Saturday, 7 June 2008

Spellman Nanny Statement

Nicked this from Iain Dale’s gaff. This is a statement from the “nanny” that many believe put Spellman in the clear.

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During the period of 1997 to 2002 Mrs Caroline Spelman employed me at her home address and during the period of 1997 to 1998, I had two roles, one helping Mrs Spelman with childcare and another providing secretarial help to her as a MP.

My roles and responsibilities were general administration which entailed tasks such as posting of letters, answering phone calls at the home address, faxing or posting documents to Mrs Spelman whilst she was in London, this was performed during the hours that her children were at school. On Fridays any help with directions to constituency events was given.

On the 6th June 2008 I received a phone call from Michael Crick from the BBC stating that he was doing a programme about Mrs Spelman and her family life with her being an MP.

I answered the questions asked of which a few are listed below.

Did I do secretarial work? to which I answered Yes,

Was it political? to which I answered No (my understanding of this was that he was asking was it party political work)

Did I do Nannying / Childcare for her? to which I answered Yes.

For a period of time the constituency phone number was Mrs Spelman's personal home landline number, so any calls made to this number whilst Mrs Spelman was not present was answered by myself, and all messages taken were then passed directly onto Mrs Spelman.

I believe my answers accurately reflect that for one year I had two roles in working for Mrs Spelman."

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Very nice statement I am sure you all agree. Indeed, the Political Rhino has not seen such an impeccably prepared statement for yonks. This nanny has excellent spelling, grammar and sentence structure. Must have attended a good school…

Facebook

I have decided to join this Facebook thing after being shown its finer points by a couple of mates. I intend on being extremely picky with who I add as friends though. Don't want a load of knobheads and nobodys befriending me now.

In the case of my first friend, I have made an exception :-)

If...

I decided this morning to have a look at the blog of CF Deputy Chairman Christian May. I found the following poem posted. I have decided to repost it here in all its fine splendor. I would go so far to say that his thoughtful words almost brought a tear to the Rhino’s eye…

If – Christian May

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are calling for yours, and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowances for incompetence,
If you can wait to be PM and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, whilst dealing heavily in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to listening,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make the electorate your master;
If you can think - and not make conviction your aim;
If you can meet with Shakira and Clooney
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the lies you’ve spoken
Twisted by the polls to make a trap for you,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out policies,

If you can make one heap of all your gold reserves
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose credibility, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss, of courage;
If you can force your Cabinet colleagues to shut up,
To serve your purpose long after the party members are gone,
And so hold on when there is no conviction in you
Except the cowardice which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your grin,
Or walk with Kings – yet not meet them in Downing St,
If neither foes nor loving friends can trust you,
If all men desert you, but none more than the Blairites
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of “I’m getting on with the job”,
Yours is No 10 and everything that’s in it,
And - which is more - you’ll be Gordon Brown, you knob.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Playing With The Kids Again

The Political Rhino has been preoccupied with earning some money of late, but thought he would check up on the kids following the recent Rock Vs Guido drinking competition. The Political Rhino has been told Patrick Sullivan (or patches/puddles whatever we are supposed to bloody refer to him as these days) was sick down himself whilst Rock could only do 2 pints. What a bunch of lightweights...Wouldn't have happened in the Rhino's day!

Anyway, news reaches the Rhino that the never less then amusing Tim Aker has apparently worked out what ABB stands for according to his Facebook status…Its not very pleasant I'm afraid. I wonder what provoked that outburst....Might ask that one for you readers when Ask Anastasia comes back :-)

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Pomp and Circumstance

The Political Rhino has been in hysterics this afternoon after reading that a number of posts have appeared on the CF Blog indicating that Edward Hallam is the CF Deputy National Campaigns Director. Who the bloody hell dreamt up that pompous fucking title. Still; first there was Richard and now it’s Edward; it would seem Team Rock has got its feet well and truly under the table….

Pomposity and child politics aside, it seems things are going well in Crewe; where I think all now want Labour to take a beating after producing that election poster.

Come on Timpson; kick em in the cobblers…

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Top Tory's

Further to the Political Rhino’s previous post on the establishment of CF Student Life, the Rhino would like to draw readers to the attention of one of the committee members Alexandra Swann. She is pictured in the link below next to Anne Milton MP and Patrick Sullivan (CF Exec Member).

http://executive.cfbranch.com/?p=72

The Political Rhino believes this is surely one for the highly popular Tory Totty section over at Guido’s Gaff (once the photo has been cropped a bit – sorry Patrick!).

