So what’s the answer to the Mail’s question?

So what’s the answer to the Mail’s question?


Is Gord ready to “kill Martin off”?

Of all the front pages this morning the one that gets to the heart of the matter is the Daily Mail – is the Prime Minister ready to make the parliamentary time available fot the confidence motion on his fellow Scot, Michael Martin to be debated?

If he doesn’t Brown will face a mighty storm and possibly lasting and terminal damage to what remains of his political career. If he does then it could still be highly damaging but a lot of what’s been revealed by the Daily Telegraph could be dumped at the door of somebody else.

As the Mail puts it the latter course involves “Mr Brown to take on the vested interests in his party and his fellow Scottish MPs, many of whom are Mr Martin’s closest friends. He has also been warned by whips that Labour might lose the resulting by-election..” This could all happen so quickly or it could drag on for a very long time.

Meanwhile the Telegraph’s exposes continue with one of those named, Labour whip Dawn Butler, being involved in a fierce battle to hang on at the election where her main opponent in Brent Central is also a sitting woman MP – the Lib Dems’ Sarah Teather who doesn’t claim a second home allowance.

Butler, the papers notes, “..spent thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money renovating a house less than 15 miles from her main home.” She claimed for ..“a Jacuzzi-style bath to be fitted in her north London second home while claiming her main home was in east London.” Teather is 6/4 in the betting – sounds a no-brainer to me.

Also named this morning is Gord loyalist, Nick Brown, who “claimed £18,800 over four years in unreceipted expenses for food consumed at his designated second home in Newcastle.” Most voters in his Newcastle East constituency (LD Labour target number 35) have to pay for their own food. And this man is regarded as having the political skills to be Chief Whip – eh?

Also in the report is Patrick McLoughlin, the Conservative chief whip in charge of auditing Tory expenses. He claimed £3,000 to have new windows fitted at his second home. No doubt the Telegraph will have more tonight.

Yesterday’s outage: Sorry we went down yesterday afternoon. There was a massive spike in demand just as Martin started speaking. I had planned to reduce temporarily the number of comments per page to ease the server pressure but didn’t get to doing it in time. The discussion continued on the back-up site – PB Channel 2.

Mike Smithson

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