Diary: Wanted... MPs with no political background

 

Andy McSmith
Tuesday 17 July 2012 11:16
Comments

The Labour Party was founded more than a century ago with one purpose in mind: to get manual workers elected to Parliament. Tonight, Ed Miliband, pictured, will launch an appeal for capitalists to come forward and be Labour MPs. He will tell business people at Chartered Accountants' Hall in the City that the party badly needs more MPs with business backgrounds. Anyone showing an interest can apply to join a scheme and have a Labour MP as a mentor. They do not even have to be party members.

Mr Miliband's father, Ralph, warned that one of the mechanisms through which the capitalist class held power over the workers was by placing businessmen in Parliament to defend their class interests. Politics is now dominated by the likes of Miliband, Cameron, Osborne, Clegg and Balls, all of whom went into politics straight from university. The struggle is to get anyone with any kind of industrial experience, be they labourer, capitalist or something in between, to take an interest.

Did the sheikh also fake number of scalps?

Mazher Mahmood is one of the best-known investigative journalists of our time – the News of the World's so-called "fake sheikh" – whose elaborate stings led to the exposure and conviction of dozens of shady characters. How many dozens, though, is in dispute. Giving evidence before the Leveson Inquiry last December, Mahmood claimed to have set in motion 261 successful criminal prosecutions, with two more cases pending.

Not everyone believed him. Paddy French spent months going through every edition of the NOTW, looking for any report that a target of one of his exposés had been in court. He traced 70 successful prosecutions.

French has written to Lord Leveson suggesting Mahmood, now working at The Sunday Times, be recalled and asked to supply a full list of the 261 scalps he claims.

Shapps outed as Twitter fraud?

A lot of Twitter fun was had at the expense of the Housing Minister, Grant Shapps, after the website Political Scrapbook implied he was using computer software to increase his follower count. Programs can trawl through Twitter finding appropriate accounts, which a user then automatically follows.

When the scheme works, the person being followed follows the user in return. But Twitter rules prevent major users from following many more people than follow them. This means that anyone attempting to artificially boost their follower count must regularly unfollow people, to clear up space for new targets.

One Twitter user was claiming yesterday to have followed and unfollowed four times by Mr Shapps. "We're considering forming a victim support group for those unfollowed by him," said Laurence Durnan, the editor of Political Scrapbook.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in