Blog Battles

The Political Rhino likes nothing better then watching a good old fashioned barnburner. He has therefore fetched himself some popcorn and hot footed it over to Bloggerheads, where the never less then comprehensive Mr Ireland has decided to swivel both barrels momentarily away from Iain Dale and Paul Staines and aim them at Nadine Dorries. Could be an interesting one this…

Should you however get bored of the battle; the Political Rhino would like to recommend the Tombstone Wiki entry for your reading pleasure. It gave the Political Rhino one of the best laughs he has had in years.

How can supposed mature and intelligent people support this croc of shite?

CF Student Life 2.0

The Political Rhino understands from CF Diary that CF Student Life has been launched/relaunched/repackaged (delete as is in fact appropriate). Those with long enough memories will remember this phraseology being part of previous CF Elections and eventually coming into existence during the Bristow years (they seem so long ago!). it seems the time has come for the term to make a comeback and a committee has been established consisting of the following people…(nicked from the CF Exec Blog)

Co – Chairman – Patrick Sullivan and Sam Rozati

Vice- Chairman (Schools) – Peter Smallwood (London)
Peter Smallwood – 18 and lives in Ruislip in the London Borough of Hillingdon. Peter joined the party the day after the 2005 General Election. He has set up his own branch in Hillingdon and played a key role in helping set up other branches in Harrow and Ealing. Outside of Politics Peter has taken an active role in the Community as a Scout Leader. He is also the Head Boy of his School and has over the last 7 years created a School Council that is recognised by OFSTED as one of the best they have seen. With this experience Peter is keen to get more people between the ages of 16-18 involved in the party and to raise awarness of the need to vote.

Vice- Chairman (Universities) – Alexandra Swann (South-West)
Alexandra was born in Farnham and brought up in Surrey before moving to Exeter to study Philosophy and Political Economy. Her interests involve music, festivals, lacrosse, socialising and travelling. Alex also has been involved in raising money for numerous charities through Exeter Student Guild’s charity wing. She is keen to ensure all our University Branches get the recognition and support they deserve. Alex has also been Campaigns Officer for Exeter University CF and is presently Area Chairman for Surrey.

Elections Officer - Harry Cole (Cross Borders, Scotland)
Harry is 22 and lives in Kent. He is currently at Edinburgh University where he is the Chairman of the Conservative Association and Vice-President for Recruitment of Conservative Future Scotland. He spent last summer working in CCHQ co-ordinating nationwide Fresher recruitment. Having fought a strong campaign for President of his Student’s Association, he is keen to lead a nationwide Conservative resurgence on campuses. He knows this will be an uphill struggle but is passionate that with the right levels of professionalism and training, the fight back can begin.

Elections Officer - Paul Wells (East Anglia)
Paul Wells is currently a second year History student, specialising in Medieval History at the University of East Anglia (in Norwich.) He is the current Chairman of the UEA’s Conservative Future Branch and was recently elected as the Union of UEA’s Student’s Societies Officer. He is very keen to help other university CF branches increase their representation within their Student Unions.

Secretary – Laura Markham (West Midlands)
Laura is currently in her second year at the University of Birmingham where she studies Political Science. She has held the position of secretary within the Conservative Future branch at the university for almost a year. Laura did a week’s work experience in the House of Commons for her local Conservative MP, Andrew McKay which she greatly enjoyed and hopes to do again this year. In her spare time, Laura enjoys playing tennis and going to the gym, socialising with friends and is looking forward to travelling around Europe over the summer break.

Social Action Officer – Anna Appleton (York Uni, Yorkshire and Humberside)
Anna has been involved in Conservative Future since the age of 16. She spent last summer volunteering in a mission centre in South Africa and is interested in learning Zulu. Anna wants to help Students get in contact with their local Communities and make Social Action a priority for our University Branches. She is currently the Campaigns Officer for York University Conservative Association and Area Chairman for Yorkshire North and East.

Social Action Officer - Sarah Hajibagheri (North-East)
Sarah is a 2nd year Politics, Philosophy and Economics student at the university of Durham. During her gap year she worked for Charles Tannock MEP in the European Parliament. Sarah enjoys going to the theatre and socialising with friends. She is also the President of Durham University Conservative Association.

Postgraduate Officer - Hamish Stewart (East Midlands)
Hamish Stewart is the Area Chairman for Nottinghamshire, a former President of Nottingham University Conservative Association and an officer of the National Postgraduates Committee. Hamish also likes eating meat and socialising.He is looking forward to finding new ways to make Conservative Future more relevant to postgraduates. He is currently studying for a PhD in Physical Chemistry.

