis (left), who once worked for the Queen, is taking over as director of communications at No 10 at the end of July. His main task: to repair the dreadful damage done to his boss's reputation, in part by the actions of brother Will (right) over at the Telegraph. The long-suffering and ever-professional Michael Ellam gets his just reward with a return to the place he loves - the Treasury.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Hi Nick,

    To repair the damage done to his boss's reputation is easy. All Lewis needs to do is:

    - Build around 1.5m new homes
    - Repay around 40% of the national debt
    - Hold a referendum on the Lisbon treaty
    - Hold the Iraq inquiry in public

    etc.

    See you in the pub.

  • Comment number 2.

    Actually, Nick, I thought this was the better story.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8102042.stm

    But perhaps both beg the question of when, oh when, will parliamentarians in both Houses realise that people want open, transparent, honest dealings - no 'old pals act' between No 10's head of communication and what does, or does not, get into some media and equally no influence of the UK political processes by "foreign" interests funding UK political parties.

    If that is truly too much to ask of them, then perhaps we don't need to the dissolution of parliament and a General Election, perhaps we need to abolition of parliament and some sort of benevolent(ish) dictator.

    Mind you that is pretty much what the UK democratic system - until we get elected prime ministers - seems to deliver anyhow.

  • Comment number 3.

    Co-incidence?

    I dont think so.

    Yet more manoeuvring cant anyone be straightforward?

  • Comment number 4.

    The whole thing about politics today is the level of incestuousness there is. How many politicans` partners are on quangos? How many top level reporters are linked to the labour party by marriage or association? Why therefore are you so suprised Nick? Haven`t you ever wondered why the Telegraph has stopped printing nasty stories about our beloved politicians? We have had a very cosy relationship between No10 and the media for so long now we have just got used to it. This is no more than Mandy getting as many people in the media on side, one way or the other, before the General Election. Freedom of the press, don`t think so.

  • Comment number 5.

    Surely the first order of business for the new Speaker must be to assert the Sovereignty of Parliament over the Executive with regard to the Iraq War Enquiry. (S)he should immediately instruct the Foreign Affairs Committee of the H of Commons to conduct an open and public set of hearings (older readers may recall the Senate Watergate hearings) and to report in full during the lifetime of this Parliament.

    The Executive Branch of Government is not qualified to investigate the Executive Branch's actions, let alone in Private !

  • Comment number 6.

    Sounds cosy.

    Simon Lewis must have the most difficult job in the country: repairing the dreadful damage done to Gordon Brown's reputation.

    I would say Brown's reputation is irreparable. As for New Labour and our pseudo-democracy, only Brown's colleagues (not Baron Mandelson of Seaton Carew) are capable of doing something about that.

  • Comment number 7.

    What dreadful damage done to his boss' reputation?

    ll that has happened in the time since Gordon Brown became prime minister is that people have woken up to the fact that his miracle economy was a mirage built on deb; his growth was a result of a million new public sector jobs; his ability to waste money was second to none; his intellectual capacity was rather inferior to that presented by his spin doctors; his success was subject to a gang of smear mearchants who crushed all oppostion.

    If you equate dreadful damage with the public waking u to the truth then so be it. But now the truth is out no amount of make up and softly spoken reassurances can put back the repuation of Gordon Brown which he himself has completely destroyed.

    Call an election.

  • Comment number 8.

    Nick,

    I can't believe you are another one who believes in blame culture - ie not taking responsibility for one's own actions! How on earth has the Editor of the Telegraph damaged the reputation of the PM?...surely, the buffoon Brown has done that by himself!!!

    Or are you sad you didn't get that job yourself? ;-)

    This also shows a new tactic by the buffoon - rather than employ a stoogy like Toilets McGuire, he tries to buy influence. Wont work though!!

  • Comment number 9.

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

    Sorry, I've just remembered that Bob Ainsworth is our Defence Minister. I think we've got more chance of Iraq attacking us now!

  • Comment number 10.

    Hm. If GB wants to restore the dreadful damage to his reputation, when part of that reputation is for cover-ups, excessive secrecy, and control freakery, I can't help thinking that announcing that the Iraq enquiry would be held in private wasn't the best way to go about it.

  • Comment number 11.

    Brown said he wasn't flash just Gordon!
    No more spindoctors - we've had enough. We want the truth not the bended light that we are being fed.
    This washed up government needs to be turfed out fast.
    The days just get sadder for Britain under Brown

  • Comment number 12.

    Brown the manipulator strikes again.

    Unfortunately for him we have sussed him and his plots. Surely Andrew Porter would be more interested in presenting the facts than having his arm twisted by neopotistic (if there is such a word!) plotting.

    Simon and William Lewis don't sound like they are singing from the same hymn sheet. If each are doing their job correctly there would be a conflict of interests.

    Maybe Brown's new spin doctor is waiting for a peerage.

    Brown has been surrounded by henchmen trying to big up own image.

    If ever there was a chance for Brown to succeed (and there wasn't), it's too late.

    Have you heard the TV and radio programmes where listeners phone in? All day people are saying how much they want Brown to go.

    Just a matter of time.

  • Comment number 13.

