Coffee House

Maria Miller reminds us why no politician should oversee the press

5 April 2014

11:43 AM

5 April 2014

11:43 AM

The Daily Telegraph last night released the audio of Maria Miller’s special adviser implying very clearly that its reporter should lay off investigating the Culture Secretary’s expenses because she was deciding about the future of a free press. Here’s the key quote:

‘I should just flag up as well, while you’re on it that when she doorstepped him, she got Maria’s father, who’s just had a [removed] and come out of [removed]. And Maria has obviously been having quite a lot of editors’ meetings around Leveson at the moment. So I am just going to flag up that connection for you to think about.’

We knew about the comments at the time — the Telegraph is not a newspaper easily bullied — but to hear it now is still shocking. And a reminder of the grave threat posed to press freedom by the politicians’ charter, cooked up just over a year ago.

Now and again, people ask if it would really be so bad having a Royal Charter whose proposals are almost identical to those being drawn up by IPSO, the new press regulator. The menace does not lie in the practical implications, but having a system where any minister has the press in his or her remit. Right now, the relationship between press and politician is comparable to that between a dog and a lamppost. That’s the healthy way. As soon as that changes, you get dark threats muttered to journalist — the type caught on tape by the Telegraph. Not direct threats but things, you know, to ‘think about’.

[Alt-Text]


At the time, I had similar phone calls – a Labour MP asked me to take action against a Spectator journalist who was annoying him. A Tory minister asked me to take down a blog that annoyed him. These phone calls just didn’t come earlier — the politicians were limbering up for an era where they held the whip hand. It was a bit galling earlier on this week to see the Guardian’s Alan Rusbridger on a stage talking about press freedom when he was so silent when it mattered most – over the threat which Leveson posed to the free press. It was as if Rusbridger didn’t mind regulation that hurt his enemies in the Murdoch stable more than it would hurt the Guardian.

I’d have like to have read thundering Guardian editorials saying that politicians had no business discussing what to do with the press, and deploring the threat made to the Daily Telegraph. I’d like to see it get upset about tabloid journalists arrested, not just its own ones.

In the Times report today John Mann, the Labour MP whose complaint led to the investigation of Miller, is quoted saying:

‘People reading these letters will see that the Culture Secretary was trying to use political influence to affect the outcome of this investigation and, for this reason, is no longer fit to have responsibility to ensure a free press’

I’d go further and say it shows why no politician should have ‘responsibility for’ (ie, control over) a free press.

UPDATE: For those who haven’t heard the audio, here it is — from Radio 4 Today’s discussion this morning with Spectator assistant editor, Isabel Hardman:

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.


Show comments
  • The_greyhound

    Miller only got a cabinet post on a positive discrimination ticket, reason enough to be suspicious of her.

    Her conduct over her expenses puts her in middle trougher bracket, though her excuses lack both credibility and ingenuity, which makes her look thick as well as unscrupulous.

    The stupid threat from the SpAd may have just been a fool, trying and failing to think on her feet, but it clearly reinforces Fraser Nelson’s point.

    Nice to think that Maria Miller and Leveson can have a joint funeral.

  • Nicholas Frost

    Please sign the petition to sack Maria Miller. Takes five seconds.
    http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/the-government-sack-maria-miller-mp

  • Tom Tom

    What makes Joanna Hindley so remarkable ? Why was she hired ? What is her bacvkground ? Why is she able to threaten the press ? Does she have any redeeming features ?

  • Two Bob

    The only group as out of touch with public opinion as our politicians is the press. They are as bad as each other. They deserve each other.

  • swatnan

    This is a personal and vindictive vendetta against a Cabinet Minister, led by Frazer and the Telegraph Guardian and all the Print Media.
    You may recall we had a similar personal and vindictaive campaign against Andrew Mitchell.
    Having said that, Mllar should go because she transgressed; an apology does put it right.Apologies never do, or should. Maybe if she donated £3m to charity foodbanks it might.

    • Two Bob

      Anti Tory press are trying to make the Tory party look as bad as possible and the pro Tory press are trying to make their leaders see sense and ditch her before the damage to the party becomes terminal.

      It is all about vested interests.

  • Denis_Cooper

    This is why Cameron’s preferred, bastardised, diluted, recall system would be useless even if he ever got round to having it put into law.

    I’ve no idea what Miller’s constituents think about her conduct, but they wouldn’t be asked anyway if an official recall petition could only be started after a committee of MPs had given the go-ahead.

    Of course there’s nothing to stop some of her constituents starting their own unofficial petition if they wish, but she could just ignore it and carry on regardless.

    • Two Bob

      The system wont change anything in the greater scheme of things. The internet is making the press more and more impotent in terms of manipulating the public. That is why Ukip is making inroads – I mean their rise all started from those youtube videos of Nigel Farage attacking eurocrats, history in the making.

      The press, westminister politicians and pollsters just dont get what is happening now thanks to this modern form of communication.

  • MajorFrustration

    The noise you can hear are the footsteps of people walking away from the Tory party prompted by a combination of inept leadership an political arrogance

    • HookesLaw

      All this whipped up anti politics anti Westminster hysteria by the press is meat and drink to Alex Salmond.
      Fraser Neslon is a total and pathetic fool, pandering to his nutjob pool of loonies.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Heh. The muppet is about as pure a socialist as you, lad. It’s amusing that you are so out of touch, that you don’t recognize that.

        • southerner

          The Camerluvvies have absolutely no self awareness. They’d blindly follow their beloved socialist leader off a cliff if he asked them to.

          There is no depth that Cameron and his pals could sink to that would prompt any opprobrium from Hooky and his set. It’s the un-conservative way.

      • Two Bob

        You just cant face the fact that politics is changing in this country and too many members of the elite are in denial. You sound like one of them.

        • southerner

          He is.

  • David Booth.

    Marie Miller will cling to her job as s**t will cling to a blanket, it’s the money stupid.
    Shame on her and Cameron.

  • SilentHunter

    I see the Pro Government Spin Machine has clicked into gear to bomb the blogs with pro-Miller / Hyndley (ipso facto: pro Cameron) support.

    Too late guys!

    She’s a dead duck . . . and the electorate have had a salient reminder of just why they don’t trust politicians.

    • Two Bob

      The longer she is kept on board the more likely the Tories will dip below 20% in the Euro elections.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Yes, she’s an open sore for the Cameroons, and Dave’s too stupid to understand it.

        • Two Bob

          I hope she stays as long as possible.

  • mrsjosephinehydehartley

    “a Labour MP asked me to take action against a Spectator journalist who was annoying him. A Tory minister asked me to take down a blog that annoyed him.”

    But it occurs to me these people might have been appealing for help as ordinary human beings – and not in their employment capacity..

    Similarly, silly management speak ie “flagging up” in the quote mentioned strikes me as a rather clumsy and awkward attempt to alert the press worker to the human side of the Ministers life – though of course to blabber on about somebody’s private , confidential medical stuff is particularly stupid. Even so..

    I really don’t think the so-called advisor was trying to bully anyone. On the contrary – it strikes me she gave too much information ( both unnecessary and inappropriate) probably because she felt she was being bullied. It often happens.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      It wouldn’t happen often, if offending SpAds were terminated, for threatening the press.

    • SilentHunter

      “…silly management speak ie “flagging up”…”

      If you really believe that, then you’re the “silly” one.

      It was an overt threat to a journalist who was simply doing her job.

    • HookesLaw

      Being reasonable labels you as part of a spin machine – labled by the kipperesque spin machine of course.

      • Wessex Man

        I would get advice if I were you Hooky, you seem to me to be obsessing about us even as we send you our loving messages.

  • rtj1211

    And Morgan, Coulson, Brooks and their tangled web of unofficial sources of bugged information are the reason why the Press cannot be free of oversight.

    You lot are just as imperfect as MPs and for every Maria Miller, there are plenty of honest ones too.

    I hope you don’t expect me to badge you with the worst excesses of the tabloid world, but I will if you badge all politicians like Maria Miller, Mr Nelson.

    And you would have no-one to blame for that but yourself, putting a sensationalist headline out there to push your own Press agenda, which your industry stretched beyond wider acceptance through its behaviour in the past 15 years.

    • telemachus

      Well said

    • SilentHunter

      “…for every Maria Miller, there are plenty of honest ones too…”

      Let’s just remind ourselves that out of 600 odd MP’s in the last parliament . . . over 450 of them had fiddled their expenses.

      I would suggest that the “honest ones” are not as plentiful as you would think.

  • MaxSceptic

    Amen!

    (And Cameron should get shot of Maria pronto)

  • KathrynBMartinez

    There are more than enough laws offering criminal and civil remedies when required without recourse to the abomination that was Leveson. Many of the European political elite are well and truly out of control; the media must stand up to them unfettered by the misusers and abusers of power in our democracies. http://qr.net/sqr6

  • perdix

    We should also be wary of bullies in the press.