Postgraduate Officer - Edward Keene (South East)
Edward is a student from east Oxfordshire. He is just coming to the end of his time at the University of Nottingham where he has been reading Politics, and will shortly be beginning a law course at the College of Law in Guildford, Surrey. Over the past three years, Edward has been involved with student issues on a variety of different levels, serving as an Executive Officer of his union and of two JCRs, sitting on University Senate and Court for two years, and representing his peers at three NUS National Conferences. He has also had involvements with national student organisations including SFT, SCM, UCCF, MUN, British Universities Debating, and the ‘intimate’ world of varsity croquet.


The Political Rhino is concerned not enough people have been appointed :-) He is also slightly surprised that font of all knowledge when it comes to the NUS, Mr Tim-Roll-Pickering, is not on the committee. Perhaps he turned them down…Nevertheless, the Political Rhino is pleased the students have their own little section to play with. Hopefully, a properly coordinated attacked at SU and NUS elections can be formulated whilst simultaneously increasing Conservative representation on the campuses. The Political Rhino wishes the committee well

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Time for Millibland...

The Political Rhino has been informed that one of the first oral actions old BJ has taken as Mayor of London is to offer the Labour Party some advice. He has suggested they should get rid of Taxman Brown and replace him with David Millibland. The Political Rhino despises Millibland, who was part of New Labour from the very beginning, with a passion. However, the Political Rhino also accepts that Taxman is a busted flush who surely cannot recover sufficiently from the position he finds himself in to prevent a Conservative victory in the next general election. Millibland has similar appeal to Call Me Dave and Cleggover and just might be the man to bring the Labour Party back from the brink of implosion.

However, just imagine how ideologically bankrupt politics would be if Call Me Dave, Cleggover and Millibland were the leaders of the three mainstream parties. The Political Rhino reckons none of them have even heard of Ayn Rand, Kier Hardie and JS Mill; let alone engaged with any of their thoughts…

Saturday, 3 May 2008

VicTORY

There is no disputing the empirical fact that Bogeyman Brown took an almighty pasting in these local elections. It seems voters up and down the country have finally had enough of this increasing oppressive government. The Political Rhino is particularly pleased by progress made in the Cymru. The Conservative Party smashed all before it in Monmouthshire, recaptured the Vale of Glamorgan and has become the second largest party on Cardiff Council. We won seats up and down the land from Pembrokeshire to Conwy.

Bring on the next General Election!!!!!!!!!

Death of a Monkey

My animal colleague, The Monkey With A Blue Rosette, has regrettably passed away after being smashed to smithereens by a disgruntled Labour Party activist. The passing of the Monkey With A Blue Rosette pleases the Rhino.

I never could stand the little bugger.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Student Politics Update

Apparently, the interview quoted below was actually conducted with Cardiff University CF Chairman Michael Foreman. Mr Foreman has apparently denied saying some of the more controversial aspects of it and he has allegedly voiced his displeasure with the editor. Mr Duncan meanwhile is fuming such an interview has been attributed to him. Mr Hewish has gone into hiding… he has some questions to answer when he emerges.

In the meantime, the Political Rhino would like to suggest to Cardiff University CF that they co-opt somebody to look after press relations…

Sunday, 27 April 2008

CF active in Georgetown! Gair Rhydd and Student Politics…

The Political Rhino would like to draw his readership to the following interview apparently conducted with Craig Duncan, former Cardiff University CF Branch Chairman by Tim Hewish, CF Member and Gair Rhydd journalist. The Political Rhino has been lead to believe that Craig Duncan never participated in the interview…One suspects an extremely stern letter will therefore be on its way to Gair Rhydd in the near future!

The Political Rhino will be following this one extremely closely…If Mr Duncan did participate then the defence of Mr Hewish will be simple. If he didn’t, then one has to wonder where on earth all this crap has come from. Perhaps Mr Hewish, Mr Duncan or Mr Foreman (current Cardiff University CF Chairman) could shed some light in the comments section. The Political Rhino would also like to know if “Mike Banks” or “John Moorecraft” have anything to say on the matter…

Craig Duncan, chairman of Cardiff Conservative Future talks to Tim Hewish and summarises their year and how they will fare come May 1

How many members do you normally have?

It can vary depending on the time of year from about 5 to 15 members

What other activities have you done in the past and will continue to do?

A Welsh Assembly tour and to watch First Minister’s questions with Rhodri Morgan, which gave us a good insight into the daily working of the Assembly.

We also have policy debates, which are chaired by various guests for example former AM’s. We also had the opportunity to hear and meet David Cameron down in the bay last Christmas, which was entertaining.

It isn’t always about politics. We have had socials at Inncognito, bowling and pub quizzes.

Have you ever joined up with your Labour or Lib Dem counter parts for debating?