    More window dressing,

    You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow'd ear as the saying goes.

    more efforts to paint a vener and decieve the electorate about
    the REAL policies and REAL outcomes of what is to happen in the
    next 10 years

  • Comment number 14.

    Brown should look up the old adage - "you can't polish a turd". No one on the face of this planet can turn Brown into something he is demonstrably not - a human being.

  • Comment number 15.

    This is classic case of Gordon Brown damage limitation. He always seeks to grab people who threaten him by the balls in some way.

    The Telegraph, however, seems to have other curious links with the Government. Firstly they didn't stick the boot into Ed Balls - the karaoke partner of the Telegraph Editor - over the epxenses scandal.

    Secondly the Telegraph allowed itself to be used as the vehicle to rebut the initial Smeargate story on behalf of the Telegraph's friend Damian McBride.

    Looks like we have to treat all forthcoming stories from the Telegraph with a huge degree of scepticism.

  • Comment number 16.

    Will he ask why, now the elections are over, the flow of damaging expenses claim information appears to have ceased? The Telegraph biased-surely not!

  • Comment number 17.

    Gordon Brown's been very quiet on the 'Iranian situation'.

    Maybe its because the Iranians have been allowed to have a vote on who their leader is!

  • Comment number 18.

    Watch out for sibling rivalry!

  • Comment number 19.

    Though this guy's good, nobody is that good.

  • Comment number 20.

    #2 What is needed is an end to the corrupt system as a whole.

    What causes the corruption is the Political Party system. It is time for that to end with the whole convoluted mess of whipping and local associations and central candidate lists.

    Parties are a 17th C solution to the logistical problems of that age. Fortunately they are no longer needed in a modern era. A decent website can fulfill most of the organisational and communication functions of a party. All we have to do now is break the cultural associations around them.

    We need truly Independent MPs who are full time, cannot earn money elsewhere, and serve no more than three parliamentary terms. They must be genuine locals and can be picked by a system of primaries.

    We need fixed term parliaments, and a reduction of the other Royal Perogative powers, to destroy the power of o ne MP over another.

  • Comment number 21.

    It stinks, like pretty much everything else associated with Gordon Brown and his supine Government.

  • Comment number 22.

    And to think it used to be called the "Torygraph".

  • Comment number 23.

    extremesense: What is wrong with Bob Ainsworth? Oh thats right, he is rubbish. Remember cuts are coming up and who better to have in post than someone who already lacks the respect of the military he is there to politically protect.

  • Comment number 24.

    A slightly clandestine appointment or backroom "damage limitation". Yet again Brown attempts to undermine the workings of those who criticise him. We need a coup and soon... obviously an election would be ideal but we know we wont get that.

  • Comment number 25.

    Would they not have been better with a plastic surgeon?

    Lewis will have to re-brand the saviour of the world/bank regulator post crash; the 10p architect; the rat on the Iraq War ship and whitewasher-in-chief; 42 days and ID cards;expenses and House of Lords non-reformer etc etc.

    Do you re-brand him or cut him as per the Joker in "Batman" so that he has a permanent smile like Blair. Thats what people want - cosmetic change.

    At a time when the Labour Party cries out for real policies and a direction they get an image consultant for a leader who has failed so badly he can't be replaced.

    Unless they find McBride and he reveals Gordon knew all and has to resign.

    Could Lewis be working deep cover for Lewis?

  • Comment number 26.

    This is another fragrance I have smelt before, the unmistakable aroma of Mandy AKA Lord Mandelson, First Secretary of State! Looks like we are heading back to the days of spin!

    Nice one Gordon. Your policy cannot get you the support of the electorate so revert back to what Tony did so well... pull the wool over our eyes.

    Do the honest thing and get down to the palace, get parliament dissolved and let the country decide.

  • Comment number 27.

    This is a fragrance I have smelt before, the unmistakable aroma of Mandy AKA Lord Mandelson, First Secretary of State! Looks like we are heading back to the good old days of spin, spin, spin!

    Nice one Gordon. Your policy cannot get you the support of the electorate so revert back to what Tony did so well... pull the wool over our eyes.

    Do the honest thing and get down to the palace, get parliament dissolved and let the country decide.

  • Comment number 28.

    #2 Sutara and what about the influence of the papers owned by Mr Murdoch
    and what they have said and also what they have not said over the last 12 years. Which could also apply to the BBC empire

  • Comment number 29.

    You've got to give Brown credit, what a cracking move. Putting 2 masters of media manipulation against each other!
    Or is it? what sort of brothers are we talking about I wonder?

    The biblical Cain & Abel?

    Romulus & Remus the twins of Mars the god of war?

    or possibly
    Antipholus of Ephesus and Antipholus of Syracuse from our own beloved bard Shakespeares "The Comedy of Errors"?


    Ah well freedom of information was good while it lasted.

  • Comment number 30.

    I ask myself tis question: Why does the PM need someone to represent his image??

    It shows the state of politics these days where it's all about media and spin. It doesn't matter what the truth is, as long as you have someone who can turn the situation in the favour of the politicians they represent. And of course these people are paid for by our taxes. Again, this demonstrates the attitudes of the politicians.

