Tag Archives: patricia hewitt

Opinion: Lobbying scandals strengthen Lib Dem calls for reform

The Independent’s expose of the tactics used by the lobbying firm Bell Pottinger to impress potential clients shines the spotlight again on the lobbying industry.

A team from Bell Pottinger was filmed pitching to journalists posing as representatives of the Uzbekistan Government, a regime which, as Amnesty’s 2011  report shows, has an atrocious human rights record. The lobbyists boasted of virtually instant access to the Prime Minister and other members of the Cabinet.

If I were James Dyson, I would not be happy that my PR company were citing access to the Prime Minister on my behalf as part of …

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Daily View 2×2: 23 March 2010

Diagram of wings of early planeIn history, March 23rd was the day in 1903 the Wright Brothers applied for a patent on one of the earliest aeroplanes – and the day in 1933 Adolf Hitler became dictator of Germany.

It’s birthday to Joan Crawford, Wernher von Braun, José Manuel Barroso, Marti Pellow and Russell Howard.

Today in history, two people who underwent pioneering surgical procedures died: Britain’s youngest ever liver transplant patient died, aged three, and in 1982, the recipient of the first ever artificial heart died, aged 61.

2 Big Stories

All yesterday, two huge political stories raged through the online world: the farce of a Tory attempt to use social media, #cashgordon, and foreshadowing of last night’s Dispatches, which showed three Labour former cabinet ministers in a very bad light.

The newspapers catch up with the latter, but don’t seem to be covering the former.

Byers, Hewitt and Hoon suspended over lobbying allegations

The Telegraph reports:

Three former Cabinet ministers, Stephen Byers, Patricia Hewitt and Geoff Hoon, have been suspended from the Parliamentary Labour Party over allegations they tried to sway policy decisions by lobbying the Government.

The Lib Dem party line on this horrid mess which embarrasses Parliament?

Liberal Democrat Shadow Leader of the House, David Heath said, “MPs should not be using their positions to further their own interests over those of the people they should be representing. Liberal Democrats brought forward measures to restrict the influence of lobbyists in Parliament. Sadly, Labour voted them down while the Tories failed to show up. Labour and the Tories claim they want to clean up politics but the reality proves different.”

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Were Hoon and Hewitt of the wrong generation to succeed?

There are many, many reasons why the snow coup melted away so quickly. In amongst them is the lack of any groundswell of support, whether from backbench MPs or activists around the country, for the latest attempt.

Today’s Guardian throws an interesting light on the detail of how such grassroots opinion is followed in contemporary politics:

Downing Street on Wednesday monitored the Labour grassroots response to Hoon and Hewitt through Twitter, finding little or no support for their push.

That certainly partly reflects Labour reaction but it also reflects the degree to which Hoon, Hewitt and their allies are of a different political generation from those who naturally …

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Daily View 2×2: 7 January 2010

Good morning and welcome to Daily View on 7th January. Waking up to a cold frosty reception this morning are Prime Minister Gordon Brown, former Labour ministers and fellow East Midlanders Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt – and, well, pretty much the rest of us as temperatures are set to stay below freezing for most of the country for most of the day.

The 7th January in history saw a trio of firsts: Galileo Galilei first observed the largest moon of Jupiter; the first use of the modern Italian flag; and the first transatlantic telephone call.

A trio of Nicks have birthdays today: Nicholson Baker, the American novelist; Nicolas Cage, the tax defaulting American actor – and our own Nick Clegg MP, who is 43 today!

And in misogyny news: today is Distaff Day, when traditionally, women, who’d had a break from household work over Christmas, began their domestic tasks again.

2 Big Stories

Today we have one nice story and a load of links poking fun at the Labour party.

Lord Mandelson plans street parties for Queen’s diamond jubilee

Mind you, even this story in the Telegraph, ostensibly about something else entirely, can’t help but speculate on Gordon’s much-demanded departure. Here’s the Lib Dem relevant paragraphs:

Lord McNally, for the Liberal Democrats, had to cough to get himself heard, for Lord Mandelson had risen too soon. This faux pas prompted Lord McNally to say, “That’s a bad start to the year,” before demanding street parties and mugs to celebrate the jubilee.

A lesser performer would have been thrown by the embarrassment of forgetting the genial Lord McNally, but Lord Mandelson recovered without apparent effort, declaring himself strongly in favour of street parties and mugs.

Yay, street parties and mugs! Woo!

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