Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps (aka “stinking rich” internet marketing spivMichael Green) curiously fails to explain how the Conservatives can win the next general election in his piece for PoliticsHomeentitled, errr, “We can win in 2015″.
The reason may have something to do with the analysis performed by all parties extrapolating last weeks local results to Westminster boundaries. This would see Labour taking seats from the Tories, rather than the other way around — a vital requirement for a majority.
Most Tories have been determined to feign disgust that anyone would criticise Thatcher or her legacy in the last week. But could leading Conservatives be slightly less sure of themselves when asked if they themselves are “Thatcherites”?
Cue party chair Grant Shapps’ faint praise when asked this question by Andrew Neil:
“I think I probably … am. I was certainly brought up under a Thatcher government.”
Pressed on whether the 2013 party were Thatcherite he said that was “silly”:
“I think it’s a fairly meaningless distinction”
Deep down, even the Tories know that Thatcherism is a toxic brand.
A Labour MP’s letter to police sets out details of a user manual for controversial computer software that may have been authored by Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps – claiming it indicates “intent” to breach criminal statutes covering copyright infringement.
Providing material supplementary to his original complaint from five months ago, Selly Oak MP Steve McCabe claims ”offences under Section 107(1), (2) and (2A) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 may have been committed” in addition to “other breaches of the law identified pursuant to a full and proper investigation.”
The correspondence is published in full by Scrapbook below.
With senior Conservatives warning of “a crisis” if Maria Hutchingsfails to win the Eastleigh by-election, it isn’t shaping up to be a good week for Grant Shapps, who as Tory chair is ultimately responsible for the party’s campaign in the marginal constituency. And it just got worse.
A Labour MP responsible for an official complaint against Shapps has ramped up the pressure on the Metropolitan Police to investigate the production of software apparently designed to rake in huge sums in online advertising revenue by plagiarising content on a massive scale. How To Corp, a company owned and operated by the Shapps family, may have committed offences under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act.
Steve McCabe, who originally contacted the Met five months ago, has again written to the force, providing them with additional evidence — including a PDF manual for the controversial “Traffic Paymaster” software whose metadata reveals it was authored by “Grant”.
Scrapbook understands that the complaint is currently in the hands of the Met’s Directorate of Legal Services, who are responsible for assessing the complaint before passing it on to investigators. It has been suggested that Shapps’ high-profile role in the Conservative Party is a factor in the extensive delays. Indeed, Scrapbook has been attempting to elicit the status of the complaint from Scotland Yard for nearly six weeks without success.
The Tories are so ashamed of their gaffe-prone by-election candidate that they have stopped Maria Hutchings appearing on a Radio 5 Live debate at which all the other main candidates were present.
With suggestions last night that Hutchings might not appear because she would be on the campaign trail with “a cabinet minister”, it later emerged that David Cameron would be visiting the constituency. Party sources have claimed that the BBC failed to agree an acceptable timing with them — and briefed against Auntie to Guido:
“The BBC are being disingenuous, they are wilfully misleading listeners. We’re not quite sure how this fits with their code of integrity”.
Nice try. But Scrapbook has established that the major parties were told about the broadcast eight days ago on Wednesday 13th. The CCHQ line is further undermined by news that Hutchings’ main event with Cameron takes place after the debate had concluded for the main candidates.
Conservative chairman Grant Shapps has hilariously claimed that he has banned negative campaigning in the Eastleigh by-election – while senior colleagues simultaneously launch attacks backed up by posters. Sometime online marketing spiv Shapps told the press he would be organising a:
“unrelentingly positive campaign”
Strangely enough, bruiser Liam Fox didn’t get the memo, blustering to Sky News:
“I think that the Lib Dems really have a problem about trust, I think they’ve got to explain to the students who voted for them in the last election about why they ditched their pledge on tuition fees, and then why having decided to pledge on an in-out referendum in Europe before the general election that they do not want one at all now.”
While certainly negative, Fox’s remarks on trust dovetail conveniently with this official posterwhich emerged over the weekend:
It might be more truthful to say that “Hutchings is the candidate you can trust … but David Cameron can’t”. Indeed, the selection of Hutchings could be seen as a challenge to his authority from the right:
Scrapbookrevealed her to have more extreme views than Nadine Dorries on abortion
She has been forced to deny telling a reporter that the previous Labour government had done more for “the immigrants, the gays, the bloody foxes” than for children with special needs
Having told reporters that Tony Blair should “stop focussing” on Africa after she ambushed him on a live TV debate in 2005, it is certainly questionable whether she supports Cameron’s pledge to spend 0.7% of UK national income on aid.
Watching Tory spinners attempt to manage her should be entertaining.
With Tory chairman Grant Shapps doing media rounds in support of Cameron’s new Europe policy, standards seemed to have slipped back in CCHQ.
The party’s page on a proposed in/out referendum boasts a decidedly Europhile quote from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), which the Tories have taken the liberty of re-christening the, erm, “Corporate Business Institute”.
Knowing the name of the UK’s most influential business lobby would be a start.