    My message to Gordon is, you don't need someone to improve your image, what you need is to represent the people like you're supposed to do. The problem there is that people know what New Labour have done since 1997 and although Gordon wasn't the top man, he wasn't exactly out of the loop of the top players in the party.

    Gordon, you have broken new ground with what you've managed to achieve for this country and no amount of media spin from someone paid to twist things in your favour will make people forget. So even if your image improves (surely by submitting beauty treatment costs to the Fees Office) know that people will not forget, especially when you have to shield yourself with someone else because you're too afraid to face the people as yourself. That, in itself, says it all really.

    Agreement on comment #1, with extreme importance to the referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. Uphold your promise and give the people their vote.
    But when has Gordon ever wanted to listen to the people????? That's why he will not back down or shy away from responsibility, because Gordon only concerns himself with his own position and power. He has similarities to being a dictator and claims we live in a democracy where the power of the people should exist but doesn't in the majority of cases. Also, DOWN WITH QUANGOS, New Labour have created far too many that all overlap and contradict each other to the point that they're all paid huge amounts of money to waste time and effort where in most cases they achieve absolutely nothing.

    And now with reference to Orange mobile, the future certainly isn't bright with Gordon in charge.

    So keep fighting Gordon, keep telling yourself you're the man for the job while you lock yourself up in Westminster and send out your new representative to try and convince us of that too. Maybe Paul McKenna would have been a better choice because I think hypnotism is your best option at retaining your throne even though you're not royalty.

  • Comment number 31.

    Wait, since when did Broon have a reputation to damage? As far as I can tell, the only people who ever even pretended to believe that he was a competent chancellor were the City pigs who were happily gorging in trough that he filled with the proceeds of hawking the national silver (well, gold) while infesting Number 11.

    Anyway, Broon is just a distraction now. Mandy is the de facto prime minister now, and he seems happy to do his own spin. This Lewis chap is just a footnote to a footnote.

  • Comment number 32.

    I think this just goes to show what a small and incestuous little clique is running this country. What happened, did someone pass the port the wrong way?

  • Comment number 33.

    Nick

    He promised he would change, playing to his strengths and addressing his weaknesses.

    I do wish that interviewers like yourself would challenge his "candid" answers a bit more aggressively instead of letting him get away with his version of the speaking clock.

    No changes then. His reputation is beyond repair.

  • Comment number 34.

    #23:

    According to 'Have I Got News For You' one of Bob Ainsworth's nicknames in military circles is Bob Aintworthit. The other cannot be published here because it is too obscene.

  • Comment number 35.

    All you need to know about this guy is that he is a friend of Mandelson. Another spin doctor to distort and conceal the failings of our feeble P.M.

  • Comment number 36.

    WEll Nick you havent been moaning about the BBC's attack on the Labour party and you leting David Cameron off on the BBC...WHt do we pay our TV Licence for independent journalism ...this is just a distraction from the main issues...what about most of the media being conservative..you dont say anything about that do you..Instead of employing tactics such as passsive aggression, suggestive toning and refraing why not just start being fair Nick...im not interested if you opposition is friends with Gordon Brown...when you are interested in questioning the oppostion of the Governmnet..people mights be more interested in your quesstioning of the Telegraph...PLease can we have some indepenent and fair jouranlism please...

  • Comment number 37.

    Perhaps Simon Lewis could persuade the PM to stop telling the electorate untruths. I see he is still trying to say that the Conservatives will cut our services by 10% at the Union Conference, when it is on his own figures that the 10% cuts will happen under the Labour Party. If you ring-fence the NHS you have to make 10% cuts elsewhere. We know very well whoever gets into Government next time must make cuts in our services. He is trying to treat us like absolute fools and it is not acceptable.

    However I suppose we do have to appreciate that mathematics was never Browns strong point.

    As for simon Lewis himself I hope he realises what an up hill job he has on his hands. If Brown thinks this cynical move will make him more popular or influence the media I think he is sadly mistaken.

  • Comment number 38.

    Well Nick, You could'nt make this up could you?
    Are you sure Brown is not being advised by someone reading a blackadder script? Still If he can turn the Queen into Helen Mirren then perhaps there is hope for Gordy Yet...or perhaps not.

  • Comment number 39.

    15. At 12:15pm on 16 Jun 2009, jonathan_cook wrote:
    This is classic case of Gordon Brown damage limitation. He always seeks to grab people who threaten him by the balls in some way.

    -------------------

    Gordon being threatened by the balls may be the only way we'll get an election!

  • Comment number 40.

    Just how many of these Government posts can be justified, I wonder, at a time when in the real world job cuts are the order of the day.

    It seems that even now there are fewer and fewer of us paying the taxes to keep even more of them in a job (an of course, their nice, safe pensions).

  • Comment number 41.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 42.

    Dear Nick,

    Is Simon Lewis to be paid for results or will he paid just an overly large hourly rate?

    If GB/Nu Labour gets re-elected next year, will he receive a big fat bonus?????

    Who's paying for him?

    Xxxx

  • Comment number 43.

    Nick,

    You jest surely ?????

