Village people: 12/12/2009
Saturday 12 December 2009
Why the veto, Jack?
*Thursday was a good day for burying bad news, as every journalist in the Westminster Village was immersed in MPs' expenses, so a highly contentious decision by the Justice Secretary Jack Straw announced that day, received less attention than it might have.
He has overruled the Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, who had instructed the Cabinet Office to release some old government papers under the Freedom of Information Act. It is only the second time that Straw has used his veto. The first was in February, when he barred publication of papers relating to the ruling by the former Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, that the invasion of Iraq was legal. This veto concerns the much drier subject of devolution in Scotland and Wales, which ministers fought over in a Cabinet sub committee in summer 1997.
The Commissioner argued that after 12 years, and with the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly up and running, these old arguments were no longer sensitive. Straw says they are. But why?
Here is a clue. In Paragraph 29 of his judgement, Mr Graham noted that, of all these participants in these discussions, "only one remains active in Government". He did not name that solitary survivor, who might not want his old attempts to obstruct devolution made public after all these years.
It is, in fact, the former Home Secretary, Jack Straw.
Unlucky four some
*News from the EU summit in Brussels – South Korea has agreed to join the ISAF force Afghanistan – but not yet. If they were to join now, they would be the 44th member of the coalition. In Korea, four is an unlucky number.
Prezza denies talking crap
*"Bush is crap; you know it, I know it, the party knows it ," John Prescott tells the New Statesman. Yes, we know, because the then-deputy Prime Minister's biographer, Colin Brown, reported in The Independent on 17 August 2006 that he had used that very word "crap" at a private meeting with Labour MPs. It was confirmed by the Labour MP Harry Cohen. But a statement issued by Mr Prescott on the day said: "This is an inaccurate report of a private conversation and it is not my view." Perhaps the prefix "in" and the word "not" slipped in by mistake.
Reportedly an actress
*Those who saw the penultimate episode of The Thick of It will have spotted the BBC Political Correspondent Carole Walker, apparently reporting live from Downing Street on the sacking of the bellicose spin doctor Malcolm Tucker. One person who missed it was Ms Walker. She was not acting. They used some old footage with the sound turned off, and the first she knew of her starring role was when the texts and emails poured in afterwards.
Tories' family seat
*Last night, the Conservatives chose their candidate in Orpington, Kent, one of the 10 safest Tory seats in the country. The victor is assured a seat in the Commons, but not necessarily the love of the locals. "This smacks of cronyism and the old pal's act," was a fairly typical comment, from 66-year-old Rob Miles in the Bromley News. He was referring to a shortlist of possible candidates which did not include anyone from Orpington, but did feature Victoria Atkins, daughter of the Tory MEP Sir Robert Atkins, and Jo Johnson, who has a brother called Boris.
*But they left out Iain Dale, the nation's top Tory blogger. This keeps happening to Mr Dale, who says he is "gutted" – and who can blame him?
The magicians using online collaboration to push boundaries
Jennifer Lawrence attacks mass media again over body image
Jennifer Lawrence: 'It should be illegal to call someone fat on TV'
Colin Farrell reveals ‘affair’ with Elizabeth Taylor: 'She was my last romantic relationship'
Ian Watkins: Paedophile Lostprophets singer sentenced to 35 years for child sex offences, as judge labels him a 'dangerous sexual predator'
Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile
Devyani Khobragade: India-US row escalates over arrest of diplomat in New York
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
You can STILL be jailed for being a republican, government confirms, and it remains illegal to even 'imagine' overthrowing the Queen
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
Fighting back: the woman giving a voice (and 49,999 others) to the victims of sexism - by giving an airing to their horror stories
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Ethan Couch: Texas quadruple murderer – or a victim of ‘affluenza’?
- 1 America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 4 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber announces he's 'retiring from music'
- 5 Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile
- < Previous
- Next >
£25000 - £32000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Business Analyst - Banking...
£21999 - £27001 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Do you have exten...
£25000 - £35000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Business Analy...
£42000 - £51000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Are You Receiving...