  • anyfool

    If the reported request to the police is acted upon and this woman is convicted, that would open the door to Balls family, Jacque Smith and quite a few others mainly Labour facing the same charges, that is why this will come to nought, the police have shown they favour Labour, the CPS is now a Labour fiefdom.

  • SilentHunter
  • the viceroy’s gin

    “Right now, the relationship between press and politician is comparable
    to that between a dog and a lamppost. That’s the healthy way”

    .

    It might be the healthy way, but it’s not your way, lad. You Speccie teenagers are a small dog sitting quietly in the Camerluvvies’ lap, and all of the LibLabCon bubble denizens’ laps for that matter. When Rigby was slaughtered in the streets, you did their bidding and hushed it all up and squelched comment and proper discussion, just as you were instructed.

    Spare us your hypocritical bleating about free press and speech. You are no friend of either .

  • sisyphus99

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

  • dado_trunking

    The free press still appears to have a good hand, and it’s playing it rather well.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Yes, they have a freer hand than you Levesonistas would prefer, eh lad?

      How’s the goat?

  • Lady Magdalene

    The problem Fraser is that the press hasn’t acted like

    • Wessex Man

      I do agree my Lady that they have tried every trick in the book to konck down UKip but the Westminster Village are far and away worse.

  • HookesLaw

    The rules as I recall did not propose politicians overseeing the press. Why should we trust the press over anything? Should I trust the Daily Mirror or the Guardian ?

    • Colonel Mustard

      There should be no rules for the press except the rule of law, preferably with the ‘hate speech’ bad law repealed. The government has absolutely no place exerting any control over what people might wish to say or write publicly, however outrageous it might seem. This is England. Not East-Germany Lite. I trust the modern breed of politician slightly less than newsprint but the two need to be at war not engaged in a cosy marriage of back scratching.

      And lets get back to having the news reported and not pre-briefed government spin of the “David Cameron will say . . . ” kind. The only hope for this country is in irreverent outspoken rebels prepared to give foolish and corrupt government the damaging broadsides it deserves and d**n the consequences, the more the better.

    • FrenchNewsonlin

      Have a wander over to the spiked online site which is running an admirable free speech campaign demanding everyone be allowed to say just whatever they wish. The arguments are pretty solid.
      There are more than enough laws offering criminal and civil remedies when required without recourse to the abomination that was Leveson.
      Many of the European political elite are well and truly out of control; the media must stand up to them unfettered by the misusers and abusers of power in our democracies.
      You may not trust the DM or the G. Many others have far less trust in faceless Brussels powercrats or the BlairBrownCamCleg&Succrs ‘dream-team’!

  • tom jones

    She should do what Mark Harper did and RESIGN!

    Harper made a mistake and resigned to protect himself AND his party from further embarrassment and criticism. Miller is selfishly clinging on for dear life (only to be demoted in the next reshuffle.) Cameron has strong backbenchers who are not being promoted. Where’s the logic in that?!

    I realise there needs to be a certain amount of women in the cabinet due to pre-election promises and whether we agree with this or not, Cameron could still have a strong team if only he promoted the RIGHT people. Having said that, Culture Secretary? Ditch the whole department and save the taxpayer billions! Axe foreign aid too until our deficit is gone. Common sense that Cameron and co sadly lack.

  • @PhilKean1

    .
    I was asked yesterday if one of the reasons I want Miller gone is because of her part in legalising Gay Marriage.

    And my answer was “yes”.
    .

  • @PhilKean1

    It isn’t free if it is being controlled.

    But the past few years has shown us that British politicians would very much like to restrict the media’s power to investigate them.
    .

  • Frank

    If our esteemed leader Dave had a pair of balls, and or any sense of ethics, and or any common sense, and or any ear for the public’s revulsion of this woman and her troughing, he would sack her now and get her booted from the Tory Party. Since he won’t do any of the above, one is forced to judge him as a deeply inadequate MP and PM.

    • Colonel Mustard

      More common purpose than common sense. . .

      • Frank

        Are you suggesting Dave is part of some shadowy common purpose group? To be honest, why would they have him in the group, he seems to be achieving a degree of chaos all alone.

        • Colonel Mustard

          He is an enthusiastic alumnus, as is Maude.

          • Common Purpose

            David is only one of our illustrious alumni.

            For 25 years, Common Purpose has been challenging leaders to make a real difference. Each year more than 4,000 new leaders connect with Common Purpose
            internationally through CP courses. We give future leaders new key skill sets that enable them engage and influence effectively outside of their organisations.

            In every society, there is an invisible, vital ‘space’ where people come together and act for the greater good. Common Purpose has a passionate
            belief in the importance of this space. In our view, this is at the core of society. Active, not passive and involving the best leadership from all parts of the community. Our aim is to fill this space with as many people as possible and
            to give them the knowledge, inspiration and connections they need to be effective.

            • ButcombeMan

              Whenever anything does not work effectively I increasingly find mindless, brain washed, Common Purpose clones, involved in it.

              It used to be Freemasons.

            • Colonel Mustard

              More telemachus stalking and shape-shifting trickery.

              God knows why the Spectator puts up with this provocative nonsense.

              • Wessex Man

                Well done Colonel, it’s good that you’ve highlighted Bristol especially, with it’s idiotic elected Mayor, who won his period in office because of the record low turnout, who nows strides around Bristol in his bright pink corded trousers issuing decrees about shutting all Public toilets, creating a 20 MPH speed limit throughout the entire city, permit parking throughout the City, telling the old and infirm to get on their bikes, it will do them good. Making areas of the city Bike only on trials. Already larger companies are leaving people like ourselves, living 25 miles away are no longer going there shopping and socialising.

                Ah progress and control!

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Saw his performance during the parking protests and was not impressed. An arrogant little man with a big ego and very bad taste in strides.

                  Resist them.

                • telemachus

                  Mr Ferguson could be an honorary socialist. He finished his victory speech by paying tribute to Marvin Rees, “a
                  great guy” who came in second place.

                  When Boris Johnson asks George Ferguson why he doesn’t join the Conservative party, the mayor of Bristol jokingly replies, “because I am an independent, like you”.

                  Ferguson believes strongly in cities building direct relations across the world and the mayor has visited foreign countries seven times since his election, more trips than any of England’s 15 other elected mayors, including Johnson. He says that most of the bills for these visits have been paid by the host cities, and there are benefits in terms of investment and job creation.

                  In his first 12 months as mayor, Ferguson has also steered Bristol to the title of European Green Capital for 2015, pipping Brussels, Glasgow and Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana to the post. He says that the city is now doing a lot to make itself worthy of the title, such as setting up an energy company. “We are turning into a solar city and becoming what I describe as a child- friendly city,” he says.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  But not everyone agrees with him.

                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlwu4P_eQFI

                  A £10 million tax on the poor! And so desperate is Ferguson to exert control he even tries to hi-jack the protest against him!

                  Does telemachus wear silly pink trousers too? The simple-minded booby thinks that everything he reads is true as long as it conforms to his prejudices. No more cut’n’paste propaganda from your fellow travellers please. It is tediously moronic.

            • Colonel Mustard

              “In every society, there is an invisible, vital ‘space’ where people come together and act for the greater good. At Common Purpose, we have a passionate belief in the importance of this space. In our view, this is at the core of society. Active, not passive and involving the best leadership from all parts of the community. Our aim is to fill this space with as many people as possible and to give them the knowledge, inspiration and connections they need to be effective.”

              Unelected, secretive and without mandate to do so. A “greater good” determined we know not how by people who are unaccountable to the public. The same organisation whose tentacles extended into Leveson. An organisation with cultural marxist origins and cultural marxist aspirations. A blight on democracy, transparency and the rule of law.

            • Wessex Man

              Sounds like you would like to take over everything that’s not been shackled already and everybody will obey you because you right, oh dear!

              • Kitty MLB

                I have a little feeling that common purpose might be another
                of Telemachus’ many identities.. might be wrong..but just
                a feeling.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  It is. The comment is cut and pasted from a CP web page that comes up when you google “Common Purpose alumni”. This is what telemachus did as he was stalking my comments and saw that I had referred to Cameron and Maude as CP alumni.

                  He is a mischief maker. The dishonesty and deceit involved in his little games here speaks volumes about him and his party.

                • Kitty MLB

                  Indeed, sometimes I wonder if telemachus gets
                  confused to which one he is using. He made a
                  slip up with you the other day when he made
                  a remark about something telemachus
                  could not have known about unless he
                  was making a point of following you……

                • Colonel Mustard

                  More stalking than following.

  • anyfool

    It is not the person using the influence you should be nailing, although she deserves some judgement, it is the ones who gave them the opportunity to grab it, a period of reflection in front of the mirror for the press would not come amiss.