    "His main task: to repair the dreadful damage done to his boss's reputation, in part by the actions of brother Will (right) over at the Telegraph."

    The telegraph have certainly reported the activities which have damaged Gordon Brown's reputation, but to hold them partly responsible is a bit silly, especially coming from a journalist such as yourself !!!!!!!!!!

    Gordon Brown reputation - such as it was - was dogmeat long before the telegraph expenses saga started - and all of it was entirely down to Gordon himself.

    His entire approach of spin, smear, stealth tax and survival has defined his reputation, and it isn't good and is unlikely to get any better. Gordon is Gordon ......

  • Comment number 44.

    All in all, following the news of the Iraq War inquiry being held in private, this will simply damage GB more, as if he ever thought he was out of the woods... he's going down, as many cannot but believe, and for many reasons (for me the 10p tax debacle was the first sign of 'not listening, not interested in listening - until some election results can't be avoided) but that he is going down in flames! (Kevin Costner movie - the guy who thought he was above them all...)

    Brown's memoirs 'The Gordon Brown Tears' will still probably give him a pay-cheque/pension (not to mention new London residence) way beyond the value of all those homes 'lost to the economy' combined!

  • Comment number 45.

    Trying to change the image of Gordon Brown would be like trying to change the image of Gary Glitter or Jade Goody at her worst. I wonder how much taxpayer's money is being used to pay this person for what I can only see as a thankless and futile task.

  • Comment number 46.

    So we're now up to 42 posts and not one newlabour apologist has dared to come on here and defend this latest waste of tax payers money; this latest reversion to type; this latest back track on the promise made only one week ago to change and to listen.

    All that Gordon Brown can be relied upon is to say ione thing and do another.

    Do we really have to put up with this rubbish government for another year or is someone in the newlabour spin maching going to stamp on this shambles of an adminsitration. They are wating our time, patience and money. They have the support of 5 percent of the population at the last election.

    History will simply walk rough shod over their culture of massaging the message and fudgind the numbers coupled with their arrogant disrespect for parliamentary process. How many more unelected friends of Gordon are going to be thrown into the House of Lords... what are the odds of Alan Sugar having the faintest interest in politics in one year when this givernment is ejected from power? How many of the government of all the talents have already resigned in disgust? How many James Purnell's need to go before the zombies who remain in the cabinet work out that no-one is listening to them anymore?

    I's time for a ordinary peole to stand up and protest.

    We want an election now.

    Call one.

  • Comment number 47.

    Great this will really help us out of economic and political mess; yet another PR man to spin "how well we are doing". What the UK needs is the harsh reality, but can we expect it from our dishonest politicians.

  • Comment number 48.

    Well Mr. Robinson,
    We have a Civil Servant enquiring into expenses for M.Ps., reporting later this year, at our expense (well worth it in my view) and the Prime Minister pre-empting this by his own utterances at our expense.
    Now we have another Advisor to try to repair the character of the P.M., I never knew that he had a good character in politics, again at our expense. Is that why the Guardianistas appear to have turned on the P.M., or so it appears? It appears that we, the public, pay, which ever way the dice roll.

    Answer me one question please. How can the Tories state with any accuracy, just how much they will or will not, cut spending? Brown will not allow us to know the truth about Iraq, let alone the whole cost of the last 12 years.

  • Comment number 49.

    It truly is extraordinary that GB - or anyone else - should believe that a smooth talker can dig him out of the hole he's buried himself in. Others, above, have detailed the myriad instances (many of them post-'openness and transparency' speeches, the latest we know about being the Iraq War enquiry) of Brown's actually aiming for no such essential qualities. Hiring first Peter Mandelson, and now a PR man, confirms that he's still hoping to paper over the cracks and touch up the varnish.

    Integrity runs bone-deep, Mr B: you can't just powder over your nose with it and hope no-one will notice what's underneath! It's a shame you and all-too-many of your colleagues of all colours don't recognise and live by that.

  • Comment number 50.

    MORE of OUR money being wasted by the Clown. WHY no story on Malik and his expenses - AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 51.

    ARISE, CAPABILITY BROWN

    Oh bless. Brown actually thinks a different PR will change things.

    This should be hilarious ....... look out for "humble" Brown ..... "world statesman making the hard decisions" Brown ........ "family man (more of the wife) Brown ....... and what will probably be the most amusing: "gardener" Brown ..... leading up to?

    CAPABILITY BROWN!

    Whoopee! This is going to be fun.

  • Comment number 52.

    Post 46, the nulabour bloggers are too busy on the last post re the Iraq war enquiry trying to claim that David Cameron is responsible for everything bad to have ever happened in the UK and trying to desperately deflect criticism away from Gordon.

    As far as they are concerned it is all Cameron's fault rather than Gordon's. Just remind me which was has been in government for the last 12 years?

  • Comment number 53.

    #44 robza

    Let's try out a few chapter titles for 'Gordon Brown's tear' the memoir to be published in a year to eighteen months time.

    Chapter one:

    My days as a student radical playing at politics.

    Chapter two:

    When I realise I could make a sob story out of my life and preach about being the son of a manse.

