Sunday, September 18, 2005

New Labour revealed

Lance Price worked for Tony Blair as deputy head of Downing Street Communications.

According to Lance Price's book 'The Spin Doctor's Diary':

1. Blair 'relished' sending British soldiers off to war

2. Blair referred to "the f***ing Welsh".

3. Blair promised Rupert Murdoch that the Government would not change its policy on Europe without telling him first.

According to The Sunday Telegraph, the Government forced Price to remove sections of the diary before publication.

But the full version is revealed in the Mail on Sunday, 18 September 2005.

A diary entry by Price from Christmas 1998 after Mr Blair sent British forces into Iraq:

"I couldn't help feeling TB (Blair) was relishing his first blooding as PM, sending the boys into action. Despite all the necessary stuff about taking action 'with a heavy heart', I think he feels it is part of his coming of age as a leader."

The censored account reads: "I couldn't help feeling TB had mixed emotions about sending the boys into action."


According to the Sunday Telegraph 18 September 2005: Secret plans by the Government to reduce troop numbers in Iraq have been shelved - and there is now no official date for the withdrawal of British soldiers.

So far, operations in Iraq are estimated to have cost Britain £5 billion and, since the American-led invasion in 2003, 95 British troops have been killed there.)

In a censored section, Mr Price claims that the Government consulted Mr Murdoch on its policy on the single currency. "Apparently we've promised News International we won't make any changes to our Europe policy without talking to them." This was changed to: "Apparently News International were under the impression we won't make any changes without asking them."

Blair is said to have been furious when it appeared that Labour could lose the first elections to the Welsh Assembly in 1999. Mr Price wrote: "F***ing Welsh repeated many times by TB."
The doctored version reads: "TB f-ing and blinding about the whole thing."

Andy McSmith, in the Independent 18 September 2005, reports that, during a private conversation with Rupert Murdoch, Tony Blair criticised the BBC's anti-American coverage of Hurricane Katrina.

According to McSmith, this 'speaks volumes about where the Prime Minister's loyalties lie...

There are, rather, two transatlantic special relationships that have dominated Tony Blair's 11-year leadership of the Labour Party. One is with the US government; the other is with the naturalised US citizen Rupert Murdoch.'

McSmith reminds us:

1. 'In the early 1990s, Blair and senior aides flew across the world and back to address an annual conference that Murdoch and his senior executives were holding at the Australian resort of Hayman Island.'

2. 'In March 1998, when Murdoch made a £4bn offer to buy an Italian television station from Silvio Berlusconi, a Turin newspaper reported that Blair had contacted the Italian Prime Minister, Romano Prodi, to ask if the government in Rome would block the deal.

To say the least, it was odd that the British Prime Minister should concern himself with an Australian-American billionaire's interest in an Italian television station.'

Paul Hutcheon, in the Sunday Herald, 18 September 2005, has a report on Charles Gordon who is the Labour Party's candidate in the Glasgow Cathcart by-election (Scottish Parliament)

Labour's Charles Gordon is the favourite to win the seat vacated by disgraced Labour peer Mike Watson.

The Sunday Herald reveals that Gordon said:

Labour MSP and former culture minister Frank McAveety was “thought of as a daft boy” who “wasn’t really rated” by anybody when he was leader of Glasgow City Council.

“Frank’s got the attention span of a goldfish. I’d be sitting here saying ‘Frank, there’s a complicated point about the capital programme that I need to explain to you’ … and he’d be strumming away on his guitar.”,6903,1572727,00.html

Martin Bright, in the Observer 18 September 2005, reveals more information on Labour minister Blunkett.

1. Last week Lord Stevens, the former Metropolitan Police Commissioner, accused Blunkett of being 'duplicitous and intimidating' and his biographer, Stephen Pollard, said: 'Whatever else he may be, Blunkett is indeed a liar.'

2. As Home Secretary, he had to resign because of his poor recollection of details of the visa application for the nanny of his former lover, Kimberly Quinn.

An inquiry by the former senior civil servant, Sir Alan Budd, last year found 'a chain of events' linking the Home Secretary to the visa application.

3. After Blunkett resigned as Home Secretary, 'a friend' of the MP rang the Observer and said:

'If you had actually planted her [Quinn] it would be a sort of Secret Service plot. Get someone as close as possible [to someone] in one of the high offices of state and then pull them down.'

The Observer reported the source's comments.

The Labour party issued a categorical denial of the story.

The Observer "has now decided to publish evidence that the Labour statement was untrue. The call from the source was made at 8.27am on Saturday 18 December 2004, and the words were recorded on voicemail. This newspaper still has the recording of that message and a later conversation with the same source. In the later conversation, the source asked for the comments to be off the record. We agreed. We will not reveal our source, but there is no doubt David Blunkett knows who it is.

"Yet Blunkett must have agreed, later that evening when the story appeared, to the Labour statement, which read: 'Neither David Blunkett or anyone who speaks with his authority has said this.'

"The statement was emailed to The Observer at 10.47pm by a party press officer, Matthew Doyle. He is now Blunkett's special adviser and was fielding calls last week about separate claims that Blunkett intervened over his son's exam results.

"In a flurry of phone calls that continued late that night, The Observer made clear to Doyle that if the Labour party continued to disown the comments, we would release the voicemail tape and the subsequent conversation. Labour withdrew the statement that evening.

"Doyle confirmed this weekend that the original statement to The Observer, in which Blunkett denied that he or anyone authorised to speak for him had made the comments, was 'modified' to reflect our objections and 'was not given to other newspapers'. There is no suggestion that Doyle has done anything wrong.

"The Observer did not publish details of the subsequent exchange with the party because the comments were off the record. In addition, Blunkett had resigned from high office.

"However, after the election he was appointed Work and Pensions Secretary after less than six months in the wilderness. Now he is tipped for a return to the Home Office. In a week in which Blunkett has been called duplicitous by one of the country's most respected former police chiefs and a liar by his biographer, The Observer has decided to reveal these details."


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