    • Tony_E

      Cameron, for all his faults, is not to blame here. He couldn’t fire her because the committee found her largely innocent of the charges. He would have stood accused of ‘anti female bias’, or using her as a ‘fall guy’, or worse.

      She was not co-operative. But when you are being investigated you can take two paths. You can either co-operate in the hope that this will make the process easier, or you can say to your accuser (who was of course John Mann, hardly an impartial party), to do their worst. Dig, but do it without me.

      I have some sympathy for that approach. Would you ask a criminal defendant to assist the police in convicting him?

      Why she should have been relived of her duties, was the Hacked off/Miliband/Leveson deal that was done behind closed doors. I cannot understand why she did it, and it is deeply flawed. Hats off to the press for showing it all the respect it deserves.

      As an ineffective minister, she has little to commend her to the public.

      • HookesLaw

        The point you make is a good one. No matter what someone in Cameron’s position does they get criticised. In this case the press themselves have a dog in the fight and I would not trust Mr Nelson’s objectivity as far as I could throw him.

        The other point which someone openly admits to is pure bigotry. Some people do not like Miller because she supported gay marriage. What a pathetic place we are in.

        • Barakzai

          ‘Some people do not like Miller because she supported gay marriage. What a pathetic place we are in.’

          Who mentioned gay marriage in this context? Ah, you did, I wonder why, exactly?

          • Wessex Man

            Because he’s determined to remove sleaze away from his very nasty party and wants to make anyone who criticises them a slander mongering facist, he is now a very isolated on these pages.

            Power to the people!

      • ButcombeMan

        Oh Cameron could have fired her alright.

        He unwisely chose not to.

        Jeremy Browne was fired by Clegg, for no obvious reason

  • Bluesman_1

    Agreed. The thief Miller has no place in public life.

    • GnosticBrian

      EVIDENCE to support what might prove to be an expensive libel?

      • Lady Magdalene

        The Independent Standards Committee found that she should replay £45,000 which had been misclaimed. The Committee of Standards and Privileges (fellow MPs) interpreted the rules differently and cut that down to £5,800.
        So it’s a question of interpretion. Fortunately, it seems that the Police have been asked to investigate so it may be that the evidence will be made public at some point in the future.
        However, whether it was £45,000 or less …. she claimed money she was not entitled to and in any other walk of life that would be a resigning/sacking offence and, in the case of welfare claimaints, one possibly leading to a custodial sentence.
        One rule for them ….. another for the serfs they lord it over.

        • GnosticBrian

          I fully agree with your sentiment – one rule for them, a very different one for us. But, none of what you say justifies the word “theft” – remember what happened to Sally Berkow following one of her ill-advised tweets. Big brother is watching us. Would you say that Jacqui Smith “stole” the £116,000 that she claimed on the basis that her sister’s box room (rather than her family home) was her main residence? She too was “cleared” by a committee dominated by members of her party. Remember how MPs gave the heave-ho (sorry, did not renew her contract) to Elizabeth Filkin because she held them to account?

          • Lady Magdalene

            I would not accuse her of theft until such time as the police have investigated, a trial had taken place and she had been found guilty.
            At the moment I believe there is a case to answer.

          • ButcombeMan

            This section below, of the Fraud Act, I think replaces “obtaining pecuniary advantage by deception” the old Theft Act Offence.

            If MM /pretended/ her rented Basingstoke property was her main home to get more money from the public purse, this section could well apply and she could indeed have a case to answer.

            Her simply /stating/ it was her main home is hardly good enough. Ones normal place of residence turns on facts as anyone who has tried to bamboozle the IR over residence will know. That is why the issue should be properly investigated. Where did the extra money go, what was it used for? It will be interesting to see what MetPol does.

            What is absolutely clear, beyond any doubt, is that Cameron has been less than wise to stand so fulsomely behind this woman.

            ************

            Fraud by false representation

            (1)A person is in breach of this section if he—

            (a)dishonestly makes a false representation, and

            (b)intends, by making the representation—

            (i)to make a gain for himself or another, or

            (ii)to cause loss to another or to expose another to a risk of loss.

            (2)A representation is false if—

            (a)it is untrue or misleading, and

            (b)the person making it knows that it is, or might be, untrue or misleading.

            (3)“Representation” means any representation as to fact or law, including a representation as to the state of mind of—

            (a)the person making the representation, or

            (b)any other person.

            (4)A representation may be express or implied.

            (5)For the purposes of this section a representation may be regarded as made if it (or anything implying it) is submitted in any form to any system or device designed to receive, convey or respond to communications (with or without human intervention).

            • GnosticBrian

              So which was Jacqui Smiths “normal place of residence” – her sister’s box room of the family home in the constituency? And she got away with £116,000 – did her then party leader stand behind her and was that a wise thing to do?

            • Colonel Mustard

              The crucial element is “dishonestly”. A prosecution would have to prove the dishonest intention. I think one of the problems has been that parliamentary standards are much less rigorously enforced than HMRC’s. My understanding is that before the expenses scandal broke there was much nod and wink about claiming ‘in lieu’ of what were perceived as low salaries for the work entailed. That attitude is/was rife in the corporate world where people felt they were poorly paid/rewarded and therefore view inflated or dubious expenses claims as justified.

        • Colonel Mustard

          It’s a question of mens rea, the guilty intent, an element now so undermined by subjectivity in our law. The intention to deliberately deceive in theft/fraud is paramount but in expenses claims the distinction between deliberate deception and negligence/error is often blurred. People will sometimes claim what they think they can get away with, convincing themselves that the claim is justified and that in any case it will not be subject to scrutiny. It is not so much a guilty intent as a lack of integrity.

          • Frank

            Agree, however to try in on to the extent of claiming that your habitual residence in London is suddenly your secondary home and a small bungalow in Basingstoke is your main residence is pushing the boat a bit. The Commissioner looked at the utility bills for both houses and determined that Basingstoke was not the main residence despite Miller’s assertions. I would suggest that this is going a wee bit beyond negligence / error and into guilty intent territory. Frankly, just chuck her in the Thames and if she floats, she can get a pass on this occasion.

      • David Booth.

        Hopefully when the Fraud Squad has had a look at the Miller case any evidence they find can be presented to a Court of Law.

        • GnosticBrian

          But do you really believe that this will ever get to Court?

          • ButcombeMan

            In my view it should have been there already.

            • GnosticBrian

              But, unless you a lawyer employed by the Public Prosecution service, your OPINION (and mine for that matter) counts for naught?

              • the viceroy’s gin

                …well, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens to this demonstrable thief, won’t we .

                • GnosticBrian

                  Unless there is compelling new evidence there will be NO successful prosecution – you read it here first!

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  I think you mean to say that there will be no prosecution, due to prosecutorial discretion. The other way to say this is “one law for the bubble and another for the rest”.

                • GnosticBrian

                  I said what I meant to say. Please don’t put words into my mouth.
                  FYI, I have no notion what you mean by “the bubble”. As an aside,
                  I am also glad that you were able to make this post without resorting to profanities.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  No, you meant to say that prosecutorial discretion will squelch the prosecution, not that it won’t be “successful”.

                  If you don’t have a notion of the bubble, perhaps you should spend some time educating yourself. It’s plenty discussed hereabouts and elsewhere.

                  And re your efforts to moderate the content of my posts, do FO, lad.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Dad, if your aim is to be unpleasant, you succeed in spades. Bye bye.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …good, and taking my advice is the only smart thing you’ve done in here, lad.

                • GnosticBrian

                  If your response of late are any guide, I will NEVER take advice from you Dad!

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …you haven’t, agreed, although you did lie and say you were going to FO. But in any event… FO.

                • GnosticBrian

                  No lie Dad. If it upsets an old fascist like you that others have the temerity to express a different opinion, well tough!

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …always like you fascists to accuse others of being what you are.

                  Do FO, lad.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Dad, you are the one telling those who don’t agree with you to FO, by such behaviour you show that you are the fascist.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  No, lad, I’m telling you fascists threatening libel to FO.

                  Now do FO, lad.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Dad, I’m so sorry to see that your record is stuck in the same repetitive groove. Why don’t you take your own batty advice?

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  No need to feel sorry, lad, but every need for you to stop with your discourse snuffing libel threats.

                  Now, FO.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Oh Dad, you are a particularly thick fascist – I have threatened no one with libel. Identify the specific post to the contrary.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Scroll up, you fascist.

                  And then FO.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Oh Dad, I did – and the offence of which you accuse me is nowhere to be found. With your total disregard for facts, you have to be a Labour supporter / member; a party full of fascists who shout down anyone who dares to venture a contrary view.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Well, actually, lad, you fascists are the ones who shout down and threaten free speech, as you did with the libel threat .