No, it has been talked about before to play a 5-a-side game, but sadly nothing has come from it.

Do you have close ties with other Conservative Future (CF) branches without the UK?

Yes, more so with Bristol, who have hosted a number of events and we normally attend the Welsh Conservative conference each year, which incidentally is in Cardiff next year and will be a great prospect to talk to the leaders.

Where can students interested in Conservatism, or who want to find out more about the student wing of the party, go for info?

There are many routes. Firstly our Facebook group has regular updates of events and is a forum to chat with local like-minded people.

There is also an email and a web page, but we have socials every other Thursday, and events organised by central office. When someone stands for election we help with flyering and canvassing.

What do you think is in store for CF in Cardiff in the next 12 months?

We have a stall at the Freshers’ Fayre, which produces interest and we look to build a base from there for new members.

As an organisation CF has experienced some changes recently with the election of a new leader: can you tell us a bit more about that?

Yes, Michael Rock was elected President of CF, I’ve found him to have great leadership potential to carry us forward.

CF is also the largest political youth organisation, surpassing Labour and the Lib Dems, so it is an exciting time to be a part of that.

Do you think that CF can produce the next leaders of this country?

Yeah, you can meet all the right people and build up contacts. You may get the opportunity to stand for council and gather supports, etc. It’s the first step on the ladder for most people.

Moving on to the upcoming local elections, how do you think the Conservatives are going to fare?

I think it is going to be limited, but hopefully better than last time. However, Cardiff isn’t the most Tory area; we have 10 seats on the council at present, which we don’t want to see diminish come May 1.

Do you think the local election result will reflect a pendulum swing in the mood of the public and perhaps it gives an indication of the future general election result?

It is essential that we do well and continue on from the huge gains we made last year winning over 600 seats and it acts as a benchmark, it also shows the local feelings, not just national feeling.

Do you think voters in the local elections are testing the political water to see if you are worthy of governing the country again?

I think it is more 50/50 between local and national issues, some will vote for particular issues say, on bin collection, over the general beliefs of the party.

Do you know any of the Conservative candidates standing in Cathay’s personally?

I don’t personally no, but I believe we will be helping any Tory candidate who asks for our help. John Moorecraft usually keeps tabs on candidates whereabouts and informs us when and where help is needed.

I do know however, Michael Banks, who is standing up at George Town this time around.

How do you think Conservatism as a belief links and engages with students?

I think it varies. Some have the beliefs already there, others aren’t necessarily interested in politics and won’t be fully engaged with a political doctrine.

Why do you think students should vote Conservative on May 1?

They should vote Conservative because we stand for local issues; such as opposing Labour’s ridiculous Post Office closures, we back weekly waste collection, not fortnightly and we are eager to sort out Cardiff’s extremely bad pavements and bumpy roads.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

CF Buyo

Word reaches the Political Rhino that some of the South Wales CF old(ish) guard will be meeting for a few beers tomorrow night. The Political Rhino understands it is a purely social occasion that will accord a bunch of current and former political activists the chance to meet up once again for a drink. The Political Rhino’s old mucker, Mr John Moorcraft MA BSc Hons (your not a doctor yet!) will also be there, as will the now deposed CF National Chairman The Political Rhino would like to cordially ask his old friend (who I know reads this blog) if he could politely ascertain whether anybody has actually bothered to tell Mr Former CF Wales National Chairman that Rocky Rogers is now doing his job.

Do feed back Johnny Boy

Administration

The Political Rhino, in a move that would not disgrace the political classes, would like to hastily backtrack on the title of his previous post and recommence discussions on CF Politics. In particular, the Political Rhino would like to thank CF Deputy Chairman Christian May for his response to my ramblings. The extent to which they address the questions posed in the original post is debatable, but at least a coherent and plausible defense for the co-option has been articulated. The Political Rhino considers Christian to be a true scholar and gentleman and somebody who will hopefully one day lead CF to bigger and better things. His honesty is certainly to be appreciated and his blog wholeheartedly recommended.

One thing Christian made reference to is the apparent step back from CF affairs the £45k Youth Development Manager is currently taking. The extent to which this is true is something the Political Rhino remains unaware of. It would not be the biggest surprise in the world though, given what a fuck up the CF Election process was and the accusations made against him initially by Dizzy and then by Sam Coates of CF Diary. However, given that the previously promised North and South Regional Coordinators have seemingly not been appointed (?), does this mean CF administration is once again in limbo…?

Time will tell I suppose...but at least at the moment some work is being done.

Monday, 21 April 2008

CF Co-Options (The Last Word on CF For Some Time…Promise!)