    Chapter three:

    Entering politics and headin swiftly for the leadership

    Chapter four:

    My first real speech - lecturing Nigel Lawson on booms built on credit (and what I learned from him)

    Chapter five:

    John Smith dies and the leadership beckons

    Chapter six:

    I graciously stand aside for a more media freindly version on the say so that I can have it when I want it in the future

    Chapter seven:

    We win and I rock several boats all at once all against the advise of the tory toffs at the Treasury and the Bank of England (my how we laughed)

    Chapter eight:

    Tony won;t let me spend any money until the next election is won

    Chapter nine:

    Victory again and this time I spend, spend, spend.

    Chapter ten:

    Another election looms and I suggest a slogan: 'Spend, spend. spend under newlabour or cut' cut ' cut under the tories'

    Chapter eleven:

    back spending but why hasn't Tony gone yet - how Ed and I decide to push him.

    Chapter twelve:

    Tony goes - the feral press and my promise to let the work of change begin

    Chapter thirteen:

    How I told Alistair to spend, spend, spend

    Chapter fourteen:

    Betrayal - Alistair tells the truth about the economy

    Chapter fifteen:

    Alistair and I have anther arunment about spending; Ed joins in (helpfully)

    Chapter sixteen:

    The banks are sinking and I rush to the rescue (with Ed and Shriti's help)

    Chapter seventeen:

    How my tory toffs strategy was badly implemented and I blamed others for not making it work properly

    Chapter eighteen:

    how the European election result wasn't counted properly

    Chapter nineteen:

    I make a brilliant life saver sppech to the party and argue that a 5% share of the national vote is better than nothing and soon we will start spending again (with Ed's help)

    to be continued...

  • Comment number 54.

    Just heard that the government is putting a 50p a month levy on all landlines to finance a "broadband for everyone" initiative.

    Seems that Brown has just woken up to the prospect of taxing Internet users. Look out for a penny-an-email stamp tax next.

    Come on hackers - get to work on those government sites.

  • Comment number 55.

    Re: 2 Sutara says

    "when, oh when, will parliamentarians in both Houses realise that people want open, transparent, honest dealings - no 'old pals act' between No 10's head of communication and what does, or does not, get into some media and equally no influence of the UK political processes by "foreign" interests funding UK political parties"

    Sutara, politicians know perfectly well what the public wants, they just don't want to give it to them, as it would get in the way of their own agendas, which is all they are interested in. Am I right?

  • Comment number 56.

    Carot dangle in secret see
    expense share fee
    hooked
    quantum truth peeled and reeled
    we see handlers scandal
    to see hear
    candle scent of fear filth

  • Comment number 57.

    This gives another angle on the Speaker of the House hustings

    http://moralorder.mediumisthemess.com/blog

    Whether it will make any difference is anybody's guess

  • Comment number 58.

    How much is Simon Lewis being payed and who is paying his salary. How can this payed job be justified at this time of financial crisis. Should he work for nothing like the staff at BA.
    Let's see Brown and his ministers hand over 4 weeks pay.

  • Comment number 59.

    I'm afraid that it will all end in tears. Simon comes from a culture of stroking the boss. His new boss comes from a culture of tell me what I really need to hear and I'll throw my toys out of the pram.....straight at your head. But heh, a job's a job. And hope springs eternal. Did anyone see my piece in Razia Iqbal's BBC blog about Alan Johnson's new found penchant for The Full Brazilian? No? Just wondering....

  • Comment number 60.

    #35 sicilian29

    Who exactly is paying this guy? I assume that Simon Lewis, spin doctor, is about to be employed as a civil servant.

    Disgraceful.

  • Comment number 61.

    15. At 12:15pm on 16 Jun 2009, jonathan_cook wrote:
    This is classic case of Gordon Brown damage limitation. He always seeks to grab people who threaten him by the balls in some way.

    The Telegraph, however, seems to have other curious links with the Government. Firstly they didn't stick the boot into Ed Balls - the karaoke partner of the Telegraph Editor - over the epxenses scandal.

    Secondly the Telegraph allowed itself to be used as the vehicle to rebut the initial Smeargate story on behalf of the Telegraph's friend Damian McBride.

    Looks like we have to treat all forthcoming stories from the Telegraph with a huge degree of scepticism.

    ===

    Agreed.

    People poo-pooed the idea of the Telegraph being Labour supporting when I highlighted it, let's see them come on here and deny it now.

    Incidentally, regarding Smeargate and Damian McBride, funny how Nick and the rest of the MSM have omitted to mention that McBride is back. Well done the "Scotland on Sunday" for exposing the fact.

    http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/labourparty/McBride-39back-working-for-government39.5364066.jp

  • Comment number 62.

    We should be concerned that the BBC Licence fee might be used to support "independent" commercial TV and Radio. Detail is a bit sketchy( but what's new), just a little teaser from HMG.

    He who pays etc.

    Similarly, it may have been a fluke, but in Dublin a week ago I happened to get the BBC and UTV morning programmes headlines one after the other.

    BBC was talking up the Health Service success with MRSA, and other feelgood stories.

    UTV - Unemployment up again.

