David Davis

So that was the weird shudder I felt on the Underground as I left Westminster early this afternoon; it was a thousand or so people directly above me turning around and saying “WTF?!” in near-unison.

It’ll be interesting to see how Murdoch + chums at the Scum play this. If Labour refuses to field a candidate, we may even see a Page 3 girl running as an independent in Haltemprice and Howden on a ‘cage terrorist scum’ platform.


You think I’m kidding, don’t you?

UPDATE (13 Jun) – Well, I almost picked it. The Scum are running with one tit, not two. See comments* for more.

[ *Thanks, Justin, for jumping the gun and treading on my punchline. :oP ]

UPDATE (13 Jun) – Some news items for you, including that exchange on Radio 4 that I mention under comments:

BBC – Ex-Sun editor ‘to take on’ Davis: Ex-Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie says he is likely to take on David Davis in a by-election in Haltemprice and Howden if Labour does not stand. He says he is 90% certain to stand on a national security platform, arguing in favour of 42-day terror detention.

The Age – Sun’s former editor may challenge Davis: Asked whether it was Murdoch who wanted him to stand, Mackenzie said “Yes it is. Rupert Murdoch and Rebekah Wade, who is editor of The Sun, both felt that democracy would not be best served by a walkover and suggested to me last night that I might be the person to fill the hole.” When BBC Today presenter John Humphrys asked him “You don’t always do what people tell you to, do you?” Mackenzie retorted “I do if it is Rupert Murdoch, strangely.”

BBC (Newsnight Blog) – How will Murdoch fund Mackenzie campaign?: Former editor of the Sun newspaper Kelvin Mackenzie has indicated that he’s 90% certain to stand as a pro 42 days candidate in the Haltemprice and Howden by-election; caused by the resignation of David Davis.And on the BBC’s This Week programme he revealed that his old boss Rupert Murdoch had offered to back his campaign financially: “Rupert suggested to me that if Labour didn’t put anyone up, that I would run against David Davis, if that’s the case – and Rupert says he’s good for the money… I might well do it,” Mr Mackenzie said. But there is one problem with that. Mr Murdoch is an American citizen and so under British law is not allowed to contribute funds to any UK election campaign.

Posted in The War on Stupid, Tories! Tories! Tories! | 10 Comments

Have you seen the state of Downing Street lately?

Let me tell you this for nothing; George W. Bush is unlikely to be ferried in through the front gate on Sunday:


In fact, there are workmen busily removing scaffolding by the rear entrance today.

The closure of Whitehall “for the President’s safety” is a load of old bollocks. They just want the protestors well out of earshot by the time the entrees are served.

UPDATE – Yes, the area immediately around the Cenotaph is in a right old state as well. I take back what I said about a wreath laying being a dead-cert… unless someone can rustle up 300+ yards of black curtain before Sunday morning.

Posted in George W. Bush | Comments Off


Bush was ignored* in Germany and attracted a modest 1000 protestors in Rome. Here, authorities are taking no chances; Brown has to make nice with George ‘Warmonger’ Bush and already there are red faces and Brown stuff everywhere. About the only thing they can count on is that Fathers4Justice will probably stay at home (or maybe enjoy a day at the zoo).

Protest at Bush visit – 5pm, Parliament Square, 15 June

, Operation Manticore, . BYOB.

(*Mind you, his staying way, way out out of town helped.)

Posted in George W. Bush | Comments Off

Brown plays with petrol for a piss-poor show of power

Page 3Brown can’t honestly expect 42 days to pass through the Lords. This was a bloody dangerous attempt at a show of power, with a pathetic result.

There’s bound to be plenty of talk about the support from Northern Ireland that helped Gordon to squeak by, but this morning my eyes are drawn a little further south…

Today, in the Downing Street Echo, Page 3 lovely Claire Tully (24, from Dublin, who has a First Class Honours in Biochemistry, thank you very much) gets her cha-chas out to deliver this message on behalf of the editor, Rebekah Wade her own personal take on matters:

Claire thinks the 42 days detention measure means the authorities will have to strike a delicate balance between preserving civil liberties and protecting the British public from terrorists. She says it shouldn’t be used “without strong and valid reasons”.

What, like this whole issue was?

This cynical manipulation of the terrorist threat for political gain makes me sick to my stomach…. and I’d love to dwell on how happy it makes me that we have yet another PM who thinks he can play pissy power games with it, but there’s plenty of dissatisfaction here for you to chew on and right now at Bloggerheads it’s time to point, laugh and get a wee bit frightened about what happens when they do try to take the issue seriously:

BBC – Secret terror files left on train: Police are investigating a “serious” security breach after a civil servant lost top-secret documents containing the latest intelligence on al-Qaeda. The unnamed Cabinet Office employee apparently breached strict security rules when he left the papers on the seat of a train. A fellow passenger spotted the envelope containing the files and gave it to the BBC, who handed them to the police.

BBC – Terror files official suspended: The Cabinet Office has suspended the civil servant at the centre of an inquiry into the loss of top-secret documents on al-Qaeda and Iraq.

Five quid says the opening paragraph on the top-secret Iraq documents reads; “The place is still in a right mess, but we and our chums over the pond are f**king coining it in.”

Related bloggage:
Liberal Conspiracy – What a farce
Septicisle – I love a free country
Devil’s Kitchen – 42 days later
Mr Eugenides – 42 days
Sim-O – Lost intelligence?