                  But let’s not quibble. Just FO and everything will work out fine. Oh, and FO.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Oh Dad, that is just so lame. I’ve not shouted obscenities at you; I’ve not tried to stop you expressing your opinion; I’ve not told lies about you. You are the one with all the classic fascist attributes. It would not surprise me to learn that you are a paid troll for the Labour party.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Of course you suppress opinion, lad. It’s what you fascists always do. That’s the purpose of your libel threats.

                  Now FO.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Oh dad, just so lame – just goes to show what a brainless foul mouthed rabble you fascists are.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Is that your excuse for you fascists to threaten libel, lad?

                  Well, just FO, then.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Dad, you are the foul mouthed fascist liar.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Have you threatened anyone with libel today, lad?

                  Either way, you should FO.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Not today or at any other time you foul mouthed fascist liar.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Oh yes, lad, you threatened libel in this very discussion topic, which ironically speaks against threats to free speech.

                  Now FO.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Provide a link to the purported threat. Ironic that you refer to free speech and then use foul language to try to prevent me from expressing a view on this site. You are a fascist troll!

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Scroll up, lad. You know exactly where you libel threat was made.

                  Now FO, you fascist.

                • GnosticBrian

                  I did scroll up; there is NO threat from me – so stop peddling your foul mouthed fascist lies!

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Yes, there is a threat, of libel, unsurprising that a fascist like you would now deny it

                  Now hurry up and FO .

                • GnosticBrian

                  So produce a copy of my post where I threatened anyone with libel proceedings you foul mouhed fascist troll!

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  As mentioned previously, your libel threatening post is up top, right where you posted it, lad. Scroll up.

                  And then FO.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Try to gain an understanding of the English language. advising someone that calling a named individual a thief without proof RISKS a libel action by the named party is NOT me threatening a libel action you foul mouthed fascist liar.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  No sense reading all that rot, lad. You made your point with your threat above.

                  Now FO.

                • GnosticBrian

                  You are a foul mouthed fascist liar. There is NO threatening post from me. Grow up you old fool!

                • FuglydeQuietzapple

                  Shurely shome referenshe to your interlocutor’s “ad hominems” would be your usual MO at this point?

                • GnosticBrian

                  No idea what you are talking about.

                • FuglydeQuietzapple

                  You usually abuse people and then admonish them for “ad hominems.”

                  These tidbits of advice will continue to appear from time to time.

                  Your pretences of ignorance are less convincing than your quite genuine and profound blank.

                • GnosticBrian

                  To what do you aspire when you grow up – become a gin drinking Viscount; or have you already attained that position?

                • FuglydeQuietzapple

                  As you abuse ..

                • GnosticBrian

                  EVIDENCE to support your assertion?

                • FuglydeQuietzapple

                  Try reading your posts. Does it for anyone not actively involved in whatever it is you imagine you are DOING.

                • GnosticBrian

                  So no evidence.

                • FuglydeQuietzapple

                  ROFLMA & SO! You spend most of your posts here abusing people after the kind of intoxication of which you accuse others, and then call them fascist liars, accuse people of ad homs. QED.

                • GnosticBrian

                  No evidence is no evidence. Using profanities to try and prevent some one, with whom you disagree, from posting comments on this site is the act of a fascist. Making false allegations of libel threat is lying. Simples!

                • FuglydeQuietzapple

                  As you abuse … so you prove yourself to be! You persistently abuse anyone with whom you disagree, complicitly support totalitarian censorship, in fact you are almost the exemplar of a modern fascist!

                • pretty_polly

                  Oh dear, such untrue accusations..

                • GnosticBrian

                  Evidence to support your assertion of abuse?

                • FuglydeQuietzapple

                  Evidence of mental competence to make sure it’s merely a waste of my time replying please?

                • GnosticBrian

                  Thus far, I’ve seen no evidence of mental competence on your part.

                • FuglydeQuietzapple

                  Not so, hence my certain somnolence. I presume you cannot read all that pitiful abuse you vented earlier. Like a wombat on Bloom juice.

                • GnosticBrian

                  In addition to a lack of mental capacity you appear to have a poor memory – who was the one spouting the ill-informed and intemperate rant about tax avoidance/? Oh, it was you. When you are feeling calmer, you might contemplate which (now ex-) Chancellor sold the Inland Revenue estate to a bunch of offshore tax avoiders who have paid no UK tax on their large income stream. The same ex-Chancellor funnels his multi-million pound earnings into a commercial company based in an offshore tax haven thus avoiding UK tax on those earnings.

                • FuglydeQuietzapple

                  You’re doing that lying thing again. Brown receives only his salary as an MP and expenses in connection with his work as UN Education envoy.

                  It isn’t surprising that HMRC makes errors, nor that your source – the drunken driver Paul Staines – used to register his company in the W Indies to make libel and slander actions harder to bring. Eire is it now?

                  Your mental capacity is truly clear from your abuse 😉 as I may have mentioned.

                  Oh and your follow of the propaganda of billionaire owned media. Does Staines’ principal income still come from placing online advertising for the hyper rich?

                • GnosticBrian

                  There you go again making false assumptions – my source is on the third floor in 1 Horse Guards.

                  I’ve seen Staines in various Westminster watering holes but have never spoken to him. Nor am I one of Millbank’s army of trolls.

                • FuglydeQuietzapple

                  Best assume no change. Staines is still a lickspittle for the hyper rich, probably via placing advertising for them.

                • GnosticBrian

                  I’ve seen Mr Staines but I’ve never spoken to him so I’m in no position to comment on his predilections. You objected to him in an earlier post based on alleged motoring transgressions; what is your view on hit and run front bench politicians such as Harriet Harman and Ed Balls – is it just the arrogance of the political class in general that makes them think they can crash into ordinary folk’s cars and then not report the matter?

                • FuglydeQuietzapple

                  Paul Staines has a conviction for drunk driving, those against whom you have your grudge do not.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Against whom do you allege I hold a grudge and what is your evidence?

                  In 2003 Harriet Harman was fined £400 and banned from driving (she was caught doing 99mph); in 2007 she was again convicted of a speeding offence and was mo0nths late in paying the fine; another speeding conviction in 2007; in 2010 she was convicted for driving without due care and attention. Ede Balls has a string of motoring convictions, 2010 using a mobile phone whilst driving; April 2013, speeding on the M62; June 2013 speeding through a red light. By comparison, Mr Staines seems to have been less trouble to the Courts.

                • FuglydeQuietzapple

                  Drunk driving can obtain a prison sentence. And kills. Which is why it is treated very much more seriously. He had been drinking cobra lager too, pathetic to drink to excess, and then drive.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Driving without due care and attention; hit and run; speeding through a red light; driving with excessive speed can also attract custodial sentences, particularly if they involve death. Did Mr Staines kill anyone and was he actually sent down? You seem very obsessed with the fellow – is there a back story?

                • FuglydeQuietzapple

                  I mentioned that I’d not trust Staines and you produced spiels of irrelevant info about Labour politicians who remain utterly extraneous to the provenance of your link produced in support of your dishonest assertion.

                  Why might that be do you suppose?

                • GnosticBrian

                  You really do have a poor memory.

                  You asserted that Staines was my source for information on tax avoidance when he was not. You then blathered on abouit his driving record without addressing the tax avoidance issue. You are the one are the one seeking to divert attention.

                  I don’t follow the connection between Staines’ conviction for a motoring offence and his trustworthiness.- I could understand such a connection where the offender seeks to sneak away from the scene and hopes to evade responsibility.

                • FuglydeQuietzapple

                  As ever verbose and diversionary. Tax avoidance is principally the preserve of the right, such as Farage, Cameron’s father, Staines (who has other reasons – libel action avoidance – for registering his company abroad) My Tory MP from the 1980s was another drink and driver, resigned as Vice Chair of the Tory Party inconsequence. I suppose many cannot spout your lies sober.

                  Your hissy fit and lies become you.

                • pretty_polly

                  Tax avoidance is legal, and lots of very wealthy socialists including Labour MPs and Labour peers seek to reduce their tax bills wherever possible.

                  So there is no point to your post at all.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Again you display your ignorance and lack of hands on experience when it comes to tax avoidance.

                  The Labour party gives tax avoidance advice to doners – such as JML founder’s gift of shares; the Guardian avoided tax on £300m; and what are we to make of today’s revelations about Labour doner Bernie Ecclestone avoiding £1billion on his trust fund?

                  I can tell you from personal experience that it was much easier to get a Conservative Minister to sign off anti-avoidance measures than it was a Labour Minister.

                  What experience do you have on this subject?

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Yes, there is a post from you threatening libel, lad.

                  Now do FO.

                • GnosticBrian

                  No there is not. Provide the link or take your own foul mouthed fascist advice.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Scroll up.