    We need independent news more than ever, to save us being gently massaged into a stupor by the BBC.

  • Comment number 63.

    Just out of interest, is Peter Mandelson (can't remember his title, Muller or something) more senior than the Queen or has she got to retire first?

    In our fine democracy I think it's wonderful to have the least popular, though sadly not most disgraced man in the country running everything. It makes me feel that New Labour are just as progessive as they claimed to be.... progressive to the right.

    Disgraceful.

  • Comment number 64.

    I'll bet Blair is kicking himself that he didn't latch onto this wheeze when he was Dubya's lapdog; he could have had the Bush Telegraph spreading the misinformation, as well as the usual channels.

  • Comment number 65.

    The only solution to this incestuous bear pit is burning - nothing will remove the weeds better and clear the ground for new growth.

    I apologise for the damage done to the Environment, but in the long run the damage will be minimal compared to the immense damage our politicians are wreaking at the moment.

    We don't need scams for scrapping cars, we don't need secret inquiries and we don't need fat wind bags who produce more CO2 than a herd of Bison.

    I will take on board the suggestion we wait until winter in order to gain the maximum efficiency from the burning as it can be used to heat Parliment for the tourists.

    Nick - surely you must wonder if there is any point reporting this garbage anymore. You can no longer shock the public about the way the elected representatives conduct themselves - maybe you should start suggesting the best methods of burning.

  • Comment number 66.

    #55:

    That's very cynical. But in answer to your question, yes, you are right.

  • Comment number 67.

    55. At 4:09pm on 16 Jun 2009, the_claque wrote:

    "Sutara, politicians know perfectly well what the public wants, they just don't want to give it to them, as it would get in the way of their own agendas, which is all they are interested in. Am I right?"

    It's not even quite that. It's that they can't even pretend to be seriously interested in what the people want.

    It's like the difference between the office worker who does as least do some work when the boss is watching versus the one that doesn't even do that.

    It's not even quite the party system that is wrong - the party system could work o.k. if undertaken properly.

    It really is all because parliament is based on an idea of honour and integrity that really doesn't exist in modern MPs or probably even within our society generally, or at least not in the way it did when many of the rules and notions of parliament were put in place.

    But parliamentarians seem to think that if they just carry on regardless and that they can somehow bluff it out and no-one will notice.

    Yes, elected prime ministers and fixed-term parliaments would help, but the lack of these aren't actually the problem. The problem is a basic lack of integrity and honour. It's kind of a lack of substance.

    Everything political these days has the feel of an attempted quick makeover aimed at not disturbing the status quo too much, rather than of true changes of real substance.

    And just so many people seem just so tired with it all.

  • Comment number 68.

    Yawn yawn - this is a bit of a non story. Anyone would think that there won't be a general election for about 12 months.

  • Comment number 69.

    In this new era of openess and transparency, how much are we paying for this image makeover or is the money coming coming out of Gordon's own pocket?

    Nick if you find it hard to ask the easy questions, perhaps one Lewis can tell the other Lewis who will then publish another expense story.

    Either way, we should be told; it is yet another disgrace.



  • Comment number 70.

    Bernard Ingham, Alastair Campbell, others in-between and now some chap called Simon Lewis.

    Their role was/is to be No.10 Official Press Office rep.

    Apparently this one has relations elsewhere in the 'establishment' of the 'Westminster village'.

    So, exactly which bit of that is 'news' worthy of a Blog Article?

  • Comment number 71.

    so this is how the PM plans to get the expenses story off the front of the telegraph.
    well may be his new advisor can get the paper to boost his ratings and make him popular lol.

  • Comment number 72.

    51 Ca55andra

    Nope, even the best spinner wont change it from Mendacity Brown.

    I sometimes wonder if he thinks he is telling the truth. But then it gets into the delusional thing.

    Either way the man is not fit for purpose.

  • Comment number 73.

    mr cook @ 15

    they didn't stick the boot into Ed Balls

    aw and you were really looking forward to that, Jonathan, weren't you? ... I remember you were

    yellow @ 61

    People poo-pooed the idea of the Telegraph being Labour supporting when I highlighted it, let's see them come on here and deny it now

    I'm not going to poo poo the idea (don't like to poo poo anything if I can help it) but I am going to point out that, as well as saying the Telegraph is a Labour paper, you also described yourself as Left of Centre the other day - which surprised me, I have to say ... unless of course, in YBland, the "centre" is where we find the likes of Attila the Hun, Vlad the Impaler and Margaret Thatcher (in which case both your statements make perfect sense, I guess)

  • Comment number 74.

    73. At 6:46pm on 16 Jun 2009, sagamix wrote:


    yellow @ 61

    People poo-pooed the idea of the Telegraph being Labour supporting when I highlighted it, let's see them come on here and deny it now

    I'm not going to poo poo the idea (don't like to poo poo anything if I can help it) but I am going to point out that, as well as saying the Telegraph is a Labour paper, you also described yourself as Left of Centre the other day - which surprised me, I have to say ... unless of course, in YBland, the "centre" is where we find the likes of Attila the Hun, Vlad the Impaler and Margaret Thatcher (in which case both your statements make perfect sense, I guess)

    ===

    On this, you really don't know what you are talking about.