Posted in Gordon Brown, Page 3 - News in Briefs | 2 Comments

The silver lining

BBC – BBC uncovers lost Iraq billions: A BBC investigation estimates that around $23bn may have been lost, stolen or just not properly accounted for in Iraq. For the first time, the extent to which some private contractors have profited from the conflict and rebuilding has been researched by the BBC’s Panorama using US and Iraqi government sources. A US gagging order is preventing discussion of the allegations… Henry Waxman who chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform said: “The money that’s gone into waste, fraud and abuse under these contracts is just so outrageous, its egregious. It may well turn out to be the largest war profiteering in history.”

I’m sure I don’t need to remind you that it cost more than a few paper dollars.

And while we’re on the subject…

Independent – Transatlantic relations: George Bush’s farewell tour: George Bush should be accustomed to protesters in Britain because each of his visits has provoked some kind of hostile reaction. For that reason, Downing Street is coy about giving details of his itinerary. It seems almost reluctant to admit the American President will be here at all. From the US end, we know that Mr Bush will drop into Windsor Castle at lunchtime to visit the Queen, and then go to 10 Downing Street for dinner with Gordon Brown. The fact that police have closed Whitehall until noon on Monday suggests there is more on the agenda.

There’s sure to be a ceremony at the Cenotaph. Ironically, it’s one of the few places that isn’t behind a large fence where Bush is safe from protestors… and not just because we’re not allowed to honour the dead without a permit.

His sackcloth is like a shield of steel.

Ah, me… if only we understood his pain.

UPDATE – And speaking of the need for permits:

Guardian – Anti-Bush protesters to defy march ban: Anti-war campaigners said today that they would defy a ban on a planned march to Downing Street at the weekend to protest against a visit by George Bush. The Stop the War Coalition said that it would press ahead with the protest on Sunday, and stage a march from Parliament Square to the gates of Downing Street.

Protest at Bush visit – 5pm, Parliament Square, 15 June

Operation Manticore, , . Weather permitting.

Posted in George W. Bush, It's War! It's Legal! It's Lovely! | 2 Comments

(crosses fingers)

The Raw Story – Kucinich presents Bush impeachment articles: Kucinich, a 2004 and 2008 Democratic candidate for the White House, abandoned a prior attempt to begin impeachment proceedings against Bush in January of this year. In April of 2007, Kucinich presented impeachment articles against Vice President Dick Cheney, but the effort went nowhere. Kucinich exclaimed that “impeachment may well be the only remedy which remains to stop a war of aggression against Iran.”

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Nadine Dorries due to erupt in 5, 4, 3…

Ministry of Truth – Exclusive: Dorries to Face Standards Inquiry

Liberal Conspiracy – Dorries facing Standards investigation – updated

The smart money is on a totally defiant and somewhat bonkers response sometime today on Nadine’s not-a-weblog.

(Find out more about the substance of the complaint here and here.)

UPDATE – Septicisle – The Dorries deficit

Posted in Tories! Tories! Tories! | 2 Comments

Best. Thing. Ever.

I should stress here that Boris Johnson is not – repeat, NOT – connected to Operation Manticore, but I do hope that he saves some choice words for George W. Bush when that cross-eyed Texan warmonger hits town.

Get your pretty objects, suitable for display on websites, cab windows, bus stops and phone booths, here and here.

Boris Johnson

[Psst! At first glance, the Telegraph appears to have unfairly quoted him out of context, but you also need to read this.]

Posted in George W. Bush | 1 Comment

George W. Bush is on the move… and so are we

Chimpy McFlightsuit began his lame duck tour of Europe today and it looks like he’ll be providing Brown with a few headaches when he arrives in Britain this weekend because, shockingly, not everyone thinks that Brown should be inviting this war criminal back to his place for dinner and a show of loyalty.

If you’re not joining us for Operation Manticore, I urge you to support the protest organised by the Stop the War Coalition on 15 June… but don’t plan on being allowed to hang around in Westminster for too long; the police will be instructed to keep noisy crowds away from Downing Street while Bush and Brown are inside chewing the fat.

UPDATE – The protest linked above has now been moved to 5pm (i.e. much closer to dinner time).

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42 days is a sham

Rachel from North London – 42 days. Once more for those at the back: The trust and good will of local communities in preventing murder-attacks is priceless and one of our best assets in saving lives. Time and again it is pointed out that draconian laws, laws that look like they are targeting Muslims unfairly, drafted on the basis of what tough-talking politicians say might be needed – rather than an honest assessment of the current situation are not only undemocratic but counter-productive. The Security Services, the people who do this day in and day out are not asking for this law. I repeat, the Security Services are not asking for this law. Don’t ask me how I know that, because I can’t tell you. But it is true.

And, bless her cotton socks, she was right on the money…

BBC – MI5 ‘has not asked for 42 days’: MI5 has not “directly” asked the government to extend the time limit for holding terror suspects without charge, to 42 days, Jacqui Smith has said.

As is noted here and here, there’s only one newspaper supporting 42 days, and that’s The Downing Street Echo, the same publication that pulled out all the stops for 90 days. Today, they’re busy parading a cop who does want 42 days (previously, they had to make do with two ex-cops (and the not-at-all blinkered MP Ann Widdecombe) but so far none of these people have shown why we need it now. All we get from the pro-42 camp is repeated assurances that we *might* need it someday backed by false urgency and shameless scaremongering like this; “Our enemies are planning our destruction and this is no time to play right into their hands.”

At this point I can confidently direct you back to the earlier post by Rachel and leave it at that:

Rachel from North London – 42 days. Once more for those at the back: The trust and good will of local communities in preventing murder-attacks is priceless and one of our best assets in saving lives. Time and again it is pointed out that draconian laws, laws that look like they are targeting Muslims unfairly, drafted on the basis of what tough-talking politicians say might be needed – rather than an honest assessment of the current situation are not only undemocratic but counter-productive.

Posted in The War on Stupid | 2 Comments