                  And then, FO, lad.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Done that. As you know the offence that allege isn’t there no matter how often and how foul mouthed you repeat it. What is it with you fascists?

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Of course your libel threats are there, lad. It’s what you types do.

                  Now then, you really should FO now.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Clearly there are none such. Otherwise you would provide a link and desist from you foul-mouthed fascist rants.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  You’re at the link, lad. Scroll up.

                  Then FO.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Instead of your default foul mouthed rant, you might try paying attention. I have scrolled up and there is NOTHING to support your allegation.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  There is, but you’re an authoritarian and your default is squelching free speech, so you probably missed it as usual for you types.

                  Now FO.

                • GnosticBrian

                  What you describe is yourself as seen in the mirror of your foul-mouthed fascist postings,

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  No, I’m describing you, the libel threatener .

                  And that’s why you should just FO.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Epic fail! Trying to go back on what you said with typical foul mouthed fascist rant.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  The only fail is you threatening libel, lad.

                  Now FO, again.

                • GnosticBrian

                  There you go again, endlessly spouting your foul mouthed fascist lies.

                • Wessex Man

                  If you have no knowledge of the bubble how on earth do you function? r are you a spad?

                • GnosticBrian

                  I used the output of a bubble chamber once but I feel that is not what you have in mind. No, I’m not a WW1 French scout.

                • Wessex Man

                  You certainluy love to wind people up just to wind them up don’t you.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Not at all – just a plain embellished statement of opinion. But expecting someone who cannot spell the word “certainly” to understand might be too much.

                • Wessex Man

                  Didn’t know it was a spelling contest on this blog, you very sillly not very good wind up merchant.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Your ignorance in this and other matters comes as no surprise.

              • ButcombeMan

                No, on the contrary, the opinion of educated people does matter. Already the comments on Coffee House in respect of MM have been mentioned on Radio 4 (this morning).

                What we think here and what we say, does matter to Cameron.

                MM is toast.

                Cameron is discomfitted over this and his discomfort will not go away.

                “The Viceroy’s Gin” laments the absence of investigative reporting. The blogosphere in fact holds MM to account when parliament will not and the Courts can not. Newspapers are still digging though, wait for tomorrow.

                She most likely will not be prosecuted, not because there is no case to answer, there plainly is, (or could have been) but because a criminal investigation has been thwarted by the way the matter was dealt with ab initio.

                Labour has no doubt been quiet because they have plenty of similar skeletons.

                • GnosticBrian

                  I agree that all political parties have cipboards full of rattling skeletons – why do we continue to elect such low life?

                  Whether you or I like it or not, opinion expressed in the media counts for nothing in the Courts. Unless there is compelling new evidence, I doubt very much that this honourable member can be successfully brought to book.

                  The only ones who can impact on Maria are her constituents but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

                • Wessex Man

                  I thought you were going? why do you always disappoint?

                • GnosticBrian

                  Life is full of disappointments – like having to educate those who don’t know that they should begin a sentence with a capital letter. Education, education, education…

                • Wessex Man

                  like like i said brain, i thought it were a blog site not a debating chamber of a School, do grow up, get a life!

                • GnosticBrian

                  Oh diddums.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Oh do FO with your libel threats, lad .

        • GnosticBrian

          I threatened no one Dad – try putting more tonic and less gin in the glass next time it should help given your elderly faculties.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            Again, do FO with your libel threats.

            And that’s what you did, lad.

            • GnosticBrian

              That gin really is addling your faculties Dad – I threatened no one with libel. If that is still too difficult for you to understand, try sleeping it off.

              • the viceroy’s gin

                Of course you threatened. And do FO, lad.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Troll!

                • gerontius

                  he’s not a troll and she’s not honourable

                • GnosticBrian

                  If not a troll, why to repeatedly assert that I wrote that which I did not? And I’m sorry to see that you are irony impaired; next time I will try to make it clearer for you by using quotation marks: “honourable”.

                • gerontius

                  I do understand irony my little sunbeam, but I had my tongue in my cheek because your use of it was so lacking in guile.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Says the master of subtlety, not.

                • gerontius

                  I am, as you say, the master of subtlety. Listen and learn grasshopper.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Learn indeed – is there much to learn from Neanderthals?

                • gerontius

                  insult, like irony, needs a cutting edge if it is to serve its purpose.
                  Well that’s lesson number one dealt with.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Some feedback – I don’t find the insults that you dish out particularly cutting; I like grasshoppers.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …do FO, lad.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Dad, the FO wasn’t my Department. Toodle pip!

                • Wessex Man

                  Now do you promise you are going?

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …wrong acronym, lad. Now FO.

                • GnosticBrian

                  And what Dad, you know what I meant and that satisfies the requirements of communication.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …nothing’s satisfied until you FO, lad. .

                • GnosticBrian

                  Away with you and your fascist demands, Dad!

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  The fascist demands come from you the fascist libel threatening types, lad. Now, FO.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Oh Dad, your memory is failing you – I threatened NOBODY with libel action nor have I told anyone to FO. You are the fascist.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Of course you threatened, lad. Do FO, as mentioned.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Dad, for an aged person you really are immature – how can I threaten libel action on a case where I have NO involvement; who libeled me and when? Do grow up and stop telling lies old boy!

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Oh nobody’s saying anything you fascists do is supposed to make sense, lad. That never stops you types from threatening though, as you did above.

                  Now do FO, lad.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Dad, you are the fascist – twisting the truth and shouting obscenities at anyone who dares to voice a contrary opinion. I threatened nobody; how could I when there is no actionable offence against me? Sadly that seems to be too difficult for your limited intellectual capacity to grasp. You are stuck in a repetitive groove – snap out of it Dad!

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  No, lad, you threatened libel, to silence dissent, as you fascists regularly do.

                  Now do FO.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Oh Dad, you are still stuck in the same old record. You seem not to have the intellect to distinguish between a comment to the effect that calling someone a thief, without evidence, RISKS libel action (shades of Sally and Lord M) and a threat to institute such proceedings. I have no locus in this matter and cannot institute proceedings. Is that really too difficult for you to understand?

                  The failure to tolerate dissenting opinion and the constant use of obscenities make you the fascist – do you work in Labour HQ perchance?

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Oh, so now comes the parsing. A typical fascist tactic, when caught out for threatening and cajoling.

                  Do FO, lad.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Oh Dad you are such an old fascist – if the party tells you black is white you will agree. The foul language and intolerance of other views is so typical of the left. No doubt you agree with your beloved former leader (Bomber Blair) that he brought peace to the people of Iraq!

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Always call others fascist, that’s how you fascists always do it . Well, that and you threaten them with libel.

                  And for that, just FO, lad.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Oh Dad, you really are pathetic. I apply the “duck” test – you shout obscenities to try to shout prevent others expressing a contrary view, you tell lies about them – typical fascist behaviour. If the cap fits, wear it!

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Oh so now you’re bringing your bestiality into it, you fascist?

                  Well you and the ducks can just FO, lad.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Oh Dad, as with all fascists, your are a pathetic, foul mouthed moron!

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  You’re so tedious. Do FO, lad.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Dad, you are a pathetic foul mouthed fascist liar.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Still tedious, lad. Do FO.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Says the foul mouthed fascist who seeks to prevent any comment with which he disagrees.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  No, lad, you’re the one threatening free speech, scroll up.

                  Now FO.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Priceless – when did I ever try to suppress your, or anyone’s, right to post on this site? You have used the same foul mouthed epithet in every comment made to me with the intention of denying my freedom to post on this site. You are a fascist troll!

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Scroll up, you fascist.

                  And nobody’s denying you anything, lad. Now FO.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Have done; no threats from me. You are a foul mouthed fascist troll!

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Yes, from you, threats of libel, and in a discussion decrying such .

                  Now FO, lad.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Liar, liar, pants on fire. Foul mouthed fascist troll!

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Are you still in here threatening people, lad?

                  You really should FO, you know.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Produce the post where I made a threat you foul mouthed fascist liar.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Again, scroll up, lad.

                  Oh, and FO.

                • GnosticBrian

                  More of your foul mouthed fascist lies. When are you going to realise that your attempts to suppress my right to hold a view that differs from yours will not work – I’m a free born Englishman.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  You’re a libel threatening fascist, lad.

                  Now take this sound advice, and FO.

                • GnosticBrian

                  No I’m not. Provide the link or take your own foul mouthed fascist advice.

                • FuglydeQuietzapple

                  How censored is the Telegraph? Much the same as when Mr Oginga Odinga used to cut out the bits President Kenyatta wasn’t allowed to see. Very wholly indeed.
                  As per the DT when fascists like yourself are out abusing.

                • GnosticBrian

                  I’m not a fascist. Where is your evidence in support of the allegation that I abused anyone? Put up or shut up.