  • Comment number 75.

    #73 sagamix

    Try taking this test and publish your results, and stop the gratuitous, uninformed insults.

    http://www.politicalcompass.org/test

  • Comment number 76.

    #73 sagamix

    Your ill-informed comment would be more accurate if attributed to the Labour Party. Clearly a party that has lost all connection with its roots.

    http://www.politicalcompass.org/extremeright

  • Comment number 77.

    What happened to the promise of no more spin?
    Gordon just couldn't keep his word could he?

  • Comment number 78.

    Nick, the relationship between the Telegraph and Number 10 will be interesting to follow.

    A new story that is currently bubbling is the threat of the trade union Unison threatening to withdraw funding from Labour MPs who don't toe the union line.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8103535.stm

    In reality, could this be considered a form of bribery and corruption? I thought it was against the rules to hand over cash to sitting MPs in order to influence how they vote.

    Or is cash for votes OK, providing it's a trade union that's paying?

  • Comment number 79.

    YB ... yeah, seen that test before - just did it again seeing as you told me to - came out way down in the bottom left corner, so libertarian left (along with the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandella, Florence Nightingale and the Angel Gabriel) but I think it's a bit skewed, tends to put people there who really aren't - there's a few "motherhood and apple pie" questions if you know what I'm saying - any case, what the dickens do you mean "insults" ?? - I just don't believe (based on your posts) that you're left of centre, is all - not an insult! - and what is it I've got no clue about, the Telegraph? - well I don't read it much, I suppose, but I'm betting a hard core LOCL like yourself doesn't either ...

  • Comment number 80.

    The family/occupation tree of media (particuarly the BBC) and politicians including wives, partners and close friends would reveal links that would astound the public.

    In fact the family tree/occupation of the Welsh wizards, the Kinnocks, tell you all you need to know about the ruling establishment in this country.

  • Comment number 81.

    In our next installment of 'All the Prime Ministers Men" : -

    David Cameron's 2nd cousin, Tarquil takes his seat in Gordon's Policy making group - (Known to insiders as Plagiarism Central).

    Nick Clegg's poodle, Cuddles, will soon be announced as the new adviser to the Communities secretary.

    Nick Griffin's maiden Aunt, Bedelia, is tipped to be the new culture special advisor.

    Abdulla, the brother to the Iranian President Mr 'I'm a Dinner Jacket" will be Gordon's new labour party campaign manager.

    It's so refreshing to see Gordon integrating so many people, of such varied views, into his government.

    I am taken in completely by Gordon's charm and magnetic personality.

    My decision has absolutely nothing to do with his vice like grip on the family jewels of our great nation.

    All hail Gordo, master of the universe, saviour of humanity and omnipotent messiah.

    I am sure everyone will be able to witness Gordon's self satisfying second coming as he chants ----

    Gordo, Gordo, Gordo, Gordo, Gord ooooooooooh!!!!

  • Comment number 82.

    Hey all you bloggers, take a look at this:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8103731.stm

    Hope you all sleep well tonight.

  • Comment number 83.

    #79

    You assume you know what my politics are, and then make ill-judged sweeping statements linking me to Attila the Hun and vlad the Impaler. That's what I mean by you don't know what you are talking about, and clearly you don't if you can misjudge somebody so badly.

    I too come out in the bottom left quadrant, close to Labour Party circa 1972 and nearest today is the Green Party.

    How do you as a CTP feel about supporting a right wing authoritarian party?

  • Comment number 84.

    74. At 7:16pm on 16 Jun 2009, yellowbelly1959.

    Haven't we had enough poo pooing, regardless of tense, associated with Gordon Brown.

    No matter how many spies or stoolies he plops into his various labour offices, it will be impossible for him to clear away the Brown mess.

    I personally think that Gordon would be better off with a litter tray to contain his mess, rather than just spreading it wherever and whenever he feels the urge.

  • Comment number 85.

    2. At 11:30am on 16 Jun 2009, Sutara wrote:

    Well it's Karma...Sutara.
    You asked for a benevolent-ish dictator and Zim answers.

    When I am Overlord I will promise all my devoted minions the opportunity to spank Gordo with a spiked wooden paddle every Tuesday in parliament square.

    Zim has spoken.

    Vote Zim

  • Comment number 86.

    81 Zim

    I think you are the first to voice my thought that GB would be trying to find out how to Iranify the next election.

    Can anyone tell me why the ballot papers are no longer punched with the official stamp by the presiding officer at the polling station?

    This was a safeguard to show that the paper had been issued to the voter and was only done as it was torn from the book and then passed to the voter. Indeed for anyone sad enough to read the instructions for voting, voters were supposed to show the "official mark" on their paper to the presiding officer before putting it in the ballot box.

    There were even contingency arrangements should the punch malfunction.

    How can something long considered vital just be done away with ?

  • Comment number 87.

    #84

    Do they make litter trays that big?


    PS Are the magic mushrooms back in season? - I'm loving your posts

  • Comment number 88.

    86 xTunbridge

    Well we have the Ayatollah Mandelson and Mullah Balls, so Iranification of the electoral process is possible.

