Michael Ashcroft

Dirty Politics UK style

There is a lot of talk about ‘Dirty Politics’.

As a long term left wing agtator told me last week over a beer…it wasn’t dirty politics…I was just politics.

Right now in the UK a similar story is unfolding, where the media are hunting after Guido Fawkes aka Paul Staines and his links with PM David Cameron.

Guido operates in many respects just like I do…and just like me he kicks his own team in the slats.

The Prime Minister is the last person you would expect to find honouring rogue political blogger Guido Fawkes, who has just brought down one of his ministers.

But David Cameron appeared as guest of honour via a video link at the 10th anniversary celebrations of the controversial website.

Just three weeks ago, Brooks Newmark resigned as Minister for Civil Society, causing the PM immense embarrassment as it was on the eve of the Conservative Party Conference.

This followed the Tory MP being enticed into sending explicit pictures of himself to a male reporter, posing as an attractive young woman, who was working for Guido Fawkes.

Fawkes then hawked the story around Fleet Street before it was eventually published by the Sunday Mirror.

The dubious journalistic methods employed were so contentious that two newspapers refused to publish the story and the Sunday Mirror, which did, is being investigated by the new press watchdog IPSO.

Yet, in his message broadcast at the dinner, the Prime Minister saw fit to condone such behaviour, praising Fawkes (real name Paul Staines) and his website as ‘required reading’.

‘Congratulations on ten years of Guido Fawkes,’ said Cameron, ‘and what better way to celebrate a decade of rejecting the cosy political establishment than by hosting a cocktail reception and a dinner in the heart of Westminster with half the Cabinet and the lobby invited.

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Feed The World. Turn Off The Tap?

Lord Ashcroft tells it like it is

He urged the new Development Secretary Justine Greening to rebuff the overtures of ‘self-aggrandising popstars and lobbying from self-interested groups’.

The rebuke came after revelations that the Government’s burgeoning aid budget was funding ‘poverty barons’ who were raking in millions through their consultancies.

Lord Ashcroft, who was made a privy counsellor in last month’s reshuffle, wrote an open letter to Miss Greening on the Conservative-home website, saying: ‘I urge you to recommend to the Prime Minister to turn off the golden taps and  stop flooding the developing world with our money.’

The UK keeps forking out aid to countries who do not spend it wisely.  In the meantime the only people getting richer are consultants.

Sounds familiar for Wellington “businesspeople” who indulge in brown mail.

A good way to get a job

Lord Ashcroft is a former deputy chairman of the Conservatives who donated millions to the party. He has recently commissioned a series of polls that have been critical of the party.

There had been speculation that he would be given a job in Whitehall after the last election, but none came.

Lord Ashcroft funded the tories to government and worked his guts out doing so. Afterwards Dave and his mates forgot who their friends were.

So Lord Ashcroft took some polls showing that everyone thought Dave was dead set useless.

Dave got a bit toey about the honest opinion of an honest man backed up by some bloody good research so they offered him a job to shut him up.

Shabby Churnalism

Patrick Gower is normally better than this muck:

3 News has learned that John Key has had a private meeting with a controversial right-wing British billionaire, Lord Michael Ashcroft.

Mr Ashcroft was a leading figure behind the last election campaign by Britain’s Conservatives, but Mr Key says the two men did not really talk politics when they met.

The billionaire flew into Auckland in his private for the rugby, and a meeting with Mr Key.

Mr Ashcroft is known in New Zealand for putting up the reward for the stolen Victoria Cross medals.

But he is best known for pumping his time – and millions – into the British Conservative Party and right-wing politics.

“He’s deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, I see him every time he comes to New Zealand,” says Mr Key.

Well, actually Mr Ashcroft is not the deputy chairman any more.

Nope Patrick but he is the Treasurer of the International Democratic Union of which National is a member. This is a stupid story of no merit other than Patrick Gower’s hushed tones about a billionaire. Not only that but they used footage from three years ago to pad out the story. It is shabby and disrespectful to the guy that actually helped get the stolen medals back.

I should confess now before Patrick finds the conspiracy. My father is an office holder of the APDU, a constituent member of the IDU and has met Lord Ashcroft many times, I think he even has his cellphone number written down somewhere.

Instead of looking for conspiracy under the wings of executive jets why doesn’t Patrick Gower go ask Phil Goff about his attendance at the fundraiser with a person charged with electoral fraud?

 

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