Thursday 25 December 2008


Lobbydog wishes all readers, bloggers, surfers and others a very merry Christmas and an exceedingly riotous New Year.

Unfortunately I have to return to the sofa before my skeleton collapses under the weight of my indulgence.

But when I’ve recovered I’ll be back blogging without remorse. Speak soon!

Tuesday 23 December 2008

Gordon's Christmas list

Lobbydog was prowling through the Commons chamber this morning when he saw a small envelope propped up against the despatch box. A letter inside read...

Dear Father Christmas,

I know it has been many years since last I wrote, but these are extra-ordinary times and they call for extra-ordinary measures.

I have learnt much from being Prime Minister over the past 12 months – mainly that when it seems as though you have nowhere else to turn, it is right to ask for help from someone that you haven’t spoken to in a long time, perhaps even someone you tried to pretend didn’t exist.

That is why today I am taking action and writing this letter to you.

It is essential, with Christmas morning so close and in such uncertain and difficult times, that you understand the true nature of what has passed in 2008.

Yes people are losing their jobs, yes, businesses are going bankrupt and, yes, there is a queue of big companies lining up for cash handouts at the doors of the Treasury.

But what is happening is a global problem – it started in America with the sub-prime market – and I’m not the only one saying that, even George admits it.

Those bad American financiers put so many toxic debts into the system that the rest of us were left helpless.

So I accept that things look bad, but let me be absolutely clear – it’s not because I’ve been naughty. Quite the opposite.

Not only did I save the world, but I’ve also put in place the foundation stones for the long, um, smooth road to recovery.

In addition I’ve helped 13 grand-mothers walk across dangerous roads, saved 24 kittens and puppies which were drowning in lakes and made recordings of me reading out the full works of William Shakespeare so that the visually impaired can enjoy the drama and excitement of Britain’s greatest writer.

I was the one who decided to spend £20 billion to put money back into the economy saving thousands of jobs, hopefully.

Bearing all of that in mind, this Christmas please can you bring me £20 billion?

If you think there is still some space left at the top of my stocking please can I also have a ten point lead over the Tories by May?

I’ve always thought the job that you do is absolutely vital for British children and families.

That is why it is important to point out that, while there were only two ginger nuts left in the biscuit tin – which Sarah and I were going to have with our coco before bed – we’ve taken the tough decision, and made the difficult choice, and opted to leave both of them out for you.

In addition, we’ve boosted our support with a wee dram of scotch, while also giving real help to Rudolph and his friends in the form of 12 carrots.

Yours Sincerely,

The Rt. Hon Gordon Brown, Prime Minister

Monday 22 December 2008

Simpson rumour spreads

This is a bizarre one. A rumour is circulating that Alan Simpson MP has been hired by top political blogger Iain Dale - and it all began with a badly drawn Christmas card.

While not blogging Dale is publisher for the Total Politics website - which this year put out a Christmas card sporting a drawing of its staff.

Someone thought the pic of Dale (second from the left at the back) looked like the Nottingham South MP and did a joke blog on it.

Several whispers later someone tells Lobbydog seriously that Simpson has found work with Dale after he steps down at the next election.

Dale assures Lobbydog it's not true and the whole thing is the odd result of the card artist having an off-day.

Funny how rumours spread.


Lobbydog can pick up the scent of any MP.

But, having trained to sniff in Nottingham, he has a particular talent for tracking Notts members.

That's why he wants to find and link into as many Nottingham blogs as possible.

If you write one that isn't linked in to our 'Nottingham Blogs' list already, then give me a shout.

Even if you don't write one and you simply have some interesting gossip about your Notts MP, then drop me an e-mail.

Bob Quick, Cameron slow

All of a sudden there's something a bit fishy about the Tory party's Damian Green dealings.

The whole affair always had the makings of a situation that might back fire, leaving egg on Conservative faces.

Originally, after Green's arrest, they were happy to play the part of state harassment victims.

But now Met Police assistant commissioner Bob Quick has accused the party and its "friends" of aggravating his investigation into the affair.

That is an accusation which can be brushed off.

However, Quick also said he was forced to move his children away from home because of details published in a right-of-centre newspaper article.

When was the last time children were pulled into politics like this? When Damian Green was arrested in front of his daughter.

Cameron has gone on the offensive, demanding Quick withdraw comments suggesting the Tories had anything to do with the article.
As far as I can see, though it may simply have not been reported, Cameron has made no statement of concern for the children involved.

Even if the Tories had nothing to do with the article – Quick’s reaction does have a knee-jerk feel to it – you would expect savvy PR man Cameron to show some concern for the kiddies.

UPDATE, 11.25am: Quick just issued a full apology. Dominic Grieve said on behalf of the Tories: “We accept Assistant Commissioner Quick’s unreserved apology and this draws a line under the matter.

How magnanimous.

Geoff Hoon - barn dancing elf

Notts MP Geoff Hoon stars along with Virgin's Sir Richard Branson and Stagecoach's Brian Souter in this special video released by a rail passenger group.

TrainSardine.org says the video shows "fat controller rail bosses" dancing for Christmas joy while the railways are in chaos.

Sunday 21 December 2008

Samantha Who?

Maybe it's because everyone is shutting down for Christmas, but conversation on Marr this morning was particularly dire. Extract...

AM: It has been an incredibly dynastic time in American politics, with the Bushes, the Clintons and the Kennedys.

Samantha Bond: Yes.

(Silence. Nervous laughter.)

AM: Let's talk about Strictly Come Dancing.

Who is Samantha Bond again? She obviously didn't think enough people knew as she decided to use her first 'pick of the papers' choice to highlight a story about a film she is in.

Her other choice was an article on Heathrow's third runway.

She said it was because of the environment, but let her nimbyism slip when she claimed it would be awful for people, like her, who lived in West London.

I was amused, however, by Neil Kinnock slating a Government plan to charge interest on state loans.

"I don't know where it came from," said the former Labour leader of James Purnell's plan, "but I know where it's going."