  • Comment number 89.

    Nick,

    with all the furore over expenses, resignations etc, what has happened in Norwich North - has Ian Gibson formally resigned, and will GB try and delay a by-election as long as humanly (?) possible? It all seems to have gone very quiet...

  • Comment number 90.

    yb @ 83

    wasn't linking you to Vlad and Attila! - was just a way to illustrate that, if the centre is defined to be what most would call right wing, then you might indeed be left of it - thing is, yellow, I don't know you personally, so all I have to go on are your Blogs, and your Blogs are amongst the most effective pro tory contributions on here - in particular your "rapid rebuttal" service whereby various anti clown postings and posters are slapped down pretty damn PDQ - all good stuff (and what on Earth are you trying and failing to post on the Iraq thread, btw?) and very fine and dandy but not left of centre - no way

  • Comment number 91.

    Does Campbell know something about Brown that we don't?

    'End 'sectioned' MP ban' - Campbell

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8102596.stm

  • Comment number 92.

    Now I can be cynical but isn't Andrew Brown our great leader's brother, head of media relations at EDF Energy?

    EDF energy are currently promoting Britain leading the way on green energy on TV advertisments - it almost came across as propaganda.

    Is this subliminal messaging?


    Sibling interactions seem to be topical.

  • Comment number 93.

    yellow @ various! ... get the feeling I've genuinely offended you, which I guess is evidence I may be wrong (not unheard of) - if you are upset at being mistaken for a tory supporter, then that speaks very well for you IMO - suppose it could be that I'm so far left that, even though you may be a bit LOC, I have to crane my neck rightwards till it hurts to get a glimpse of you - we can say that if you want

  • Comment number 94.

    I thought Mandelsson was Prime Minister!

  • Comment number 95.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 96.

    Bloggers are a rare human breed.
    With IQs over the national average of 80, they are able to communicate their thoughts adequately and recall events that occurred more than two minutes ago.

    Unfortunately not all humans are so well equipped.

    Take for instance young humans.
    Barely able to read or write, they communicate with a strange guttural language comprised mainly of grunts, squeaks and whistles.
    Obviously it is due to their inability to communicate effectively that results in their unbridled violence, vandalism and total disrespect for their tribal elders.

    It is young humans that pose the greatest threat to democracy.
    The clans, formed into Chavas, Blingers, Snuffers, Sloppers and Sploozers are the most dangerous members of Browns sleeping horde.

    Plans are afoot to allow these YOUNGSTAZ the privilege to vote at the tender age of 16.
    As we know at this age, with their minds in turmoil and their pea sized brains struggling to cope with their normal motor functions, they are easily indoctrinated into the esoteric ways of Browns Labour movement.

    Fear not the Brownian motion towards a Brownslamic Theocracy.
    Instead fear the sleeping hordes of young Brownstaz, bedazzled and bewitched by Gordo, the most manipulative of political pipers.

  • Comment number 97.

    93. At 9:51pm on 16 Jun 2009, sagamix wrote:
    yellow @ various! ... get the feeling I've genuinely offended you, which I guess is evidence I may be wrong (not unheard of) - if you are upset at being mistaken for a tory supporter, then that speaks very well for you IMO - suppose it could be that I'm so far left that, even though you may be a bit LOC, I have to crane my neck rightwards till it hurts to get a glimpse of you - we can say that if you want

    ===

    Yes, as I have pointed out on many occasion on here, I am not a Tory. I aim my ire at supporters of Labour who still seem to labour under the misapprehension that the party is a left wing socialist party, whereas they are in actuality a right wing authoritarian party, totally betraying their roots and supporters. It's that hypocrisy that prompts me to write.

    For goodness sake, how can we have a Labour government with the most unelected Ministers since Lord Salisbury in the 1880's, with a de facto Prime Minister with the title of Right Hon Baron Mandelson of Foy in the county of Herefordshire and Hartlepool in the county of Durham, First Secretary of State, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and Lord President of the Council.


    As I have also posted on here in the past, i am currently an ABL supporter, Anybody But Labour. Cameron doesn't inspire any confidence in me, and the Tories are woefully lacking in any strategy on how to defeat Labour, missing open goal after open goal. Still ,it seems that Gordon Brown is even more inept, thankfully.

  • Comment number 98.

    Loo is... where people release their p*ss.

    And the Brown stuff.

    Sounds familiar?

  • Comment number 99.

    96 zim

    Oh astral traveller, how do you make the most outrageous sound plausible ?

  • Comment number 100.

    yellow @ 97

    fair chance of the C post here, I think!

    but look, you can't say there's been that much hypocrisy - not from New Labour anyway - they clearly ditched any vestige of socialism and, on election, I recall Tony declaiming something along the lines of "we were elected as New Labour, we will govern as New Labour" - and they've pretty much done that, apart from the Iraqi War abberation - slightly gentler form of Thatcherism - more public spending on schools and hospitals than we'd had before - what it said on the tin in other words so (whilst they've been disappointing from my very left of centre perspective) I don't think I really "get you" - for example, tories back is a nightmare option as far as I'm concerned

 

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