                • FuglydeQuietzapple

                  Read your posts. Consult a dictionary.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Have done old boy. Can’t see anything remotely like that of which you complain. Perhaps your recollection on this matter is just as bad as your recollection of the driving penalties racked up by Harman and Balls?

                • FuglydeQuietzapple

                  I didn’t claim expertise in the matter of driving penalty points, leaving that to you and your no doubt fertile imagination. Perhaps you approve of Staines’ drinking and driving, as you are so keen to divert from his manifest want of morality. Is he more than a passing acquaintance of yours?

                • GnosticBrian

                  You have a very poor attention span – Staines is NOT an acquaintance of mine; I’ve seen him in Westminster watering holes but have never communicated with him. Unlike you, I don’t set myself up in moral judgement – I just asked you if you equally condemned the motoring transgressions of the Mad Hattie and Mr Toad. But you seem to be obsessed with Staines – a lover’s tiff?

                • FuglydeQuietzapple

                  Ah yes , fascist censorship. Fascists may make false allegations, anti racists may not ask questions prompted by those.

                • GnosticBrian

                  You’d be the one to know about fascism. And why mention racism – is it because Staines is Irish that you have a down on him? If so, shame on you.

                • FuglydeQuietzapple

                  On the contrary, it had not even occurred to me to check his “race” which would be a sign of “racism” I’m sure you now see.

                • GnosticBrian

                  So why did you bring up the issue of racism?

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Scroll up, lad. Your threats are right there.

                  And after that… FO.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Done that. And despite you endless foul mouthed fascist rants, nothing to see.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Nothing for a threatening fascist to see, but what else is new, lad?

                  Now FO.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Sadly, Easter has not impacted on your foul mouthed intemperate rants.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …nor your rigorous embrace of libel threats.

                  Now FO in a hurry.

                • GnosticBrian

                  I’ve threatened no one with a libel action. Nor have I reported your foul mouthed fascist rants.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Yes, you have so threatened.

                  That’s why you need to hurry up and FO.

                • GnosticBrian

                  No I have not – and your foul-mouthed rant is not going to change that basic FACT!

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Yes, you have.

                  Now FO.

                • GnosticBrian

                  No, I haven’t! And despite repeated requests that you back up your foul mouthed fascist lies with evidence, you haven’t.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Scroll up, lad.

                  And then FO.

                • GnosticBrian

                  You appear to suffer from dementia. I have repeatedly told you that I’ve scrolled up and that there is NO post such as alleged in your repeated foul-mouthed fascist lies. If you continue to claim that there is such a post, why don’t you cut and paste it into your next rant?

                • GnosticBrian

                  Sadly, Easter seems not to have moderated your foul-mouthed fascist rants.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  … are you posting your civil liberties destroying nonsense TWICE now, lad?

                  Well, all I can say to that is you should FO twice.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Computer crashed. I re-booted (is that the correct term?), re-posted and then the machine chose to revert to where it had been pr-crash.

                  Doubtless your foul mouthed fascist rants have cowed your machine into a state of blind obedience.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Yes, you authoritarians always have an excuse for your repression and threats.

                  But there is no excuse for you types… so FO twice.

                • GnosticBrian

                  You are losing it big time. You are the authoritarian one spouting foul-mouthed fascist rants.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  And you authoritarians even double down on the threats, as here.

                  So you should double-FO.

                • GnosticBrian

                  More foul mouthed fascist lies from you. Too much bitter in your gin?

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  No, only you libel threateners are to be considered fascist, lad.

                  That’s why you are being told to FO.

                • GnosticBrian

                  Endless repetition of your foul-mouthed fascist lies doesn’t make them true. Copy and paste the alleged libel threat!

                • Wessex Man

                  oh no he’s still here!

                • GnosticBrian

                  Oh no, you still haven’t learned to begin a sentence with a capital letter. Now stop playing with the computer and do your homework. Try to pay more attention in school tomorrow and maybe they will move you up to the juniors.

                • Wessex Man

                  has he gone now?

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …not yet apparently.

  • Chris Rose

    This incident also shows why we need the power of recall. What Miller has done, aside from attempting to put pressure on the Press, should be judged by the good burghers of Basingstoke who elected her.

    • sarah_13

      I don’t understand why this story is only news now. This story was in the telegraph last year, that was when Cameron should have removed Miller. But it is yet another example of how he has no sense of dealing with issues before they become huge problems. He is too restricted by how things look, instead of getting rid of Miller because she is incompetent and arrogant he kept her because she is a women. She is an appalling minister and should have been removed as soon as this story was known to him, but instead he has gifted labour a massive story. Labour and hacked off stitched up our free press and they will be credited with getting rid of this idiotic incompetent minister. Cameron doesn’t seem to learn, I find it very depressing.

      • John Lea

        Wrong, he won’t get rid of Miller because his own misdemeanours in re to expenses vastly exceeded hers.

      • http://batman-news.com Whizjet

        von Schiller:

        ‘Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain.’

      • saffrin

        “Instead he has gifted labour a massive story”
        How so?
        Gifted the electorate with another Cameron incompetence story more like.

        • telemachus

          The story here is that the Telegraph are squirming and turning to dirty tricks to ensure they do not have to behave by reasonable codes of contact
          Sadly Speccie is the same stable

          • saffrin

            The story is today’s parliamentarians still can’t be trusted with anything.

            • sarah_13

              No the story is not that. Most parliamentarians do a good job and are trustworthy. The story is politicians should be kept miles away from the free press and Cameron is still apologising for being a white male etonian. He doesn’t have to, we don’t care, we just want him to have competent people around him not tokens like Baroness Warsi or Maria Miller. That is the story.

              • Wessex Man

                The story is very much about our corrupt commanding Westmister, whose rules apply to everyone except theirselves, you have obviously not had much in the way of dealings with this contemptible rabble.

                • telemachus

                  And about the Telegraph highjacking an issue to bully the Leveson process

                • Kitty MLB

                  Leveson was a silly leftie old fool,
                  that inquiry was a joke. And he did’nt
                  even recognize the influence of the internet
                  as far as the news was concerned.

                • telemachus

                  But he did have a stab at regulation

                • Kitty MLB

                  What he and the lawyers did, was to obtain
                  a small fortune for that circus. Mind
                  you it was quite riveting at times..

                • telemachus

                  Especially when the coquettish Rebekah was on the stand

                • Kitty MLB

                  Yes her wild hair, can imagine her on a broomstick flying across the skies of Oxfordshire. Also memories of Mrs Brown
                  and her pyjama parties, and the creepy smile of Brown.And
                  not to forget the smiling villain Blair and memories of him being God Father to Wendy and Rupert’s child- Does that
                  child have a wide grin ? I wonder. Very clever though
                  devious Tony- never having a mobile phone.

                • Wessex Man

                  You dirty old man!

          • Frank

            What dirty tricks you prune. The story here is that we have a bent MP and a PM who won’t sack her. The curious thing is that your favourite party is not making nearly as big a fuss as one might expect them to, which suggests that they are very nervous of being attacked for the same frauds on expenses as Miller.

            • Wessex Man

              Well don’t forget they had a load sent to prison!

              • 2trueblue

                Too few.

            • ButcombeMan

              They are all (or almost all) plainly in it together.

            • Alexsandr

              cos they have history. Jaqui smith, bob ainsworth, hazel blears were all at it, and never got their collars felt.

              • 2trueblue

                I am amazed that Liebore dare open the box as they presided over the most corrupt parliament in our time and did not even try to clean it up because the numbers involved are all interlinked.

            • telemachus

              No
              This is MacGregor and Nelson gleaning evidence for their crusade against regulation

              • Colonel Mustard

                The crusade IS the regulation. No thanks. We need to keep the left’s filthy hands off the press.

                • telemachus

                  Why private
                  What do you want to hide?

                • Colonel Mustard

                  To get up your nose, stalker.

                • Mynydd

                  So it’s OK for the extreme right wing to control the press Or for the extreme right wing press to control prime ministers.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Did I say that? No. Did you just make it up? Yes.

                  Try something other than misrepresentation, twisting, lying and smearing. But you can’t. It’s in your communist DNA.

              • ButcombeMan

                Personally I feel safer if they are not regulated,

          • sarah_13

            Thank goodness the telegraph has some b****s. The story is maria miller in order to cover up her incompetence and irregularity on her exprenses used menace to stop the british public knowing, legitimately, about her behaviour. That is the story, and it is a story we should all be concerned about not for today but tomorrow when even more important stories are covered up by politicians.

