A Tory is to become mayor of Colne in Lancashire — despite describing the area as having “too many pakis”. Councillor Smith Benson was nominated for the honour by the Conservative group on the council despite telling a Town Centre Regeneration Forum meeting that:
“The problem with Colne is that there are too many takeaways. And too many Pakis.”
Benson originally avoided being sacked by the Tories on the basis that he “did not realise it would cause offence”.
Scrapbook reckons the problem with Colne is too many race slurs from mayors.
In a sign of the growing animosity between Conservatives and UKIP, a Tory MEP has dredged up damaging allegations of racist comments by Nigel Farage. Sajjad Karim — the first British Muslim to be elected to the European Parliament — claimed on his official Facebook page that Farage had told party activists:
“we will never win the nigger vote. The nig-nogs will never vote for us.”
Karim’s post resurrects previous claims by the founder of UKIP — made as he left the party claiming it had been “infected by the far right”. The message was posted yesterday as a row erupted over a controversial UKIP billboard on immigration (above) — provocatively erected in the multiethnic Levenshulme area of Manchester.
While burgeoning on mainstream success, the party has struggled to deal with extremists in its own ranks. A UKIP candidate remained under the party’s banner last year despite Scrapbook exposing comments comparing Islam’s holiest book to Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf.
“Loonies, fruitcakes and closet racists” — at least David Cameron was right about one thing.
George Osborne has shed light on the problem with all his budgets … a lack of, errr, cats:
Alternatively, he could have been channelling Erwin Schrödinger:
If there’s a cat in the red box, do we know if the chancellor’s reputation is alive or dead?
DCMS secretary Maria Miller is coming under pressure to drop the government’s disastrous attempt to drag blogs into the post-Leveson regulator. After an intense 48 hours of lobbying from bloggers, two peers have now tabled amendments which restrict the meaning of “relevant publisher”.
An amendment from Labour peer Wilf Stevenson would exclude non-profits and “small” publishers and is thought to have the backing of the Labour establishment:
“if that person publishes material on an online site written either by one person, or edited with a series of contributors, where the financial turnover produced from the site is small or the site is not run primarily for profit.”
A broader amendment tabled earlier in the day from Conservative peer Lord Lucas would exclude local blogs, small and medium sized businesses, charities and campaign groups:
“A publisher who focuses on a specific locality or region and only reports national issues on an incidental basis that is relevant to such local or regional matters.
A publisher who operates as a non-charitable campaigning organisation and is publishing material incidental to the organisation’s aims and objectives.
A publisher who does not exceed the definition of a small or medium-sized enterprise as defined in Section 382 and 465 Companies Act 2006.”
Does Miller really fancy becoming the secretary of state that dragged big political blogs and small community websites alike into a regulator not designed for them?
A very brave move.
Old Etonian Kwasi Kwarteng, graduate of numerous hedge funds, reckons we are “soft” not to cut public sector pay by 10%:
“On public sector pay, I think we’ve gone very soft on this. What happened in 1931 is when the National Government was formed, they cut public sector pay by 10%. That was a different political era and they really understood the economics of very aggressive cuts to public expenditure.”
The venue for this comments?
In the company of other nutters at The TaxPayers’ Alliance post budget briefing.
With the Office for Budget Responsibility halving halving growth forecasts, analysts are now reading last rites for Britain’s remaining triple-A credit ratings:
“The strong likelihood is that the reduced growth and higher public finance forecasts will be the trigger for Standard & Poor’s and or Fitch to follow Moody’s in stripping the UK of its AAA rating” – chief economist, IHS Global Insight
Those quotes again, in full:
“I warned [the Labour government] that the cupboard was bare and the discretionary borrowing had to stop – and now Britain faces the humiliating possibility of losing its international credit rating.” — George Osborne, August 2009
“Our emergency budget … took us out of the danger zone – and the man we have to thank for that is George Osborne. Our credit rating – the mark of trust in our economy – has been preserved.” — David Cameron, Tory conference 2010
It will take more than a Twitter account to save George.
References to a journalists’ children in an attack earlier in the week by @toryeducation shocked even seasoned observers of the Twitter account, which is thought to be operated by Michael Gove’s team:
Perhaps team Gove should take their boss’ advice. Asked about the prospect of Nick Clegg’s kids going to private school last month, the secretary of state opined:
“I would defend anybody who makes any decision about a child’s education in their interests … I think it’s terrible politics to drag people’s children in and try to make an issue out of it.
“If you try to get party political advantage out of a mother’s love for their child that’s just wrong.”
Assurances previously given to the Observer that tweets from @toryeducation would be “free of its previously abusive tone” turned out to be worthless.
Michael Gove’s controversial adviser Dominic Cummings has admitted sending an email in which he appears to smear a journalist as suffering from mental health problems.
In an email to Ian Mearns, a Labour member of the select committee which quizzed Gove on the behaviour of his SpAds yesterday, Cummings says he did not “circulate” the email to a number of journalists — but does admit an off-the-record negative briefing to Indy hack Richard Garner:
“you shd speak to [FT journalist] Chris Cook about a good therapist”
With a Twitter account linked to Cummings describing Chris Cook as a “Walter Mitty” character and “stalker”, Scrapbook is puzzled as to what alternative meaning of “therapist” one should infer.
It appears he thinks that it’s okay to smear people — provided it’s off the record. But the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers could not be clearer:
“The highest standards of conduct are expected of special advisers and, specifically, the preparation or dissemination of inappropriate material or personal attacks has no part to play in the job of being a special adviser as it has no part to play in the conduct of public life. Any special adviser ever found to be disseminating inappropriate material will automatically be dismissed by their appointing Minister”
Cummings is running out of friends in Whitehall. As Scrapbook exclusively revealed last month, Cameron advisers told senior political journalists that they would suffer no blowback from Number 10 if they scalped the Gove aide.
The education secretary refused to discuss the issue yesterday after one of Mearns’ Labour colleagues fluffed his question, referring to the email as “private”.
If you followed the Gove/Cummings “private email” logic then Damian McBride might still work in politics.