More evidence emerges of the Prime Minister’s really rather unacceptably poor judgement.
I’m sorry to go banging on about British politics, especially now I’m limited to one new Post a week if I’m going to spin it out so I obsessively reach my 500th Post precisely on the fourth anniversary of the foundation of the BogPo next 27 February, in plenty of time for the Chilcot report.
But there is a mounting pile of evidence to suggest that Dave (‘Andy Coulson is my friend’) Cameron may well be the worst PM at smelling the coffee we have had since Anthony Eden tried to invade Egypt without asking the White House. (I guess that just outpips Thatcher’s poll tax imbroglio. I was personally all in favour of the poll tax, it’d have been less than I’m paying now to have my one black binbag picked up once a fortnight.)
You may or may not be aware of a London-based charity called Kids’ Company, that went bust recently. Its founder, the alarmingly large and flamboyant Ms Camila Batmanghelidjh, probably known to her staff as Batwoman, has been quoted as claiming she had devised a policy of ‘bullying’ the government into shovelling money at the problem of inner-city feral children, bypassing the normal checks and procedures other charities have to go through when applying for funding.
The National Audit Office has reported today that the charity received some £46 million of public money over the past ten years; while other reports have claimed recently that the cash has not been entirely accounted for, as there has been no proper audit trail.
Ms B. argued last month in front of a Commons Select Committee that it has been accounted for, her accounts were regularly reviewed and the cash she was handing out apparently willy-nilly to families with problem kids already receiving State handouts was a worthwhile investment. In any case, she was far too busy to keep accounts.
The problem being, that since the charity was compulsorily wound-up last summer and its caseload redistributed among local authorities, many of the 30 thousand kids she was claiming to be helping to lead useful and productive lives seem to have logged-off. In the meantime, the Metropolitan Police are investigating accusations of child-abuse among her staff. It’s all got a bit messy.
Now, according to the former Minister for Children in the Department of Education, Tim Loughton, when Ms B. approached the department two years ago to demand an extra £3 million to stop the charity from imminently going bust, which – she argued (Mr Alan Yentob, the Creative Director of BBC TV, is also involved in the role of Chair) – would result in feral children rioting all over the streets, stabbing each other to death, he put his foot down. No more money without proper accounting.
Why would he say that? Because he is another Tory cunt who loves being beastly to poor children? Well, no, actually. He looks like one, but he sounded rather nice. It’s because he was fully aware, as apparently was everyone else, for at least the past ten years, except the inhabitants of No. 10, that the charity was pretty much insolvent and few people seemed to know what they were doing with the money. (There is no suggestion of wrongdoing, only excessive generosity.)
But guess what? That’s right! According to Mr Loughton, Ms B. then sent to Downing St. what he calls ‘the Dear Dave letter’, threatening to embarrass the government publicly, and the order came down from on high (not for the first time): ‘Give ‘em whatever they want!’*
The fate of the £3 million is currently disputed. The Cabinet Office has denied overruling the Minister or ever receiving a letter. ‘Did. Didn’t. Did. Didn’t…’ Whatever, yet another of Mr Cameron’s ‘friends’ appears to have become an embarrassing persona non grata at No. 10.
1 December: Oh dear, it looks like another of Mr Cameron’s closest friends has just been struck off Sam’s Christmas list.
Lord Andrew Feldman, Tory peer and co-Chair of the party, is coming under increasing pressure to quit following internal reports of bullying and sexual harrassment among Young Conservatives, one of whom was allegedly driven to suicide. Lord Feldman is said to have authorised £1m budget for a YC Road Trip campaign before the election last May.
There is no suggestion that Lord Feldman knew anything untoward was going on, which may be why people think he should step down. That, or his terrible hairpiece. His co-Chair, Tory cunt par excellence Grant Shapps, who – he has denied it – is said to have been made aware of complaints at the time, has already resigned his ministerial post at Overseas Development.
The go-getting Young Conservative organiser at the centre of the row, Mark Clarke, denies everything. (It’s apparently a legal requirement to raise that. I wouldn’t have mentioned it otherwise.). A top firm of solicitors has been brought in to conduct the inquiry; one of about five million currently generating fees for the critically endangered legal profession, facing legal aid oblivion.
In the wake of the story, it has apparently come as a shock for politicians to discover that their behind-the-scenes culture is one of ranting, panic-stricken, foul-mouthed machismo.
Don’t they watch TV?
The following section has been redacted By Order
On the subject of the Chilcot report into the manifold causes of the disastrous 2003 invasion of Iraq, we learn today that it is already two million words long and the audio version runs for 128 hours.
(God, I wish I had that voiceover contract, I needn’t spend the rest of my life writing this stuff.)
Other factoids for the Guinness Book of Records include that the enquiry was actually completed five years ago, that the whole process has taken longer than the war itself, but final publication will not happen before next July at the earliest.
The reason for the unconscionable delay is said not to be ‘Maxwellisation’ – a concession whereby anyone criticised in the report was allowed to read their bit and deploy a sharpened scalpel without being given a deadline – politicians, spymasters and civil servants being notoriously slow readers – but simply the sheer weight of words requiring lots of paper and ink and one of those trolley things to move the proofs around.
Even now, the final draft has still to go to the security services for vetting, in case it is a State secret that Tony Blair might have deliberately misled the House in order to actualise a scenario that, like Russia winning the FIFA bid for the soccer World Cup, he had already pre-arranged for convenience on a trip to Washington at the request of his ‘friend’, W. Bush.
Friends, eh? Who’d have ’em?
But hang about…. Didn’t Blair just apologise on CNN last week for the errors of the intelligence community, an overreliance on one maladjusted Iraqi source that falsely led him (and the terrified dwarves in the Commons) to believe in all honesty that Satanic Saddam possessed many evil Weapons of Mass Destruction that he could unleash on British voters at only 45 minutes’ notice….?
The same intelligence community – MI5, MI6, GCHQ – the NSA – that Blair now admits screwed-up the Dodgy Dossier in the first place, thus starting a war that is still going on twelve years later, is being allowed to vet its own file?
You may have paid £millions to M’Learned Friends and have yet to fork out a load more to buy the book, but don’t expect you’ll be reading all two million words for at least the next fifty years.
Expect instead large sections of the Chilcot report to arrive in your local Waterstone’s with liberally blacked-out bits.
National security, old boy. Another snifter?**
*While it is indeed reprehensible that Mr Cameron may have been so prolix on a personal level with the taxpayer’s £3 million, to such nebulous effect, what are we to make of his sidekick Osborne’s glib promise to chuck £100 BILLION at vaguely defined infrastructure projects to join up the dots of our teeming northern cities into one great ‘Powerhouse’?
This from a man who argued vehemently only last week, with much sneering of Old Etonian insults at his political opponents, that it is an economic necessity if we are to balance the books by 2020 to remove any public financial support on 1st April 2016 from three million of the poorest working families in the land.
**My, but we’re busy this morning. The Home Secretary is now demanding that EVERY search term entered by EVERY computer user in Britain should be stored for one year by law, and fully accessible to the authorities, in case further investigation is needed.
I am imagining my son being imminently rendered to Cuba by executive jet, for enhanced conversations. A third-year student of International Politics, his special subject is warfare in the 21st century.
I’m not entirely certain either about the occasional reference to ‘XXX – Pornhub’ buried away in my own deleted searches file (it gets lonely here!). Can the FBI nail you for that?
I take comfort in the thought that we are all innocent until proven guilty.