            • telemachus

              So it is unimportant that the Telegraph door stepped a sick old man
              And the same paper is using a minor infringement to justify its reprehensible stance against regulation

              • sarah_13

                One thing has nothing to do with the other. Maria Miller’s special adviser used menace, was recordered doing so, and she is certainly not the only one to have done so it just happens to be the only story of this kind recorders, to stop a reporter following a story to inform the british public. It was done because that particular politician did not want her incompetence or wrongdoing, or both, exposed and therefore used her influence and power to undermine the free press. That is the problem here, a very serious problem that has ramifications for every single person in the country. Hacked off and those vested interest individuals and groups who wish to shackle the press have used the labour party to get their anti-free press agenda into law. It is a disgrace and a betrayal of the british people’s right to a free press.

                • telemachus

                  I listened to the tape
                  It did not sound too threatening to me
                  A robust interaction between press and spad that must happen every day
                  I have no doubt that much as I detest Miller and all her type that she knew nothing of this
                  The Telegraph are milking this for their own narrow political ends
                  They must be resisted

                • sarah_13

                  You are wrong read the transcript and listen to it again. The special adviser said she was alerting the reporter to the fact that they were having meetings about leveson and that did her superiors know about this. What must be resisted is any attempt to shackle the free press.

                • telemachus

                  So what would you have said
                  Spad’s have a duty to be robust on the part of their ministers
                  The sinister agenda here is the Telegraph trying to influence down further the diluted regulation they have allowed

                • sarah_13

                  Read the royal charter, read the recommendations, read what the press are supposed to sign up to , read the consequences of them not signing up the idea that they pay costs even if they win cases etc etc. Now consider all of that, then imagine you are a newspaper editor and consider the this event in that light. There is nothing else to say on the subject. The free press is too important. Criminal wrong doing is a separate matter and there are plenty of laws to cope with that but this is a story about the free press

                • telemachus

                  So you are happy that your free press apologist of today doorsteps a sick old man

                • sarah_13

                  Again, one thing has nothing to do with the other. The discussion is now circular.

                • telemachus

                  No
                  Telegraph doorsteps sick old man
                  Would be censured with adequate regulation
                  Telegraph escapes because of no regulation
                  Telegraph stokes up a non story about a robust typical spad who acts off own bat to ensure no further attempts to regulate
                  Of course they are linked

                • Wessex Man

                  The Labour Party pick one old man up at conference and throw him out, was that an occasion you were happy with my friend?

                • telemachus

                  Yes
                  Door Stepping a man just our of hospital is Stasi-esque

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …you would know about the Stasi, lad .

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Sick old man fiddles money out of taxpayer. Sick old man gets rich.

                • telemachus

                  Sick old man’s daughter

                • ButcombeMan

                  I am,

                  But, I doubt they knew he had been ill.

                • telemachus

                  As in law
                  Ignorance is no excuse

                • ButcombeMan

                  Not quite the same.

                  We need an alert press working on our behalf,

                  Unlike you I do not want them neutered. Our freedoms can depend on the press.

                  Sometimes of course, they get things wrong.

                  Other times (e.g. Dowler) they do things wrong.

                  In the order of mischief, doorstepping a man who had recently come out hospital but is fit enough to get to the door and chat, is pretty low down, very low down, if they did not know.

                • 2trueblue

                  Nearer to home, we need our paid for BBC to be properly run and not be the voice box for Liebore.

                • Wessex Man

                  So again, did the Labour Party have an excuse?

              • Wessex Man

                My dear Tele, this Westminster Village of all it political strips watches our every move, know all our medical records and all our financial records, where we go what we do and with whom, to which political organisations we belong.

                We nned the free press or we would end up like Hitler’s Germany, Lenin and Stalin’s Russia and Mao’s China!

                • telemachus

                  In the instance of your middle example people were equal and felt free

                • Wessex Man

                  Yes of course they did, off to the Gulag, heads shaven most never heard of again, while dear Stalin lived the life of an Emperor to rival dear old Rome!

              • Mike Purves

                The ‘sick old man’ story has been cynically hyped by Miller and her apologists for obvious reasons. The reporter who visited has stated that he had a long and affable chat, in which her father freely confirmed how long he had lived there, and that he was not paying towards the cost of running the house. (Ergo, we are.)

          • Kitty MLB

            Come dear Telemachus. No one is playing dirty tricks,
            you are being silly now. And Labour after al their duplicity
            cannot spout too much or they may remind us of that fact.
            And they would rather lurk in the shadows these days, would they not.

            • telemachus

              You clearly did not hear the condemnation from John Mann
              But the issue remains the use by the Telegraph of a minor infringement to justify their haughty stance on regulation

              • Colonel Mustard

                Wind your neck in you horrid little commie. The only dirty tricks are coming from you and your ghastly fellow travellers trying to shut down the free press.

                • Kitty MLB

                  indeed the free press is there to give us a voice
                  no wonder lefties want to gag it.

        • sarah_13

          By not dealing with Maria Miller when this story first came to light he has enable labour, John Mann etc to appear to take the moral high ground. Labour, who along with hacked off stitched up the free press, labour who had more mp’s jailed, labour who have no room to give lessons on morality or any other subject for that matter. That is how he has gifted labour a story. It need not have come to this, he should have got rid of her ages ago but he is too scared to look like he’s sacking a woman. I’m a woman and I don’t care who is in government as long as they are competent. Maria Miller has never appeared competent, and it appears that appearances are not deceptive in this case.

          • saffrin

            You don’t get it, for every story revealed by the press regards incompetence, war mongering, fraud, theft or anything, anything whatsoever, UKIP gain more support.
            Clegg, Miliband and Cameron are all finished.
            It is over. The days of the Labour/Con tag team are done forever.

            • sarah_13

              I’m not sure what you get that I don’t? What is your point, that more stories of mps incompetence and apparent corruption is just another nail in the coffin of the “lib/lab/conS”? I do “get” that. I don’t agree. I am not a ukip supporter however I think Nigel Farage is a decent man with concerns about the EU, legitimate ones that must be discussed and he deserves a medal for keeping europe on the agenda. However ukip take votes from the conservatives the labour party will be the beneficiaries and we the people will be the losers.

              I think Miller’s resignation is an unnecessary distraction and may add to the public disillusionment with politicians which is a shame because the conservatives are not responsible nor are they the worst culprits. The people largely responsible for which are the LABOUR party. Their arrogance and inability to speak the truth, their dissembling and spin the main culprits being Campbell and Mandhelson. Brown and Ball’s splitting up of the bank regulation by bank of england and incompetent financial “management” based on dissertations from Ball’s economics degree! Their arrogance and incompetence, their irresponsible overseeing of massive immigration, immigration of the kind that disturbs even recent immigrants. Their stifling of any discussion on any issue, their acquiescence on europe, their moral superiority, their student politics their general immaturity and incompetence and their genuflexion to the lowest common denominator in society…. All of this and more should be laid at the door of the labour party and their last 13 years of disgraceful “governance”.

              I don’t believe the conservative party even comes close to labour on these issues. That is why I, whether you agree with me or not, feel exasperated when Cameron who has some really decent back bench mps and is the best of the bunch of party leaders, including Farage, should back Miller and whether it makes people vote for Farage or is a big story to reinforce labour’s”nasty tory” prejudice, it will ultimately only benefit labour.

              • saffrin

                UKIP take votes from everybody including me.
                I voted Labour from when I was old enough to vote back in the 70’s up to and including 1997.
                Ever since I have voted either UKIP or BNP.
                I voted Tory last time for the simple reason neither UKIP or the BNP forwarded a candidate and I hoped with my local MP having only a 900-ish majority, with him gone that would be another nail in the coffin for Labour.
                At my last council election I spoil my ballot paper because only one party stood for election. That party was LibLabCon.
                Now I’m sure because I have voted BNP in the past you’ll probably put that down to me being a racist without for a moment thinking about what they had in their manifesto that would attract traditional Labour voters.
                For me, the first step to justice is getting out of the European Union, after that, for me at least, it’s renationalisation of things like the Royal Mail, utilities and railways.

                • sarah_13

                  I have no problem with Ukip but Nick Griffin is a despicable human being and the BNP are a fringe extremist party. I hope you keep voting conservative because they are the only party who will offer a referendum. Ukip won’t get enough support and all they will achieve is taking votes from the conservatives. The only party definitely offering a referendum is the Tory party I hope you vote for them.

                • saffrin

                  If you think Cameron is going to hold a referendum in 2017 you’re as daft as Harriet Harman.

                • sarah_13

                  I don’t think I am. He has been forced by Nigel’s dedicated commitment and hard work keeping europe on the agenda and by the very eurosceptic tory backbenchers to commit to a referendum. We will get the referendum in 2017 just as Cameron promised a referendum on AV, and we got that, and a referendum on scotland and they will get that. Cameron could have done without both of those referendums but he committed to them and we got them.

                • saffrin

                  Miliband won’t let him. Call me Dave and Miliband will be teaming up in a cooperative to hold off our Nigel who’ll be sitting in number 10.

                • 2trueblue

                  Casino banking and property price growth was a worldwide issue, and still is in some areas.