The Political Rhino has just committed the cardinal internet sin… He has left a comment on a popular blog without getting his facts straight first. Having re-examined the snazzy new CF Blog (great development), it is quite clear that Richard Jackson has been co-opted to the CF Exec. The Political Rhino would like to apologise to Christian May for the somewhat sarcastic, and ill-informed, post that may appear on CF Diary shortly. I am sure he will take it on the chin like the top bloke he is.

However, this co-option does raise a number of questions…

1) If Mr Jackson wanted a position on the CF Exec, why did he not put himself forward for election when he had the opportunity? Those who object to co-options as a point of principal have a strong case…they are undemocratic and institutional reform to CF could make there necessity redundant. John Moorcraft, CF supergeek, can bore the interested senseless on this subject…Take it from a Rhino who knows!

2) Mr Jackson has long been recognised as one of the principal supporters of CF Chairman Michael Rock. Has his co-option therefore been sanctioned on the grounds he is the best man out there or has it happened because he offered unconditional support to the Rock campaign. Unfair perhaps on Mr Jackson, who the Political Rhino knows is unquestionably a bright spark who adds to CF, but this is nevertheless an issue which will linger in the minds of the 4 people who care about this sort of thing.

3) Is Mr Jackson the best man out there… Given the freshness of the Exec, would it not have been better to try and persuade someone with real experience to stand, such as a Caroline Hunt or an Andre Walker. Perhaps differences could have been set aside and former rivals Matt Richardson or Darryl Williams could have been persuaded to step up to the mark. An AC with a proven track record, such as Nick Webb, may have been able to offer more. Finally, perhaps even the aforementioned Moorcraft could have brought something to the table... There are scores of talented CF activists out there…one wonders whether all possible avenues have been explored before this hasty co-option has taken place (accepting the fact that its perfectly possible Mr Jackson would have emerged as the best man anyway)

The Rhino believes there is somewhat of an unpalatable whiff to this co-option.

Mystic Rhino Strikes Again.

Continuing the CF theme… it would seem the Political Rhino was correct to insinuate with his inaugural post that Paul “Rocky” Rogers (a nickname the Political Rhino has heard some now departed CF Wales members using following a spat between Mr Rogers and another CF Wales bod at Welsh Conference one year). As a Welsh CF activist, the Political Rhino knows Mr Rogers reasonably well and has no doubt whatsoever he will do an excellent job in an area where the Conservative Party has experienced more rejuvenation then CF of late.

The best of luck Mr Rogers. CF Cymru needs you.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

CF Exec, Blogging and Richard Jackson

Returning to Conservative Future, the Political Rhino notes that a new CF Exec Blog has been launched. The Political Rhino can remember Andrew Young wanting to do something like this many moons ago and it must be considered a positive development that this initiative has finally been implemented. If nothing else, it must improve on the still questionable official CF Website (with its 2007 URL!) and should, if correctly run, offer an alternative to CF Diary.

However, upon examining the website more closely, the Political Rhino is somewhat baffled to see that Richard Jackson has been listed as an author on the website. One assumes this is not the fantastic Richard “Action” Jackson, whose performance as assistant to former National Organiser Sarah Southern remains the benchmark in CF administration, but Richard Jackson the UCL bod and Michael Rock cheerleader throughout the recent CF Elections. Bemused by this, the Political Rhino has asked whether he just has author privileges of if he has actually been co-opted to the CF Exec. I will report back when I get some further information.

The Political Rhino sincerely hopes it’s the former and not the latter, for the latter would raise questions about the swiftness of co-option, communication with the grassroots, jobs for the boys and selecting the best men for the job. Lets hope its the former.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

1,2,3,4 I detect a flame war

Having read some of the comments recently left at the Devil’s Kitchen and at Paul Linford’s, the Political Rhino remains more convinced then ever that lengthy discussions on statporn are about as interesting as an Alistair Darling budget speech.

Please go back to discussing politics lads.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Iain Dale and Sex…

Unfortunately, the Political Rhino is unable to bring you exclusive news that the UK’s most prominent right wing blogger has been caught in a compromising sexual encounter (that would ensure viewing stats go through the roof!). Instead, the Political Rhino wishes to inform anybody reading this who has yet to stumble over to Dale’s place that he has devised a survey in order to reveal the sexual activities of political types. This follows from the GQ interview where Nick Clegg intimidated he had shagged nearly 30 women… The Political Rhino can only suggest they really should have gone to specsavers…

For the record, the Political Rhino suggested in the survey that his political turn-on was “doing a Hezza and shaking the Mace…". I encourage you all to complete the survey and look forward to reading the results!