Alec Shelbrooke

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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A good policy

Sounds like a good policy. Bludgers not being allowed to piss away their benefit.

Benefits claimants should be banned from spending welfare payments on ?luxury? items like alcohol, cigarettes and satellite television, a Government aide has said.

Alec Shelbrooke said that claimants should be paid welfare via electronic cash cards that could only be used to buy essentials like food, clothing, energy, travel and housing.

Mr Shelbrooke, a Conservative MP, is a parliamentary private secretary at the Northern Ireland Office,

He made the suggestion as a backbencher in the House of Commons, but ministers are understood to be looking at similar ideas.

Mr Shelbrooke has drafted a Bill that would change the law to allow welfare payments to be made on a new ?welfare cash card? whose use could be restricted by the Government.

“Introducing a welfare cash card on which benefits will be paid, claimants will only be able to make priority payments such as food, clothing, energy, travel and housing. The purchase of luxury goods such as cigarettes, alcohol, Sky television and gambling will be prohibited,? Mr Shelbrooke told MPs.

“When hard-working families up and down the country are forced to cut back on such non-essential, desirable, it is right that taxpayer benefits be only used for essential purposes.”