      • Frank

        It is interesting reading about the Commissioner for Standards views. Leaving to one side the issue of the parental presence, she thought that Maria Miller should only be able to claim for the original mortgage of £215K, rather than the subsequently inflated amount, curiously increased to just within the maximum allowable. I assume that someone within the Miller household realised that, by increasing their mortgage, they could get funds to invest in the stock market, or increase their pension pot, etc, and that the cost of this extra debt would be entirely carried by the public via the expenses system.
        It is further interesting that the MPs on the Committee for Standards rejected this analysis and allowed Miller to claim virtually all the interest £90K, rather than the £50K proposed by the Commissioner. It makes me wonder who else in the House of Commons is using an increased mortgage to fund their investment portfolio, additional pension payments, etc? Is this why Labour is being so muted about Miller?

        • ButcombeMan

          You have not many ticks up but you are spot on Frank, I agree entirely.
          It is fairly obvious but the hacks are not mentioning it. I conclude we are badly served by political commentators as well as MPs

          • the viceroy’s gin

            Yes, there once was something called “investigative reporting”, but that species went extinct within the Londonistan bubble long ago, for certain.

            • telemachus

              Now we have doorstepping by the Telegraph now NoW has been expunged

            • Chingford Man

              What’s “investigative reporting”? I’ve been raised on the pap churned out by the kids on the Speccie and the Torygraph so I don’t know.

        • sarah_13

          You are probably right Frank, I hadn’t considered the figures in the way you have. I’m sure there are many mp’s who have done the same. I hoped the new rules would prevent this, my view is that they should have a much bigger salary with no expenses but I’m afraid that is probably a minority view. My concern in this case is the free press and Cameron’s self imposed impotence because of his feeling that as a white etonian he does not have “standing” to criticise a woman in his cabinet. I am a woman and the incompetence of the token women such as Warsi and Miller should be dispensed with. He should stop apologising for who he is and get on governing. And as a leader of any organisation he should be competent enough to spot a problem before it becomes a crisis.

          • telemachus

            Why turn this on Cameron
            We know he surrounds himself with miscreants
            Coulson
            Fox
            Huhne
            Rock
            Laws
            Let us not allow the Telegraph to get this antiregulatory publicity

            • sarah_13

              “Miscreants”?! I think you betray yourself with comments like that.

              In respect of the Telegraph, it is doing its job. At the risk of repeating myself, but I will because this certainly bear’s repeating, a politician’s special adviser tried to stop a reporter reporting a story about her expenses. The adviser was recorded using menace, i.e. implying if you know what’s good for you I wouldn’t continue with this story and I shall contact your superiors about it because they don’t want leveson consequences. The special adviser then proceeded to contact the reporter’s superior to try to block the story. That is a big problem and if you don’t think so then there isn’t much else to say.

              • telemachus

                Come on
                Spad’s ring up the media with worse threats daily
                Convention is not to reveal spad conversations
                So just why has the Telegraph
                If not to further their anti regulatory agenda

                • sarah_13

                  Like I said, you are wrong.

                • telemachus

                  Sadly you have knuckled to the intimidatory stance of the right wing press

                • ButcombeMan

                  If the press were truly effective, MM would have resigned by now.

                • telemachus

                  I think you are right
                  But sadly they chose to go on a stupid spad story rather than the actions of a miscreant minister

                • ButcombeMan

                  Well no, it started rather more targeted on MM but of course the SpAd was out of order and crass.

                  MM will have to resign the front bench. Cameron is just dragging it out. The Telegraph has more for tomorrows edition.

                  I would not at all surprised to find the Telegraph has more, damaging recordings.

                  This is where Cameron’s sheer lack of basic common sense shows

                • telemachus

                  Agree MM must go
                  And Cameron must become decisive
                  But the Telegraph must stop its sanctimonious posturing

                • Colonel Mustard

                  As opposed to the intimidatory stance of Labour spads.

                • Mynydd

                  Examples please.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Damien McBride 2009, Alex Belardinelli 2007, Phil Taylor 2007, Paul Richards 2007, Blair McDougall 2007, Jo Moore 2201 and 2002, Charles Whelan 1997 and 1999, and of course the master of them all Alistair Campbell 1998, 2001, 2003.

                • telemachus

                  Charlie was a delightful genius

                  It was Peter (M) who first recommended to Gordon Brown that I should become his spin doctor. As a result, I spent most of the last election campaign seated next to him at the so-called “spin-table” in Labour’s Millbank headquarters, and can personally testify to his immense talent as a political tactician. We only fell out once during the whole campaign, and on that occasion he tried to use his legendary bullying technique on me. But he had picked on the wrong person. I had spent many years working for the hardest man in the trade union movement, Jimmy Airlie. Jimmy, faced with this provocation, would just have given Peter a Glasgow kiss. Rather than headbutting him, however, I simply shouted back, to the obvious delight of many of my colleagues.

                • Kitty MLB

                  Its a real disappointment that everyone
                  of those people (especially Darling Damian)
                  Could not sit around that sinister ‘spin table’
                  And spin themselves in to total oblivion.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  telemachus, Terry, tel, wears his communist credentials heavily but it is as well to remember the Labour party is full of such creatures. Airlie was a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain but later in his life, in 1991, he switched his allegiance to the Labour Party. However, describing his own political views he said, “I am a Communist. I have been a Communist all my life. My entire career has been devoted to advancing the cause of the working class”.

                  Why do communists join the Labour party instead of the Communist Party of Great Britain? Power. They know they will never win votes standing as communists so they slither into the Labour party. It is full of them.

                • Kitty MLB

                  Yes I agree. But the worrying thing for me is that people
                  just see Miliband as just a bumbling fool and the same as
                  Cameron. But he his not. Miliband is a real communist
                  Karl Marx adoring chap and a true danger. He just cloaks
                  himself in this harmless nerdy image.

                • FuglydeQuietzapple

                  No evidence to support your lies.

                • FuglydeQuietzapple

                  Totalitarian censors who are happy for lies about Labour’s leader and communists to appear are less happy about a more general point about nazis, Ukip and the Tories. Funny that.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Tch tch, tel, really. Too much information.

                • Kitty MLB

                  Excellent Colonel, and thank you for reminding
                  people, Lefties have such short memories. I see
                  that Telemachus is snapping at your heels
                  again. Telling you how wonderful Charlie
                  Whelan and no doupt Damian Mc Bride were.

                • FuglydeQuietzapple

                  McBride intimidated no-one. His email was hacked and material stolen. No prosecutions eventuated because the Met is largely fascist and/or pro Tory. That’s why Blair’s diary secretary was torn from her bed at 6.30 am one morning. In fact the right is so thuggish I was stalked to my local mini mart a few years back.

                  Who broke thumbs? The BUF, forerunners of the BNP and Ukip.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  No doubt spads ringing up the media to threaten them is Labour practice honed in the days of their tyranny from 1997 to 2010.

                • Mynydd

                  Please check the records and give details of when any one in the media complained about Labour spads.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  See above and also familiarise yourself with UCL’s Research Note: Special Advisers and Public Allegations of Misconduct 1997 – 2013.

          • 2trueblue

            The trouble is that so many of them must be tainted or gutless, or both, otherwise this mess would have been cleaned up originally. It business there is no opportunity to defraud the company on the scale that the MPs have defrauded the electorate. In the case of defrauding your employer, not to mention the inland revenue, the law is enforced. Why is there a problem here? The law is the law.

        • Tom Tom

          MPs have large BTL portfolios which require pyramiding of mortgages

      • FuglydeQuietzapple

        The facts were being established. The DT is not a sound organ for that purpose.

    • FuglydeQuietzapple

      Cameron sent her to her local Tory Association and she resigned her post, but did not precipitate a possibly catastrophic by election, from the Tory point of view.

      How should a Recall ballot babe triggered? Petition of 15% of those on the electoral roll, and a deposit if the petition fails very badly?

  • telemachus

    I detect here a handle on which journalists are hanging their ‘we are not going to listen to the will of the people’ agenda
    Leveson spoke loud and clear
    The Old Bailey is airing the concerns over again
    Never again should we be subject to the Dowler tragedy
    Remember this has been wound up by theTelegraph on the back of doorstepping a sick old man

    • anyfool

      Is their no gutter that you will not sink to get your tendentious points across.

      • Colonel Mustard

        tendentious is one word to describe them. I can think of another much shorter one also beginning with ‘t’

      • Wessex Man

        He loves looking up at the stars from his positon in the gutter.

    • Colonel Mustard
    • saffrin

      Leveson doesn’t speak for the people anymore than Chilcot does.
      Had they, Murdoc would be in jail and Bliar would have been swinging from the end of a rope.

    • Alexsandr

      do tell me who elected leveson?

Close
Can't find your Web ID? Click here